Posted by: Trigger | 19 May, 2008

Me and 72,000+ of my closest friends

H y’all. It was a great weekend here. I’ll have to write more about some fun things that transpired at another time (and also, I seem to recall having promised a story about a crazy girl…it’s still sitting in my drafts folder, waiting to be finished, so I will eventually make good on that).

I have sort of purposefully stayed pretty politically neutral here. Mostly because I’m pretty fervently situated in my various beliefs, after spending lots of time developing those ideas which I hold dear. I am, however, open to hearing new opinions and ideas, I’ve just found that I keep coming back to mine.

That being said, I’ve been pretty undecided as to how to cast my vote this primary season. For those of you who have already voted, sorry. But here in Oregon, our ballots aren’t due until tomorrow night (we vote by mail, a really funky yet awesome system). I have had my ballot for over two weeks, and I had filled in most everything EXCEPT my choice for Democratic presidential nominee. I JUST COULDN’T DECIDE.

I mean, my man, Edwards (he loves the poor! and the uninsured/underinsured! and I just heart him in all his populist glory) has been out for a while. So I pouted. I know he’s the most boring one (on paper: lawyer, white, wealthy – now not in his early years, beautiful family) who was in the race, but I just couldn’t agree more with his policies. Both Clinton AND Obama have almost identical policies, and they’re both more moderate that Edwards, so to me, it was a tough call.

This is all just an intro to say that I, by no means, suffer from Obamamania and am not at risk for fainting or any other such Obama-induced nonsensical behavior. Clinton and Obama both have solid, well-thought out policies that are slightly less progressive than I am. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

I did, in the end, cast my vote for Barack Obama. And I’m happy with that. It was, however, a tough decision to make.

Yesterday, after having already voted, I still took the time to go out and see Obama’s last main Portland based primary rally. And hooo boy! I did not expect what was about to happen.

We left my house, approximately three miles from the location where the event was staged, and did a mix of public transportation (by streetcar! woot woot) and hoofing it to the waterfront. In total, we spent 3 hours winding our way through downtown in a line 3-5 people wide, stretching for at least 10 blocks. It was a busy place, but everyone behaved really well.

We listened to Obama speak, which was a great, but not entirely surprising campaign speech. He sounded pretty focused on the general election at this point. Nothing terribly exciting came of it other than the fact that this little campaign event actually was record breaking.

It turns, out, I was standing in a crowd of more than 70,000 people – with some estimates as high as 75,000.

(photos from Time online, and Oregonlive.com)

One in fifty Oregonians crowded the lawn and surrounding streets of Waterfront Park, according to a blog affiliated with the Washington Post.

I simply mean this to say the following: love him, hate him, take or leave him – people are excited about Barack Obama. And beyond that, if someone can get people this excited, this engaged in politics? I think that’s a good thing. Vote for him, vote against him, vote Democratic, vote Republican, vote Independent. Just vote. That’s my point.

(I know most of you have already cast your primary ballots. If so, let’s hope this can be an inspiration to keep involved, through the general election, whatever your political leanings or affiliations might be.)

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Responses

  1. HUGE, HUGE, HUGE Edwards fan myself. Converted to Obama after a long and depressing deliberation.

    By the way if you haven’t listened to Edwards’ endorsement speech in Grand Rapids in all its’ 15 minute glory, it is a must. Made me cry, again, but also what a team they would make!

  2. Wow! You were there?? Sweet.

    When I voted–an age ago on “Super Tuesday” (pfft)–I was really torn between Obama and Clinton. In the end, I went Obama because Clinton was going to carry NY easily, then immediately felt guilty.

    In fact, I felt some guilt until Clinton started flogging that stupid gas tax holiday. Then my guilt went away! Stoooopid.

  3. I don’t like Edwards personally because he attacked Cheney last election during the VP sit-down about his daughter being gay. It was appalling and unecessary in my opinion.

    I would love to see a campaign though, it sounds riveting!

  4. Crystall – I’m not sure what you’re referring to, as everything I could find about that interview was not something I interpret as Edwards attacking Mary Cheney for her sexuality. See the following, from Mary Cheney’s wikipedia page:

    During the Cheney-Edwards Vice-Presidential Debate, moderator Gwen Ifill asked a question to the Vice President in which his daughter was indirectly mentioned:

    “I want to read something you said four years ago at this very setting: ‘Freedom means freedom for everybody.’ You said it again recently when you were asked about legalizing same-sex unions. And you used your family’s experience as a context for your remarks. Can you describe then your administration’s support for a constitutional ban on same-sex unions?”

    Vice President Cheney reiterated his position of four years ago, stating the issue should be left to the states but that he supports the Bush administration. He did not mention his family nor his daughter in his immediate response to the question. During Edwards’s response, he said:

    “I think the vice president and his wife love their daughter. I think they love her very much. And you can’t have anything but respect for the fact that they’re willing to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her. It’s a wonderful thing. And there are millions of parents like that who love their children, who want their children to be happy.”

    In subsequent discussion the Vice President thanked Edwards for his comments about his family and daughter. At the end of the debate, Mary Cheney appeared on the podium with her partner and the rest of the family.

    They site the transcript of the debate for this excerpt.

    Do you know something about that exchange that I don’t? I didn’t watch it, so I’m relying on info that has been published after the fact.

  5. wow…i would have loved to be there. only my vote wouldn’t count me being in canada and all. but still. he is just so inspiring!!


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