Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Political Wednesday

Hillary visited my hometown this evening, I went, I saw, I heard, I was impressed for the most part. I went as an Obama supporter. I left an Obama supporter, but I also left with the knowledge that if for some idiotic reason he does not get the nomination, I can switch my support to Hillary with no qualms. There are a few issues I don't agree with her on, there are some kinks in her health care plan, but it is still better, much better than what we have now, and not that different from Obama's.

This was the first political gathering of this sort and size I have ever attended. When I heard she was going to be here today, I knew I had to go.

No matter how politically cynical one is, no matter how blasé some of the attendees attempted to appear, the air of excitement of having Hillary Clinton, former first lady and presidential hopeful, in the midst of our city center was palpable. A part of me couldn't help but view some of it with an air of amusement. A few local political hopefuls were moving up the several blocks long line shaking our hands, and introducing one cared, they were there to see and hear Hillary. Cameras were there aplenty, cell phone cameras too, with folks jostling, and angling in and around the crowd, even climbing trees to get the best shot.

I think she did an amazing job speechifying. It's funny the things I noticed...
In business, we are told if you want to make someone feel good, if you wish to draw them in, you should say their name when conversing with them. She did just that, in the first 15 minutes of her speech, I bet she said the name of my state as many times. It does work, it did draw us in, even more so when she dropped the name of our favored democratic senator, and how closely she has worked with him. I also admired how smoothly she remembered each point she wished to make, even though she has probably said it all many times today, and thousands of times in the past year, she came across fresh and strong.

I was also surprised in a number of ways.
I expected a lot of clapping, a whole lot of cheering, there was some, but not nearly the amount I thought there would be. I was also slightly disappointed in the crowd, as her speech ended, and we all lined up to wend our way homeward, I expected to overhear my fellow attendees thoughts on what they had just heard. Nope, the conversations were not about the issues, they were not about her viability as a candidate. What I heard were children crying for their suppers, people complaining they had to stand around and wait for the barricades to be reopened before they could leave. There was very little discussion of what we heard, or why we were there. True, we all knew ahead of time how she stands on the issues, we all pretty much knew what she was going to say, I expected more discussion though. To me it appeared as if the crowd was more interested in having seen her, they were fans seeing a rock star, or movie heroine. More interested in trying to get one last look at her as her motorcade drove away, or buying a button or T-shirt. Maybe it is because it is so late in the primary season, it's all been said, it's all been heard. I also had expected to see people clamoring to sign up as volunteers for her campaign, to man phones, or provide rides to the early voting sites, or for primary day, but nope, the sign-up sheets were mostly blank. Although if Hillary supporters are like me, they signed up weeks ago to help her campaign. (although as I mentioned, I'm signed up for the Obama team)

All in all I am very glad I went, very happy I heard her speak, I enjoyed it, it is much better to hear it in person, much better than reading it, or hearing a sound bite or two on the radio.

I really wanted my children to attend, but they were unable to due to other family would have to have been with the republican side of their family.

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I was talking to a friend this evening, and he brought up the idea of watching the Republican/Democratic presidential hopefuls televised debates in a sports bar. I think that an excellent idea. Part of the reason could be because I don't have television, but it's also because I think a smaller more personable setting, with the added social inducements of food and alcohol available, would encourage more discourse and the exchange of ideas. Probably be a few shouting matches as well. If not that, then perhaps I will try to set up a gathering at a friends house, of course it would have to include both republicans and democrats to keep it interesting. Yep, sounds like a great idea to me.

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Trail Update

My son arrived home last night, exhausted, and sunburned, but very happy. He seems ready to live the changes he spoke of. I have to admit, I do not quite trust this epiphany of his yet. That will take time, and actions, I guess I need physical proof to fully believe. These doubts carry a burden of guilt with them, but it is how I feel. I am hopeful though. Time will the saying goes.


S'mee said...

I've been following the ups and downs since the start of the campaigns and I'm very much with you. A new broom and more of the same. What I've noticed is America likes winners, and I don't see a winner here. Hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Actions speak louder than words, remind your son, and Obama.

Sunny Delight said...

The more I get people around here to open up regarding their political viewpoint, the more confused I get in regard to how they determine how they will vote. One thing I heard today, that I had not heard spoken of before, is one of my coworkers refuses to vote for Obama on the grounds that he was Commmunity Organizer for low-income housing developments in Chicago, "and we all knew they took bribes, it's the only way we union contractors could stay in business." What does one say to a statement like that? Aside from, "Prove it." Barack was raised in a a diverse family, in diverse cultures, he embraces diversity, we need his voice in a position of power. I remain hopeful.

Yep, exactly, there can be tons and tons of pretty words, I have heard so many...I need actions, actions that build upon one another, and reiterate the words for me to believe.