Friday, October 24, 2008
Thirteen Days and Counting
Thirteen Days Left. Thirteen days until this whole fiasco is over, and we can stop wondering if our country has learned anything at all over the past eight years. Thirteen days until, hopefully, we have a new President-Elect. I say "hopefully" because of that little Florida incident. You know, the weeks that made everyone named "Chad" want to change their names. What are the chances there WON'T be any recounts in this one? Say a little prayer, folks.
I spent the weekend, for the most part, in a political haze. It started on Friday afternoon with a call from a friend who has friends in high political places. Not the tippy-top, mind you, but high enough to get my family a meet-and-greet with Jill Biden on Friday night at tiny Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Missouri. We drove to the campus, not knowing what to expect, and were greeted by a crowd of about a hundred, lots of union signage, and one darn perky soon-to-be Second Lady. Drizzly night, fun group, good speech, adorable speaker! I knew I liked her when she greeted my fifteen-year-old son and his best friend with a, "What are you guys doing here on a Friday night? Any plans for the weekend?" They explained that they had an early cross country meet on Saturday morning and she then described the trail she'd run that morning. So nice. So normal. So never-shot-a-mammal-from-a-helicopter. So who you'd like to see in the White House.
My favorite sign at that event, by the way, was pinned to the back of a spectator's jean jacket. "Rednecks for Obama," it read. "Working for the man who will do more for the working man."
Saturday morning- up early to pack supplies for the long day ahead at the Obama rally under the Gateway Arch. After several discussions about route and parking, my friend Cindy and I were surprised and happy to experience no huge traffic jams en route, and fairly easy access to the site all around... until we realized that we'd entered the Arch grounds on the wrong side, and the line to get through the gates, I swear, was over a mile long, at least four people wide. But did we give up? No! We had packed water bottles and bags of mixed nuts, for goodness' sake. Like little Girl Scouts, we were prepared. We walked and walked to find the end of the line, ending our hike with little hope of actually making it through the gates before Obama began to speak. After nearly two hours in line, we found ourselves positioned directly under the arch with twenty minutes to spare. The line, in fact, was one of the highlights of the day. What a jolly group! It was electric; every age, every race, every background imaginable, with the same shared hope. Leadership.
My favorite moment of that day? Looking out over the sea of 100,000 people (had I known how many people were there I might have gotten a little jittery) under the beautiful, shimmering arch and knowing we all had something in common. So cool!
The weekend ended with a trip to my daughter's alma mater- Kirkwood High School. It had been announced at the Obama rally that Bill Clinton would be speaking at the high school on Monday night. Bill Clinton! At our local high school! We had to get in. So, again we faced the line, this time snaking around a high school parking lot. We knew we'd be in luck to get in at all; we'd taken our spots way late. Again, Lady Luck stepped in; this time in the form of an old friend of my husband's with a VIP pass to get into the main venue, front row. ONE pass. So, although he didn't have the nerve to step to the very front, my son has now seen Bill Clinton speak in person. Twenty feet back. I, on the other hand, have now heard Bill Clinton speak while sitting on a wooden gym floor, next door to the building in which he spoke, along with a few hundred others. It was still fun, still special, and still the best speech I've heard in a long time. Then, to see the excitement on our son's face... what a night. I have always been, and always will be, a Friend Of Bill.
Has it seemed easier this year to get involved? It seems that way to me. Maybe it's because I'm older, and it all makes more sense. At any rate, there's still time to volunteer for your campaign. My friend Bill asked me to ask all of you to make a commitment in these last weeks, or days, to help. Get involved! To talk to friends and make sure they vote, for which ever candidate they prefer. Of course, I hope you'll support my candidate! I'd be happy to discuss with any reader the reasons for my choices: feel free to comment, and I'll make sure I get back to you, but PLEASE, no matter what: VOTE.
Hey, I just looked up and noticed that it's after midnight.
Twelve days and counting.