Mike’s Election Hijinks

September 16, 2009

So I never talk about losses in competitions. Never. Until today. This is because I have lost yet another public election. As an ode to my Susan Lucci type losing streak, I recall my most recent losses over the past ten years. Don’t ask me why I remember these. It probably has something to do with the fact that I am insanely competitive and every loss eats at me. But, for your entertainment, I present to you the public losing streak of Mike.

8th Grade Class President Primaries
I don’t remember who I was running against in these primaries. I do remember looking around at the “debates” we had and thinking that I am much smarter than these people, and more qualified to win. However, I came in as kind of a dark horse candidate (a couple friends in class pushed me to do it because they thought I would be the best for the job), and knew that I had no chance to win in this popularity contest. But, because of this major defeat (well, I know I got at least one vote… because I voted for myself), I got the bug. I loved running in elections. It was a rush. Little did I know that my past ten years of losing in sports would be nothing compared to my next ten years of losing elections.

9th Grade Class Representative
This time, I ran again on a much smaller scale: class representative. I was in an honors class (maybe honors computer programming?) and therefore had about every over-achiever in the entire grade in one class. So, in this diluted representative race, there were about eight other kids running for that highly valued Student Government position (first one to three votes wins?). Now thinking back on it, I really didn’t come out of my shell as the awesomest dude around (I say that in the least amount of seriousness possible) for a couple of years, so I was probably very shy when having to give a speech in front of the class (trust me, if math superstar fourteen year old Mike would have guessed that he would have been a 22 year old Government and Politics graduate he would have laughed… and then probably cried because he was very round). This shyness did not bode well for an election and I got spanked again. But I loved running.

Student Government Association Secretary (10th Grade)
God knows why I would run against a rising junior, who as far as I can remember, was an attractive girl (I can’t even remember her name… this seems to be a consistent theme here, which begs the question if this is a defense mechanism for my miserable high school years). I had “won” my class representative this year (and by “won” I mean beating up on a kid who was probably half-mentally challenged, so I don’t count that as a win). I was a little more outgoing this time, giving out stickers to the entire school and hanging up clever posters (this started a precedent for the upcoming years). I said everything right to the people in my classes, but knew the only chance I had for victory was to get the vote of the entire sophomore class, assume she gets the entire vote of the junior class and we battle over the freshman class. Unfortunately, I lost this battle, but looking back, I started to form the strategies that I studied in college in my election class (focus on the places you will definitely win a little bit, focus on the places you will definitely lose very little and focus the most on the “battleground states”). Wow, I’m actually quite impressed. I’m sure my elections professor would be too. Also, I did not give a very good speech to the entire school. This started my drive to become a better public speaker and to finally win an election.

United Synagogue Youth Chapter President (11th Grade)
As a high schooler, I was very dedicated to USY, the Jewish Youth Group for high school that dominates this entire country (some would call it a cult). Because of my passion for this incredibly stupid organization (picture everyone at conventions claiming they were “BFFLAEAEAEAE” and then only speaking to each other at these conventions), I decided I wanted to run for president of my chapter. Besides, I was very disappointed in the performance of my chapter and had some amazing ideas to fix it. At this point in my life, I had finally achieved my goal of becoming a good public speaker–I was witty, calm, collected and even went off the cuff and told jokes. The one problem here is that the director of my chapter of USY hated me. Granted, I was an immature douche who said whatever came to his mind (some things never change), but he never gave me a fair shake. In fact, he barred some people from voting in the election because he knew they were going to vote for me. Although I lost this election (this starts a long string of questionable election processes), I got the last laugh: the director of my chapter was fired because of this situation.

Jewish Student Union Executive Vice President (Junior in College)
After my high school years and defeats, I kind of backed off from elections for awhile. I was very happy with life, a very successful government major, and satisfied with my standing with the organization (as a deadbeat I.T. guy). Unfortunately, one of my close friends decided he was going to run for president and came to me months before and asked me to be his Executive Vice President. I originally resisted, but he had some great ideas and I liked his vision. I accepted and for months we worked together, concocting our plan to win the election and planning events for the future (we started a year plan). I thought we were unstoppable. That was until the time to officially put our names on the ballots came along. The JSU executive board had no problem with me applying because I was on cabinet already, but my friend who wanted to run for president was not associated with the organization at all (he applied twice to cabinet and was rejected twice). The president said he couldn’t run. Of course he scoured over the constitution and found nothing so after a lot of arguing, he and I were on the ballot together. The election was nasty. My friend and I received a lot of flack from the executive board and we were very concerned that the election was going to be rigged. So we confided in two members of the executive board… who turned out to be the people who ended up allegedly rigging the election. We had heard some rumors but they were actually confirmed for me a couple months later when one of the people who rigged it (and had subsequently graduated) was caught by another good friend of mine talking about how he rigged it (with others there to vouch on the validity of this situation). I never spoke outwardly about this election before this blog, and although I am saddened that another Jew could be responsible for such hate and terrible judgment, I was respectful toward the new executive board and joined as a cabinet member. However, I hope the people that rigged the election (the two people know exactly who they are) fail at life. They deserve it.

Student Bar Association (First Year In Law School)
Looking past the fact that I fully supported Hillary Clinton for president and lost that one, this is my next and newest defeat (it happened a day ago). I wouldn’t mention something like this so soon, but my frustration with my election luck has boiled over. Again, this election reeked of questionable election habits. But first, let me start from the beginning. For some reason, I decided I wanted to become a Senator in the Student Bar Association (the reasons go past the part that I wanted everyone to call me “Senator Rosen”). So I submitted my petition with 25 fellow students’ signatures on it and officially became a candidate. I put fliers up all around the school (some included “Mike Rosen likes rainbow highlighting”, “Mike Rosen > Chuck Norris”, and “Mike Rosen wants mandatory naptime.”) I learned through my studies as a government major that the best campaign signs are the shortest, sweetest and most memorable. I had accomplished all three. On election day, I was nervous, but confident that I had a chance to win. The elections started at 11am, so I walked over at around 11:45am. When I went to vote I noticed something pretty crucial for victory in an election: my name wasn’t on the ballot. I immediately went to the president who told me I didn’t follow the constitution by not putting my section letter on my petition. I told her I read the constitution and it said nothing of the sort (I also thought to myself, “Right in front of you on the table where voting is taking place is my platform. It states my section in big bold letters. Really? Really future lawyer?”). Being the third week law student I am, I consulted the constitution, and was right. The president then added my name manually onto every ballot that was not filled out yet, but the damage was done. This massive error had pretty much assured another loss for Mike Rosen. I could have argued this, but who wants to make enemies in the third week of law school? Not I. Oh well. I guess it’s meant to be.

To conclude, what is there to say except that Mike is the losingest candidate of all-time. Mike is like the Susan Lucci of elections. The Patrick Ewing of elections. The 40 year old virgin of elections (by the way, if you continue to say elections in sentences over and over again, is it me or does it start to sound like “erections”?). At this point even my own mother said that maybe I should not run for these kind of things anymore. But let me ask you this: did Susan Lucci quit “All My Children” when she lost the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the seventeenth straight year? Hold on, let me Wikipedia this… No! She did not! And when she finally won it was the sweetest moment of her life. So, I’m going to keep pushing until I finally do win one of these stupid, stressful, taking years off my life elections.

The Post Everyone Has Waited For: My Work for the Inauguration of Barack Obama

January 25, 2009

Yes, it’s true, for one week I worked for a major television network to set up and cover the inauguration of our fourty-fourth President.  Let me just say how lucky I truly am to have experienced something so amazing and so up close.  I have a permanent smile over an experience that I never and will never take for granted.  It was a once in a lifetime experience, and as a close family member said, my life has peaked at the age of twenty-one.  I have a couple thoughts, stories, etc. that I will tell in no organized way whatsoever.

I started working the Thursday before inauguration.  I took a red eye straight from Orlando, Florida to Washington, D.C. so I could get my credentials in time (trust me, Capitol Police and Secret Service did not take anything lightly whatsoever).  The first time I walked through security to the trailers on the west side of the Capitol Building, the Capitol Policeman, Tom, asked me my name.  Turns out this guy was one of the nicest and friendliest people I have ever met.  And, he never forgot my name from there.

Later that day, I walked to the front of the Capitol Building to see the stage for the first time.  And let me tell you, it was absolutely breathtaking.  Nobody was on the stage except for me and it kind of felt surreal–I knew something amazing was going to happen here in a couple of days but it didn’t seem real and it hadn’t hit me yet.

On Friday, I got the opportunity to go up to the roof of the Capitol to bring up some materials for the camera man.  Looking out from this view was maybe the most amazing view I have ever seen.  Period.  It didn’t hurt that it was a perfect day outside (minus the temperature being in the teens), so visibility was amazing.  At that point, the magnitude of the event still had not hit me, but the realization of how lucky I was and how only a few people ever had got to experience what I was feeling at that moment on the roof.  That day I also got to visit the anchor’s desk and that was also pretty cool.

The next day, Saturday, I got to return to the inside of the Capitol Building, where I had worked as an intern for 8 months in the year 2007.  It was pretty cool being back and it kind of felt like a full circle type thing.  Two years ago, I started my journey as a young Government and Politics major into the world of politics and actually getting involved, and here I was, two years later, working for the inauguration for a historic presidency.  Pretty cool feeling. 

The next day, a couple of interns and I were in the right place at the right time because right after they practiced an official run-through of the inauguration, we sneaked out and took pictures on the platform where Mr. Obama would stand.   However, the greatness of this event still hadn’t hit me, until Monday.

Monday was pure insanity.  D.C. was packed.  You couldn’t move on the Metro, or even on the streets, especially since the road was closed.  At around 8am that day, the lines outside of the House Office Buildings were gigantic, as everyone had to pick up their tickets for the event.  It finally had hit me–this thing was going to be huge.  Walking around the city, I found it impossible to move, and even more impossible to drive in (trust me, we learned the hard way after a four hour round trip to the D.C. Bureau which should have taken 45 minutes at most).

That day, I also was surprised to find out that I would be going to the South Inaugural Ball.  I was lucky, as I knew somebody who worked at the Obama offices.  If this girl is reading this, let me tell you, I adore you.  Although I had a feeling you were the coolest girl I knew before getting me tickets (it was between you and Hillary Clinton), it is now definite that you are the coolest girl I know (besides Hillary has only disappointed me over the past year, and you haven’t).  I can’t say enough great things about this girl.  Anyway, I scrambled last second to get a tuxedo and boy, was I lucky.

The next day was game day.  It took me three hours to get from my apartment, through the Metro station (which was crazy), through security, through Secret Service and finally to our trailer.  It was pretty awesome though that throughout the packed Metro ride everyone, and I mean EVERYONE was chanting “O-BAM-A.”  It was pretty awesome.  Also, everyone in D.C. throughout the week was incredibly nice and friendly.  Everyone talked, laughed and shared stories.  This included me.  Typically on the Metro, I listen to my iPod and mind my own business, but this week I talked to others (mostly tourists) and even gave out my phone number if they had any questions about the city or any problems.  Anyway, I finally got in to work and was ready to go.

Our boss told us to go out to the stage to take pictures, etc. because for the actual ceremony we would be in the trailer (we were all pretty disappointed).  However, on the stage, we had the opportunity to meet and take pictures with most of the following: Denzel Washington, Oprah (she was crying already when I met her), Maria Menoudos (I think that’s her name from Access Hollywood… really hot but pretty crappy attitude), Tobey McGuire (the guy was pretty nice and willing to take pictures with everyone), Oprah’s friend Gayle (also friendly, but probably because she was happy someone noticed her), Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Terrell Owens, Jamie Lee Curtis, and many others.  It was pretty cool that these people were not the main attractions and most didn’t even pay huge amounts of attention to them.

We went to the trailer after a couple hours on the stage where we overlooked the crowd on the mall (which was packed by 6am).  It was pretty overwhelming to see two million people in front of me.  I was really taken aback.  Anyway, we went back to the trailer, and my boss, who is a very close family friend who I have known my entire life (whose daughters, now grown, babysat me and my brother), said to me that I had to deliver something to a camera man on the balustrade (the deck right over the entrance onto the main stage and overlooking the former Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, Senators, Congressmen, VIPs, the Biden Family, the Obama family, etc., etc., etc.  He also told the other interns to go deliver the same thing to the cameramen on the press bleachers.  He handed us all passes for the areas we were to go, and said he wanted them back after we delivered the papers to the cameramen.

So, I went to the balustrade and saw the most amazing view of the crowd completely filled in just about a half hour before the event.  The crowd was abuzz with Obama chants and this air of excitement.  It was pretty cool.  Anyway, I delivered what I had to deliver, took my pictures and went back down.  As I re-entered the trailer, my boss said to me to go back… AND STAY THERE!!!

As I stationed myself on the balustrade, I stood, for the most part, with no one in front of me and I had a clear view of the stage.  It was one of the most emotional and overwhelming things of my life.  I was shaking for the first half hour and during President Obama’s speech, it dawned on me that I was one of the luckiest people in the world at that moment.  For a man who doesn’t cry or get very emotional, a tear came into my eye and I became very choked up over the whole thing.  I also didn’t realize that I was completely freezing, but it didn’t matter.  I was literally fifty feet away from President Obama giving his speech.  It was completely awesome.  It made the long hours, early mornings, and other things worth it.

I really didn’t have time to digest everything because immediately from work (which I got out early from) I went to the tuxedo place on Independence Avenue and changed into my tux on the spot.  I immediately went back to College Park to pick up my date and went to the DC Armory.  This event was pretty cool and probably would have been the coolest event ever, but the inauguration slightly overshadowed it.  It was pretty awesome to hear President Obama and Vice President Biden speak (with Biden, of course, getting over excited about nothing, but that’s just him, and why we all love him).  By the end of the night I had been up 24 hours straight and pretty exhausted.

I slept for an hour and woke up the next morning to go back to work to finish up.  It was a quick day, as I pretty much just delivered some gifts to some Capitol staffers on behalf of the network.  I got to walk through the Capitol Building and reminisce on my times there throughout the past two years and then went to the stands on the steps of the Capitol where yesterday’s ceremony took place.  I sat there for a good twenty minutes just reflected for a little on what had happened in the past forty hours of my life.  I realized how lucky I was and how I wished every one of my friends and family could have experienced what I had experienced.  I will continue to say how lucky I am, and this experience will probably take awhile for it to settle in for me completely.  My fellow interns were amazing and my bosses were incredible.  I just can’t believe I got to do something so cool and I am incredibly thankful to all who made it possible.

Wild, Wild Weekend (wicky-wild-wild)

January 7, 2009

First, let me clear the air: yes, the title of this post is a play on words of my least favorite Will Smith movie and most favorite Will Smith song.  But, more importantly, the title needs some explanation.  Over the next week(ish) I will probably have the craziest (wildest, if you will) week and I want to brag.  It’s my blog, I could do and say whatever I want so back off.  If you’re looking for a more insightful piece (like my past entries) you’re out of luck.  You’re not going to find it here.  I just want to brag.

When I decided to go to school in the Washington, D.C. area, I knew that through family friends, I would have the opportunity to work the 2008 Presidential Inaugeration on Capitol Hill.  It was something that I have been looking forward to for years.

Over the summer, my family decided that we need to go on a family vacation before I enter the real world.  We had it planned perfectly: go on vacation, then be back in time for the inauguration. 

So my parents made the plans: we would be going to Disney World.  I was pretty excited about it.  Disney World is great, no matter what age you are.  Everyone has grown up with Disney and has a great appreciation for it.  My family hadn’t been there since I was in fifth grade (eleven years ago), so I was absolutely looking forward to it.

Unfortunately, our perfect plans hit a little bump in the road yesterday.  NBC needed me in Washington by the Thursday before elections, but we weren’t coming home until Friday.  This created a major situation.  I really wanted to go to Disney, but the inauguration was something I was looking forward to for years now.  Furthermore, with the election of Barack Obama, Washington is going to be a zoo and I really wanted to be apart of history.  Lastly, I had told everyone I knew (pretty much) that I was working the inaugeration, so it would be quite embarrassing to not end up working it (people may think I was lying/think I was all talk).

So we had quite a connundrum on our hands.  I was devastated that I probably couldn’t go.  Not even playing Madden on a 50 inch HDTV could cure my woes last night.  However, my parents are thinkers.  They knew how much I wanted to go.  So, today they booked me a flight a day earlier than the rest of the family so I could get back to D.C. and get clearance to work. 

I am incredibly grateful to my family for letting me have this amazing opportunity.  More importantly, over the next week, I will have an amazing time in Disney and then in D.C.

The Opening and Closing of Chapters in My Life

November 23, 2008

Wow, I haven’t written a post in a long time, so I figure I owe one to my loyal readers (that “s” at the end might be a bit of stretch) out there.  So here are my thoughts on the past month.

Mazel tov America.  We did it.  We elected Barack Obama.  Now, I planned on writing a post blaming college aged kids if Senator McCain won.  I planned on saying how the youth are so outspoken and always complaining about this and that and jumping on the “I Hate George W. Bush Bandwagon” and then never showing up to vote.  But you proved me wrong.  The 18-25 demographic showed up in record numbers.  It was insane that President-elect Obama won in almost every demographic, including outstanding showings among Christians and Protestants (which have both leaned Republican since the Reagan years), the Jews (almost 80%) and even the elderly.  It is important to mention that Senator McCain’s concession speech was incredible and inspiring.  If he would have spoken like that all campaign long (and the economy didn’t fall apart and Bush’s approval ratings weren’t in the crapper) he would have had a fighting chance.  The Senator McCain I know (and have met numerous times) has a great sense of humor and is incredibly insightful and we didn’t see that on the campaign.  In addition, it will also be interesting to see how the Republicans recover and what Governor Palin (or should I say “Rock Star” Palin) will do.

What else, what else.  Oh!  So it’s pretty rad that Blink-182 is talking again, huh?

Anyway, moving on…  So I started my edits and rewrites of a script I am writing.  I wrote it over the summer and decided not to look at it for a couple months to see if I still liked it after the wait.  Well, I looked at it and still liked it.  It needs work though.  It’s just good to be writing again, especially since the script is very personal, but also incredibly hysterical.  Obviously, this is the first time I am posting on it (and only a handful of friends know about it), but I take pieces of my blog and real life experiences and put it into this piece of work that I am so passionate about.  It’s a pretty cool and funny script and I will continue to work on it throughout the winter (it’s a slow process).  It’s kind of hard to write the script and then come back to the blog.  It’s two completely different kinds of writing pieces.  I will try though.

So I went to visit a prestigious law school in Washington (whose school has a weird mascot) and two things went through my head: 1.  “Well I guess this is growing up.”  2.  These people are strange.  So my first thought was the idea that I was growing up.  It seemed like a far off thought until I actually stepped onto campus and saw myself there.  It was a very strange feeling.  I mean, I’m looking forward to the future but also enjoying the present (I will get back to this in a little).  The second thought I had is that the people at this school were strange.  There were two types of people:  the pretentious people that wore sweater vests and nice clothing and the people who wore sweat pants and a hoody to class.  I started to think about which one I would be.  The pretentious one is interesting.  In all fairness, they deserve to be pretentious;  this was a hard school to get into and they are clearly better than most.  But also, they kind of seemed like douches.  But cool and smart douches.  The sweatshirt people were laid back, but also a little too informal for a place like this law school.  I don’t know what I would be.  Both sides are attractive.  Hopefully, I could find a healthy medium.

My last tidbit is that I went to my last home college football game as a student, and although my team got whipped, I stayed until the end in the freezing cold.  I just sat there as my team was down by over 30 and thought about the good and bad times.  I was incredibly emotional and although my team let me down last night, they were one of the few constant things in my college career.  I could always count on them to be there for me every Saturday.  It was an emotional experience, but like some band said, “Well I guess this is growing up” (although before this they said, “Take your pants off.”).  I’m sad this chapter of my life has come to a close but I will always cherish the times I had in that stadium living and dying with every touchdown and interception thrown.

So about that debate last night…

October 3, 2008

So the vice presidential debate last night was held between Senator Biden and Governor Palin.  Now, I normally wouldn’t comment and inject my own political opinion into my weblog (hey, Republicans read blogs too) because I feel like people should be left to make their own decisions and opinions and not be influenced by what others write.  However, after last night, I can’t keep quiet or else I will explode.

Eight months ago, in one of my government and politics classes, we were having a discussion about the Obama-Clinton primary elections.  I, of course being an outspoken Clinton supporter, argued on the side of Hillary Clinton.  However, just to be a devil’s advocate, I said that Senator Joe Biden of Delaware was the most qualified to be Democratic nominee.  His long (over 30 years) Congressional record in foreign policy, the economy and more was amazing.  He was the well-rounded candidate we needed.  Smart, ballsy, and outspoken.  Someone who could relate to the people.  Obviously, people in this class flipped out on me and thought I was a jackass.

Seven months after that class, Biden was announced as Obama’s VP, which I thought was the second most brilliant move the Democrats could have done besides making Hillary the VP candidate (and obviously that wasn’t going to happen since it is clear that Obama and Clinton don’t get along).  Shortly after this announcement, the McCain camp announced Sarah Palin, an Alaskan hockey mom, as his VP candidate in hopes of getting some of Hillary’s votes.

When Palin was first announced, I didn’t know much about her.  However, over the past month, I have gotten pretty well educated about her and her work, which brings me to the debate last night.  I have to say, she did hold her own against the intimidating and well qualified Biden, but her “cutesy” act detracted from what she said.  First, when both candidates came out, Palin said to Biden, “Can I call you Joe?”  This started a night full of the Palin “I’m just like you” act.  It is disgusting. 

If the McCain-Palin ticket does win, she will push women’s rights back fifty years.  I think when she did make points, they were good, but her cute act doesn’t belong in politics.  If you want to talk about “equal rights” here’s a nice little point for you:  What do you call a man acting the way Palin is acting?  AN IDIOT.  I thought it was disgusting when she gave a shoutout to her brother’s 3rd grade class and said they get extra credit.  Save the cute for Sesame Street, not for politics.  I don’t want a cute, regular person in the executive office!  I want someone who is smarter and MORE QUALIFIED for me.

So there you have it.  I had to get it off my chest.  Palin disgusts me completely.  She has to start acting less like a drunken midwesterner and more like a qualified person who wants to be VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!