In 2008, I spent fall semester studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. The first question my host mother asked my when I arrived was, “Pourquoi Sarah Palin? Why Sarah Palin?” I could only shrug and reply, “Je ne sais pas. I don’t know.”
Two months later, I stood on a street near the Opéra with a few American friends. The street, lined with American bars including the famous Harry’s Bar, was crowded with Americans and French and film crews from Frenh news stations. Tickets to celebrate the election inside the bars were overpriced and sold out so we stood on the sidewalk, watching CNN on a television turned toward the window and explaining the electoral college to two older men from Alsace as Wolf Blitzer holographed other pundits into the studio.
The next morning, I bought three newspapers, Le Monde, Libération and Le Canard Enchaîne, at the kiosk near Rue du Bac metro before heading to school. They are the three most important things I saved from that semester and I rode the metro that morning giddy and grinning like a lunatic. I had voted absentee in my first presidential election and my candidate won.
Here’s hoping we get four more years of progress.