I’ve been doing this long enough to remember the last two or three elections through the prism of the Oscar race; no matter what side of the political fence you belong on, it’s easy to remember how the race was impacted by what was going on all around it.
The first election when I began Oscarwatching was the Bush v. Gore in 2001. It was as tumultuous as any we’ve had since. The election was eventually thrown in favor of the Republicans by the partisan Supreme Court, and became a moment in history that held the public in its thrall — it’s hard to believe it even happened that way and it marked what many of us consider a dark moment in history where the powerful corporations began controlling politics. It took Obama, really, to break the spell finally. Incidentally, much of what fueled Bush’s victory (other than voter fraud) was the assault on President Clinton by the GOP regarding a subject that should have remained private — the Monica Lewinsky scandal took vital energy, attention and resources away from our leader at a time when we needed him most; not nine months after Bush was inaugurated and we were hit by al-Qaeda. Soon after that, so-called weapons of mass destruction, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Exhaustive, expensive, with a current death toll of American soldiers – exceeding 6,500.