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A Volunteer Meets the Presidential Candidate
October 28, 2008 7:14 PM   Subscribe

Charles Meets Barack [SLYT]
posted by MaxK (238 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw this earlier today and it made me cry a little bit at work.
posted by chiababe at 7:22 PM on October 28, 2008




This was posted in the elections thread. (Not that it isn't a nice heart warming film.)
posted by chunking express at 7:22 PM on October 28, 2008


thank you MaxK. that video made my night. hell, my week!

when charles gets misty-eyed towards the end, i lost it. *this* is the kind of country i want to live in. i want to live in a country where the older generation can be proud of the younger generations.

i think if i'd just lost my wife of 69 years, i'd probably be sittin' in the rocking chair waiting to join her. goddess bless charles.

mods, please don't pull this post!
posted by CitizenD at 7:26 PM on October 28, 2008 [10 favorites]


I thought it was going to be a different Charles.
posted by tellurian at 7:31 PM on October 28, 2008


I was expecting Barkley.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:34 PM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


I thought it would be that Charles but this one is a real prince. Made me cry and feel good. Thank you.
posted by nickyskye at 7:38 PM on October 28, 2008


Thanks MaxK. synaesthetichaze pointed this out in the grande political thread when I was getting grouchy about the latest nasty turn in election behavior. It certainly deserves it's own thread - it's so sweet and amazing. I made my husband watch it as he was walking in the door from work. I just love what Charles has to say.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:40 PM on October 28, 2008


For those expecting Barkley:

Brown: So are you going to run for governor?
Barkley: I plan on it in 2014.
Brown: You are serious.
Barkley: I am, I can’t screw up Alabama.
Brown: There is no place to go but up in your view?
Barkley: We are number 48 in everything and Arkansas and Mississippi aren’t going anywhere.
Charles Barkley interviewed by Campbell Brown on CNN.
posted by chunking express at 7:41 PM on October 28, 2008 [19 favorites]


((((((((( Charles )))))))))
posted by Corky at 7:44 PM on October 28, 2008


I really tried to scan the links posted before I put this on the front page, but obviously I didn't check all the comments. Apologies to synaesthetichaze who beat me to the punch.
posted by MaxK at 7:45 PM on October 28, 2008


More warmth for the heart: 5th Grade Reporter Interviews Senator Joe Biden.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:45 PM on October 28, 2008 [13 favorites]


I think this makes a good start for the new grande political thread.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:48 PM on October 28, 2008




For those who want to see Charles Barkley meeting an iconoclast...
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 7:50 PM on October 28, 2008


I'm going to be so relieved when this election is finally OVER. I'm sick of bursting into tears 4 or 5 times a day, either because of pure frustration or moments like this, where I'm so deeply moved that I can't help tearing up. Hang in there, Charles.
posted by maryh at 7:51 PM on October 28, 2008 [7 favorites]


Hell, I think there is a movie in there somewhere. Amazing. The world 'real' is horribly over-used these days, but I can't imagine a more real example of the love and wisdom that can come with age.
posted by vac2003 at 7:51 PM on October 28, 2008


I wanted to write something long and profound...

Instead I just smiled and teared up a bit.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 7:53 PM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks for this.
posted by nola at 7:54 PM on October 28, 2008


Man, yeah, that totally made me tear up and feel patriotic and I'm not even American.
posted by aclevername at 7:54 PM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I teared up on my way home listening to an NPR interview with people who talked about how important Obama's candidacy is to them. Many of them were voting for the first time because, they said, it was the first time it really meant anything.

Hope is a beautiful thing. We've been without it for way too long in this country.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:54 PM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think leftcoastbob is referring to this
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:57 PM on October 28, 2008


leftcoastbob: I heard that interview too. My favorite part:

"Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked, so Obama could run. Obama is running so our children can fly."
posted by chiababe at 8:04 PM on October 28, 2008 [59 favorites]


It looks like Amazon wants Barack to win. If you look for a terrorist costume for Halloween, guess what result you get?

Barack Obama is IRISH! No, really, he is.
posted by nickyskye at 8:05 PM on October 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


This is going to be well sad to watch next week after the coup.
posted by pompomtom at 8:12 PM on October 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


looks like Amazon wants Barack to win. If you look for a terrorist costume for Halloween, guess what result you get?

That item originally led to a mask of Obama. I wrote and complained to Amazon and they apologized, responding, "We'd like you to know that the search result for that item was modified by an Amazon.com customer using a "tagging" feature available on our website. The result was not provided by an Amazon employee or an Amazon search algorithm."

In all fairness, I think i need to write to them again....
posted by vac2003 at 8:12 PM on October 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


Thank you for this single-link emotionally manipulative political advertisement.
I have the heart of a slumlord, and I approve this message.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:15 PM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love this video. In other programming news:

"Mr. Obama’s campaign agreed to provide The New York Times with a minute-long trailer for the 30-minute program, which is to run on four broadcast networks at 8 p.m."

Alright, somebody find this trailer, I want to see it.
posted by cashman at 8:20 PM on October 28, 2008


we're all caught up in this crazy election cycle, all of us, every day it's who said what and who's ahead in which state, and the bailout numbers, and Greenspan's mea culpa, and Joe the plumber or whatever his real name and real job are, and the crazy girl with the self-inflicted reverse "B", all that stuff, and maybe, just maybe, in the chaos of it all, in the fog of this electoral war, we sometimes forget how truly historical this election is. I do sometimes forget it, and I freely admit until a few months ago I didn't really think I'd see a black President in my lifetime, I was certain that I'd eventually see a white woman be elected President, a black person no, not really, my kids would, not me, and I'm not even 40, and I admit I'm too much of a pessimist, it's one of my many limitations. instead, the first black President is just one week away from now, and it's history far beyond anything else we might have witnessed in politics in our lifetimes.

I thank this gentleman here for his grace, and for reminding us, in the middle of this chaos, the kind of almost, I'm tempted to say, anthropological change we are witnessing in this election.
posted by matteo at 8:21 PM on October 28, 2008 [23 favorites]


That was wonderful, and made me cry. Thanks. I'd have missed this in the other thread.
posted by rtha at 8:25 PM on October 28, 2008


The first event of national interest I ever really paid attention to was Y2K, a giant panic that fizzled into a joke. I came of age to the election of a man I couldn't stand, who didn't win the popular vote, who got where he was only because a small group of judges nodded in his direction. I came of age at a time where cynicism always won.

To see this election... To see how much this matters... It feels good. It feels really good.

please, God, please let this all work out
posted by Ms. Saint at 8:27 PM on October 28, 2008 [9 favorites]


Hope is a beautiful thing.

Maybe the best of things.
posted by maxwelton at 8:28 PM on October 28, 2008 [9 favorites]


I feel the same way, Ms. Saint. George Bush has been President since I was 12 years old. I was nine during the nasty Lewinsky fight. I couldn't even vote in '04.

It's really no exaggeration when I say that this is the first time in my entire life I have felt any real sense of hope for my country.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:46 PM on October 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


Obama on Daily Show tomorrow!!
posted by brain cloud at 8:49 PM on October 28, 2008


Does this count as demagoguery?
posted by unmake at 8:52 PM on October 28, 2008


Compared to Charles' authenticity, Palin's folksiness smells like McDonalds.
posted by isopraxis at 8:54 PM on October 28, 2008 [21 favorites]


Holy shit, when matteo finally drops the negativity, you know change is in the air! It's a Brand New Day!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:56 PM on October 28, 2008 [6 favorites]


Thanks for posting this, and for those who posted other, similar links within. In that spirit, and in the hopes that the post will stand, I'll offer you this photo, and a story.

My dad used to take me voting with him. Once, when I was four or five, he teased me that he was going to write me in for some little county office, and I threw a complete screaming fit in the booth. He was my dad, he seemed so powerful, that I assumed his write-in would make it so, and I'd have to take this job. After he explained he was just teasing, he told me that he wouldn't do that, even though it wouldn't happen, because voting was important, and because it mattered, because we were lucky to be able to do it.

Next week, when I vote, I'll think of that photo, and of my dad and the similar photo we would have made. I'll be proud and happy, as always, to cast my vote. Even from deep within a red state, it matters, because this year, I'm voting for hope, because it's important, because it matters, because I'm damn lucky to be able to do it. Thanks, Dad.
posted by donnagirl at 8:57 PM on October 28, 2008 [11 favorites]


Si Se Puede
posted by drezdn at 8:58 PM on October 28, 2008


I don't believe in any god but I do believe at their very core, most people want to do the right thing. All of the nasty stuff--the cynicism, the armor, the me-me-me crap we carry around (and me too, no doubt about that)--is an artifact of our unfriendly, divided, hateful society.

When our leaders are cynical, selfish, crass, racist, violent, pessimistic, two-faced, ignorant, cowardly, backwards-looking...so are we. When our leaders are hopeful, intelligent, nuanced, peaceful, giving, looking to the future...so are we. And that is what made me proud to vote for Obama. That he's a black man who just might help otherwise rational people get over their pathetic racism is a bonus; what I really like is a candidate who gives me hope. Hope that maybe laws will be followed, that cowardly things like "signing statements" will go away, that people might not be jailed indefinitely without charges being filed, that maybe we can back down from some of the fascist bullshit that comprises a lot of "police activity" and "national security" these days, that poor kids and rich kids alike might prosper, that everyone can go to the doctor without worrying about bankruptcy, and on and on.

Who knows if any of that will happen--but at least a vote for Obama feels like a vote for the future, for hope. And that feels great.
posted by maxwelton at 8:58 PM on October 28, 2008 [15 favorites]


unmake: to me, demagoguery is more nationalistic than what this video presents.

but then again, to any anti-obama person out there, i'm nothing more than a mindless buffoon who has drunk the kool-aid.

at this point, i don't care. it feels so good, *i'm* ready to bust through a wall and holler "OH YEAH" in a suspiciously-wolfman-jack voice.

actually, i think i just came up with my halloween costume!

*tents fingers*
posted by CitizenD at 9:05 PM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


and I admit I'm too much of a pessimist, it's one of my many limitations. instead, the first black President is just one week away from now, and it's history far beyond anything else we might have witnessed in politics in our lifetimes.

I thank this gentleman here for his grace, and for reminding us, in the middle of this chaos, the kind of almost, I'm tempted to say, anthropological change we are witnessing in this election.


Aw, matteo, I know in your heart you're so much more of an idealist than maybe you'll admit. We're going to do it, my friend. We're going to make it happen. I have voted in every election except one since 1988, and this was the first time I ever really felt it truly mattered whose name I marked on the ballot -- not that it simply mattered to me (because in a way: fuck that), but that it mattered to the world.

I've been in tears all week because it's happening. My boyfriend's having anxiety attacks every day because he can't believe it. It may not be the revolution I've always secretly longed for, but it's a damn fine start back in the right direction. I agree with maxwelton: most people really do want to do the right thing -- and for once, we've been given that option. After so many long dark days, it seems unbelievable to find ourselves here.
posted by scody at 9:20 PM on October 28, 2008 [10 favorites]


"Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked, so Obama could run. Obama is running so our children can fly."

Oh. Oh my. That's so beautifully put.
posted by jokeefe at 9:24 PM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


These are the moments that stand out in this campaign. Charles. Biden choking up when he remembers worrying that his child might not survive. A photo of Obama riding in a bumper car with his daughter. I know these people will make mistakes, and we will be frustrated, and sometimes we will feel like they have not lived up to their promises. But these are good, honest people trying to do a hard job as well as they can. And I know there are people like that in politics, but I had started to forget it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:26 PM on October 28, 2008 [14 favorites]


This was posted in the elections thread.

Yes -- it was posted earlier today (by synaesthetichaze at 6:32 PM on October 28).
posted by ericb at 9:32 PM on October 28, 2008


This election has really brought out the crazy, but (and maybe it's just because I've been an Obama supporter for a long time) it really seems that among all the mud, there's still been a positive message from the Obama campaign. There are inspiring stories of people voting for the first time or even just voting for the first candidate they really feel inspired by. There's been a vision presented and an idea for how we can make America a better place for most everyone.

If the McCain campaign wins, it seems as if the only emotions their campaign will have won on will be fear and anger. There's no blueprint for a better tomorrow, just the possibility of slightly less taxes for people already making a shitload of money. With the sheer level of lying and desperation, if they win, it'll be hard to reach across the aisle after all the wounds they've tried to inflict.

With Obama, I'm sure that if he is elected he will do somethings that I disagree with. However, his decisions appear informed and thought out, a welcome change from the past eight year. Just from the way he's ran his campaign, it's almost as if he's an aikido master, using the opponent's own weight against them. If he handles the presidency as deftly, I think the US will do well on the international stage.

With McCain, he's just been so prone to try crazy moves and poorly thought out tactics. The Palin pick was the perfect example. If he would have settled for someone somewhat bland, he may have not got the enthusiasm of the christian conservatives, but it's not like they were going to vote Obama. Instead he made a polarizing decision and shot his campaign in the foot. As president, those types of decisions could be a disaster for us.

I almost wish I could take back my vote for him in '00.
posted by drezdn at 9:33 PM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's such a tremendous capture of a wonderful moment. My first action was to forward it on to my wife to watch in the morning. I fully expect to get a tearful call in the morning where she calls me a bastard. In a good way.

It's been a long time since I've felt comfortable experiencing optimism or hope for this country and my future within it. We've got big problems, but I feel like we're on the precipice of a fragile first step in the right direction.

I'm holding my breath.
posted by empyrean at 9:36 PM on October 28, 2008


I feel like there's this tiny wet bird in the middle of my rib cage.

All this venality and hatred and extremism, and there's still this tiny wet bird in the middle of my rib cage.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:50 PM on October 28, 2008 [9 favorites]




An old man who understands he should get out of the way for the future, knows he is almost done and that it's time for his children and grandchildren to take care of things. This is what responsible old people do.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:55 PM on October 28, 2008


This is the photo that did me in. via Shakesville.

May hope finally conquer fear.
posted by Space Kitty at 9:58 PM on October 28, 2008 [8 favorites]


Oops, why did that only happen in Chrome?
posted by gottabefunky at 10:01 PM on October 28, 2008


Holy shit, when matteo finally drops the negativity, you know change is in the air! It's a Brand New Day!

I know. I'm teared up from watching Charles, and reading all these comments. I hope Barack makes it. I hope Bush doesn't pull any last minute stunts. I hope, I hope, I hope.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:09 PM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


As long as we're talking about people wanting to do the right thing, refresh your hankies, my sentimental pals: "People need to help each other. That's all there is to it." A good samaritan saves a woman's foreclosed home (also via Shakesville, thanks to Space Kitty's link!).
posted by scody at 10:12 PM on October 28, 2008 [6 favorites]


It just finally came to me:

They're going to give it to the internet people!

And once they give it to us? They can't ever get it back.

'Cause we're the Internet People.
posted by tristeza at 10:19 PM on October 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


An old man who understands he should get out of the way for the future, knows he is almost done and that it's time for his children and grandchildren to take care of things. This is what responsible old people do.

STFU Meatbomb

HA, HA I'm younger'n you, suck it. :P

This is the Charles I thought it would be. Yes, I do make it out of doors at times. The Charles it was awakens some seriously genetic drive of mine to feed people mashed potatoes and meat and homemade pie stand with my hands on my hips watching them enjoy it.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:19 PM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jesus, Scody. You know how it is when you have a bad breakup, and suddenly every song on the radio seems to be about you, and they all hurt?

Every little story of kindness and every little expression of hope or humanity runs across me like a razor on an exposed nerve. This election can't come soon enough; I just can't keep breaking down like this. It's freaking embarrassing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:21 PM on October 28, 2008 [7 favorites]


A good samaritan saves a woman's foreclosed home

Well, as long as we're posting good samaritan stories, here's one with a surprise ending.
posted by Knappster at 10:23 PM on October 28, 2008 [14 favorites]


This is a truly great moment to be alive. ::sniffle::
posted by IvoShandor at 10:26 PM on October 28, 2008


For the last four days or so, each day there's been at least one moment regarding this campaign that's brought me to the verge of tears. Yesterday it was reading the interview in the NYTimes with the 79 year old white woman who had previously backed Hillary and hadn't liked Obama till she'd heard his acceptance speech and "shivers had run down her back". She said now that race didn't matter to her, that she was voting for Obama.

The day before it was re-watching this interview from back in spring, with the kids from the Bronx High School of Performance and Stagecraft, inspired to do their best because their wonderful teacher found a way to use Obama's speeches to engaged them in the political process and inspire them to do their best.

Tonight it was this video, and the floodgates opened. Charles is awesome.
posted by tula at 10:26 PM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hope people will go out and volunteer these last 6 days. We're going to need every single vote. You may think it's hard, but it is not. It is the same activities you do on this site. Informing people. Finding good information. Sharing interesting and relevant material.

Some people don't know where to go to vote. They assumed it was one place and it's in another. Some assume the lines are longer than they are, and they say they're putting it off. There are so many misconceptions you can rid people of.

And the smiles - the smiles at the doors. You're out there connecting with people in your community. I failed at first - I did a few doors and then quit, thinking I was doing more harm than good. But I went back, and now it's a snap. Because I'm telling you, you are blessed with a computer and html skills and the ability to type and probably a decent education and the wherewithall to find and process news and information.

And you have the time. You have the time to do all that. These neighbors of yours, a lot don't. They don't know what a url is. RSS feed who? They haven't seen anybody debunk all these rumors and falsehoods. Barack's unicorn isn't going to click its hooves together and make a change. It is you.

That man isn't tearing up just because of Barack, remember he talked about how the volunteers were, just as friendly as can be. He is moved at us, working together, going to those rallies together, people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and histories. That's the key to this change. Not him, not Barack, us. Connect with your community. Call somebody. Go to somebody's house. You can't seriously think it's going to just pour down on you, that this tear-inducing, history changing moment is just going to happen without somebody busting some ass. Do that. If the video moved you, move.

This is it. We've watched other generations have their moments, their times when something big was on the horizon. You know this happens once in a lifetime. That this is something that will forever be in the history books, written and talked about for centuries, millenia even.

And it's happening in the next 7 days, but only if we make it happen. When else can such an easy effort on your part result in something that will be cheered the world over, and written down and documented for all to see for hundreds if not thousands of years?

The time is now. If we work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the world as we know it can make a positive, monumental leap. You with me?
posted by cashman at 10:39 PM on October 28, 2008 [33 favorites]


I'm half a world away, cashman, and I'm not even American, but hell yeah, I'm with you.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:41 PM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Shit Knappster, this thread is destined to make me cry and cry again. Thanks for the link.
posted by aclevername at 10:44 PM on October 28, 2008


Don't live in the US? You can still help. Call your American friends. Talk about the election with them. Make sure they know where their voting station is. This election directly affects 10% of the Earth's human population, and indirectly affects the world as a whole.

If you care -- take action to make the world's future better.
posted by MaxK at 11:15 PM on October 28, 2008


I live in California, so I just signed up for a full weekend of volunteering on the No on 8 campaign. So fellow blue-staters, you are not off the hook!
posted by scody at 11:23 PM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

-Emily Dickenson

(Thought it was appropriate for the coming week.)
posted by Soliloquy at 11:27 PM on October 28, 2008 [6 favorites]


O
posted by iamkimiam at 11:31 PM on October 28, 2008


soliloquy, when I was watching Obama's speech from Canton last night, I actually fantasized for a second that he'd quote Dickinson. Ah, yes, a girl can dream.
posted by scody at 11:59 PM on October 28, 2008


YYes, I've seen this and it brought a tear to my eye and something got stuck in my throat. What a Prince, that Charles.
The other Charles, poor thing, used to be a frog in his past life not so long ago it seems.

Can we stop with the "most people really do want to do the right thing"? You don't know that, so stop assuming, there are many who couldn't give a damn. Where've you been the last, oh, 8 years or so?

"An old man who understands he should get out of the way for the future, knows he is almost done and that it's time for his children and grandchildren to take care of things. This is what responsible old people do."—Meatbomb

I won't speak my mind like Ambrosia Voyeur did, but you're wrong, Meatbomb, mistaken.

To get back on track, I give you today's Margaret and Helen, "What was I thinking when I called Sarah Palin a bitch?"
posted by alicesshoe at 12:01 AM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh goodness. I almost cried. But good for him, you know? I'm glad he got this chance.

But I also wish this Charles were meeting Obama.
posted by katillathehun at 12:08 AM on October 29, 2008


Where've you been the last, oh, 8 years or so?

Same continent as you, kiddo, fighting my misanthropic tendencies as much as possible. If you think you're going to shame me for winning the fight, I am sorry to say you'll be disappointed. In fact, you have my thanks for proving that not everyone outside the U.S. is looking to us to do the right thing. Some of you still think we're a monolith of assholes, which is kind of nice, because it helps take the pressure off a little.
posted by scody at 12:26 AM on October 29, 2008


I just took down the big No War sign in my front window (yes, it's been there for almost 8 fucking years) and put up a big YES WE CAN instead. It feels so good to shout a positive message to the world, finally.
posted by nax at 2:51 AM on October 29, 2008


I haven't cried like this since the Berlin Wall came down. God damn that is some powerful stuff.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:59 AM on October 29, 2008


I'm not even American, but these last few days are becoming unbearable. I don't feel like so much has been at stake in my lifetime. An Obama presidency would completely change the choices my American wife and I may make in the future, infinitely for the better. Push for the finish Americans, I'm rooting for you.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:17 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dick Cheney Cat is not amused by this thread.
*Dick Cheney Cat resumes destroying documents and deleting files*
posted by chillmost at 3:58 AM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


That gave me chills. In a good way. Let's hope Obama spearheads a Human Longevity Project and makes Charles the first test subject to live to 500. Of course, in the body of a 25-year-old.
posted by zardoz at 4:09 AM on October 29, 2008


Metafilter: Barack's unicorn
posted by DU at 4:43 AM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, Knappster, that was a great story.
It is those little signs of character that I have seen which overwhelm the cynicism I've accreted over the last decade or so.

6 more days.

Please FSM, please.
posted by bashos_frog at 4:53 AM on October 29, 2008


Charles make me think of my 94 year old Polish grandma who I had a brief political conversation with before the Iowa Caucus.

She asked me who I liked in the election and, not wanting to have a disagreement, I sheepishly said that I thought any of the democrats would do.

I don't think I'll ever forget the self assured manner in which she responded.

"I like Obama."

That reminds me. I love my grandma.
posted by dagosto at 4:58 AM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wonderful video. Charles rocks.

A friend of mine is a (campaign-employed) volunteer coordinator in Colorado. I've been hearing inside stories from that state for a few months, and I think it may be the most exciting state-level picture out of a bunch of them (NC being another). So many young people, old people, Native people -- they are turning Colorado solidly blue this year, and it isn't going back. Four years ago, it was inconceivable that this could happen. We're going to see a turnout in CO that none of the pollsters or pundits have foreseen -- and in other states, too. But in NC, VA, GA, FL, and MO, maybe even Indiana, the record high early vote turnouts are being driven by a huge surge of black voters (which I predicted would dwarf expectations here a few weeks ago, btw -- my reading of the black community's intensity has made me feel pretty sure about the outcome for several weeks).

Sure, everyone was predicting an uptick in AA voting of a few percentage points. They weren't expecting practically every single eligible black voter in every single swing state to get it together, but there are signs that's what will happen. And if so, we're going to win Georgia, or make it very close. We should win NC. We may well win Indiana and Missouri by unpredicted margins. Virginia is already a done deal, in my opinion. I predict Obama gets within 5 points in Mississippi, in fact -- which will stun the analysts on election night.

Black people have been waiting -- as Charles quietly makes clear -- for generations for this moment. Rosa sat, Martin walked, Obama ran.

On Nov. 4th, I am going to be black for a day (since my middle name is already Hussein for the month, it's not so far to walk). For every racist epithet, for every lynching, for every shithead who wouldn't serve, touch, talk to, or make eye contact with an African American. I am voting for Obama as a voluntary African American, even though my ancestors came from Russia and Ireland. On Nov. 4, Charles is my grandpa.

Don't get me wrong. If Obama were white, he'd still be the transformational candidate he is, the brilliant, humane progressive he is. But for some of us, at least, racism is the transcendent shame of the United States of America, the biggest stain on our reputation as a country. Not one pundit - not even the Nate Silvers and Al Giordanos (the two best) of this world -- has any idea what's about to happen, how many black people (and honorary black people for a day) are going to show up to make this a slam dunk next week.

And no one has yet imagined the force of the global reaction when it finally comes to pass. Like I said in another thread, this is going to make New Years Eve 2000 look like a Purim parade at the local temple.

McCain's race baiting campaign has cost him whatever chance he had to win the election. Because the racists don't outnumber the rest of us any more. Not this time. Not this year.

Now back to calling, donating, canvassing, whatever. All of you! Me too!

Yes we can. And yes we will.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:18 AM on October 29, 2008 [22 favorites]


If Obama were white

I should have said "only white." As if there were such a thing possible anyway.

In the big picture, we all come from Africa. So we can all vote on Tuesday as African Americans.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:21 AM on October 29, 2008


I see your Charles and raise you my favorite distinguished elder-for-Obama photo: Myrtle Strong Enemy, age 101, on the Montana Crow Agency in May.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:33 AM on October 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Beautiful. I wish that generation could live forever.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:40 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I lost it reading the Politico link in the second comment:

For me the most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn't in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president. Anyone who doesn't think that African-American turnout will absolutely SHATTER every existing record is in for a very rude surprise.

There were about 20 people in front of me but remarkably not a single person left the room without voting over the 2 hours it took to get through the line.

posted by vacapinta at 5:41 AM on October 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Beautiful. I wish that generation could live forever.


It is their mark of wisdom -- and Charles expresses it beautifully -- that they alone among us fully understand that they will not live forever, that the best of the past must be remembered urgently, and the worst of the past acknowledged and ameliorated before the chance is lost.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:01 AM on October 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Excellent summary of early voting numbers and trends here (dKos).
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:02 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, did anyone link to this Flickr photoset of Charles meeting Obama?
posted by vacapinta at 6:24 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]






I haven't even clicked any of the links and this thread is making me cry.

I'm at the point where I don't even care what Obama might or might not accomplish while in office; just the fact that he could possibly be elected fills me with pride and hope.
posted by desjardins at 6:51 AM on October 29, 2008


My favorite pic from vacapinta's link. This one just chokes me up. I wonder how many people like that Obama has met. People that just want to take a minute and tell him a story about the first time they voted, something about when they couldn't vote, or some relative they wish was alive to see this. Awesome.
posted by marxchivist at 6:55 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Since Youtube is blocked at the office, I still haven't quite been able to correct my first impression that this topic was actually about Charles Barkley. On that note, here's "Sir Charles" setting it straight with a somewhat obtuse interviewer at the New Republic just after the Democratic National Convention:
If Obama somehow loses this election, do you think it will be detrimental to the cause of racial equality in some way, that it will bring a bunch of tensions to the surface?

I think it has had a great effect already. He could not have gotten the nomination without a large percentage of white Americans voting for him. And I have to say, about Barack himself, I really hope that no matter what happens, he sets a great example for these young black kids and shows them that they can be intelligent and articulate. Always look at the big picture. We are struggling in the black community with kids not getting an education and the epidemic of black-on-black crime. And I think this does great things for those young black kids.

Do you share the concern of some civil rights leaders that if Obama becomes president, people will say, "Aha, look, race relations are good. Everything is solved"?

I don't worry about what other people think first of all. And no one thing is going to solve all these racial and economic problems.

Okay, but do you think there is a chance that efforts to solve racial problems could be set back--

No. Having a black president is not going to set anything back.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:09 AM on October 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I want him to win so badly. I tried to stay very disinterested in the election, since a few months back I couldn't imagine America electing a Black dude, or the Republicans not stealing the election. And now it seems like the change is so close you can taste it. I can't wait for the 4th and I'm not even an American. It is insane just how amazing this guy is. (i.e. The story about him lending the chick flying home to meet her husband money is so random.)

It makes me kind of sad that a lot of people didn't live to see this day. If you ever read anything by James Baldwin, early in his career he was critical of America, but seemed hopeful of change in his lifetime. And then you get to the essays in the later years of his life, after they killed MLK, and he's so full of rage and anger. There are probably a generation of people just like him, who were working for change and never got to see the results of their work.
posted by chunking express at 7:10 AM on October 29, 2008


"I hope people will go out and volunteer these last 6 days. We're going to need every single vote."

I suppose that depends on who "we" are, doesn't it?
posted by MarshallPoe at 7:17 AM on October 29, 2008


We're sorry, this video is no longer available.

That's just youtube's CDN screwing up. It happens to me all the time because I roll with flashblock and noscript. It seems that the video delivery times out if you don't start downloading it after a certain period of time. Just reload the page when you want to watch it and it is all good.
posted by srboisvert at 7:17 AM on October 29, 2008


Too many years crying because things are wrong -- it's nice to finally cry because something is so right.
posted by brain cloud at 7:21 AM on October 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


It ain't over yet:

But don't write Obama off. His candidacy strikes such enthusiasm among young and minority voters that there is still a chance that a massive turnout will deliver the race to the Democrats.
posted by snofoam at 7:25 AM on October 29, 2008


From the overview page of the Charles meets Obama Flickr Photoset linked to above:

"One of those people was Charles Alexander, an 85-year old veteran, a man who fought in the Korean War and World War II, both at time when his country was still making laws to oppress him. He returned injured, lived through the Civil Rights Movement, in the South. He started a great family with his wife, Emma, who he lost just three weeks before these photos were taken, after 69 years of marriage. He has volunteered in campaigns and elections for the last 40 years. The first presidential candidate he voted for was FDR.."

My one regret about the video is that we didn't get to hear anything Charles said to Sen. Obama. What a life this man has led!

--

Every morning I start my day getting up and reading news and links and sites from the afternoon and evening before, and for the past week or so I've just ended up sitting in my chair weeping for quite a few minutes before I pull myself together and start my day.

I think its because its been so long since I could remember what it was like to hope. That feeling that is making me cry is, I think, hope. Hope for my son's future. Hope that my country will once again belong to me. Hope that a better world is possible.

Because of the way my life is right now (two jobs, toddler son, husband works two jobs also) I haven't been able to do any work for the campaign, and its sort of breaking my heart. But I've voted already. (Love my state - early voting, paper ballots) And so now its just me and YouTube and Hope, waiting for the day. Waiting for the news. The hour. The minute. Hoping that its real.
posted by anastasiav at 7:26 AM on October 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


For me the most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn't in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president.

And now I'm tearing up.

This story reminds me of something my mother saw when she watched news coverage of the first post-apartheid voting in South Africa -- Mom took an especial interest because she worked in a day care and one of the kids there was Archbishop Desmond Tutu's granddaughter. (What they were doing in Eastern Connecticut, I have no idea, but there you go.)

Mom told me about a clip she saw of Archbishop Tutu voting -- he was dressed in his full clerical raiment, and solemnly waited in line to drop his ballot into the voting box along with everyone else. With great and severe dignity, he dropped his ballot into the box, and started moving away.

But as he walked away, he slowly began to smile. Then grin. Then chuckle. And then he started giggling like an excited little kid and jumping up and down and clapping his hands for sheer joy.

I have a feeling there will be a lot of similar moments this Tuesday.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:26 AM on October 29, 2008 [9 favorites]


You know, I like the idea of one America and no red states and blue states, but at the same time, I think the electoral map for this election will be a convenient way to see which states I should never live in, and perhaps avoid visiting, except maybe for skiing.
posted by snofoam at 7:33 AM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Obama is going to be here today a couple blocks from where I work. I just went out to check out the crowds. The line is eight blocks long. Everybody's smiling, the atmosphere is electric. The crowd seems to be predominately under 40. This is very exciting.

I'm not going to the rally because everybody from my dept. is out in the field and someone has to stay and answer the phones, plus I took next Mon. and Tues. off to volunteer with the campaign. Speaking of which, time to get my ass back to work.
posted by marxchivist at 7:34 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I suppose that depends on who "we" are, doesn't it?

I suppose it does. But honestly the more people who are involved, spreading truths and connecting with a movement that is inclusive and for the most part completely respectful, the better off we'll be as a society. I've posted several times about a dude I met who was planning on voting differently than I am. But we've had several great conversations and we are committed to being involved together, and trying to educate others and get them involved too. You should be about connecting with other people in your community - coming together. If you're changing things for the better by creating a community, talking with your neighbors and encouraging people to get educated with truths and then reach out to more people to enhance the sense of community, then that's a good thing.

Get out the vote in Missouri video. Those people seem great to be around.
posted by cashman at 7:48 AM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


What do you think happens after the election? Win or lose, the organization doesn't dissolve entirely, right? Right now I get a few emails a day and there must be hundreds of thousands of people actively involved in some way or another (in addition to 2 million plus donors). Is it crazy to believe that, if elected, the Obama team will still use the website and organization to do something? Educate? Interact with the public? Promote programs? Other stuff?
posted by snofoam at 7:54 AM on October 29, 2008


All this election enthusiasm is heartwarming.
posted by ersatz at 7:58 AM on October 29, 2008


I haven't been able to work I've been so obsessed with this, and feeling a little crazy with how emotional I've been. Glad to hear I'm not alone.

Also, snofoam's link: is Dick Morris on crack? I know it's not over, but his article doesn't seem to comport with any of the polls I've seen. What is that about?
posted by Mavri at 7:58 AM on October 29, 2008


snofoam, I'm really hoping that network of people stays around, because that kind of grassroots structure isn't easily built. Obama is a big, big advocate of community service, so my dream is that one of his first acts as President will be to put someone in charge of that network to help transition it into groups that make a difference at a local level, depending on the particular needs of each area.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:58 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Crap I just get to work with a massive hangover and clicked on the video idly and now I'm bawling like a little girl. I mean, it's a touching story but damn, hangovers make me so sentimental.

I even bawled at the Charles Licking Problem video. Someone make a mean spirited or dumb comment quick so I can stop crying! Here I'll get you started: Sarah Palin is...
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:07 AM on October 29, 2008


Sarah Palin is going to advise McCain on economic issues.
posted by snofoam at 8:10 AM on October 29, 2008


place holder to track this wonderful thread =)
posted by lazaruslong at 8:19 AM on October 29, 2008


Thank you all for this wonderful thread.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:21 AM on October 29, 2008


Jeez, all you people are so hyped up and emotional. I hope it works out the way you want, I really do …but have you thought about how it might play out for you if it doesn't go your waY?
posted by tellurian at 8:25 AM on October 29, 2008


Is it crazy to believe that, if elected, the Obama team will still use the website and organization to do something? Educate? Interact with the public? Promote programs? Other stuff?

Personally, I hope that Obama continues to use the internet to reach out to people. My big wish is that he will do a regular podcast to talk to us, a la FDR. How cool would that be -- a weekly or bi-weekly 10 minute message straight from Obama!! Maybe taking questions from the public submitted online, and expounding on it in his own words. I think Obama will be very conscious that he has to ... not win over, exactly ... but give recognition and some weight to the concerns of the many people that didn't vote for him. I have faith that he won't repeat the smug mindset of the current Administration (la-la-la I can't hear you angry left!) that the only portion of the country that matters is the portion that voted you in.

One of my many complaints about Bush is that he basically hides from the press, and only speaks at any length to journalists who won't challenge his lies. Obama could really use the internet in ways that no other sitting politician ever has, not just to spread policy messages but to create unity and a feeling included in the work of the country.
posted by brain cloud at 8:28 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]



Jeez, all you people are so hyped up and emotional. I hope it works out the way you want, I really do …but have you thought about how it might play out for you if it doesn't go your waY?


I would imagine most people will have a good hard scream. A fair few will throw up their hands in disgust, while another group will discover that the enthusiasm they found in the electoral process through volunteering is something they want to continue.

Whatever happens, the world won't end. Obviously, I (and many people here) would be infinitely happier if Obama won, but if he loses, I don't think it spells the end of the Democratic party or anything like that.

I think a lot of things (the economy, jobs, the two wars) will go downhill even further, and 2012 would be a Democratic landslide.

My children will be American, and even thinking about that possibility makes me a bit ill, but we'll cross that bridge if we come to it.

And if McCain does get in, I'll give serious thought to moving to America with my wife and campaigning for Obama in 2012 (assuming he would run). Assuming they'll let a dirty Euro-socialist Brit like me in, of course.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:33 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


but have you thought about how it might play out for you if it doesn't go your waY?

How will it play out? I will become fully radicalized, civilly disobedient, and give up on working inside our corrupt system.

I was at the 2000 inauguration protests. The press was silent about half a million people and a whole lot of violence that day. I was at the 2004 RNC protests. The press was silent about 3/4 of a million people that day.

If the GOP wins this election by theft, which is all they have left, you will see 5 million or more people descend on Washington. I know *exactly* how I will feel, and it scares even me how angry I will be.

You see, in my view, the GOP has staged a coup d'etat already -- in 2000. They have since used the power of Bush's incumbency to seize more and more control of the apparatus of government, including most ominously the Dept of Justice, which colludes in efforts to suppress minority voters these days like that's their mission. When you "win" an election on the basis of a stolen incumbency, it's the same as stealing it.

But I'm not worried. All the GOP can do is steal this one at this point. And I don't think America will stand for it this time.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:34 AM on October 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


hope it works out the way you want, I really do …but have you thought about how it might play out for you if it doesn't go your waY?

No, I think this emotion is healthy. It's honest and it's cathartic. If McCain wins legitimately, the grief from this emotion will lead to a vastly stronger movement in 4 years time. But if he wins illegitimately, I believe the coming weeks will see a second American Revolution. (and no, Ron Paul doesn't count.)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:35 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


have you thought about how it might play out for you if it doesn't go your waY?

Whatever for? We're working toward victory, not defeat. As an active volunteer, I can say that most of us don't indulge in the luxury of time spent worrying about the outcome. The time we have available has to be employed as strategically as possible to ensure that we have done everything we can to get out the vote in Obama's favor.

If Obama doesn't win, we will have time to think about that then. And we have channels open in all directions with which to organize; I expect that different people would make different choices, and the reasons for a loss would have a strong impact on the actions taken. But anticipatory grief is a neurotic worrystone that really does nothing to influence the outcome, so we're staying away from it. Cross the bridges in front of you. We have six days. Who haven't you brought aboard yet? What shifts are you taking to get out the vote this week?
posted by Miko at 8:48 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]




I wouldn't vote for her, but she has good policies - Paris for President.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:57 AM on October 29, 2008


I'm not a sentimental person, I'm voting on issues, not "hope"...and, as I've mentioned in a previous thread, my primary vote didn't go to Obama. As the race has reached the final stretch over the last few months, it's clear to me that Obama is the best candidate for the job. I'm voting for him on that basis, and that basis alone.

That being said, I've had my moments these last couple weeks. Two Sundays ago I sat with someone, an African American guy in his mid-30s, I know from a shared volunteer commitment. In time I've known him, he doesn't seem like a very gushy, sentimental person either, or even particularly political. But we happened to start talking about how Colin Powell had just endorsed Barack Obama just hours beforehand, and his eyes started to well up in tears and didn't stop. And I can't think about it without getting teary eyed myself.

Like it or not, there's something going on right now that's bigger than just an election, and I've found myself surprised by the emotions rising in myself in the days leading up to next Tuesday.
posted by availablelight at 9:00 AM on October 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm voting on issues, not "hope".

Well, me too, actually, but the great thing with Obama is that you get both, and inclusion to boot. This is the reason I switched over to support him in the primaries - that he is every bit as good a candidate for the rational, pragmatic voter as he is for the sentimental, hopeful, idealistic voter - and he alone recognized that both types had to be activated and mobilized in order to win.
posted by Miko at 9:02 AM on October 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


screenshot for posterity

Whoa. What kind of denial does one have to be in to seriously attempt to claim that Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa are up for grabs? Not to mention the 3 or 4 other states they have in grey where Obama has had double-digit leads for a couple of weeks now.
posted by brain cloud at 9:10 AM on October 29, 2008


I haven't been able to work I've been so obsessed with this, and feeling a little crazy with how emotional I've been. Glad to hear I'm not alone.

Democrats, Republicans agree on something: anxiety
"Victoria St. Gelais is panicky. Tami Brewster-Barnes feels the nerves in the pit of her stomach. Steven Valentine is losing sleep as his mood rises and falls with John McCain's poll numbers.

Voters around the country, whether they support McCain or Barack Obama, say they are experiencing nail-biting, ulcer-inducing anxiety ahead of next week's election and all that's riding on it.

'I have kind of a general feeling of near panic on occasion,' says St. Gelais, a 48-year-old McCain supporter in Ormond Beach, Fla. 'The thought of Obama winning right now is scaring me to death. ... I'm just anxious and even a little depressed.'

St. Gelais, like many, says she's not sleeping well, is watching Fox News nearly all day, and 'lives on her computer,' following all of the polls and the latest news. If Obama wins, she'll be devastated.

'I would equate it to a death,' she says.

Although polls favor Obama a week before the election, it's not just Republicans getting the jitters. Democrats are on high alert after losing two close elections to President Bush in the last eight years." [more]
posted by ericb at 9:12 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama basically just admitted he is a communist:

"That’s why he’s spending these last few days calling me every name in the book. I’m sorry to see my opponent sink so low. Lately, he’s called me a socialist for wanting to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so we can finally give tax relief to the middle class. By the end of the week, he’ll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in Kindergarten."

Or worse, he's admitting that he wasn't good at sharing. If he couldn't share in kindergarten, what makes us think he's going to be able to reach across the aisle as President?
posted by snofoam at 9:21 AM on October 29, 2008


Oh Man, Girls4Obama, wonderful shots. [via]
posted by alicesshoe at 9:23 AM on October 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


I was at a restaurant on Monday and when I was up front putting my shoes on (Japanese restaurant) there was an 8 year old kid who said to his mom, "Boy, if Obama doesn't win it's going to be a real heartbreaker."
posted by snofoam at 9:26 AM on October 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


At the rally in Pittsburgh on Monday, the crowd booed when Obama mentioned one of McCain's policy proposals.

He paused, motioned for quiet, and said, "Don't boo. Vote."
posted by esd at 9:35 AM on October 29, 2008 [30 favorites]


I'm voting on issues, not "hope"

Oh, I'm voting on issues, too. But its been so very long since I thought the issues that matter most to me -- peace, economic balance, equal access to health care, inclusion -- mattered to the majority of other Americans that there was a certain feeling of ... hopelessness. Like wrongs would never be righted. Slowly, slowly that feeling is going away.
posted by anastasiav at 9:50 AM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I was in a motel room with Wayne Holley after attending a CPUSA conference in 1989, and we sat in silence as we watched TV news coverage of the Berlin Wall being torn down.

He spent his entire life working for change and he never gave up hope. He was a great man. That's all I have to say on the subject.
posted by Restless Day at 9:55 AM on October 29, 2008


And now I'm tearing up.

I second your tears and raise you a bucket of blubbery.
posted by DreamerFi at 10:09 AM on October 29, 2008


In 2004 I definately voted against Bush. In 2008 I definately voted FOR Obama.

'The thought of Obama winning right now is scaring me to death. ... '

I kind of want to tell her that's going to be ok if he wins, but I know she just won't believe me.
posted by Green With You at 10:27 AM on October 29, 2008


I kind of want to tell her that's going to be ok if he wins, but I know she just won't believe me.

I was reading the most recent updates to Barack Obama vs the Pirates of Witchita last night, and this quote from the new update seems kind of .... apt:

He gave it straddling the wreck of the golden throne. He spoke to them with the blood of their general still on his hands. He spoke to them in the shadow of their defeat, and took the bitter sting away. His voice was clarion, but his words were balm. He talked of promises made, and broken, and re-forged in earnest. He talked of America; of what it was, and is, and will be. He talked of freedom, and determination, and hope. Always of hope.

I’ve seen it happen almost a dozen times. At Joliet and Toledo, they wept openly. After the battle of Des Moines, they picked him up on their shoulders and carried him to the bow of his ship. At Terra Haute, even the children tried to join him, and only Obama’s gentlest admonitions managed to prevent the cause from gaining a hundred half-pint privates. And every time – every damn time – I shed tears.

Nine out of ten joined our cause right there and then. They just threw down their banners, cast off their silly hats, and signed up. The other tenth slunk away like whipped dogs.

We embraced them, our newfound brethren: what else could you do? We’d all been in their shoes, once. You heard the man talk, and you had to make a choice. So we hugged them and cheered, because we knew what it meant. The Battle of Minneapolis was over. We’d won. We, the Free-riders of the Outlaw Prince. Men and women, Iowans and Minnesotans, Nebraskans and Wisconsinites, and volunteers from every state in the union: the last free people in America.

We cheered, not because it was over, but because it had finally begun."

posted by anastasiav at 10:31 AM on October 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


LOL. Eva Anderson, 19 year old music major at U Northern Iowa, tells all about her hilarious impersonation of Sarah Palin behind McCain at his last Iowa rally.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:31 AM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh Man, Girls4Obama, wonderful shots.

Think how great it will be to be able to say that the first election you really remember as a kid was the one that saw the first black president get elected?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:32 AM on October 29, 2008


fourcheesemac: I wouldn't have known that was supposed to be an impersonation if it hadn't been pointed out.
posted by desjardins at 10:34 AM on October 29, 2008


So, here's a thought... If you looked at vacapinta's link, Charles's address is visible in one of the shots. It might border on stalkery, but wouldn't it be wonderful if we all sent Charles a letter telling him how he inspired us? If half the people who commented about how moving his story is, sent him a letter I think it would make his day. Maybe even his week. Until Obama wins, of course.
posted by luminous phenomena at 10:39 AM on October 29, 2008


"I hope people will go out and volunteer these last 6 days. We're going to need every single vote."

I suppose that depends on who "we" are, doesn't it?


It's true, Republicans traditionally do better when less people vote, which is why they work so hard to suppress, disenfranchise and openly abuse the voter base.

Jeez, all you people are so hyped up and emotional. I hope it works out the way you want, I really do …but have you thought about how it might play out for you if it doesn't go your waY?

Mass seppuku is the only honorable way to go after the master has fallen. Ronin like Powell serve as a disgrace to all. As the Hagakure says: "The way of the community canvasser is the way of death."
posted by FatherDagon at 10:41 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


It might border on stalkery...

Might?
posted by chunking express at 10:44 AM on October 29, 2008


wouldn't it be wonderful if we all sent Charles a letter telling him how he inspired us?

It would be kinder to send letters of appreciation to Charles c/o the Boulder Colorado Obama campaign office where he's volunteering. Leave the dude's home out of it.
posted by jamaro at 10:44 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


You're right, jamaro. I got caught up in the emotion and "what could be"... then hit post. So, here's this:

Mr. Charles Alexander
c/o
Obama Campaign Boulder Office
1725 Walnut St.
Boulder, CO 80302

I also contacted the owner of the flickr photostream and notified him about the address and possible privacy issues.

Thanks for the reality check chunking express and jamaro.
posted by luminous phenomena at 10:58 AM on October 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Not this mind!

A dark, evil part of me delights in the idea of the racists who won't vote for a black man having a black man as president. Their pain when Obama takes office is just punishment for their despicable viewpoint.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:01 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey cool, thanks for the office address, luminous.
posted by jamaro at 11:01 AM on October 29, 2008


As a long time lefty California resident, I've spent my adult life more concerned with how badly the left has conducted itself, how we have been able to alienate, divide and rely on petty cultural warfare to try and guilt our way into the hearts and minds of the larger culture. Until this summer, I didn't realize how depressed this made me. Especially when our best efforts (anti-war protests of 2003) which mobilized millions didn't change the outcome one degree. I felt it was a lost cause and I didn't have the energy to stay involved. I felt like America was a lost cause. That we would continue to sink into low-brow, simpleton, jingoistic bullshit.
In order to cope with the post 9/11 Republican parade of horrors. I went from being a total newsjunkie to someone who just turned all that off in his life. No more news, no more organizing, no more caring. I had nothing left. My patriotism, my love for politics, my wonder at the potential this country could achieve all shriveled up and died.
As soon asI knew Obama was running, and I already knew I'd vote for him. But I didn't come back from my political exile until his acceptance speech in Denver. I watched it with my family (thanks streaming internets!) while we ate dinner. And I felt a literal pain in my chest. I felt hope and pride, and they seemed so foreign and old it took me several minutes to figure out what they were. Hope and pride in what we could achieve, in what we could be, and in what we are.
Lincoln's 'angels of our better natures' line keeps running through my head and I believe that this time, this election we will listen to them and make him our president. I cannot wait until November 4th.
----

Of course, I'll be sad when this is over as well, because I haven't found time to volunteer (yet), and I'll miss these giant, inspiring political threads on MeFi.
posted by gofargogo at 11:10 AM on October 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow this thread is gushy. I guess I need to go home and watch that video huh.
posted by lunit at 11:33 AM on October 29, 2008




This is the Charles I expected.

The one linked was much better.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:53 AM on October 29, 2008


From homunculus's link:
Garcia had a message for his stocky, tweed-clad threatener. "You tell that guy he can find Tony Garcia down at the West Dade library every day from 7 to 7 helping people early vote. I'll be there from 1 to 5 on Saturday and Sunday. You tell him if he wants to kick my ass that's where he can find me. Come beat me up."
Go Tony Garcia!
posted by scody at 12:13 PM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Lincoln's 'angels of our better natures' line keeps running through my head and I believe that this time, this election we will listen to them and make him our president.

Pssst... Lincoln was quoting Shakespeare. Carry on.
posted by jokeefe at 12:21 PM on October 29, 2008


Whoops. Sorry; I mean for my comment to be in small font too. Oy.
posted by jokeefe at 12:22 PM on October 29, 2008


Tony Garcia is a badass.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:27 PM on October 29, 2008


Well this is interesting, and, frankly, a trend I wouldn't mind seeing spread, at least among certain sectors of the population:
Why I'm Not Voting For President

As both a conservative and a Republican, I confess that we deserve to lose this year. We have governed badly and have earned the wrath of voters, who will learn in due course how inadequate the nostrums of liberal Democrats are to the crisis of our times. If I cannot in good faith cast a vote against the Bush years by voting for Obama, I can at least do so by withholding my vote from McCain.
What's also intriguing is this next part, which hearkens back to the various predictions we had in the Palin '12 thread a few days ago:
While it is foolish to look forward to a decisive electoral defeat for one's side, I can't say that the coming rout will be a bad thing. The Right desperately needs to repent, rethink, and rebuild--and only the pain of a shattering loss will force conservatives to confront reality. Not only must there be a renewal of our political vision and message--and this time, dissenters from within the Right must be heard--but there must also be a realization at the grassroots that we have long given too much importance to politics and not enough to building cultural institutions at the local level.
If Obama is able to win, and win definitively, I fully expect this POV to spread pretty rapidly among a wide number of evangelicals.

(via)
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:35 PM on October 29, 2008


Old Time for Obama. As a player myself, I thought this genre was long overdue on the Obama-music YouTube scene. But you gotta particularly love the pop 'n' lock addition.
posted by Miko at 12:44 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hammering down my stake!
posted by lysdexic at 12:52 PM on October 29, 2008


If Obama is able to win, and win definitively, I fully expect this POV to spread pretty rapidly among a wide number of evangelicals.

I agree. I expect that they'll adopt the model as their own - grassroots, youth-oriented, social networking and door-to-door activism. Evangelicals aren't going to come away from this election thinking, "Well, gee, maybe most Americans don't agree with us after all. Oh well, I guess we'll just sit here quietly and wait to die." No, they're going to be just as convinced that their message is right and that most Americans would agree with them if only they were able to hear it. They'll talk about having been overwhelmed, their voices drowned out by the liberal brownshirts. So they'll fight fire with fire in 2012. No doubt about it.

That said, I think mainstream Republicanism will shift towards the middle. And they, too, will attempt to adopt the grassroots model. If that happens, evangelicals can more or less forget about the seat on the right hand of the father that Reagan once made for them. Their day will be finished.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:54 PM on October 29, 2008


Thanks, luminous phenomena - my letter is in the mail. :)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:55 PM on October 29, 2008


I expect that they'll adopt the model as their own - grassroots, youth-oriented, social networking and door-to-door activism.

They already do that. They're called Jehova's Witnesses.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:58 PM on October 29, 2008


They already do that. They're called Jehova's Witnesses.

Nope. That thar is a zealot of a different color. Evangelicals -- and, I'd wager, a majority of conservative Christians -- regard JWs as a cult.

Grafting the Obama grassroots model on to the evangelical youth of the nation would be seen as new and clever, and in fact would dovetail nicely with witnessing, which most church groups already strongly advocate. It would be very, very easy to channel that enthusiasm into a political campaign, now that they've seen how successful it can be when done right.
posted by shiu mai baby at 1:05 PM on October 29, 2008


They already do that. They're called Jehova's Witnesses.

As shiu mai baby said, Jehovies are regarded by evangelicals as a cult. Their beliefs diverge significantly from even mainstream Christianity.

And I'm not talking about knocking on doors with copies of Watchtower. I'm talking about adopting the grassroots youth-focused social networking model that has worked so well for the Obama campaign. Team McCain at the moment has contempt for the entire concept of youth-focused activism. That's been working out well for him, hasn't it? Expect the Republicans and evangelicals to have a change of heart about this attitude after November 4th.

Next cycle, I think we'll see a more significant divergence between evangelicals and Republicans. The Reagan wedding is over. The party wants back their Colin Powells, their Buckleys. There are more moderate conservatives than there are Talibaptists, after all, and the biggest reason why Reagan brought evangelicals into the fold - their fund-raising and organizational abilities - fall short of the new model which, fortunately, can be adopted by anyone and doesn't require having to pander to people who think hurricanes are God's punishment for homosexuals.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:17 PM on October 29, 2008




We're going to need every single vote.

I guess there are no excuses. Even if you're in outer space....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 1:31 PM on October 29, 2008


holy cow, that's cool. VOTES... FROM... SPAAAAAAACE........
posted by scody at 1:40 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I expect that they'll adopt the model as their own - grassroots, youth-oriented, social networking and door-to-door activism.

They do in some places -- but not as Jehovah's Witnesses, as guessed above. I've heard of instances where some in the Religious Right actually made an effort to start small and go for the tiny, grass-roots chicken-feed local political positions that no one else seems to pay attention to -- deputy sherriff, third assistant appellate judge, whatever -- because these are positions that, let's face it, no one really pays attention to on voting day. You get into the booth, you are told to choose up to five candidates for the appellete court judges, but there are only five candidates running and you haven't heard of any of them, so you just shrug and pick them all and move on.

And that's what they're counting on. Because that is their foot in the door politically. And then in a couple years they can run for another position, and trumpet that they've already had "x number of years of political experience," and everyone says, "Really? Huh, never heard of him, but okay," and they get elected for that position. And then they run for another slightly higher office, and this time they say that they had "x number of years in office, promoted from dog catcher to second district attorney two years ago," and everyone says, "wait, I do think I remember that guy -- shoot, I don't know who any of these other guys are, so I guess I'll vote for him," and gradually that person gets promoted to a position of some local power.

Like -- the School Board, say. At which point they throw out the teaching of evolution in their town's school system, and they have little opposition because a couple of other Religious Right folk have worked their way up to similar positions of power the same way.

Grassroots activism is one thing, but what really does the job is taking on the little jobs in government that no one else pays attention to. And that's where the Religious Right have been excelling.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:46 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone who thinks that evangelicals haven't ALREADY been using grassroots activism for at least 10 years is fooling themself.

There has been a powerful, and powerfully effective, evangelical grassroots movement to take over school boards, one election at a time, for over 20 years.

Watch "Jesus Camp" or "Hell House," and you'll see examples of evangelical grassroots activism at its "finest."

Harper's, last year, had a cover article called "The Kids are (Far) Right" -- it was eye-opening, to say the least. Gave me shivers, actually. The various movers-and-shakers profiled in this article were targeting college-aged evangelicals.

And those are just a couple examples.
posted by CitizenD at 2:02 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


And that's what they're counting on. Because that is their foot in the door politically. And then in a couple years they can run for another position, and trumpet that they've already had "x number of years of political experience," and everyone says, "Really? Huh, never heard of him, but okay," and they get elected for that position. And then they run for another slightly higher office, and this time they say that they had "x number of years in office, promoted from dog catcher to second district attorney two years ago," and everyone says, "wait, I do think I remember that guy -- shoot, I don't know who any of these other guys are, so I guess I'll vote for him," and gradually that person gets promoted to a position of some local power.

Fascinating. Jello Biafra advocates the exact same strategy.

Anyone who thinks that evangelicals haven't ALREADY been using grassroots activism for at least 10 years is fooling themself.

Of course I'm aware there are evangelical youth movements. But there clearly hasn't been any interconnect. To be more precise, I don't just mean the "Jesus Camps" or university-level Young Life brigades. I'm talking about something that propagates into a national movement that draws in people of many different stripes and backgrounds. Evangelical youth movements, as it is now, serve to gather together people of more or less then same narrow worldview. I expect this to change. I expect you'll see their social networking and grassroots organization become more aggressive and more inclusive.

The quandry, of course, is that evangelicals can't get too inclusive - the whole point of being a religious conservative is holding fast to a rigid, carved-in-stone framework. And the majority of Americans disagree with the evangelicals on a number of issues. This is another reason why I think the grassroots model will end up working better for the GOP than the evangelicals - they have a wider selection of potential recruits.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:12 PM on October 29, 2008


Palin: "I Am Joe Mama."

Oh Man, Girls4Obama, wonderful shots.

This is a father of daughters.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:23 PM on October 29, 2008


I think I might have become Tajel. Either that, or Jorge Cham has a secret camera over my desk.

I'm not American, and can't vote, and have lots of research to do. But your election really is very fascinating and engrossing.
posted by jb at 2:26 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Personally, I hope that Obama continues to use the internet to reach out to people. My big wish is that he will do a regular podcast to talk to us, a la FDR. How cool would that be -- a weekly or bi-weekly 10 minute message straight from Obama!!


Obama wouldn't be the first president to do a weekly podcast. GWB has a weekly radio address (which I've never heard on the radio), which is syndicated as a podcast.
posted by lostburner at 3:02 PM on October 29, 2008


Obama is going to be here today a couple blocks from where I work. I just went out to check out the crowds. The line is eight blocks long. Everybody's smiling, the atmosphere is electric. The crowd seems to be predominately under 40. This is very exciting.

I was there. Waited in line for 2 and a half hours and had a great time. I went by myself but did not feel lonely. There was a white family in front of me with children ages 8 and 10. Behind me two black men in their fifties. The seven of us joked and traded stories the whole time we were in line. Those parents and many others I met said they brought their children to see history in the making. History-in-the-making came with a pink Obama 08 T-Shirt, red ball cap, and several campaign buttons from the street vendors.

There were 2 McCain supporters standing on the corner-- two middle-aged soccer mom types with large handmade signs covering their faces. One sign said "Nobama," the other "Obama=epic Fail. What's amazing is no one interacted with them-- there was no yelling or arguing. They were happily ignored. And this equanimity carried over inside the greenway. When Obama gave his speech, I did not hear a single "boo." This was a very cheerful, very positive crowd.

Next Saturday Palin is coming to Raleigh. I would love to compare the two crowds-- I'm just not sure I want to waste $7.00 (for parking) and 4 hours of my time on Sarah.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:45 PM on October 29, 2008


By the way... there's a shockingly close race going on for Dick Cheney's old House seat in my ancestral homeland of Wyoming. Don't you think it would just chap Cheney's hide if Gary Trauner won?
posted by scody at 3:47 PM on October 29, 2008


Don't you think it would just chap Cheney's hide if Gary Trauner won?

I knew nothing about Trauner until you linked to his site. Seems the latest news is that the governor of Wyoming has endorsed him. How popular is Freudenthal anyway? And how does a state as solidly red as Wyoming have a Democratic governor?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:06 PM on October 29, 2008


Oh good, I'm glad this was posted where more than 8 people can see it. I wasn't real sure if it merited a FPP or not, and we've already got a few dozen election threads.

Also, I have to agree with fourcheesemac that black voter turnout is going to crush expectations. The excitement and tremulous hope is palpable, everywhere.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 4:09 PM on October 29, 2008



"HOPE" IS AN ISSUE.
posted by tkchrist at 4:37 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]




The Obama 'infomercial' is live on YouTube.

It's also getting hammered.

posted by jb at 5:34 PM on October 29, 2008


Oh dear, don't preview once, and I forget to close a tag. I hope it doesn't affect the page.
posted by jb at 5:35 PM on October 29, 2008


i'm not the target audience, and i've learned better than to second guess the obama campaign, but i thought the infomercial was pretty solid. ending it with a call to action was key. i would have changed the splash page to show "volunteer" instead of "donate" on the site, though.
posted by snofoam at 5:40 PM on October 29, 2008


feeling happy?

Steel Pulse "Barack Obama Song" that is all SLYTP
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:50 PM on October 29, 2008


Was the infomercial worth watching. The first lady they interview is kind of annoying, but it might just be because I hate people that move out to the boonies.
posted by chunking express at 5:51 PM on October 29, 2008


How popular is Freudenthal anyway? And how does a state as solidly red as Wyoming have a Democratic governor?

Freudenthal is extremely popular -- there's been a mineral/petroleum/natural gas boom during his tenure, which has resulted in a budget surplus and a general sense of a rising tide that's lifted (most) boats. (The downside to the boom has been a growing conservation crisis, thanks -- surprise! -- to BushCheney&Co's aggressive opening of land for big oil's use.)

Freudenthal is also very highly rated by the NRA, which is one of the keys to understanding the position of Democrats in Wyoming in particular, and more generally in the Mountain West (which, as I've yakked about elsewhere, has been undergoing a political transformation in the last decade or so that pretty much means the entire region is no longer almost completely red, but is now a far more interesting quilt of red, purple, and blue). Though it may seem strange, gun rights are not exclusively a Republican partisan issue there -- hunting and shooting are largely integral to the culture of the state, which makes sense in the context of it historically being a sparsely populated frontier region. Plenty of the Democrats I still know in Colorado are also gun-owners. It just tends not to be the political/cultural dividing line there that it can be elsewhere (as I found out once when I accidentally brought the conversation of an entire party to a standstill in L.A. when I casually mentioned I'd been shooting before!).

Basically, Wyoming folks are generally pretty independent and libertarian (with a small "l") in their thinking; there's a streak of social conservatism, yes, but there's a deeper streak of "I mind my business and you mind yours," of a kind of base-line level of respect for individual rights and privacy. (I think this is why Matthew Shepard's murder prompted some real soul-searching in Laramie and throughout the state.) There's just not much tradition of religious evangelicalism or fundamentalism informing politics -- which obviously distinguishes it from the conservatism of other regions, and which is part of the Mountain West's general turn from the GOP in recent years, which has been seen (rightly, of course) as pandering to extremist social conservatives on the right.

What this has tended to mean, I've observed, is that Wyomingites therefore tend to prefer to be represented on the national/federal level by conservatives. But it also means that Wyomingites have been simultaneously open to Democrats at the state level, most frequently as governor (which they usually counterweight with a Republican-controlled legislature); in fact, since 1959, 5 of the 8 governors of the state have been Dems, including the state's only 3-termer, Ed Herschler. They've also elected Democratic secretaries of state, including Kathy Karpan (fun fact: she was the maid of honor at my parents' wedding; she has a nice recollection of growing up as a Democrat and a coalminer's daughter here).

And speaking of Kathy Karpan, I'll just mention here a few other fun facts that people outside of Wyoming are often surprised to find out: Wyoming was the first U.S. state or territory to grant women's suffrage, in 1869; it also elected the first woman governor (Nellie Tayloe Ross) in 1925. Its nickname is The Equality State. I like to think that all of that says a little something about what Wyoming is really like, even when the state goes for Republican presidential candidates in such numbers.

Anyway! All of this makes me optimistic about the chances to get a Wyoming Democrat back into Congress for the first time in 30 years. [/square state digression]

posted by scody at 6:03 PM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


i've you've watched obama speak about ten times, you are going to recognize a lot of what is in the infomercial.

i also noticed the tendency to feel scorn for people who move out to suburbia or whatever (including while watching the infomercial), but if you let yourself feel that way, then the pro-america/anti-america people have won. the only way obama wins is if many people from all different backgrounds come together. that means even car-less, childless, ivy-league brooklynites like myself finding common ground with suburban factory workers with six kids eating prepackaged foods. if we aren't really inspired to change how we feel about other americans, and other people in general, then perhaps it really is rhetoric rather than leadership.
posted by snofoam at 6:04 PM on October 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


That video just killed me. Like some of the others upthread, I feel like an exposed nerve just walking around. I'm crying ten times a day at stuff like this. I wept through the infomercial tonight. I am just overwhelmed with emotion.

Today, I was listening to something on NPR about the electoral college and the mere suggestion of an electoral college tie made my whole face start to twitch.

Soliloquy, I've been thinking a lot of that Emily Dickinson poem, too. I don't know what I'm going to do if we lose.
posted by sugarfish at 6:24 PM on October 29, 2008


I thought the half hour Barack video was fantastic and a direct hit on its target demographic. Undecided voters, uninformed voters, misinformed voters. People who don't already know and understand his policies. He was extremely presidential -- I saw a funny comment on fivethirtyeight.org that the office shot looked like a log cabin oval office, totally true.

A really solid spot, well done. I've called relatives telling them to watch it if they can.
posted by empyrean at 6:45 PM on October 29, 2008


Just another voice crying most days. It's good to see that the experience is shared.
posted by wemayfreeze at 6:54 PM on October 29, 2008


It seems the London Times has dug up Obama's long-lost aunt, who is living in public housing in Boston. The GOP will probably seize on it, decrying Obama's lack of family values or some other lame spin. Of course, doing so means conveniently ignoring their own candidate's history of philandering, but then again, introspection has never been that campaign's strong suit.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:30 PM on October 29, 2008


Bill Clinton.

That is all.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:30 PM on October 29, 2008


Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
and I say it's all right
posted by brain cloud at 9:08 PM on October 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


A little more the tone I'm feeling:

Oh the foes will rise with the sleep still in their eyes
And they'll jerk from their bed and think they're dreamin'
But they'll pinch themselves and squeal
And they'll know that it's for real
The hour when the ship comes in.

Then they'll raise their hands
Sayin' "We'll meet all your demands."
But we'll shout from the bow "Your days are numbered."
And like Pharaoh's tribe they'll be drownded in the tide
And like Goliath they'll be conquered.

posted by wemayfreeze at 9:14 PM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


This made me really glad to be a part of this moment in history.

*cheers charles*
posted by axltea at 10:49 PM on October 29, 2008


Secret Life of Gravy: There were 2 McCain supporters standing on the corner-- two middle-aged soccer mom types with large handmade signs covering their faces. One sign said "Nobama," the other "Obama=epic Fail."

Wait... what?!

McCain-supporting middle-aged soccer-moms are waving internet-speak anti-Obama placards?

The 21st Century is weeeeeird.

this thread has made me all gooey on several occasions
posted by Kattullus at 11:44 PM on October 29, 2008


Can we make this a referendum on happy days v. righteous anger? I'm curious to see what the split is. (Accepting of course that many experience both in varying degrees.)
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:57 AM on October 30, 2008


So I watched the 30 minute spot (although the version on Youtube doesn't have the live bit right at the end, boo) and I thought it was pitch perfect. Every time he threatened to overdo the policy talk, there was a personal story to tie things together, and vice versa. The closing quote is simply wonderful. My wife pointed out that it almost has the cadences of a wedding vow, a solemn promise, filled with humility and promise:
“I am reminded everyday, I am not a perfect man. I will not be a perfect President.

But I can promise you this.

I will always tell you what I think and where I stand. I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you when we disagree. And most importantly I will open the doors of government and ask you to be involved in your democracy again.”
When this election is over, I am deeply looking forward to reading about what happened inside the Obama campaign.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:51 AM on October 30, 2008


APologies for being cryptic, but I meant:

Bill Clinton. (YT)

Ain't no one better except Barack. Together it was like watching Mick Jagger sing a duet with Bono.

Holy shit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:17 AM on October 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


And this makes me ever so happy: Acorn is striking back at McCain with a new ad called Not This Time (SLYT). Powerful stuff.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:48 AM on October 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


suburban factory workers

?

I don't think there are many suburban factory workers. We don't have all that many factories left.

More suburban office park workers.

And I am still a bit angry with the suburbanites. Because it it they, against all warning, who largely have driven our country into bankruptcy, elected these incompetent leaders, and are driving unsustainable life-style practices and they want to KEEP doing this. We told them of all these impending problems. And they did not care. It's only becuase they are feeling a tiny bit of pain that they are now crying about it. And now they have the unmitigated gall to demand to be bailed out?

Yeah. It's one country. And yeah we need to come together. But these suburban people need to join frigg'n reality and start listening to facts or they will go back to doing exactly the same crap that got us into all these messes in the first place.
posted by tkchrist at 9:49 AM on October 30, 2008


The youtube comments in this comment are great. The video poster defends ACORN, with facts and statistics and clear language, against the ridiculous allegations of 'voter fraud' on a massive scale.
posted by lyam at 10:54 AM on October 30, 2008


Poor son of a bitch. "debating" people on YouTube is a losing battle. The one thing I miss about using Firefox is that stupid filter grease monkey script.
posted by chunking express at 11:02 AM on October 30, 2008


Poor son of a bitch. "debating" people on YouTube is a losing battle.

Yeah. I got an email last week from the No on Prop 8 campaign exhorting supporters to go on youtube to "debate" the nasty comments that anti-gay marriage bigots were leaving on the videos for the campaign ads, and my heart just sank. Because, frankly, it would be a better use of time and resources to ask supporters to go take a big ol' piss right into the wind on behalf of gay marriage. Cripes.
posted by scody at 12:22 PM on October 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Speaking of youtube (and the need to ignore stupid comments), this is a delight:

Don't speak for me, Sarah Palin / The truth is, I do not like you! / My kid plays hockey, / And I'm his mama; / But I am voting / Barack Obama. Brava!
posted by scody at 12:26 PM on October 30, 2008


And I am still a bit angry with the suburbanites. Because it it they, against all warning, who largely have driven our country into bankruptcy, elected these incompetent leaders, and are driving unsustainable life-style practices and they want to KEEP doing this. We told them of all these impending problems. And they did not care. It's only becuase they are feeling a tiny bit of pain that they are now crying about it. And now they have the unmitigated gall to demand to be bailed out?

Wait, what? Talk about stereotypes. I've driven the country into bankruptcy exactly how? I'm a renter. I always vote democrat. My only "unsustainable life-style practice" is that I drive a car, but if I lived in the city I'd STILL have to drive a car to my job because the public transportation sucks. I'm not crying about anything and don't need to be bailed out.

Come on, don't make this all "us vs. them" based on your zipcode. FFS.
posted by desjardins at 12:29 PM on October 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


placeholder!
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 1:22 PM on October 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


if I lived in the city I'd STILL have to drive a car to my job because the public transportation sucks.

And why does the public transportation suck, brainiac?
posted by cillit bang at 2:34 PM on October 30, 2008


And why does the public transportation suck, brainiac?

Simple - braniac has fucked our public transportation system.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:42 PM on October 30, 2008


And why does the public transportation suck, brainiac?

I'm sure it's all my fault, having moved here a year ago. Seriously, I lived without a car and within walking distance of school/work for 10 years. So I move to the 'burbs in another state because husband got a job he couldn't pass up, and there is no public transportation within walking distance of where we live. Well, why don't we just move then? OK, well, for one thing, if you want to live within walking distance of a train station around here, the rent is double or triple, and we're at the maximum of what we can afford now. Also, even if we lived inside the damn train station, we'd STILL need cars to get from the train station to our jobs. In my case, there isn't a train station anywhere near my job. There just isn't enough population density to support it.

I have a master's degree in urban planning, so please don't lecture me on sprawl. Sometimes in life you find yourself in a situation that doesn't perfectly adhere to what you'd like, because you've made some compromises for other important things, like, oh, a relationship, or a roof over one's head. My point is that there's no way to know why a person made the choices they did, and to tar all suburbanites with HURF DURF SOCCER MOMS is just ignorant and unproductive and elitist. I am not a mother and I dislike soccer.
posted by desjardins at 2:59 PM on October 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


So I move to the 'burbs in another state because husband got a job he couldn't pass up

Yes. Yes he could've. Or were you abducted?

Look. You make choices. And choices have repercussions. And becuase millions of you made the same or similar choices it ads up. And the choice to live a suburban lifestyle, to one degree or another, has over time collectively added up to the huge problem we are now dealing with. I'm pretty sure they teach this in Urban Planning.


Well, why don't we just move then? OK, well, for one thing, if you want to live within walking distance of a train station around here, the rent is double or triple, and we're at the maximum of what we can afford now.


Listen to yourself. So why the fuck did you move there if it's so expensive?

You made the choice to live somewhere you can barely afford. And how are you not part of the problem again? And I hate to tell you this but it's only gonna get more expensive. This suburban lifestyle is a illusion. Okay. And it will be over very soon. I don't want to pick on you. I'm sure you mean well. But look at what you just said and tell me again how it does not apply to EXACTLY what I described?

I have a master's degree in urban planning, so please don't lecture me on sprawl.

Wow. I don't even know what to say.

Why is it that you are immune from any share of blame? Why are you the magic exception? Take responsibility for your decisions and how you live. It's not like the sum total of your decisions and lifestyle are completely disconnected from everybody else. I had to compromise. My wife had to compromise. Everybody has to compromise.

So what are you gonna DO about it? Are you gonna stay right where you are until you, and everybody else who is the "exception", runs out of money or water or gas? I don't know about you specifically but MOST of the people what are sharing your lifestyle are borrowing to maintain it. Instead of changing the root problem: The lifestyle itself.

Just like I said. Suburbanites to keep living this lifestyle. Even as it fucks everybody else over.

Don't get mad at me for telling you the truth. You can change, you know. And this appeal to "OMG Stereotype!" isn't getting you any sympathy.
posted by tkchrist at 4:19 PM on October 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


And this appeal to "OMG Stereotype!" isn't getting you any sympathy.

And your sneering dismissal of desjardins' choices isn't getting you any, either. Chill, please.
posted by jokeefe at 4:31 PM on October 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


God. I forgot my point. And point is this:

We can longer have the luxury to evade our responsibilities by blaming our careers or our lifestyles.

What desjardins said goes right to the bone of the matter. She votes democratic. But the way she actually lives, despite best intentions, essentially negates the power of her vote. This is our reality. And we had better wake up to it or nothing is gonna change. It's not about blame. It's about FIXING the problem. And if can't admit there is a problem then nothing is fixed.

Nobody is calling for people to live in caves or urban slums. However, it IS how you live that matters most.
posted by tkchrist at 4:38 PM on October 30, 2008


And your sneering dismissal of desjardins' choices isn't getting you any, either. Chill, please.

Dismissal? What are you talking about? If anything I'm more aware of the impact of her choices than she seems to be.
posted by tkchrist at 4:39 PM on October 30, 2008


tkchrist, you've got to step back. The suburbs exist -- hating on them and the people who live in them isn't going to make them magically un-exist. People live in suburbs for reasons more varied than "to bum you out." Also, desjardins doesn't owe you or anybody else an explaination for why she lives where she lives.
posted by brain cloud at 4:43 PM on October 30, 2008


tkchrist, you've got to step back. The suburbs exist -- hating on them and the people who live in them isn't going to make them magically un-exist. People live in suburbs for reasons more varied than "to bum you out." Also, desjardins doesn't owe you or anybody else an explaination for why she lives where she lives.

Okay. I'm the bad guy. There are no problems stemming from the suburban lifestyle at all. My bad. I apologize. Everybody just keep doing what their doing. It's all good. Our financial and environmental problems either manifest themselves mysteriously from the the ether or are imposed on us by the unstoppable forces of The Man. Heaven forbid we ask just one person to examine the impact of their lifestyle on the larger world.

You are right, though. It's true me bitching about won't do a god damned thing. So I will stop.
posted by tkchrist at 4:52 PM on October 30, 2008


tkchrist: Unless you've massively obfuscated your location in your profile, you seem to live nowhere near an urban area, so I'm not sure how your point about lifestyle holds. How is it that you take public transportation there?

I am fully aware of the consequences of my actions. Please re-read the part where I spent 10 years without a car. I rented in urban areas and small towns. I did that on purpose. I also fell in love with someone who found his dream job, which happened to be in a suburb. I compromised for him, just as he'd previously compromised for me by giving up his job and moving to the city where I attended grad school. Did I have a choice? Of course. I could dump him, I could insist that he give up his dream job, I could insist on living somewhere that he'd have a 2 hour commute and we'd probably have to give up his dogs for lack of a yard. Or we could move somewhere entirely less expensive, entailing moving away from our families. Such are the choices we make in life. They're really not subject to your broad brush of judgment.
posted by desjardins at 4:56 PM on October 30, 2008


There are no problems stemming from the suburban lifestyle at all.

Nobody's suggested this.
posted by desjardins at 4:57 PM on October 30, 2008


Has everybody seen this awesome video yet? No? Well then, what are you waiting for!
posted by brain cloud at 5:02 PM on October 30, 2008


tkchrist: Unless you've massively obfuscated your location in your profile, you seem to live nowhere near an urban area, so I'm not sure how your point about lifestyle holds.

I live in downtown Seattle.

I used to live in a suburb. I made quite a bit of sacrifice and compromise to "walk the walk." I gave up a large house and all that stuff. It was a very difficult realization and decision. But I had to make my life align with my principles.

And I'm happier for it.

The fact is if you took time to really go over all your options every reason you cited is somewhat superficial. And I'm NOT being dismissive. I had pretty much the same issues. And you know what we resolved them to live a BETTER life.

Nobody had to break-up with anybody. We didn't have to kill our dog. Nobody had to move too far away from family.

Keeping the suburban life was the easy way. But not the best way, ultimately.

I'm sorry this became about your lifestyle. But you replied to me. I assumed you wanted a conversation over this.

We are at a serious crossroad in this country. Deadly serious. The way we live will be THE defining start to saving this republic. If we are not willing to walk the walk we are doomed. Voting by itself ain't gonna do it.

And BTW, It was the other guys who used derogatory words like "braniac." Not me. Which I think reflexivity changed the tenor and tone of this debate that I never intended.
posted by tkchrist at 5:08 PM on October 30, 2008


tkchrist, what happens after we all move to urban areas? Do we get wise somehow? Or just asthmatic?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:38 PM on October 30, 2008


tkchrist, what happens after we all move to urban areas?

We transcend the surly bonds of earth and live orbiting sky palaces made of nano-fibers and sarcasm.
posted by tkchrist at 5:54 PM on October 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


"We slip the surly bonds of earth to touch the faces"... of "a thousand points of light."

Oh, please, oh, please let us transcend the rhetoric and truly "vote for change."

Oh, wait. What? Rhetoric? No, it's HOPE.

Yep. Vote for Obama '08.
posted by ericb at 6:01 PM on October 30, 2008


Oh, wait. What? Rhetoric? No, it's HOPE.

I approve of this message.
posted by tkchrist at 6:04 PM on October 30, 2008


I was about to link to two polls purportedly showing a close race in LA, but they were both done by the same person and seem wildly away from all others. Additionally one of them is worded to ask about "favorability" or something. Perhaps 538 will address it, if it's even worth it. I really need to quit looking at polls.
posted by cashman at 9:11 PM on October 30, 2008


Okay. I'm the bad guy. There are no problems stemming from the suburban lifestyle at all. My bad. I apologize. Everybody just keep doing what their doing. It's all good. Our financial and environmental problems either manifest themselves mysteriously from the the ether or are imposed on us by the unstoppable forces of The Man. Heaven forbid we ask just one person to examine the impact of their lifestyle on the larger world.

Oh, for pity's sake -- no. No one is saying "nothing at all is wrong with the suburbs they're all perfect yay". They're saying "not everyone in the suburbs is doing the things you're accusing them of doing." Sometimes the people who live in the suburbs live there because that's the only place they can afford to live because housing in the city got too expensive. And some people in the suburbs are also actually being responsible with their finances.

Elsewhere I said that, in order to avoid generalization, I shun all classifications for people except for "jerks" and "non-jerks". Because the problem you have with the jerks from the suburbs who made foolish financial choices isn't that they're suburban -- it's that they're jerks. So it may be wise to, instead of decrying the suburbs en masse, to decry the jerks, because everyone can agree about jerks. Because they're...jerks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:51 AM on October 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


We all start from where we are. We all need to seize whatever agency we have. There are ways to make suburbs work ecologically, and ways cities do damage to the environment.

Right now, we're all in this together, as Barack keeps reminding us. Can we fight for the superiority of the place where we live some other time? Not *one* of us is without carbon-burning sin, nor untainted by our parochial interests. All of us make compromises with our ideals and values in order to get along in the world we live in.

(Of course, now I live in New York City, which is simply the only perfect place on earth even it is like living indoors all the time.)
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:47 AM on October 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


(And tkchrist, I used to live in Seattle, which is a city that has not contained its own suburban sprawl well at all on a broad social level, and also a place where I would say a majority of my colleagues and friends owned cars they drove frequently -- certainly compared to NYC -- and owned houses that were absurdly expensive by historical standards, and consumed as a lifestyle. Truthfully, other than the cars thing, NYC is about the same -- terribly overpriced real estate, and a consumption fetishism second to none I've ever seen. I'm not piling on, because I have that same rage sometimes when I take a broad, collective view of settlement planning in the US since WWII, and certainly since the 1970s. I've read my Joel Garreau, and been convinced that American demographic geography is part and parcel of American exceptionalist ideology and a politics of fear, chauvinism, and acquiescence to the wishes of capital and an oppressive government, and especially by the promotion of short-term profitability (or conversely, cheapness) over any other legitimate social value. As a communitarian/libertarian (don't even ask) with an Orwellian view of political discourse and and Adornian view of the mass media (until the web, at least, and we'll see how long this lasts) my bile rises when I fly over miles of McMansions and megachurches with SUV-filled lots. But then I remember I'm flying over (and for me, often to) these places. Flying. In an airplane.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:55 AM on October 31, 2008


(Not to mention my first reaction to sprawl-filled western landscapes, especially, which is to remind myself that every single acre of it, including the land on which I live a car-free and politically virtuous (ha) life, was stolen from Native people. All of it.

None of us lacks sin in this regard.)

/ok, sorry for three in a row, back to work with me
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:58 AM on October 31, 2008


I certainly agree with fourcheesemac - we need to reject assumptions and easy categorizations and move beyond infighting and toward solutions.

I live outside a small city, in a town I suppose you could call a 'suburb.' A lot of our local farmers live in those areas too. Yes, they need to have cars to come to town - but they are growing a food supply that is local and often organic and sustainable, preserving open land. Some of my neighbors are moving toward a completely off-the-grid lifestyle. People are burning biofuel and drilling for geothermal in the suburbs to heat their homes, installing solar panels on their roofs and windmills in their open yards. People are gardening and raising laying hens. People are walking and riding their bikes to work and to shop. My five-minute short drive to the office (when I don't bike, which I easily can if am not transporting things) may actually use a lot less fossil fuel and be a lot less polluting than a 40-minute both-ways within-city commute on a public bus with its 24/7 carbon output.

If you consider your lifetime carbon footprint, it's not hard to realize that few of us are in a position to preach. You have made some choices that may have improved your footprint, tkchrist, which is great - but clearly you spent years choosing otherwise, and are now offsetting that. Meanwhile, desjardins spent years consuming carbon below the average, and is now in a situation where higher consumption is balancing out some of those offsets. In the meantime, I'm sure both of you are looking hard at your consumption habits, purchases, and waste-disposal practices. Maybe you're finding ways to green up your workplaces, too. Maybe you're involved in community activism or education to reduce carbon system-wide. Or maybe you're not. No matter how much you're doing, you can always do more. Life happens to people. The important thing is to take the long view and ask what you are doing to reduce your carbon use and offset the uses you are still making.

It's not hard to get really messed up playing Greener-Than-Thou. Just by living in the US, we're all overconsuming. Let's stop looking for specks in one another's eyes and keep identifying the next level of solutions that work in our own lives and help us meet our own goals, as well.

And finally, voting Democratic certainly doesn't 'do nothing' to reduce carbon emissions. It may be the single most important thing we can do - put people in office with the will to address the carbon and overconsumption problems, people who actually have the spending power to change the way public infrastructure is funded, set up requirements for zoning and new housing construction, and divert federal dollars into investment in clean-energy and science-education programs that can move us out of the carbon-based fuel age.
posted by Miko at 7:04 AM on October 31, 2008 [6 favorites]


For the record, I've seen a lot of people speaking of the environmental concerns of the suburbs, but I think tkchrist was also talking about the trend towards "McMansions" that also tanked the economy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:59 PM on October 31, 2008




To get back to the good feelings part of this thread... here's Simpsons writer Daniel Chun's advice to anxious Obama supporters:
Is the election driving you crazy? Are you losing sleep over the fact that the awesomest guy ever might lose the presidency to a grumpy old jerk? Well, the waiting is the hardest part, and you only have to wait four more days. Here’s how to make it through the homestretch without losing your mind.

1. Learn how to read polls correctly: Too many people live and die by the fluctuations of polls, which are inherently imperfect. Here’s how to read polls. If the results are good, that means Obama’s winning. If the numbers look bad, that means the poll is a piece of shit and the pollster is a Republican. To make this point to others, make sure to say the phrase “highly suspect internals” a lot. If someone asks you what that means, call them a racist.

2. Convince yourself that more of the same is okay: After all, a lot of good came out of the last eight years: Will Ferrell came into his own as a leading man. Kevin Garnett won a title. Hot dogs stayed delicious. Internet porn got awesome.

3. Get really into a hobby for the next four days: Something so fun, so wonderful, and so engrossing that you’ll completely forget about the election. Yes, I’m talking about cross-stitching.

4. Avoid political discussions: Sure, it’s not totally up to you. Someone could walk up and start talking about politics. That’s why you distract them by wearing one of those Rastafarian wigs. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much of the would-be political conversation gives way to loud ridicule and name-calling.

5. Take a whole bunch of sleeping pills and don’t wake up until Tuesday. Sleeping pills are dangerous, so you have to make sure to take the exact right amount. Here’s how--swallow as many pills as you can until you feel yourself dying. Then just vomit lightly and you should be all set.

6. Forget politics and remember what really matters: A child’s smile. The crisp air after a rain shower. The smell of freshly-baked cookies. Music spilling onto the street from a rooftop party. Only some of those things would be outlawed by President Palin.

And finally...

7. Remember that Obama’s already got this thing wrapped up: Thanks to a little thing called voter fraud from our friends at ACORN! Ha ha ha, you Republican fools! This race will be decided by the likes of “Mickey Mouse” and “Tony Romo”! You neglected the ACORN, and it grew into a mighty oak of corruption! Try again nex--wait, what? Voter registration fraud isn’t the same as voter fraud? Mickey Mouse can’t vote? Oh God, we’re screwed. Everyone panic.
From The New Republic's blog The Plank.
posted by Kattullus at 5:50 PM on October 31, 2008 [7 favorites]


I watched this last night at like 2:30am. Cried like a baby. Donated $100. Then got too tired to figure out how to make an Obama small men's shirt into a dog shirt.
posted by spec80 at 6:28 AM on November 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


It seems the London Times has dug up Obama's long-lost aunt, who is living in public housing in Boston.

The Anatomy of a Smear

Conyers on Obama Aunt Leak: "Very Disturbing"
posted by homunculus at 11:21 AM on November 1, 2008


More interesting news out of Wyoming: Cheney's hometown newspaper, the Casper Star-Tribune, endorses Obama.

Good overview on HuffPo a few days ago that summarizes the Democrats' adoption of a new Western strategy. The key point:
Underlying much of this is the strategizing of former Senator and one-time presidential frontrunner, Gary Hart. [... ]Hart's view for many years was that Democrats should switch their political focus from regaining the South to winning the West. The South is more focused on race and culture, in this view, the West more on resource management, energy and the environment, and opportunity; the South on "values," which plays into Republican hands on religiosity, the West on "principles," which does not; the South on older industries, the West on new industries. The South, Hart always believed, will only go Democratic again with a major economic downturn whereas Democrats could rise with the growing success of the West. The growing number of Latino voters in the West, and rising environmental consciousness, would be key.
posted by scody at 12:44 PM on November 3, 2008


Whoops, forgot the link.
posted by scody at 12:45 PM on November 3, 2008


AP & Reuters are reporting Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died. This is awful. This is just heartbreaking.
posted by cashman at 1:47 PM on November 3, 2008


god, that's horrible, cashman... so close to seeing her grandson's historic moment...
posted by desjardins at 1:49 PM on November 3, 2008


"Our family wants to thank all of those who sent flowers, cards, well-wishes, and prayers during this difficult time. It brought our grandmother and us great comfort. Our grandmother was a private woman, and we will respect her wish for a small private ceremony to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to any worthy organization in search of a cure for cancer."
posted by cashman at 2:22 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by dog food sugar at 2:43 PM on November 3, 2008


.



so sad... he wrote so tenderly about her heart and her contribution to his family in Dreams From My Father, how she raised him and his mother together, in a way. I know he must be mourning terribly. Ugh, to have to combine that sadness with the concentration of this next day must be impossibly difficult. And yet, I have faith that he is one very capable man to do it.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:02 PM on November 3, 2008


I won't say it is good that Obama's grandmother died, but there is something so right about him traveling back to see her, and that she was able to get the chance to see her boy, even though he was so incredibly busy at the time. I have a feeling that his visit was what let her go - that's often how it is when old folks are ready to die.

So I am feeling really teared up (this fucking election), but not so much because she died... I feel so good that my man did the right thing, and that he can go forward feeling good that he finished properly with his grandmother.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:23 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


The picture of Obama crying just about broke my heart.
posted by Kattullus at 9:12 PM on November 3, 2008


Will Mailyn Dunham's Vote Count?
I was talking with a coworker earlier today about how sad it was for Barack Obama’s grandmother to have died on the day before the election. My coworker took the sadness one step further, wondering if Madelyn Dunham’s vote (she voted by early absentee ballot) would now not be counted.

Not knowing the answer, I called the Office of Elections in Hawaii. Kevin Cronin, chief election officer for the state, just got back to me. Here’s what he said:
Ms. Dunham’s absentee mail ballot was received and reviewed under the Hawaii standards for processing absentee mail ballots… She was alive at that time. Her ballot will be opened tomorrow, and it will be counted in the same way that all absentee voters would be treated under our law.
The key point appears to be that Ms. Dunham was alive at the time her absentee ballot was received and reviewed, and that it met the standards for review at that time.

Madelyn Dunham’s vote will count, even if she is not here to learn the final tally.
By Eli Sanders of Seattle's The Stranger.
posted by Kattullus at 10:48 AM on November 4, 2008


Madelyn Dunham’s vote will count, even if she is not here to learn the final tally.

R.I.P.

And, to you, Mr. Obama, our future President, I must say that the picture in this morning's paper of you announcing the death of your beloved Toot, tears streaming down your face, is the epitome of dignity in grief. I applaud your humanity, your sensibility, and your sensitivity, and hope that your grief is bearable and, in time, preserves the precious legacy of your grandmother. She must have been inexpressibly proud of you. In time, so will this whole nation.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:43 PM on November 4, 2008


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