Tag Archives: Democratic Party

the vet didn’t vet — let’s not end up with regret

Saw this courtesy of my friend Jack.

As the video says, “It hasn’t happened yet…” Let’s make sure it doesn’t. If your state will let you vote early, do it today. And if you have an hour (or 5, or 10) to spare, head to your local campaign office and make some calls or knock on some doors.

Help make sure that next Tuesday, the result is one America won’t regret.

kids, don’t let your parents vote Republican

MoveOn has released a marvelous new Obama ad. As described on Huffington Post:

The spot, part of MoveOn’s Youth Vote program, attempts to harness the cultural reach of Gossip Girl, the much-beloved (and oft-spoofed) CW hit about over-privileged New York highschoolers. Featuring some of the show’s actors…, it is a satirical play on the drug prevention spots that occupy a memorable place in television lore. Only this time around, the message is a bit more political:

“Talk to your parents about John McCain,” says one narrator.For my sake? Please?

Vote for Barack Obama.

Before it’s too late.

in the presence of greatness

We were very, very glad we took the kids along to see this potentially historic event.

We were very, very glad we took the kids along to see this potentially historic event.

Our trip to see Barack Obama speak in Indianapolis yesterday was worth every minute of the drive, the wait in the incredibly long line, and the additional wait in the damp, cool outdoor grandstand where we sat. The man is a tremendous presence, and he spoke of working together, of making our country and the world a better place, of making sure that average people can lead good lives. He was phenomenal.

A small portion of the line that snaked through the Indiana State Fairgrounds

A small portion of the line that snaked through the Indiana State Fairgrounds

We arrived an hour before the gates opened, and the line was already at least a quarter mile long, wrapping around the buildings of the Indiana State Fairgrounds, with more people arriving constantly from all directions. It was the most diverse crowd I’ve ever been part of — black and white; older people, 20-somethings, and elementary school groups; union groups wearing matching shirts; people in all varieties of Obama-wear. While we waited, volunteers went up and down the line asking people to consider volunteering to help the campaign for a few hours between now and Nov. 4. Other folks demonstrated the spirit of free enterprise by selling buttons, hats, and t-shirts.

Once the gates opened, the line moved fairly quickly. At the base of the Security personnel checked all bags and belongings, and everyone walked through a metal detector. Volunteers were everywhere, directing people to seating. One of them pointed out the way to the infield, where we could be near the stage. It sounded good, so we gave it a try; and yes, we were probably only about 50 feet from the podium, but we were also standing in about 4 inches of mud — and would be for at least 3 hours, packed into the crowd. Sitting in the grandstand began to look like a good idea, so we moved up into the seats. Because we were there so early, we got excellent seats near the center and not too far up, close enough to see the speakers’ faces.

A small Obama fan

A small Obama fan

One of the two (visible) crews of sharpshooters who kept up constant surveillance of the entire area

One of the two (visible) crews of sharpshooters who kept up constant surveillance of the entire area

We were surrounded by happy, excited humanity. A couple with a sweet and charming 9-month-old girl sat in front of us. The 2 hours of waiting passed quickly, and the constant influx of people continued. An excellent assortment of music played over the loudspeakers; we agreed that we’d buy a CD compilation of Obama campaign music (and it looks like we can!). We were interested to see six sharpshooters setting up on top of two large vans to either side of the stage area; their weapons were in bags, not visible but within easy reach, and they spent the entire event scanning the surrounding area with binoculars. (Talk about a stressful job: constant vigilance, all the while hoping you never have to do what you’ve been trained to do.)

The sea of diverse humanity

The sea of diverse humanity

Overflow people were directed to the infield.

Overflow people were directed to the infield.

By 11:45, when the first speaker came to the podium, the grandstand was full (it holds about 14,000) and latecomers were being directed to the infield. We heard from a volunteer organizer, from the Indianapolis congressman, and from Jill Long Thompson, who’s running for governor. Then there was a short break, followed by an amazing new song; I didn’t know what it was at the time, but told Doug that it sounded like Lionel Ritchie. Turns out I was right: It’s a song called “Eternity,” with Ritchie’s singing mixed with Obama’s words. You can hear a sample here. (It gives me chills.) At the same moment, Obama’s motorcade entered the fairgounds area, and the crowd erupted.

First on the stage was Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, who was in the running for VP. He gave an excellent short speech, including the story of how his father took him to see Lyndon Johnson speak in Indianapolis — the last Democratic presidential candidate to carry Indiana. Bayh brought his two sons to hear Obama yesterday, hoping that they’ll once again witness a Democrat carrying the state. It appears astonishingly possible. Then, Bayh introduced “the next President of the United States: Barack Obama!”

Obama walked onto the stage to Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising.” He began by commenting, “What a magnificent crowd!” I agree, particularly because it was the middle of the day on a rainy, cool weekday in Indiana. He spoke for about 45 minutes, covering all his major campaign themes but also touching on some new points and covering economic issues in more depth. (Speaking about those who will get a tax cut: “Let’s see a show of hands: How many of you are making less than a quarter million dollars a year? [Pretty much every hand goes up] Yeah, that looks like a majority!”) Several times, he got really fired up in a way I haven’t seen at the Democratic Convention or in the debates, and it was marvelous to hear the emotion and commitment in his voice. As he finished, the music came up: Stevie Wonder singing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Perfect.

As we made our way out, my son commented, “That was amazing.” We left feeling energized, excited, hopeful, and most of all positive. Obama made no personal attacks; he talked about the need to make changes that will transform our country and help all Americans. It was a message of cohesion, of national pride and strength, of the hopes that we all share, and of his readiness to lead the country forward.

It was a great day, and we heard a great message from a great man.

Obama field trip

On Wednesday, we’re going to hear Barack Obama speak at the Change We Need rally in Indianapolis. Yes, that’s right: the capital of Indiana, a traditionally Red state that this year is wavering toward going Blue. A wavering so distinct that the Democratic candidate is coming here less than a month before the election. Who would ever have thought it possible?

We’re taking our daughter (a high-school senior) out of school to come with us; her boyfriend’s family has also agreed that he can go. What better civics/government lesson could they receive than watching our great American democratic system in action?

I Am Excited to see and hear Obama in person.

a button for every Obama fan

Thanks to a link on Daily Kos, I just found the incredible selection of highly individualized buttons for DemocraticStuff.com - Merchandise from Anti-Bush to Yellow Dog to the 2008 Presidential ElectionObama supporters at DemocraticStuff.com. They have pages and pages of them. Yes, they have the expected: Teachers for Obama, Firefighters for Obama, Retirees for Obama, and many more, all with clever graphics.

And then there are the buttons that are … less expected. Here are some of my favorites.

This one is hard to read — it says “Optometrists”

2 words

I’ve been considering blogging about John McCain’s chosen running mate, Sarah Palin. But why rehash what has been clearly expressed and explained elsewhere?

My thoughts return again and again to the same two words, which will suffice as my opinion on the subject:

Offended.

Appalled.

if Clinton’s campaign goes with the “nuclear option,” I won’t vote for her

Tuesday I’ll be voting in the Indiana Democratic primary, and I’m thoroughly excited that my vote will actually count for something this time around. For a little while, the race was running neck and neck, but for the last few days Real Clear Politics has Clinton’s lead increasing; today she’s in front by an average of almost 6%. At the same time, Obama’s lead in North Carolina keeps shrinking: today it’s averaging 7%.

I assume that these shifts are due in large part to the knee-capping operation undertaken last week by the Rev. Jeremiah “Throw Barack Under the Bus” Wright. They make me nervous, because they seem to herald a continuation of the race for the nomination. I’d been among those fervently hoping that a strong show in Indiana and a blow-out in North Carolina would seal things up for Obama.

And then this morning, I saw this on the Huffington Post:

http://cnycircus.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/hillary-clinton.jpgHillary Clinton’s campaign has a secret weapon to build its delegate count, but her top strategists say privately that any attempt to deploy it would require a sharp (and by no means inevitable) shift in the political climate within Democratic circles by the end of this month.

With at least 50 percent of the Democratic Party’s 30-member Rules and Bylaws Committee committed to Clinton, her backers could — when the committee meets at the end of this month — try to ram through a decision to seat the disputed 210-member Florida and 156-member Michigan delegations. Such a decision would give Clinton an estimated 55 or more delegates than Obama, according to Clinton campaign operatives.

Sure, there’s that fact that making such an attempt “would require a sharp (and by no means inevitable) shift in the political climate.” But when my husband and I were on a walk during this beautiful spring evening, I realized that I have no doubt at all that if such a shift occurred, perhaps following unexpectedly strong Clinton showings in the next several primaries, Hillary and Co. would absolutely undertake their “nuclear option” to force through a convention decision on her behalf. I think they’d do whatever it took to get her the candidacy.

And here’s the next thought that came to me, very unexpectedly, on my walk: if Clinton and her people pull this kind of stunt, I won’t vote for her in the general election.

My husband’s immediate response to my saying so was, “But any Democrat is better than McCain.” I agree with him. But if she does this, then she’ll demonstrate something I’ve thought all along, and which has influenced my decision to vote for Obama: when it comes right down to it, I believe that Clinton’s campaign is 100% All About Her. If she shows that she’s willing to do anything and everything to get the nomination, including stomp all over the process and ignore the wishes of Democratic voters, then she’ll show me that she’s no better a person than the worst Republican. I won’t vote for someone like that.

It’s the first glimmer I’ve had into understanding why people vote for Ralph Nader; they see such fundamental flaws in the candidates of the two major parties that they refuse to vote for either of them. I hope that Clinton won’t cause me — and, potentially, a lot of other people — to leave the President box empty on my ballot in November.

Update

This morning, the Huffington Post says the Clinton campaign is absolutely planning to push for seating of the Florida and Michigan delegates at the May 31 meeting of the Rules and Bylaws committee. One response:

Political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia said: “Wow. The nuclear option will yield nuclear winter for the Democratic Party.”

Unbelievable. Clinton apparently has no concern for what this action will do to her party and the country.