And the winner of the ’08 presidential race is ...

The 2008 presidential election has definitely reached that fine line between annoying and overkill. Most of us can say with confidence that we are sick of seeing the malicious TV ads and the yo-yoing polls.

One could even dare to say that the only good thing that came out of the election this year (besides a brand spanking new president) was Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and the rest of the "Saturday Night Live" cast. It takes some serious talent and wit to take the stuffiest and boring political junk and make it hilarious.

Some of us, however, cannot seem to put this election process into comprehensible terms. It’s not that hard to understand; you just have to place it into a context you understand.

Every year in January, two celebrities represent the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to read the nominees for the upcoming Oscars. After an entire year of films, it narrows down to the best of the best. From there, it’s a race for favorites.

After months of anticipation, public polling and the selection of favorites by academy members, the big night arrives. Glamour, glitz, celebrities, paparazzi and a gleaming red carpet add to the building excitement of the evening. Everyone who is someone in Hollywood shows up to the Oscars.


The night passes by and finally the big awards leave the podiums — best picture, best director and best actor and actress. As the envelope opens and the winner staggers up the stage, the audience explodes into applause.

A very emotional recipient stands next to a shining Oscar and begins to thank everyone — moms, dads, wives, religious deities and production crews. They ramble on about how they are "not ready to give a speech," yet they seem to know just what to say.

After this, the Academy Awards draw to a finish and all the world waits a full year until the cycle repeats again.

Now, look at this.

Every four years, many politicians represent their political parties to run for the presidential nomination. After months of campaigning, caucuses and dropouts, it narrows down to the best of the best from each party. From there, it’s a race for favorites.

After months of anticipation, public polls and the selection of favorites and winners by the Electoral College, the big night arrives. Counting, live TV updates, candidates with families and a gleaming White House adds to the building excitement of the evening. Everyone who is someone in Washington shows up to the announcement of the new president.

The night passes by, and finally the big award is given out — the next president of the United States of America. As the results appear on network TV and the winner stands amongst their colleagues with a smile of relief and pride, Americans explode into cries of excitement or disappointment.

A few months later, a noticeably nervous candidate takes his place in front of the Great Seal and begins to address the nation. They ramble on for a while, give their sworn oath and a well-planned speech.


Moments later, the band begins to play and the new president takes his rightful place in Washington. The 2008 election then draws to a close and the world waits four years until the cycle repeats.

It is not that different after all. Just as the SNL cast did, you have to take something that confuses you, is terribly boring or excessively annoying and put it into a different context. Just make sure you do not get the two confused.

Emily Gresbrink is a senior at John Marshall High School. To respond to an opinion column, send e-mail to

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