February 12, 2007


If there's been a lack of posting in the last few days, it's because we chicago mesle/harveys have been REALLY BUSY doing our little bits for Barack Obama. Because we love him. I'm so attached that I actually spent all Tuesday morning making phone calls on his behalf, and as those who know me know, I do hate to make phone calls. Mark and Abbey were actually much more involved than me, being not only volunteers but "volunteer captains" for Sunday's rally here in Chicago.

I had been all gung-ho to volunteer for the rally, too, but I realized that the new reality of my life as a mama is that I can only do volunteering that fits in around my nursing schedule. Which was sort of weird to realize--I'm up for spending long days with Elliot happily with his dad while i'm off making posters and herding crowds, but I just can't do that this time around. It is not the time in my life where I can do the glamor volunteering, and part of me is rather sad about that.

But! The good news is that since I could not volunteer for the rally, I got to go to the rally. And due to the VIP tickets scored by Mark and Abbey for their special volunteering, I got to be rather close to the man himself. The video footage I took was from a weird angle and not great (weirdly truncated, due to battery issues, into 30 second chunks; not good for sound bites)--but maybe it can convey the sense of how exciting it was to be there.

I do not have footage of the part where I SHOOK OBAMA'S HAND, because I realized I could either shake his hand or take a picture, and I opted for the experience rather than the documentation of the experience. But friends! I totally shook his hand! I did! Just quickly, and in the rush of a crowd. But as he reached my hand--he was shaking someone else's too--I called out to him, "Better Angels, Barack! Better Angels!" Which, if you are a fan of 19th century speechifying, as (ahem) both Barack and I are, you know is a reference to Lincoln's first inaugural address. And friends, let me tell you: Barack smiled. Yes he did.

"I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
--Abraham Lincoln, 1861


Peter said...

Yes! Yes! You guys rock!

I've had my homemade "Obama in Oh-Eight" bumper sticker gracing my car since the day after Bush won his second term, and I couldn't be happier that my dream is turning into a reality! I had to interrupt dinner visiting friends in Seattle this past saturday to catch the speech on his website, and I wasn't disappointed. My two favorite nuggets were the push for a carbon cap-n-trade and universal health care. If anyone can, 'Bama can!

I'm proud of you guys chipping in - if you hear of an Obama rallies in Portland town, let me know and I'll be out there spreading the good word!

Kate said...

Although you may not be able to put in the long campaign hours keep in mind that you now have a baby. Perhaps you could nominate the good natured Elliot to be the official Obama campaign baby-to-be-kissed at public events?

Anonymous said...

The "Better Angels" cheer is much classier than the "Barack my panties off" slogan that some college girl had written on her t-shirt.

Kati P. said...

I'm having an issue. For months now, I have been poo-pooing the idea that people could not support Obama because he is black (or biracial). But the other day I said something that sounded close to idiotic (or maybe not; I'm still mulling it over). I said, "I could never vote for Mitt Romney. He is an ass and (shudder) a Mormon!" Is this the same or different than not voting for a 1) black man 2 spurned wife or 3) Catholic simply because of those identities? And what does le bebe make of all of this?