Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Difference

This afternoon around 4:30 I was sitting here at my computer being a good little pornographer and writing a dirty story when I decided to take a break and check my email. And there among my usual messages from the Obama campaign was an urgent one about the need for people to make last minute phone calls in North Carolina, which hasn't voted Democrat since we helped send Jimmy Carter to the White House.

But don't hold that against us. This time is different and the Obama campaign realizes it, which is why - up until the last minute - they concentrated on their ground game.

I've already given and volunteered, but I thought, "Why not do a little more." So I folded up the sultry little yarn I was working on, retrieved the call list from the Obama Web site and hit the phones.

I'm so glad I did, because talking to other Obama supporters reaffirms what I've known all along. We are so much cooler, more interesting and down-to-earth than the Republicans. I bet we're cuter, too.

Not one person was rude to me. Not one. Not even the guy who said I was the fifth Obama campaign volunteer who'd called him this week. Or the 87-year-old woman who had to limp to the phone to talk to me because she'd fallen earlier in the day and hurt her hip. She cried when she admitted she'd been unable to go to vote because her doctor didn't want her to leave the house, but she said with pride that she'd called her sons and they'd all voted for Obama.

I was able to talk three college students into going out to vote. Having three college age kids, I'm experienced in shaming young people into doing the right thing. 

"Yeah," said one. "My mom said the same thing and I know she's right. The polling station is right down the street. I'll walk there now."


But some people were way ahead of me. My favorite as a 50-year-old woman who said she was so excited about voting that she couldn't get to sleep until about three in the morning and then woke up abruptly at four from a nightmare in which she'd forgotten to vote. 

She said she was so upset by the dream that she got up, pulled on her robe, grabbed a bag of chips and a lawn chair and headed down to the polling station to camp out until the polls opened. She was the first one in line and ended up on the news, much to the horror of her mother, who called to ask her if she realized she had been interviewed still wearing her pajamas.

Dedicated, lively, caring, committed and diverse. The people I spoke to ranged from 18 up to 94 and were black, white, Hispanic and Indian. They were all positive about the Obama campaign and hopeful for a brighter future for this nation.

After a campaign that has brought us innuendo about Obama's religion, distractions about his non-existent ties to terrorists and a myriad other shameful tactics it is 
good to see an electorate that mirrors the fine character of the candidate they support.

One of the men I talked to tonight summed it up well. He said while he supported Obama, he couldn't help but feel sorry for McCain. 

"He's a good man, I think," he said. "But he allowed some bad people to hijack his campaign and mold him into the image of someone he never wanted to be. The right wing may have taken this hero and destroyed his legacy for good."

So true.

And now? Well, we sit back and wait. And hope. Because at this point that's all we can do. At this point, Hope is what it's all about.


Andrea said...

Cool post. What an exciting evening...even if Obama were to lose, I can't imagine that he would be anything but gracious and encouraging tonight. When I look at his family, they seem All-American to me. He's a wonderful American success story and it's a shame that so many don't acknowledge that, much less appreciate it.

Are you glued to the tv? I'm watching live streaming coverage on MSNBC's website.

Grace said...

Your an amazing strong woman! We are joyous and blessed to have you on the planet! Keep rocking the vote sister!!

Morgan said...

I just got back from covering the local elections for the paper I used to write for. I couldn't WAIT to get home to watch the national returns.

I'll be glued to the TV all night. The only thing as gratifying as seeing Obama win is seeing Elizabeth Dole lose for running that horrible campaign against Kay Hagan.

Thanks to both of you, Andrea and Grace, for your comments.

And I completely agree that Obama is a wonderful American success story. And I think his success is wonderful for America.

Andrea said...

Oh man, Morgan. I can't even describe how I feel, it's hard to absorb it all. Growing up as a little brown girl...and he looks like my brother....it's surreal.

Thank you for helping his campaign.

Morgan said...

I am so completely and utterly proud of this nation. This is a pivotal point for us, Andrea. It really is. This elevates all of us. And it is hopefully the heel on the neck of racism (both black and white), intolerance and the kind of mean-spiritedness that lost McCain the election.

I felt really bad watching McCain give his speech tonight, because he deserved better supporters than the right-wingers he allowed to run his campaign allowed him to court. I mean, he deserves blame for not being maverick enough to tell the right wing "no," but tonight as he tried to praise Obama only to have his supporters hiss and boo despite their attempts to stop them, you could just tell he finally realized what had gone wrong and where. This isn't what McCain wanted.

I'm watching Obama's speech now, and when he praised McCain, everyone cheered. Like I said in my post, that's the difference and I'm glad that good finally prevailed despite the festering rhetoric spewed by the other side.

I'm going to have a hard time falling asleep tonight, but when I do I'll do so knowing I'm waking up to a better country. That's a good feeling.

mitzibel said...

I just watched McCain's speech . . . I have to admit, he pulled it off with class. The best part, though, was the on-the-ball cameraman who panned to the pissed-off skinheads during the bit about African Americans feeling proud, uplifted, and vindicated. I was seriously waiting for heads to explode.

Andrea said...

I noticed that too. McCain praises Obama and the spirit of hope: boos. Obama praises McCain and his service: cheers. That speaks volumes.

Chris and I were riveted to his speech. I'm glad he tried to explain just how powerful this is to so many people who lived through extreme discrimination.

Can you believe this?!

thimscool said...

No matter what happens, I'm proud of my state.

Jim said...

Never have I been so proud of my state of Virginia. I live in Prince Edward County, the last holdout in the nation for school segregation, but today, black, white, Hispanic, gay, man and woman did the right thing. It is fitting that the state which gave its considerable weight and best general to the cause of the Old South and slavery voted - not only Democratic, but for a black man for president. Not because he was black. Because it was the Right Thing. Well done.

Andrea said...

Did you see that New York City - the place that **actually was attacked by terrorists** - went for Obama at like 85%? I heart NYC.

Morgan said...

He took North Carolina!!!!!!!
I can't believe it. Luke, I'm with you. I am so proud of this state. We haven't gone Dem since Carter!!!

Mitzibel, I agree that McCain gave a good speech. And I was noticing the reaction of some of his followers, too. They were always the problem, not him. If he'd have stood up to those idiots who've taken over the GOP *and* his campaign last night's outcome may have been different.

Andrea, that is awesome about NYC. It's nothing short of a miracle that America has turned this corner. I am happy, happy happy.

And Jim, I know how much work you and the Mrs. have put into this. And the risks you've taken. I'm proud of Virginia. And you you two.

Morgan said...

Good Lord. All Fox can talk about is Norm Coleman beating Al Franken. I guess you cling to what you can. I guess Elizabeth Hasselback is trying to stick her head in the oven.

Andrea said...

Really? I didn't see that Missouri and North Carolina were called yet. That's amazing if NC flipped.

You should see a map of Texas...yes, it's a big ol' red state...but the cities are blue :) Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin went for Obama (Austin by the widest margin, of course).

I agree that McCain was nowhere near as huge a problem as his supporters are. And what did you think of the look on Palin's face?

Christopher said...

I'm thrilled at the outcome, although I also can't help feeling a little bit of sadness that, once again, my home state put the red in redneck. At least we didn't have any loony ballot measures, and at least the area where I live went overwhelmingly for Obama. Even though my state did absolutely nothing to help him win, I'm proud to have done my part.

Morgan said...


I think Palin looked like she wanted to throw herself on the floor and have the kind of tantrum an angry two-year-old would have. I mean, she was one part pissed one part sad.

Up until late yesterday she said she was praying for victory. Maybe she was mad at God. Or that witch-hunting pastor whose guarantee of victory obviously didn't improve the second highest office in the land.

But good riddance. I'm just happy to see her and that whole crowd of hers packed back off to Alaska. She never should have been picked in the first place.

Morgan said...

Chris, all we can do is cast our one vote. N.C. hasn't been officially called because it's so close and all the provisionals have yet to be counted, I guess. But it certainly looks to be leaning Obama.

The county I live in went Republican with the exception of Kay Hagan. I was really pleased to see that.

Don't sweat TN going red. Maybe next time the redneck stranglehold will have diminished. I know Larry's aunt and uncle over near Adams went for Obama, so that makes three of you!!

mitzibel said...

I would give a fair amount of money to have been a fly on Palin's hotel room wall last night. I bet she trashed that joint like she was The Who.

And who's willing to bet that Bristol suffers a tragic "miscarriage" within a week?

Morgan said...

*That's* the story I'm watching now, Mitzibel. I've been suspicious of the Trig story all along and that letter Dr. Baldwin-Johnson released in lieu of Palin's medical records was very suspiciously worded.

I will be not at all surprised to hear of Bristol's tragic miscarriage, along with an appeal for privacy, which is the code-word for "No Press Attention, Please."

Andrea said...

Hey, the Palin As President site is a bit different today :)

Morgan said...

Now Andrea, that's change I can believe in!!!!