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Obama's grandmother dies hours before the election
November 3, 2008 2:27 PM   Subscribe

Obama's grandmother, the woman who raised him, dies one day before the election. Madelyn Lee Payne "Toot" Dunham, 86, died of cancer, Obama and his sister say. The timing is ridiculous. He saw her last last week, knowing she was failing.

The Free Republicans are already calling for an autopsy, but I won't link to them.
posted by CunningLinguist (431 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by twiggy at 2:28 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by lodev at 2:29 PM on November 3, 2008


:( Losing his closest parent and winning the presidency in 48 hours. That's a coaster alright.
posted by cavalier at 2:29 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by Stynxno at 2:30 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by ardgedee at 2:30 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by Skeptic at 2:30 PM on November 3, 2008


One friggin' day.

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posted by AwkwardPause at 2:31 PM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


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posted by Nerro at 2:32 PM on November 3, 2008


God, this is just heartbreaking.
posted by shiu mai baby at 2:32 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think, if karma exists, it ought to happen now, right?
posted by mippy at 2:32 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by Happy Dave at 2:32 PM on November 3, 2008


This is especially sad. She was probably fighting to hang on for the fourth, too.

Fuck cancer.

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posted by louche mustachio at 2:33 PM on November 3, 2008 [20 favorites]


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posted by fixedgear at 2:33 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by mazola at 2:33 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by Arbac at 2:33 PM on November 3, 2008


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The Free Republicans are already calling for an autopsy...
You have to be f@#$*@% kidding me. What blind ghouls...

posted by Thorzdad at 2:34 PM on November 3, 2008


Damn...that's so sad...I was really hoping for her to hold on until the election.
posted by threeturtles at 2:34 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by longdaysjourney at 2:35 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by spiderwire at 2:35 PM on November 3, 2008


Sadly, Obama seems to have seen this coming.
"I'm not sure she makes it to election day."
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:36 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by WPW at 2:36 PM on November 3, 2008


Life is unfair. She was obviously an extraordinary person.

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[this sort of thing really flies in the face of the very idea of a benevolent deity]
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:36 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


This way Toot gets to watch the returns with Studs, Martin and Rosa. Hell, old Thomas Jefferson could stop by and watch the realization of what he started.
posted by felix betachat at 2:36 PM on November 3, 2008 [38 favorites]


From the comments of the last link:
Leaving no potential avenue of attack unexplored, the Republican National Committee has decided to bash Barack Obama over his October visit to see his ailing grandmother in Hawaii.

[...] On Monday afternoon, the RNC blasted out a complaint from the California Republican Party charging that "Obama for America violated federal law by converting its campaign funds to Senator Obama's personal use" for the trip. That proposed issue for the FEC to investigate is one of five violations alleged by California Republicans in their complaint (which you can read in its entirety here).
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:36 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


I have to say, this is much worse than my grandma's funeral being the day before my PhD candidacy exam.

I really wish she could have seen him do it.

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posted by sararah at 2:37 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


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posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 2:37 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by starzero at 2:38 PM on November 3, 2008


There is no God.
posted by dhammond at 2:38 PM on November 3, 2008 [11 favorites]


and now i forgot the link i wanted to add.
posted by starzero at 2:39 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


. , from a grateful 60% of the nation.
posted by vito90 at 2:39 PM on November 3, 2008


I was trying to think of something poignant to say, but I just can't. What grim news.

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posted by Donnie VandenBos at 2:39 PM on November 3, 2008


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My sympathies to the Obamas and the Ngs and whatever remaining Dunhams there may be.
posted by contessa at 2:39 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by Afroblanco at 2:40 PM on November 3, 2008


Do the absentee ballots or early votes of those who don't make it to November 4th count?
posted by garlic at 2:41 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


This whole election is absolutely unbelievable, the stuff of novels.
posted by Auden at 2:41 PM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


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posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 2:41 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by OolooKitty at 2:41 PM on November 3, 2008


Wow Solon.

Here's the FEC complaint the California GOP filed today bashing Obama in part for using his campaign plane to visit his grandma.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:41 PM on November 3, 2008


Another eleventh-hour blow: Obama Nevada campaign director, Terence Tolbert, suffers a fatal heart attack. He was 44.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:41 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:42 PM on November 3, 2008


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Such is life.
posted by clearly at 2:43 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:43 PM on November 3, 2008


One day before the election. How terrible. For many reasons.

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posted by kryptondog at 2:44 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by CancerMan at 2:45 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by slickvaguely at 2:45 PM on November 3, 2008


What the hell, I'll link to them.
posted by empath at 2:46 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by localroger at 2:46 PM on November 3, 2008


Do not go read the Free Republic. You'll see speculation that he pulled the plug, or that she's been dead for days, and this announcement was timed in order to get a sympathy vote. It will make you sick. You've been warned.
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:48 PM on November 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


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(this won't change anybody's vote in either direction, right? I mean, that'd be silly)
posted by jepler at 2:49 PM on November 3, 2008


I heard this, and had to immediately call my grandparents (I'm blessed to still have them all) and tell them I love them.
posted by notsnot at 2:49 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do not go read the Free Republic. You'll see speculation that he pulled the plug, or that she's been dead for days, and this announcement was timed in order to get a sympathy vote. It will make you sick. You've been warned.
posted by PercussivePaul


Worth repeating.
posted by marxchivist at 2:50 PM on November 3, 2008 [15 favorites]


I live in her neighborhood. I didn't know her personally, but when her face was splashed all over the media last month, I was all like, "Hey! Its that lady."

Obviously, Mr. Obama is pretty well liked in these parts, so I suspect those that have the inclination to be douchebags won't care one way or another what I have to say, but every report along the "coconut wireless" reports that everything went down exactly as the reports are saying it went down. Not even a whiff of oddness, just a life event with exceptionally cruel timing.

My hats off to Mrs. Dunham for being instrumental in the molding of our next president. If that doesn't count as a successful and important life, I don't know what does.

And my heart goes out to Mr. Obama and his family, who still have to endure a day of active campaigning and a grueling election day before they can focus on this personal grief.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:50 PM on November 3, 2008 [42 favorites]


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posted by foodgeek at 2:50 PM on November 3, 2008


empath, I did the mistake of clicking on your link. I need a shower now. With bleach.
posted by Skeptic at 2:51 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


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posted by sotonohito at 2:51 PM on November 3, 2008


Do not go read the Free Republic. You'll see speculation that he pulled the plug, or that she's been dead for days, and this announcement was timed in order to get a sympathy vote. It will make you sick. You've been warned.
posted by PercussivePaul


worth repeating twice
posted by tylerfulltilt at 2:52 PM on November 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


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posted by josher71 at 2:52 PM on November 3, 2008


Also, local coverage. Not exceptionally different, FWIW.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:52 PM on November 3, 2008


What the hell, I'll link to them.

Jesus, what horrible people. I guess it's also a "strange coincidence" that John McCain's campaign is staffed by morons and rubes. Yes, those clever democrats and their shenanigans.
posted by odinsdream at 2:52 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Do the absentee ballots or early votes of those who don't make it to November 4th count?

I was curious about this a few weeks ago (unrelated to Obama's grandmother) and looked it up for my own state. In Indiana, if the precinct election board is given proof that an absentee/early voter died before election day, their vote is not counted, but it doesn't look like the board actively checks to see whether absentee/early voters have died. Like much of election law, this is probably one of those things that vary from state to state.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:53 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


someone delete that link, please
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:53 PM on November 3, 2008


Wouldn't you know it. Just as Obama's grandmother turns into an angel, his opponents show themselves to be jackals, ghouls, and demons.

Mixaphorically speaking.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:53 PM on November 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


This is the kind of thing that pushes me a little farther from pagan-y agnosticism and closer to nope, there just can't be any god.

Wherever she is, she should be tremendously, enormously proud of the boy she raised.

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posted by rtha at 2:53 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some freepers are seriously claiming he'd murder his own grandmother to hide some skullduggery over his birth certificate, or worse, to get sympathy votes? Jesus.

There is no God.

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posted by ArkhanJG at 2:54 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


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Absolutely cruel that she died tonight - but it makes Obama's visit to her bedside last month all the more poignant. At least he still has his paternal grandmother to cheer for him.
posted by thewittyname at 2:54 PM on November 3, 2008


Do not go read the Free Republic. You'll see speculation that he pulled the plug, or that she's been dead for days, and this announcement was timed in order to get a sympathy vote. It will make you sick. You've been warned.

Read it. Get sick. Get angry. Share it. Whatever it takes to vote these creeps out of power.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:54 PM on November 3, 2008 [36 favorites]


. :(

I think they get better election coverage Up There. That's what I'm going with, anyway.
posted by katillathehun at 2:54 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


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posted by iviken at 2:55 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by Dadoes at 2:55 PM on November 3, 2008


I was wondering, if she filled out a mail-in ballot and sent it off. Maybe her vote will count? I can't imagine going back to compare all the people who send in mail in ballots with those who have died.
It would be a sweet justice.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:55 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by drezdn at 2:55 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by elfgirl at 2:55 PM on November 3, 2008


So sad to have happened just 24 hours before possibly one of the most pivotal moments in American history. My sympathies to her friends and family.


empath said: What the hell, I'll link to them.

Dude, NO! Never do that. First rule of Freepers is that you don't talk about Freepers. (Also, LGF...never do that either.)
posted by dejah420 at 2:56 PM on November 3, 2008


Do the absentee ballots or early votes of those who don't make it to November 4th count?

I was trying to answer this question, but I think it may be a state by state matter, and almost certainly a practicality matter. Here is my attempt at a search.

Does anyone have a more official answer?
posted by nat at 2:56 PM on November 3, 2008


It's worth noting, perhaps, that it is normal when we encounter racism in 80 year olds that we tend to shrug and say, "Well, it's an awful attitude, but people are a product of their times, and that was a more racist time."

It's true, of course. Mrs Dunham was raised at a time when it was illegal for blacks and whites in many states to marry, when lynchings were not uncommon. The KKK was reinvented, and the Tuskgee Experiment didn't appear to cause too many qualms. The US armed forces were segregated. I'm sure people who have studied the troubled history of race in the States could rattle off many more examples.

When Mrs Dunham's daughter married a black foreigner, she chose love and family over the common prejudice of the era in which she was raised. That, irrespective of her grandson's accomplishments, marks her as a fine woman.
posted by rodgerd at 2:57 PM on November 3, 2008 [114 favorites]


How tragic.

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posted by Sailormom at 2:57 PM on November 3, 2008


Jesus. I literally feel sick to my stomach after reading some of those freerepublic comments. Disgusting.

For what it's worth, the LGF crowd is being surprisingly respectful.
posted by kryptondog at 2:57 PM on November 3, 2008


Read it. Get sick. Get angry.

I honestly just laughed at them. They're sad, pathetic little people.
posted by empath at 2:57 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


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“Perfectly timed terminal sedation.......”

Freepers should quit being idiots. At least one thread has already been pulled because of stupid comments like this.


Quoted, just to point out that they're not all scaley, cold-hearted lizard-spawn. But apparently a lot are.

posted by filthy light thief at 2:58 PM on November 3, 2008


Godspeed, Mrs. Dunham.

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posted by chugg at 2:59 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by redbeard at 2:59 PM on November 3, 2008


Do not go read the Free Republic. You'll see speculation that he pulled the plug, or that she's been dead for days, and this announcement was timed in order to get a sympathy vote. It will make you sick. You've been warned.

Are you fucking serious? I've always said that politics brings out the worst in people, but Christ Almighty, that's disgusting.
posted by jonmc at 2:59 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Do not go read the Free Republic. You'll see speculation that he pulled the plug, or that she's been dead for days, and this announcement was timed in order to get a sympathy vote. It will make you sick. You've been warned.

I'm not nearly in the tank for Obama the way so many of my fellow mefites, co-workers and neignhors are (don't get me wrong, I feel he needs to win to even keep the American experiment limping along and I've donated and volunteered, which is a first for me for any candidate who wasn't local and to the left of Abbey Hoffman), but I will say without prejudice that at this, the eleventh hour, I want Obama to win so bad I can taste it.

Also, if any freepers want to meet me for a fist fight just let me know (is there a widget on Obama's website for that? They seem pretty savvy), I'll have both your eyes out of their sockets and dangling from my lapel before you can say "moral bankruptcy". Y'all motherfuckers are broken.
posted by Divine_Wino at 2:59 PM on November 3, 2008 [40 favorites]


The stuff on that Free Republic link makes me want to puke. Their sentiment is literally "What does it say about Obama that we think he killed his grandmother?". Project much?
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:00 PM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


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posted by ZakDaddy at 3:00 PM on November 3, 2008


You know, it's up to you guys but it would be nice if this thread didn't turn into GRARGRAR Freepers froth. Their page on this subject is reprehensible and I think that's pretty much consensus here. Go get the vote out.
posted by jessamyn at 3:00 PM on November 3, 2008 [44 favorites]


Thanks, Toots.


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posted by CitizenD at 3:00 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Look, it's sad, but really, this is not tragic. She's 86, one can expect to die at 86. There is no new information here, and frankly hardly deserving of a fpp. Get a grip.
posted by mattoxic at 3:01 PM on November 3, 2008


Mattoxic, really? The night before the most historic election of our generation, the election in which her own freaking grandson is very possibly going to win, and you say, pshah, no tragedy here, circle of life? Jesus.
posted by shiu mai baby at 3:03 PM on November 3, 2008 [25 favorites]


This whole election is absolutely unbelievable, the stuff of novels.
posted by Auden

When the author introduced Joe the Plumber as someone whose opinions were being taken seriously, I rolled my eyes, groaned and nearly tossed the book aside; I can't stand satire when it is taken to outrageous extremes. I'm also a bit miffed that the writer chose to kill off the grandmother on the eve of the election! Needlessly dramatic. Still, I guess it did make the following day's outcome that much more meaningful: "Win one for the grandma." Who could ever forget the candidate's tears of joy that mingled with his tears of sorrow.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:05 PM on November 3, 2008 [32 favorites]


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posted by condour75 at 3:06 PM on November 3, 2008



You know, it's up to you guys but it would be nice if this thread didn't turn into GRARGRAR Freepers froth. Their page on this subject is reprehensible and I think that's pretty much consensus here. Go get the vote out.


But I'm so fucking ragey right now! Surely smashing something or someone will fix problems?

right, sorry.
posted by Divine_Wino at 3:06 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


One day before the election. How terrible. For many reasons.

There is no God.


Strange--my reaction is the exact opposite. There is something so right about this. Something perfect.
It is as if she set everything in motion, and just when she knew the world was unfolding as it should, she left.
Mission Accomplished.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:07 PM on November 3, 2008 [42 favorites]


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posted by aheckler at 3:07 PM on November 3, 2008


kryptondog For what it's worth, the LGF crowd is being surprisingly respectful.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, considering this warning from Chuck:

Anyone who posts a nasty comment in this thread will lose their account instantly.
posted by Skeptic at 3:07 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, if any freepers want to meet me for a fist fight just let me know (is there a widget on Obama's website for that? They seem pretty savvy), I'll have both your eyes out of their sockets and dangling from my lapel before you can say "moral bankruptcy". Y'all motherfuckers are broken.

And I'll be next to you with a sock full of nickels, my freind.

(look, I'm as disgusted by a lot of what McCain's done in this campaign as anyone here, but if (God Forbid) his mother passed away and there's was a MeFi thread about it, I'd offer nothing but sincere sympathy, because I believe that simple decency and humanity should trump politics. That's one (among many) reasons why despite everything, I still lean to the left.

It's a simple rule, freep creeps, don't kick a man when he's down, that's a coward's move.
posted by jonmc at 3:08 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Everyone shocked at what the neo-con assholes write; What is wrong with you people? Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:08 PM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


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All this talk of this being confirmation of a Godless universe flies in the face of everything that this woman surely taught her grandson about the nature of God. My guess is that Obama is confident knowing that her Spirit is watching and and some way continuing to guide the process in this final day.
posted by Roach at 3:08 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


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posted by sien at 3:08 PM on November 3, 2008


Hey, folks. Look. He was born in Hawaii. It's not really that difficult, is it? Is it?
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:09 PM on November 3, 2008


Here's the relevant Hawaii statute regarding death of an early voter. Of course, we don't know whether Mrs. Dunham was even able to submit an early ballot.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:10 PM on November 3, 2008


Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.

Not from me. If you check the record, in most cases, I was vehemently arguing against it. And Nixon, Thurmond and Reagan were politicians, so they were far fairer game than family members (even if I still found it unseemly). It's like the old schoolyard rule, insut me all you like, but leave family out of it.
posted by jonmc at 3:11 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:11 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by theora55 at 3:11 PM on November 3, 2008


Strange--my reaction is the exact opposite. There is something so right about this. Something perfect.
It is as if she set everything in motion, and just when she knew the world was unfolding as it should, she left.
Mission Accomplished.


I feel kind of the same way. It's sort of like those times when Larry Bird would launch a three, then turn around and run back upcourt before the shot went through: he knew it was a score without having to watch it fall. Same with her, I like to think.

That said, my deepest sympathies for the Senator and his family. I hope that whatever their sources of emotional strength are, they are deep and sure in the upcoming hours.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:11 PM on November 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


It is sad she didn't get to see the actual election results, or see him get sworn in, but i'm pretty sure she died knowing where things were going.

I'm not an American, but I want Obama to win so fucking badly it's making me crazy.
posted by chunking express at 3:12 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


The only comment from the Freepers that seemed right was the guy who said this wasn't an election, it's a Salvador Dali painting come to life.

It isn't, of course. The writer is using Dali as a shorthand for surreal, and Dali wasn't that, precisely, and this election isn't that, precisely. I mean, we haven't seen any impossibly tall, insect limbed horses wander across the horizon, nor segmented lions leaping at prone women. But I appreciate this sentiment, because, if this election isn't properly surreal, it is properly unreal. Every day brings new twists and new astonishment, and things that might once have seemed impossible are becoming commonplace. And the most important of the impossible things that are about to become real is that Toots' grandson, a black man raised, in part, in a Muslim country and with the middle name Hussain, is very likely going to become the president elect tomorrow. Toots didn't need to live to see it. Whatever happens tomorrow, the world has changed forever, and isn't going to change back, and she had a hand in that. Moses also only got to the mountain and saw the Holy Land, but could not go in. But he got his children there.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:13 PM on November 3, 2008 [62 favorites]


Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.

I don't remember obnoxious comments about Thurmond's, Reagan's or Nixon's grandmas. Logic much?
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:13 PM on November 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


Hey, folks. Look. He was born in Hawaii.

and McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone.* Both candidates born outside the lower 48. Odd that.

*My great grandfather died in Panama of yellow fever at 23. He worked for American Tobacco down there.
posted by jonmc at 3:13 PM on November 3, 2008


Okay, well, actually you are right, they are questioning Obama's conduct. But still.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:14 PM on November 3, 2008


Very sad.

And I'm wishing I didn't click on empath's link, too. Revolting.
posted by jack_mo at 3:14 PM on November 3, 2008


This is the kind of thing that pushes me a little farther from pagan-y agnosticism and closer to nope, there just can't be any god.

Or, you know, maybe God called her home to seal the deal. I mean, after all, if God chooses who rules over men, why would you assume he'd be above Roveian politics? I mean, the Bible is FILLED with Roveian politicking.

But it does make me sad. So many people should be alive to see tomorrow night.

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posted by dw at 3:14 PM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.

Well, first of all, there were no contemporaneous comments here when Nixon died; he died in 1994 and MetaFilter was founded in 1999.

But to the main point, sure, there were MeFites that said Thurmond and Reagan were hateful people when they died. I don't recall anyone claiming Thurmond or Reagan were deliberately killed by relatives, or that news of their death was delayed for several days in pursuit of a political advantage.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:14 PM on November 3, 2008 [20 favorites]


chuckdarwin: someone delete that link, please

Teach the controversy people!
posted by evilgenius at 3:14 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I posted this earlier but figured I'd add my thoughts here, even though it just says what others have already done:

My condolances to the Obama family on the loss of his grandmother. The timing of this is one of those things that really makes me doubt the existence of a benevolent higher power. Seriously dick move, God or Whatever-it-is-I-believe-in.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:15 PM on November 3, 2008


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aloha
posted by jaimev at 3:15 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.

Right. And Madelyn Dunham really harmed the nation the same way as those guys. She was just as horrible a person...

Huh?
posted by rokusan at 3:15 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


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(x ~120 million)

We're gonna win this one for Toot.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:15 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


My guess is that Obama is confident knowing that her Spirit is watching and and some way continuing to guide the process in this final day.

It's hard to say, really. How do we know what he thinks about death? People generally keep that to themselves - even Christians. I don't think it's a good idea to speculate about it on his behalf.

That's why I can't stand funerals. Some person always says something about the dead person that's just you know would bug the crap out of them if they were listening.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:16 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


There could also be a really amazing election night party in heaven, you know. Like, better than Grant Park even.
posted by naju at 3:16 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


(or maybe x ~60+ million)
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:16 PM on November 3, 2008


Thank you, Madelyn Lee Payne Dunham. Rest easy, your work is done.
posted by longsleeves at 3:17 PM on November 3, 2008


Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.

I've never said a single word against any of their grandparents, and would defy you to show me where any MeFite has.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:17 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Astro Zombie, I favorited your comment so hard I think I cracked my mouse.
posted by shiu mai baby at 3:17 PM on November 3, 2008


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:18 PM on November 3, 2008


I'd rather die anticipating the joy of eating a tasty sandwich than die immediately after having eaten a tasty sandwich. Go out on the upswing, you know?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:18 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't remember obnoxious comments about Thurmond's, Reagan's or Nixon's grandmas. Logic much?

I thought this was about humanity, not politics, so it should really make very little difference if the person was a politician or the grandmother of a politician. In the immortal words of Depeche Mode, "people are people."
posted by Keith Talent at 3:18 PM on November 3, 2008


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Please don't sully this thread by feeding trolls on another site.
posted by desjardins at 3:20 PM on November 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


Teach the controversy people!

I just thought the ACTUAL URL kind of sullied a nice thread :-(

It's a bit late for all that now... but one could probably have hinted at that site without linking it.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:20 PM on November 3, 2008


In the immortal words of Depeche Mode, "people are people."

Sly Stone articulated the same sentiments first and better. Politics is one thing but music is serious business.
posted by jonmc at 3:20 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


My sympathies go to Barack Obama, whose life seems to have been built on tests of his poise and strength which most of us cannot imagine.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:21 PM on November 3, 2008 [21 favorites]


Both candidates born outside the lower 48. Odd that.

It's an big country with a long reach, Jon. Living on an island sort of underscores that for me (how large America is). I don't think I can overstate how invested people worldwide are in these events.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:22 PM on November 3, 2008


It sad that she didn't last until election day but if I die at 86 and I had a grandson who was Barack Obama, I think that I'd die pretty happy.
posted by octothorpe at 3:22 PM on November 3, 2008 [11 favorites]


This is the kind of thing that pushes me a little farther from pagan-y agnosticism and closer to nope, there just can't be any god.

...

"Do we have to do this?" said the angel, who like all of God's agents felt Compassion above all. "It seems so cruel. One more day, and she can see him become President."

YES, said God. SHE HAS DONE HER JOB AND KNOWS THAT HE WILL SUCCEED. SHE WILL NOT SUFFER.

"But what of him? She raised him. Does he not deserve to show his grandmother all he managed to do in honor of her?"

HE WILL GRIEVE. THAT DOES HER HONOR AS WELL.

"But - one more day - "

HIS LOSS WILL PUT IN HIM A GREAT RESOLVE, TO DO EVEN MORE TO BE WORTHY OF HER MEMORY AND LINEAGE. FROM THAT RESOLVE GREAT THINGS SHALL BE WROUGHT. THIS IS A TIME OF NEED. HE WILL DRAW STRENGTH FROM IT.

"It just doesn't seem fair, is all."

THAT IS BECAUSE IT IS NOT. IT IS MERELY NECESSARY.
posted by mightygodking at 3:24 PM on November 3, 2008 [47 favorites]


In the immortal words of Depeche Mode, "people are people."

You might want to go listen to that song again, as you have misquoted it. Let me quote another line, which, I suppose, is equally immortal:

It's obvious you hate me
Though I've done nothing wrong

When I speak ill of the dead, which is rare, it is because their actions on this planet were hurtful. So Reagan and Thurman earned some ire. Barack's grandma, however, didn't. Also, when I have complained about these men, it is about things they actually did; this is certainly not the case here, unless you think you can make the case that Obama actually did euthanize his grandmother to gain votes.

I am so sick of false equivalency I could shout. Just shout. Let it all it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:24 PM on November 3, 2008 [21 favorites]


.
posted by leviathan3k at 3:24 PM on November 3, 2008


I thought this was about humanity, not politics, so it should really make very little difference if the person was a politician or the grandmother of a politician. In the immortal words of Depeche Mode, "people are people."

So I guess you'll be at the head of the queue to find nice things to say about Hitler? No? Mussolini? Mao? Mugabe?

That's why I can't stand funerals. Some person always says something about the dead person that's just you know would bug the crap out of them if they were listening.

When my wife's paternal grandmother died this year the celebrant running things made some comment about how she "was loved by children."

This was crap. She was loved by her children and her adult grandchildren, but children hated her, and she didn't much like any of them. People were on the verge of cracking up laughing. She was a wonderful old lady, but she and kids only got along when they we under the age of 6 months or over the age of 20 years.
posted by rodgerd at 3:25 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:26 PM on November 3, 2008


. Respects .
posted by buzzman at 3:28 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by aerotive at 3:29 PM on November 3, 2008


Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.

I've never said a single word against any of their grandparents, and would defy you to show me where any MeFite has.


Strom Thurmond's Granny was so fat, they named the Mason/Dixon line after her belt.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:29 PM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


I love you, Divine_Wino.

Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.

Also, fuck that noise. They were public figures who CHOSE to lead public lives. Obama's grandmother happens to be visible because her family member is running for office. Leave the non-immediate family out of it. Hell, leave the immediate family out of it, too.

(Though, of course, it makes you wonder what the media would say if Michelle Obama was the prescription-drug abusing thief, not Cindy McCain).

. for Mrs. Dunham, who did a fantastic job with her grandson.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:29 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Right now, I bet Obama really needs a hug. And I bet he won't even have time to get that hug until after tomorrow night, after he has had to go and partake in what should be the most victorious moment of his life.

You shouldn't have to give a victory speech while only being able to wish for your grandma's hug.
posted by Ms. Saint at 3:30 PM on November 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


.
Hey Barack Obama's volunteers, after tomorrow's victory one more bonus push for cancer research with that good machine you have created and you'll be golden.
posted by Free word order! at 3:30 PM on November 3, 2008 [10 favorites]


.
posted by joedan at 3:30 PM on November 3, 2008


Madelyn Dunham was one of the Bank of Hawaii's first female vice presidents.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:30 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by dsword at 3:31 PM on November 3, 2008


IT IS MERELY NECESSARY.

"He moves in mysterious ways" always infuriated me. It's what people say when they can't answer a theological question. It's a cop out.

I like "Life is cruel. We suffer because we must." better
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:31 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


mahalo
posted by nitsuj at 3:32 PM on November 3, 2008


Wow. What were the odds of this thread turning into a Depeche Mode debate?

Next thing you know there'll be a snowballs in hell, flying pigs, or a black President!
posted by rokusan at 3:32 PM on November 3, 2008


this whole movement has been about hope right? Madelyn Dunham was ready to hope that she could pass on and pass the torch to another generation without having to actually realize that moment of victory.

thank you, your grandson inspires all of us to achieve beyond the world as it is. rest in peace.
posted by Glibpaxman at 3:33 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Right now, I bet Obama really needs a hug. And I bet he won't even have time to get that hug until after tomorrow night, after he has had to go and partake in what should be the most victorious moment of his life.

He's gonna cry.

And if he doesn't... I might do it for him.
posted by rokusan at 3:34 PM on November 3, 2008


You shouldn't have to give a victory speech while only being able to wish for your grandma's hug.

Thanks for that. Anyone who thinks he can still feel that hug from the great beyond has a lot more faith in ghosts than I do.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:35 PM on November 3, 2008


it should really make very little difference if the person was a politician or the grandmother of a politician.

I look forward to your similar statement when Kim Jong Il dies.

People have to earn my respect to earn a . from me. Those who earn my disrespect get a :P "Good Riddance".

"Toot" Dunham earned my respect.

.
posted by wendell at 3:35 PM on November 3, 2008


waaay ahead of ya, rokusan
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:35 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


That asshole, Jeremiah Wright, better not try and rhyme this one.
posted by gman at 3:36 PM on November 3, 2008


She's got to be one of the greatest parents that ever breathed air. Rest in peace. And thank you.
posted by Flex1970 at 3:36 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is going to make it extra poignant when the Republicans steal the election.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:36 PM on November 3, 2008


It is as if she set everything in motion, and just when she knew the world was unfolding as it should, she left.
Mission Accomplished.


This is precisely what I just told my mother. Grandma got a signal from the Universe: "All is well. You can go now."

.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 3:36 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 3:37 PM on November 3, 2008


Curse you, bad timing!! Although, we can be afforded a wee bit of solace from the likely fact that she knew that in the past couple of weeks that Obama has rocketed to the front and knew that he'd very very likely win.

But this kind of tragedy makes my head explode. To live for 86 years and not make it for one more day.

.
posted by zardoz at 3:37 PM on November 3, 2008


However, I think an investigation as to whether representatives of the McCain/Palin campaign or the GOP may have contributed to Mrs. Dunham's death is perfectly appropriate.
posted by wendell at 3:38 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


After five years of lurking, I signed up 'cos it's so sad how many people react to this saying there is no God. I don't think Obama will see it that way. I hope not. The timing and severity of such cruel irony is perfect horrible and perfectly discouraging, and exactly what a christian is taught to expect, if he/she's trying to make a better world. Pretty high stakes tomorrow.

.
posted by rahnefan at 3:39 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmmm...Moses died before reaching the Promised Land, remember that. She led a full life with joys, sorrows and wonders. If you believe in an afterlife then it is no loss because she is with those she loves (husband, child, departed friends and family) and if you believe in nothingness well, she is gone from her cancer and has entered a new state that needs nothing from you nor I. But she lives on, you know, in the lives she touched and touched by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. So mourn her, because the passing of anyone (both good and bad) is something, because of all that they are, were or could have been is gone. But remember that her kindness lives on and the impact of those kindnesses in memory, thought and gesture manifesting through the lives touched by her and those close to her.

Deepest sympathies to the Obama and Ng family.
posted by jadepearl at 3:40 PM on November 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


He's actually paying tribute to her right now on the stump in NC.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:40 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by fleetmouse at 3:40 PM on November 3, 2008


And now I can say, with only the slightest of smirks, that I hope someone can make a nice sports reference about my passing. Lord_Wolf, you made me smile. No smirk, guffaw, or sniffle, just a pleasant smile.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:40 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by isogloss at 3:40 PM on November 3, 2008


O
posted by iamkimiam at 3:41 PM on November 3, 2008


He's crying.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:41 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by StrangeTikiGod at 3:42 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by babybuns at 3:43 PM on November 3, 2008


Can someone post youtube video of Obama's speech when it's available?
posted by Ms. Saint at 3:43 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hi, rahnefan. Welcome to the machine.

Don't think for a moment that atheists are trying to hurt your feelings or ruin your buzz. We are simply pointing out that life is short and often cruel when it ends... it's merely a different way of living with a sad event. It's not necessarily wrong to think that dead people simply cease to be, and that sometimes they cease to be on a BAD DAY. I didn't mean it to be hurtful to anyone...
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:44 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by effwerd at 3:44 PM on November 3, 2008


I am just aghast at Free Republic. Yes, I know we've been warned, but seriously...It's one thing to believe that Bush is a murderer because he lied in order to go to war with a country that posed no risk. It's one thing to believe that Bush is a fascist because he suspends certain constitutional rights in certain cases. These are somewhat hyperbolic statements but the underlying beliefs are rooted in real political events. It is theoretically possible to have a discourse about whether Bush is a murderer or a fascist and back up your arguments or have them refuted by citing real current events or the insightful analysis of others.

But if this is where the mindset of Republicans is, this is bad. I mean, a big part of the reason I voted for Obama (aside from him being a smart pragmatist), is that of any conceivable candidate I've seen in my lifetime, he has the best chance of healing the toxic divide that threatens to destroy this country. On some level, it really doesn't matter if his health care proposal is better than McCain's if 40% of the country really thinks he might be the kind of person who would "snuff" (the word used by a Freeper) his own grandmother to get elected. This just doesn't bode well for moving the country forward. We really need the politics of inclusion that Obama promises.

I am going to try to stay positive. We are going to get the vote out. We are going to win and the country is going to move forward. We are going to celebrate tomorrow night like we haven't in 8 years. But it is bittersweet to realize we are going to have to continue to fight, just as hard, after the election.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:47 PM on November 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


How appropriate of chuckdarwin to explain that to rahnefan.
posted by gman at 3:48 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of glad I can't see Obama's speech. Seeing him cry would completely make me lose it right now. and I'm at work.
posted by desjardins at 3:49 PM on November 3, 2008


Everyone shocked at what the neo-con assholes write; What is wrong with you people? Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.

I'm sorry, could you link to a comment on MeFi suggesting that anyone either murdered their grandmother or delayed announcing her death for any purpose?
posted by odinsdream at 3:49 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


But if this is where the mindset of Republicans is, this is bad.

There is no evidence that that filth has to do with the mindset of anyone other than the people posting it. Don't jump to conclusions.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:50 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh, christ. He said "no worse than what was posted," not "the same as what was posted." Pull your head out of your ass.
posted by punishinglemur at 3:50 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Let's travel back in time to the Dunham household, circa 1961...

"So, the prodigal daughter has returned, baby in tow..."

"Let's just say things didn't work out in Boston with Barack, Sr. And I gave it a shot at the University of Washington. But that isn't working out for me, either."

"What now, oh wandering hippie?"

"Can I stay with you guys, while I go back to the University of Hawaii, and finish out my degree."

"You're lucky that baby boy of yours is cute."

"He's smart, too. He's gonna be president some day, you just watch."

"He'd better be. You know how much good schools cost in this state?"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:51 PM on November 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


circa 1961

Well, a few years after that, actually...

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:52 PM on November 3, 2008


Barack, on the extremely slim chance that you read MeFi: this one goes out to you.
posted by jonmc at 3:53 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Not hurt or buzzkilled sad, the other kind of sad. As in, I wish that wasn't the natural reaction for you. It was odd because there were like four or more in no time. No, I'm one who also thinks that sometimes crappy things just happen, and sometimes at the worst time.
posted by rahnefan at 3:54 PM on November 3, 2008


I think ColdChef should become a moderator for just obit threads such as this one, because he probably knows how to deal with people being inexplicably off-key, throwing punches at the wrong people or barfing on the carpet.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:55 PM on November 3, 2008 [12 favorites]


What a shame. One of the things that infuriated me about the right in this election is the incessant need to try to politicize everything about Obama's personal life. Who's his friends are, who his wife's friends are, whether is neighbor is a former 60s radical, whether his aunt that he doesn't talk to much is here legally, some of the nuttier ones even traveled to Kenya to talk about his family there. It's really invasive and disgusting. And now this, which as you can see on Freep is even, being "politicized" by the crazies.

And what a shame that what should be a triumphant moment would be marred by something like this.

Everyone shocked at what the neo-con assholes write; What is wrong with you people? Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.

Those were all horrible people though. You wouldn't see those same people delighting in the death of their parents.
posted by delmoi at 3:56 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Everyone shocked at what the neo-con assholes write; What is wrong with you people? Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.

I'm sorry, could you link to a comment on MeFi suggesting that anyone either murdered their grandmother or delayed announcing her death for any purpose?

Eponymous.
posted by odinsdream at 3:57 PM on November 3, 2008


"He'd better be. You know how much good schools cost in this state?"

He had a scholarship to that private school.
posted by delmoi at 3:59 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lord_Wolf, you made me smile. No smirk, guffaw, or sniffle, just a pleasant smile.

I'm pleased to have done so.

Wherever she is, I like to think Toot digs the reference too. :-)
posted by lord_wolf at 3:59 PM on November 3, 2008


Atrios says -
    Truly Weird Moment Obama's going into this without any of his guardians left - father, mother, stepfather, grandmother, grandfather.
Yet let him not be alone.
posted by butterstick at 4:00 PM on November 3, 2008



Do not go read the Free Republic. You'll see speculation that he pulled the plug, or that she's been dead for days, and this announcement was timed in order to get a sympathy vote. It will make you sick. You've been warned.

Ughh. Too late. What is with that freerepublic site? Are they teenagers? The comments. They were vile.

Someone a couple of days ago inferred there was no difference between mefites and right wingers. I hope he clicks on impath's link.
posted by notreally at 4:01 PM on November 3, 2008


I've never been to the Free Republic before, but that thread didn't look as terrible as the above were making it out to be. The moderator has gone through and deleted the more horrible stuff, I assume. All that's remaining now is the sincere condolences and semi-disgusting speculations/conspiracies/etc, about half and half. There were plenty of left-leaning websites saying horrible things about Sarah Palin's family a few weeks ago. Stop attribuing malice to all who don't vote like you.
posted by FuManchu at 4:01 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by jrochest at 4:02 PM on November 3, 2008


e e e for goodness sake. empath
posted by notreally at 4:02 PM on November 3, 2008


Life goes on. My mother, a life-long Republican volunteer, died on the day Reagan was re-elected in 1984, and I rushed from Los Angeles to Phoenix where she had lived the last few month of her life, missing the chance to vote against Reagan, the only time in my LIFE I missed an election I was eligible to vote in.

I did get an interesting distraction from the tragedy. The boss's secretary, who was occasionally described as "a big nasty redhead", got me a ticket on the next flight out of LAX airport and drove me there from our El Segundo office, via Imperial Highway. Yes, she drove a convertible, the top was down because of the Santa Anna winds heating things up and yes, she had a Beach Boys tape in her car stereo. So that day I lived the first verse of Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." Which has nothing to do with my mother or Mr. Obama's grandmother. Except that life is almost never all downs or all ups.

And I wish the current tragedy hadn't reminded me of this, and I bet you do too.
posted by wendell at 4:03 PM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


God bless you, Mrs. Dunham. Rest in Peace.

And -- God bless you too, freepers whose words I refuse to read. May the singular accomplishments of your life not be marred by the sorrow of losing to cancer the person who raised you.
posted by brain cloud at 4:03 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Also, let me just say I find the idea that god killed her today for some reason just disturbing. I'm not religious, and I find this "It was gods plan" type of thing really weird. I mean, how could anyone worship a god they thought was so petty and amoral?

I personally find the idea that these things are arbitrary much more comforting then the idea that we should worship a god who kills innocent people because it's "necessary".
posted by delmoi at 4:03 PM on November 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


This news made me genuinely sad, not because Obama's my candidate, but because my grandmother played a huge role in my own upbringing, and I know what it's like to lose her. Losing my dad to cancer was awful, but losing my grandmother made me feel far more unmoored.

As we grow up, it's natural and healthy to rebel against our parents and separate ourselves from them. Once that time of tumult is over, we form a new, adult relationship with our parents. When the time comes, we might even take care of them as they did for us, but it's different.

We don't separate from our grandmothers in the same way, even if they played a custodial part in our upbringing. We don't rebel as strongly, or separate as much. We don't see them make the mistakes that our parents make, because those mistakes were usually made, and learned from long before we were born. Even as we lend our arms for support on our evening walks, or, when the time comes, trade evening walks for cups of tea at the kitchen table, or when a worse time comes, sit at their bedsides, or when the worst time comes, do anything we can just to make them comfortable, they're still our rocks, these strong, clear, loving presences in our lives, the best role models of how to live as an adult, and the focus for so much of our love.

What makes me saddest is knowing that she fought cancer as best she could to hold on to see her grandson, the one she raised so well, become president of the United States. My grandmother would have done the same thing for me, I know it.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 4:04 PM on November 3, 2008 [12 favorites]


I wish that wasn't the natural reaction for you.

Don't wish that. I'm very happy this way. No one can know what happens after a human dies, so we can only make reasonable assumptions about it based on verifiable evidence. When nice people die in cruel ways (and at cruel times) it simply reminds me why I gave up on the idea of 'god' as a child. What god would take this woman on such a day? A cruel one. Better no father than an abusive, sadistic one.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:04 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


.

Here's to tomorrow - changing history, proud to be alive, even as a UK 'observer'....
posted by Mintyblonde at 4:05 PM on November 3, 2008


There were plenty of left-leaning websites saying horrible things about Sarah Palin's family a few weeks ago. Stop attribuing malice to all who don't vote like you.

FuManchu: If you read this site at all, you'd know that I'm more critical of liberals than any other liberal, and I'll gladly call out assholery no matter what the ideological bent of the person it comes from, but that change the fact that what a lot of these freepers are saying is disgusting. Tell that shit to the tourists, my man.
posted by jonmc at 4:06 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


This reminds me, I really need to write my grandmother a letter.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:06 PM on November 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


after clicking through rest of FR thread *sigh* nevermind, it's actually as awful as you can imagine. The rest of my point (free-to-register political sites say nasty shit on both sides) still stands, if wobbly.
posted by FuManchu at 4:06 PM on November 3, 2008


I wouldn't be surprised if McCain kicks it later this evening just to get elected tomorrow.
posted by gman at 4:07 PM on November 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


jonmc: Yea. Mea culpa.
posted by FuManchu at 4:07 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by Zonker at 4:09 PM on November 3, 2008


I don't think this has been posted upthread. Here is Barack Obama and his half-sisters statement on this:

"It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer. She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure."

"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 marxchivist at 4:10 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by gurple at 4:11 PM on November 3, 2008


Logging in here for the first time in a while; I still read, just don't comment much. I just wanted to say...

I've had some pretty extreme emotions over the election this year. I've reconsidered positions I previously had. I've had chills down my spine. I've been variously full of hope, fear, determination, and worry. More than once, I've been brought to the verge of tears by the pure drama and history we've seen. Thoughout it all, I've managed to remain mostly composed.

mightygodking's comment finally broke the dam. Tonight, I weep freely. Over this, and all the rest.

Godspeed, Mrs. Dunham.

And godspeed to us all.
posted by jammer at 4:12 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


The other week, when Barack flew to Hawaii, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a brilliant, beautiful post. Essential reading.
posted by neroli at 4:12 PM on November 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


the universe is truly weird. before i got to this thread, i saw the headline online and clicked to read the article. the pop-up window cam back with just one word: FAIL. i kid you not.

this is very sad. and surreal. but i think all of us of the mind that she knew her work was complete, are right. tomorrow is a new era.
posted by lapolla at 4:14 PM on November 3, 2008


How terribly sad.

Obama is getting my vote for being a ray of light in otherwise dark times, but you know what? I can go the other way: Obama would still get my vote if the sad freepers are actually right, because, you know, snuffing your grandma on the eve of an election to hide evidence? That's chill super-villain stuff right there, and I'd be all for replacing the White House with a hollow volcano lair and replacing the Secretary of State with Oddjob.
posted by maxwelton at 4:16 PM on November 3, 2008 [11 favorites]


She raised a good man, and we should be grateful for that.

.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:17 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Life is joy. Life is suffering. And sometimes the twain do indeed meet, heartbreakingly.
posted by scody at 4:19 PM on November 3, 2008


Seeing as we really know nothing of the nature of death or the afterlife (if there is such a thing), I refuse to see her death at this moment evidence of anything-- god, no god, whatever. If death is a release from suffering, then bless her. I am sure that she was confident in Obama's future, and that she was already as proud of him as she could have been. I only worry, right now, for Obama, who is indeed facing the most momentous days of his life. But I trust that he's prepared himself for this, and he'll accept his election tomorrow (knock wood) with the grace and dignity he's shown so far through this campaign.
posted by jokeefe at 4:20 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


What god would take this woman on such a day? A cruel one. Better no father than an abusive, sadistic one.

We're not connecting. My point is that it seems like a boolean for you: either there is no god, or else all cruelty is his doing. That's sad because it's bleak as hell. Not trying to evangelize you. Maybe it means something, maybe it means nothing. If you really think that then the reaction is odd unless it's just a figure of speech or something.
posted by rahnefan at 4:22 PM on November 3, 2008


I've tried writing something thoughtful, but I can't. I have so much hope for tomorrow, and yet for Barack Obama it will be bittersweet. I can't help but think that it always will be that way.

.
posted by Eekacat at 4:23 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be surprised if McCain kicks it later this evening just to get elected tomorrow.

To be fair, McCain and his wife have already sent public condolences to Obama, which is, of course, the decent thing to do.

Now, make no mistake, I am expressly not accusing John McCain of sharing the midset of the people on Freep, but I'd gain a big helping of respect for the man if he'd publicly condemn them.
posted by jonmc at 4:23 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama said about his Grandmother "she's the last one left".

Well, not really. There's That One and many he's inspired.

Peace, Mme. Dunham








.
posted by alicesshoe at 4:25 PM on November 3, 2008


In other untimely Illinois Senator family death news..

Dick Durbin's daughter died.
posted by _aa_ at 4:26 PM on November 3, 2008


Obama just finished a rally in Charlotte, NC. There were tears on his face when he talked about Toot, though his voice never broke.

Moving photos here

Someone bitched in another election thread about all the hero worship.

But sometimes, once in a generation maybe, it's damn well justified. And even this hardened atheist has some doubts about the lack of a grand scheme when he contemplates how badly we needed a man like this as a leader at this moment in history.

His burdens will be huge. But his movement will not go away.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:27 PM on November 3, 2008 [13 favorites]


Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon...

Ron Reagan endorses Obama.

Methinks there's some mighty big spinning goin' on in those three caskets right about now.
posted by ericb at 4:27 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Freepers: Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense
posted by vac2003 at 4:31 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Ah – horrible timing. Thankfully everything was already polling toward him, so she probably went with optimistic thoughts.

Extremely sad, but I bet she was well aware of the amazing guy she had a hand in raising.

I can't wait to vote tomorrow. I'll be in line waiting, well before 6AM.
posted by defenestration at 4:34 PM on November 3, 2008


"Obama said the decision to go to Hawaii was easy to make, telling CBS that he 'got there too late' when his mother died of ovarian cancer in 1995 at 53, and wanted to make sure 'that I don't make the same mistake twice.'" This death, now, may well open old wounds for him.

A photograph of them hugging.

Madelyn Dunham, Obama's grandmother, blazed a feminist trail in Hawaii banking circles in the late 1960s and early 1970s and rose to become one of the Bank of Hawaii's first female vice presidents.

"Toot" — short for "tutu," the Hawaiian word for grandparent." Thank you for guiding this man, whose courage in running for President in spite of so many obstacles, has brought political hope to many for the first time in a long time.

Rest in peace.
posted by nickyskye at 4:36 PM on November 3, 2008


oh my god.

.
posted by lunit at 4:37 PM on November 3, 2008


I think she knew where this thing was headed and can rest easy.

.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 4:37 PM on November 3, 2008


.

At least she died knowing he had a decent shot. That's all people want. A decent shot.
posted by DU at 4:39 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by sabira at 4:40 PM on November 3, 2008




We're not connecting. My point is that it seems like a boolean for you: either there is no god, or else all cruelty is his doing. That's sad because it's bleak as hell. Not trying to evangelize you. Maybe it means something, maybe it means nothing. If you really think that then the reaction is odd unless it's just a figure of speech or something.

Don't get me wrong. I only accepted the possibility of a 'god' when I was a child. There's no choice in the matter, AFAIK. One cannot blame someone who doesn't exist (it was merely a figure of speech which was meant to throw light on my original seed of doubt... a seed that has grown into a beautiful tree of reason, which should be comfort enough for anyone. What's sad is that this world - this wonderful world filled with life - isn't enough for some of us.

"The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:45 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


To be fair, McCain and his wife have already sent public condolences to Obama, which is, of course, the decent thing to do.

Good on 'em, but I don't see how this precludes him from one-upping Obama to win the election.
posted by gman at 4:45 PM on November 3, 2008


First, foremost, and most deeply, my condolences to Senator Obama and his family.

Second - and I'm not sure if it's a cynical thought or not - my reaction, after sadness and disbelief at the timing, was this: "If some of those undecided voters and Republicans that are hanging back from voting for Obama because of lingering race issues have a chance to see today just how openly, proudly and deeply he was loved by his white grandmother, maybe they can get over their fear... and maybe that, in a broad sense, will make this loss worth it."
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:47 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I called my grandmother today after I heard this on NPR. I sat there and paid attention to every story about her eye doctor, asked about her arthritis, gossiped about family, and told her that the day outside was almost as beautiful as she was... and that I loved her and couldn't think of anyone I'd rather speak with.

I meant it, too. And I would have done it even if I hadn't heard about Mrs. Dunham. Because she raised me. I love her more than just about anyone; she's my best girlfriend, mom, role model and the matriarch of my family. I cannot imagine the pain the Obamas are going through right now. We lost my grandfather this year and who was the only person who was strong through the whole process? My grandmother. Who held everyone else while they grieved? My grandmother. That woman is a rock, just like Mrs. Dunham.

She's 86 right now, just like Mrs. Dunham. I can't stop feeling down. This is too close; this is too sad. Yeah, she was old. Does that make her life less valuable, people? I don't think so.

Bless you, Mrs. Dunham. Bless all our grandmothers, for that matter. We should all be more respectful of our elders, and I hope that all of us here take a moment to love each other and not take life for granted. It's so short already... please love one another.

Please don't let my vote be in vain, either

.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:56 PM on November 3, 2008 [16 favorites]


.
posted by brevator at 4:57 PM on November 3, 2008


.

So it goes.
posted by schyler523 at 5:00 PM on November 3, 2008


This is horrible, somber news and my heart goes out to him and his family.


Also I feel horrible for thinking this, but when I read:

Obama's going into this without any of his guardians left - father, mother, stepfather, grandmother, grandfather.

The first thing I thought was "Just like Luke Skywalker"
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:00 PM on November 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


.
posted by Skorgu at 5:02 PM on November 3, 2008


Would that make Joe Biden Han Solo? I guess Springsteen can be Chewbacca.
posted by jonmc at 5:02 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Someone bitched in another election thread about all the hero worship.

But sometimes, once in a generation maybe, it's damn well justified.


I'm a Canadian, so I guess I'm risking life and limb by posting a minority opinion in this thread, but, you know, I kind have to agree with Bill Kristol: liberals should be cheerful if McCain happens to win.

I’m worried about my compatriots on the left. Michael Powell reports in Saturday’s New York Times that even the possibility of an Obama defeat has driven many liberals into in a state of high anxiety. And then there’s a young woman from Denver who “told her boyfriend that their love life was on hold while she sweated out Mr. Obama’s performance in Colorado.” Well, what if Obama loses Colorado? Or the presidency? As a compassionate conservative, I’m concerned about the well-being of that boyfriend — and of others who might be similarly situated. I feel an obligation to help.

Kristol says:

As a Canadian, I'm not a liberal (they have their own centre-right party in Canada), but I'm a progressive. However, even though an Obama presidency most likely means Canada will be pressured into extending (yet again!) its mission in Afghanistan, and even though Free Trade will be renegotiated, thus causing economic heartache for Canadians, and even though I'm uncomfortable with the whole Obama-as-Christian-Democrat thing (can't faith be left out of politics)...

I still hope Obama wins, if only because it will cheer my American friends up. We need to see you guys smile more.

And ending renditions, torture and all that other stuff had better happen on November 5.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:03 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


We're not connecting. My point is that it seems like a boolean for you: either there is no god, or else all cruelty is his doing. That's sad because it's bleak as hell.

Christians, Muslims, etc believe that god is all powerful and omnipotent and omniscient. If that was the case, he would be aware of all tragedy and able to prevent all of it. Certainly a "limited god" theology would be much more amenable to dealing without positing that a god was choosing for all of these horrible things to happen (rather then saying "it was gods plan" you could say "god wasn't able to stop it) but, that's not what the major monotheistic religions believe.
posted by delmoi at 5:03 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by cupcakeninja at 5:03 PM on November 3, 2008


Bill Clinton is Obi Wan. The ghost of MLK is Yoda.

*tapes danishes to the side of Michelle Obama's head*
posted by jonmc at 5:04 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


If you haven't read this piece from Ta-Neishi Coates (Atlantic) -- from a couple of weeks ago when Barack was visiting his grandmother, consider this a very strong recommendation.

I have not been as moved by any other single piece of writing I've encountered during this campaign, and I recommend it highly.

"I Hope This Is In Good Taste"
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:06 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by sueinnyc at 5:10 PM on November 3, 2008


Also, Obama has the endorsement of both of these great Americans. (I know straight from the horse's mouth). What more do you need.
posted by jonmc at 5:11 PM on November 3, 2008


For those who looked to the freepers, read on past the first page. They start getting kind of weird (I see it as sparing her regardless of the election outcome. She doesn’t have to see him lose, true, but she also doesn’t have to see him become a complete tyrant and ruin her country if he wins. Either way it just brings a tear to my eye to think that his sweet old grandmother was spared the heartbreak. Perhaps she even gave up the fight because she couldn’t bear to watch what happens next.), some see the left as godless heathens (We better all realized how much the Left hates us, most of them have no God to temper their hate.), but it gets more positive and full or prayers for the departed.

There's rotten folks everywhere. This is just a hearty dose of the internet f*ckwad theory in reality.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:13 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


. (for Toot)

? (for that Freeper thread)

! (for Obama's campaign)
posted by LMGM at 5:13 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


[From Willam Kristol] I’m worried about my compatriots on the left. Michael Powell reports in Saturday’s New York Times that even the possibility of an Obama defeat has driven many liberals into in a state of high anxiety. And then there’s a young woman from Denver who “told her boyfriend that their love life was on hold while she sweated out Mr. Obama’s performance in Colorado.” Well, what if Obama loses Colorado? Or the presidency? As a compassionate conservative, I’m concerned about the well-being of that boyfriend — and of others who might be similarly situated. I feel an obligation to help.

posted by KokuRyu at 7:02 PM on November 3


Well! Partners of left-leaning women, let the record state: Bill Kristol is worried that you might not get laid tonight. If the worst happens, he's there to help.

Kristol is always wrong, but tonight, he's gonna be wrong in all the right ways. Bomp, bomp, bomp, ka-chicka-chicka!
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 5:15 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


. <- that period is Obama's logo...

May God Bless Obama and his family.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 5:15 PM on November 3, 2008


Moments ago, I just received this email from my own grandmother*: "I thought you were smarter than to vote for Barack. He has nothing to offer but a big mouth and you will have to pay more taxes with him. He is a nut. "

I could cry.

Why do people like Madelyn Dunham have to leave this world and others stay?

*This woman still uses the word "nigra" in conversations with complete strangers, and has been sending me fwds for months about how Barack is a terrorist-loving anti-American Muslin [sic].
posted by desjardins at 5:16 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]




What terribly sad news, what bittersweet timing! She lived her long life admirably, and left behind a great legacy. But come on, just one day more was too much for the universe?! *heavy sigh*

My deepest condolences to her family.

I'm not an American, but I want Obama to win so fucking badly it's making me crazy.

You, me, and pretty much the rest of the world too!
posted by zarah at 5:18 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I also seem to recall that my main lady Paula Deen had Michelle Obama as a guest on her show. Thanks for doing your part. Although my wife said that when Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter guested, Paula flirted so blatantly with Jimmy that Rosalynn was staring daggers at her.

Rachel Ray had Clinton as a guest on her talk show, so I assume she's a Democrat and will vote for Barack. I also have my on vision of Bill inviting Rachel out for an apple fritter an coffee during the commercial breaks but that's a whole other story.
posted by jonmc at 5:19 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm trying not to see it as missing her grandson's big day.

I like to think of it as getting a better view.

. and thank you.
posted by Riki tiki at 5:19 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Westringia F. at 5:22 PM on November 3, 2008


.


I still miss my grandmas.
posted by epersonae at 5:22 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


She died knowing that her love/care/wisdom/cooking had produced a man of great character, the kind of man who ran a campaign to be proud of, and changed the rhetoric of a country from "terror terror terror" to "hope". I can't imagine a better testament to a caretaker's love and wisdom.

I think that most of the world knows right now, regardless of what happens tomorrow, that the rise of Barack Obama to this moment is an amazingly positive thing for America. He has already done amazing things, and will continue to be a tremendous net gain to society. She died knowing she had done a wonderful job.

In fact, I think I am going to choose to believe that she died of a terminally joyous swell of pride, and cancer can just continue to kiss my ass.
posted by asspetunia at 5:23 PM on November 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


I personally find the idea that these things are arbitrary much more comforting then the idea that we should worship a god who kills innocent people because it's "necessary".

I completely respect both people who believe in God, and people who don't. But the people who don't believe in God cannot use the arguments of "how God works" against the idea of God. Whoever said that this death "is necessary" has no small fraction of the wisdom that God supposedly has, so we have absolutely no idea of how and why God does things.

We humans can easily see God as cruel, but we ALL have to die eventually, both good people and bad people. Calling God cruel every time a good person dies sounds sort of stupid to me.

I feel the unfairness and the irony in the situation, but this was an 86 year-old woman with cancer. Maybe her death was a relief from her pain.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 5:23 PM on November 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 5:27 PM on November 3, 2008


May the force be with you, Barack!


please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please pleaseplease please please please please please please please please please please please
posted by CitizenD at 5:28 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Prayers and deepest sympathies for her family tonight. She did a remarkable job. He's not my candidate but I still feel like he is an amazing person.
posted by pearlybob at 5:30 PM on November 3, 2008


Tragic, however I don't believe she was in a state to know if he lost or won at this point anyway, it's just the idea for those she left behind.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:31 PM on November 3, 2008


Given what happened to Joe Biden back in 1972, perhaps there is an additional personal benefit to Barack Obama choosing him as a running mate, as far as having a person with experience by his side.

this is not snarky, this is not insincere; I just thought of this, is all.
posted by davejay at 5:31 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 5:27 PM on November 3 [+] [!]


You need a sockpuppet for these threads, dude.
posted by Riki tiki at 5:31 PM on November 3, 2008


.

Wow, I thought I just disagreed with Republican philosophy, now I realize I just hate them.
posted by IvoShandor at 5:32 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by jaruwaan at 5:33 PM on November 3, 2008


Would that make Joe Biden Han Solo? I guess Springsteen can be Chewbacca.

I guess this would make Sarah Palin Jabba The Hut. Ikki-Wikki-Hockey Mom!
posted by jonmc at 5:37 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't believe she was in a state to know if he lost or won at this point anyway


I would be more comforted if that were true, but Obama said in that ABC interview upthread that she still had all her faculties. I believe she was in bad shape physically though - I've only seen one vaguely recent photo and she didn't look comfortable.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:38 PM on November 3, 2008


.

Things like this make me wish I believed in the afterlife, so I could imagine that this obviously quite amazing woman could watch her grandson (hopefully) make history.
posted by Lucie at 5:39 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by jpdoane at 5:40 PM on November 3, 2008


Why couldn't Obama fly back to Hawaii again and lay his hands upon her, raising her from the dead?

Truly, his ambition to be president knows no bounds.

("There were plenty of left-leaning websites saying horrible things about Sarah Palin's family a few weeks ago. Stop attribuing malice to all who don't vote like you."

Which foul d'ya want, false equivalence or tu quoque?)
posted by klangklangston at 5:45 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why couldn't Obama fly back to Hawaii again and lay his hands upon her, raising her from the dead?

That would be far too vulgar a display of power, klang.

(sorry. couldn't resist)
posted by jonmc at 5:48 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by joannemerriam at 5:48 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by alms at 5:49 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by robot at 5:49 PM on November 3, 2008


.

I'm crying now.
posted by mike3k at 5:49 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


T..T!
posted by R. Mutt at 5:56 PM on November 3, 2008


I will be writing my 100-year-old grandmother a note tonight, since she is no longer able to hear me speak on the phone. I'm often dismayed by the social and racial attitudes that come with her era and upbringing, but she has spent a century of life in selfless service to her family, and I hope she would feel a kinship with Mrs. Dunham in that respect, at least. Her values of optimism, responsibility, and concern for others have had the strongest effect on me, and my vote for Obama tomorrow will be, in part, a tribute to Grandma.

She'd be pretty horrified to hear that, though, so I'm not going to tell her.
posted by doift at 5:57 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does this mean that Obama is officially bigger than The Beatles?
posted by captainsohler at 6:03 PM on November 3, 2008


.

Thanks tut.
posted by cashman at 6:03 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


One day before the election. How terrible. For many reasons.

There is no God.


Strange--my reaction is the exact opposite. There is something so right about this. Something perfect. It is as if she set everything in motion, and just when she knew the world was unfolding as it should, she left. Mission Accomplished.

It actually reminds me very much of Moses--of the fact that he was unable to cross over into the Promised Land with the Israelites even after bringing them there to that place he'd dreamed of his entire life. Not that I'm implying anything about God at all here. Just what I thought of.
posted by liketitanic at 6:07 PM on November 3, 2008


Let's all go make her proud. Closest Obama Election Day volunteer location.
posted by amuseDetachment at 6:08 PM on November 3, 2008


Her vote will count.

"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."
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:09 PM on November 3, 2008 [18 favorites]


I haven't seen a more masculine single tear since Iron Eyes Cody.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:11 PM on November 3, 2008




Senator Obama speaking in a few minutes in Manassas.

I'd turn the volume down while they're taking calls from morons fine American voters until the Senator begins speaking.

A sample: 'John McCain is everything we would ever want in a President.'
posted by winna at 6:14 PM on November 3, 2008


She willed herself to die. That's how much she loves America.
posted by gman at 6:22 PM on November 3, 2008


"I'm 76 years old and I'm just so excited, I'm just happy. This is the best surprise I've ever had since my babies were born." (poignant pool report from his surprise visit to campaign HQ in Charlotte.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:22 PM on November 3, 2008


Although the best one was the guy who claimed Obama was a CIA plant, an abomination and a false prophet and hinted strongly that the election of Obama would usher in the Last Days. They did cut that guy off pretty quickly.

Tomorrow cannot be over soon enough.
posted by winna at 6:23 PM on November 3, 2008


I hate cancer.
posted by Skorgu at 6:29 PM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


Oh Toot. You raised your grandson right.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:29 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


The vileness of the Freepers' comments might be offset a fraction by McCain's ordinary message of sympathy to Obama:
We offer our deepest condolences to Barack Obama and his family as they grieve the loss of their beloved grandmother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them as they remember and celebrate the life of someone who had such a profound impact in their lives.
The man's moral compass has been spinning like a whirligig for years, but sometimes it points him in the right direction.

And conservative bloggers Ed Morrissey, Ross Douthat, and the NRO's Corner - though who knows what they'll write tomorrow - sound sincere in their condolences. (But that's the best I can do from surfing the rightwing blogosphere tonight. I now feel like I need a shower. In bleach.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:29 PM on November 3, 2008


> And ending renditions, torture and all that other stuff had better happen on November 5.

Jan. 20th, 2009 is when the person elected president takes office. Also on that day is when the departing president usually signs a few pardons. It will be a strange few weeks in the interim, as lot of power is being moved around that doesn't really want to be moved.

Also:

.
posted by mrzarquon at 6:30 PM on November 3, 2008


She willed herself to die. That's how much she loves America.
posted by gman


Um, what?
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:31 PM on November 3, 2008


Um, what?

Pay no mind. He thinks Colin Powell is in cahoots with Obama because he's black.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:32 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wishful thinking but wouldn't it be nice if this thread got 5000+ comments?

. = 0
posted by Jaybo at 6:33 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Mikey-San at 6:35 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by Token Meme at 6:39 PM on November 3, 2008


I feel that, desjardins. I'm visiting my mom this week. Tonight she and my uncle brought up Obama just for the sake of bashing him. My mom pretty much completed the Ignorance Checklist: she called Michelle an "anti-American militant" and Barack a Muslim, and then said he's not going to be elected because she's that politically unaware and yet doesn't feel uncomfortable having such strong opinions on politics.

Oh, and then my uncle said, "The Jeffersons are going to the White House," and joked about Obama getting assassinated.

Needless to say, tonight has been horrible.
posted by Nattie at 6:39 PM on November 3, 2008


Obama loved her even though she sometimes said stuff that made him cringe. Right there, that's real family. Despite everything, they knew they loved each other and the rest of the world could...y'know...I don't wanna cuss here 'cause this seems like a place to try and class it up a bit.

I guess that's what I'm getting at. Howabout we all try and class it up a bit tomorrow. It looks like our guy's gonna win, and it's gonna be great if he does. Let's celebrate with a bit of class though. For Toot. 'Cause even though she said some cringeworthy stuff from time to time she was still Barack's family and he loved her. Maybe we could try and lay some of that on our fellow Americans tomorrow, even if they've said some stuff that's made us cringe. We've got a tough row to hoe coming up here and it'd be nice if everyone could find it within themselves to pitch in, so let's not give the folks on the other side to feel vindictive or something. Sure, they did it to us and stuff, but that's water under the bridge or something. Let's not have any "HOW D'YA LIKE THEM APPLES! HUH! nonsense tomorrow.

Which is not to say don't get drunk. I'm gonna get drunk tomorrow. But let's keep it classy. For Toot.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 6:40 PM on November 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


The FR mods seem to have hacked the thread into something with at least a semblance of human decency, if not quite compassion.
posted by HFSH at 6:41 PM on November 3, 2008


Right now, I bet Obama really needs a hug. And I bet he won't even have time to get that hug until after tomorrow night, after he has had to go and partake in what should be the most victorious moment of his life.

You shouldn't have to give a victory speech while only being able to wish for your grandma's hug.


I had a similar thought as I looked through these photos from earlier today. Then I got to this one, where he's comforting a volunteer and talking to a voter on the phone at the same time. Here's the story of that moment.
posted by Tehanu at 6:44 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I were in Mr. Obama's shoes right now; I'd be extremely grateful to have my family on the road with me, since all I'd want would be hugs from my daughters.
posted by sciurus at 6:46 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by NailsTheCat at 6:48 PM on November 3, 2008


Joe Klein, "To The Mountaintop" (Time Swampland blog)

Some politicians simply are larger than life. Their stories are the stuff of high drama. Over the past few days, I've been hearing about the high emotions out in the field, as volunteers flood Obama offices to help canvass--and, in some places, find they have to wait on line for a spot on a phone bank. It is almost banal at this point to say that this has been the most remarkable election I've ever seen. It's been a privilege to be a small part of it, to have had a ringside seat. And now, there is a sense that tomorrow will be the sort of day none of us ever forgets, one way or another--a day of reckoning, in the purest sense, when we will suddenly see ourselves and our country differently, for good or ill.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:50 PM on November 3, 2008


Win or lose, having this grief in the back of his mind over the next couple of days is going to be grueling for him. The composure he will have to display in the face of this adversity will be a good testament to the quality of his upbringing.

I'd wish him and his family all the best.
posted by quin at 6:52 PM on November 3, 2008


"The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”

What nonsense. What do we have, but each other? There is a name for somebody who finds freedom in rejecting all human bonds: sociopath.


And what the hell is Bill Kristol smoking? Isn't the the guy who thought that Sarah Palin was the best pick ever for VP? I swear I cannot take much more surrealism. My irony meter shorted out a while ago, and it might take it a while to recover.
posted by jokeefe at 6:57 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


The vileness of the Freepers' comments

FWIW, I pity them more than anything. They are frightened, confused, and angry people typing out on their keyboards their fear and anger and smallness.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:00 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Which is to say, let's not dwell on the freepers.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:03 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does it say something about the state of the country today, that the Freepers' statements do not phase me at all? What else would you expect from them?!

They hate Obama. They hate him because he's a liberal, and because he's a black, and above all, because they view him as a threat to the kind of ugly, white-preferential America that they're used to.

They are the true welfare recipients of the Modern Age. They inherited hate, fear, and all the benefits of being white in America, and they will not relinquish that easily... because that would mean they would have to do everything else that everyone else does in America to get ahead and stay ahead.

In truth, many of them are falling backwards into poverty. They support Sarah Palin, because her family is a (falsely) idealized, moral white family -- complete with substance-abusing teens engaging in premature sex and petty criminality. That doesn't make the Palins bad parents... that just makes them more like them.

They criticize the welfare of others, and view other's equal rights as an attack on their own, but they refuse to abandon their own self-imprisoning welfare mentality.

Of course, that doesn't happen a lot of the time, but let's face it. White people in America have traditionally had more of an opportunity to coast... and now, many of them are too out-of-shape to pedal anymore.

I'm white... and I'm embarrassed and sick and tired of seeing the chummy dummy water cooler talking mindless fratboy types that continue to promote each other and get ahead in the office place. And I know that even in poorer regions of the country, the same symptomatic issues exist, albeit in the factory, the paper mill... or the fishery.

Since when did the American Dream mean get perverted to the extent that when you're white and privledged, it supposedly doesn't matter what you do? Somehow, you just might get ahead and accomplish wonderful things.

And when it happens, well... we idealize the lucky schmuck who accomplishes it, intellect be damned. So, how is this not a kind of welfare that's harmful to America?

-----------------------------------

Grimes: Oh, that's my degree in nuclear physics. I'm sure you all have one.
Lenny: Oh yeah, Carl and I each have a masters. Of course, old Homer, he didn't need a degree. He just showed up the day they opened the plant.
Homer: I didn't even know what a nuclear panner plant was.

-----------------------------------

Grimes: I'm sorry, isn't that …
Homer: Yes, that's me, and the guy standing next to me is President Gerald Ford…..And this is when I was on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins…..Oh! And here's a picture of me in outer space.
Grimes: You? Went into outer space? You?
Homer: Sure. You've never been? Would you like to see my Grammy award?
Grimes: No! I wouldn't!

----------------------------------

Grimes: I have had to work hard everyday of my life and what do I have to show for it? This briefcase and this haircut! And what do you have to show for you lifetime of sloth and ignorance?
Homer: What?
Grimes: Everything! A dream house, two cars, a beautiful wife, a son who owns a factory, fancy clothes, and (sniffs) lobsters for dinner!
Grimes: If this were any other country, you'd have starved to death long ago.
Bart: He's got you there, Dad.
Grimes: You're a fraud, a total fraud. (To Marge and the kids) It was nice meeting you.

-------------------------------


At least, with all his advantages, Homer has the decency of voting for Obama... if he didn't, he'd be this guy.
posted by markkraft at 7:03 PM on November 3, 2008 [12 favorites]


.
posted by jayder at 7:04 PM on November 3, 2008


My vote will be my .
posted by billypilgrim at 7:08 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Our government needs to push to cure cancer the same way they pushed our flight to the moon. Set a timeline, and then make it happen.
posted by banished at 7:15 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


.
posted by xorry at 7:22 PM on November 3, 2008


Blazecock Pileon - While I don't think this is the place to ask, your profile page states: Please don't harass me outside of Metafilter. It's creepy and stalker-ish. If you have something to say, just say it here.

I need to clarify this because e-sarcasm is little hard to catch. You didn't think I was serious, did you? My comments generally range from jaded satire to 'blitzed' silliness.
posted by gman at 7:25 PM on November 3, 2008


Her vote will count.
posted by redbeard at 7:26 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


My vote will be my .

HA! You did it anyway!
In your face pithyman!

:P
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:32 PM on November 3, 2008


Obama just took the stage in Manassas, VA (10:30 EST). Streaming live here.
posted by scody at 7:32 PM on November 3, 2008


Holy cow. CNN is panning around.

Look at that crowd in Manassas. On the site of 2 great battles that set back the Union.

They're saying 100K, but I've seen 100K and this is more than that. On a flat field. Wow. I bet it's 120-130K in the final tally. Huge.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:34 PM on November 3, 2008


"Hear, hear" to what billpilgrim just said: My (absentee) vote (mailed two weeks ago) will be my .
posted by CommonSense at 7:37 PM on November 3, 2008


Jesus. My parents and sister live in Manassas, BTW. Early-voted this past weekend. For Obama, of course.
posted by CommonSense at 7:38 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


They're saying 100K, but I've seen 100K and this is more than that. On a flat field. Wow. I bet it's 120-130K in the final tally. Huge.

How, how, HOW do these crowds jive with such a tiny percentage "lead?"
posted by rokusan at 7:38 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


One day before the election. How terrible. For many reasons.

A universe where Madelyn Dunham has helped raise and shape a talented grandson and lived to see him marry a sharp and beautiful woman, have two daughters, become president of the Harvard Law Review, a U.S. Senator, and a symbol of hope and progress no matter whether he wins the election -- though he appears to be the likely winner -- doesn't seem extraordinarily cruel to me, especially compared to a lot of other stuff that goes down on this planet. I could bring up examples, but I probably don't need to.

I'd like it if nobody got cancer or died too. I miss my grandmother badly. And I sure don't claim to know whether the timing of her death is part of a plan or cosmic accident or somewhere in between. It surely would have been a beautiful blessing if she'd crossed the final threshold of life with Obama victorious and she could go in a setting where they could have been together to reflect on their lives and be there for each other.

But to curse the gaps where every possible blessing could have fit, especially in lives where there's so much else to celebrate, is a damn shame whether you believe the universe is watched over by God or not, and there's certainly no sense in picking her passing as some particularly weighty burden against good workings behind the scenes.

That isn't to take away anything from genuine grief among those she's left behind and anything she's missing. But whether or not it's part of a higher plan, Obama will make something out of both the joy and the grief around this moment. He and Madelyn Dunham have already shown that they can.
posted by weston at 7:42 PM on November 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


Manassas speech from the beginning (7 min delay on live bits added to end)
posted by xorry at 7:43 PM on November 3, 2008


Yesterday, at the Obama HQ in western Pennsylvania where I've been working for the past few days, I met a 90 year-old woman who had been canvassing all day, walking up hills and up stairs to knock on doors. She had her hair pin-curled, her jewelry on, and was decked out in a cream-colored dress coat, pantyhose, and heels (yes, heels). I was totally exhausted from canvassing all day long, but she still had enough energy in her to shake everybody's hand, grab a sandwich, and walk home.

She was a badass. Like Toot.

Rest easy, ma'am.
posted by ourobouros at 7:45 PM on November 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


CNN skimmed over Palin's just-released medical records. Unfortunately, she's not next.
posted by gman at 7:46 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I completely respect both people who believe in God, and people who don't. But the people who don't believe in God cannot use the arguments of "how God works" against the idea of God.

No, but I don't see why we can't use it against the idea of a god that works that way (i.e. if you say "god does X", It seems like you should be able to say "worshiping a god that does X is a bad idea")

We humans can easily see God as cruel, but we ALL have to die eventually, both good people and bad people. Calling God cruel every time a good person dies sounds sort of stupid to me.

The complaint was about the timing.

---

With regard to the freepers. Ordinarily I'd say, you know, they're just a small fraction of the republicans out there but these days I wonder. McCain's entire campaign seems premised on fear. Fear of Obama. He said there was no reason to fear him at a rally but his ads, his phone calls, etc. It really serves to legitimize this sort of paranoia. I wonder what percentage of people believed this stuff now, I read a poll the other day that indicated 23% of Texans believed Obama was Muslim. Kind of fucked up.

This campaign has been amazing in a lot of ways, but one of those ways (unfortunately) seems to be the vicious and unwarranted attacks on Obama and anyone he knows who some rovian hack dreams they might be able to score some political points off of (like Rashid Khalidi or Obama's Aunt). It's really disgusting and kind of sad. Obama seems to have lead a pretty straightforward, totally normal life. There were no affairs or personal stuff to go after, so in that absence of input the right just hallucinated all this crazy stuff.

I kind of wonder, if looking back, Obama will have thought the whole thing was worth it from a personal standpoint, and it makes me nervous that normal, upstanding people might actually be afraid to run for the presidency. More afraid then in the past, cursing America to a never-ending parade of clowns and sociopaths.
posted by delmoi at 7:47 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can we please not turn this into a fight between atheists and theists over how people express themselves in times like this?
There's enough sadness in the topic at hand that you don't need to manufacture more.
posted by nightchrome at 7:52 PM on November 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


.
God, I miss Grandma. Hope she and Toot are talking over coffee*. From all I've heard, they were rather similar people.

*Or, in Grandma's case, scotch and water on the rocks.
posted by PsychoTherapist at 7:52 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by one teak forest at 7:54 PM on November 3, 2008


I'm a Canadian, and all I can say is the idea of you guys voting in a black President will likely move me to tears. I can't fucking wait until tomorrow. Our own pathetic federal election left me depressed in so many ways for weeks now, and I really, really, really look forward to tomorrow. This is so big, and so so terrible that his grandmother couldn't see it. This really is a thing for the ages. I can't even begin to imagine how people who were once forced to use separate washrooms, or people who were forced to sit at the back of the bus, or people who have lived through riots, or beatings, or worse, will feel tomorrow night. I hope it brings a measure of grace and dignity to everyone who has waited for this. It's about fucking time. About fucking time. I'm gonna love it.

.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:54 PM on November 3, 2008 [15 favorites]


Another Canadian here echoing jimmythefish's sentiments. Most of us have been embarrassed for our cousins to the south for seven or so years. Get it done, come up north, we'll all buy you a (real) beer.
posted by illiad at 8:01 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


God, the Bill Kristol link... I don't know if it's just me, but he manages to be so. UGH. I don't even know the word. I want to say condescending.

First, McCain is the underdog? McCain, the wealthy, white, war hero is the underdog? Ya know, sometimes there IS no underdog. Sometimes there's just the winner and loser.

A 20 year senator beating a 4 year senator means that the establishment lost?

McCain winning being a victory for the future? Maybe if the McCain of 8 years ago was running, but his future looks a lot like the present to me.

"Who knows what would follow a President Obama and a Democratic Congress? Here’s one possibility: President Sarah Palin." Sure, that might happen. You know what WILL produce a President Sarah Palin? McCain winning and dying in office!

I'm sure there are good arguments for why McCain winning wouldn't be so bad, but I hope those arguments aren't the best we've got or we're screwed.
posted by Green With You at 8:06 PM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


Are you fired up?
Are you ready to go?
posted by brain cloud at 8:06 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


.
posted by coust at 8:08 PM on November 3, 2008


FIRED UP!

This guy is a master. It woulda been fun to be there.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 8:08 PM on November 3, 2008


Fired up!
Ready to go!
posted by scody at 8:09 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh yes. Wow, what a speech. What a candidate. What a champion.

I hear the secret service guys already call him "44." No shit.

Wow.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:09 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Right on, brain cloud. That was a great speech.
posted by Eekacat at 8:11 PM on November 3, 2008


Higher and higher.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:13 PM on November 3, 2008


He said there was no reason to fear him at a rally but his ads, his phone calls, etc.

I know what you mean. When he said that at the rally, I was momentarily heartened, that maybe he was a man I disagreed with, but who was decent on some level. Then you'd hear about all the dirty campaign tactics. I sometimes wonder if he's in control of his own campaign. Occasionally i wonder if he's purposely throwing the election.
posted by jonmc at 8:15 PM on November 3, 2008


She went to make sure everything was done right...

.
posted by bjgeiger at 8:22 PM on November 3, 2008


That was a great speech.

And he's right. Greenwood really is about an hour and a half from everything.

Fired up!
posted by octobersurprise at 8:24 PM on November 3, 2008


Occasionally i wonder if he's purposely throwing the election.

Dude, get out of my brain: I actually woke up a week or two ago, and the first thing that popped into my head with total clarity was, "of course, I get it now: McCain doesn't actually want to win!" It's like he's all "JAAAAANE, STOP THIS CRAZY THING!!!!" but there's no way off the crazy space-age treadmill except to throw himself off.

By the way, jon, I just saw this pic and thought of you.
posted by scody at 8:25 PM on November 3, 2008


Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.

Jesus Fucking Christ, Nixon was directly responsible for the needless deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands of innocent people, this was someone's grandmother, are you out of your fucking tree?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:28 PM on November 3, 2008 [13 favorites]


Dude, get out of my brain: I actually woke up a week or two ago, and the first thing that popped into my head with total clarity was, "of course, I get it now: McCain doesn't actually want to win!" It's like he's all "JAAAAANE, STOP THIS CRAZY THING!!!!" but there's no way off the crazy space-age treadmill except to throw himself off.

Actually, I've occasionally wondered if he's tanking the whole thing as revenge on the Bushes for way back when.
posted by jonmc at 8:31 PM on November 3, 2008


Occasionally i wonder if he's purposely throwing the election.

It does give one pause. I wonder if his GOP handlers aren't fucking this up on purpose. The neofreaks don't want a moderate-rightist in the Big Chair, especially one that had no problem in the past telling them to blow it out their collective ass. Both McCain and they know that this is very probably McCain's last shot at the Presidency. In four years McCain's health isn't likely to be any better. Despite all of the BS his campaign has pulled, I feel badly for the man.
posted by illiad at 8:32 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I also have a secret suspicion that Palin's being punk'd by members of her own staff. I mean seriously, the bit into her speech the other week where in one breath she praised research into autism, and then in the very next breath made fun of the actual method of said research ("froot flies! I kid you naht!"). Comedy. Gold.
posted by scody at 8:41 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


er, the bit in her speech, that is.
posted by scody at 8:42 PM on November 3, 2008


I hear the secret service guys already call him "44." No shit.

Hah, that's awesome. Thanks for mentioning it; it made me smile.
posted by Nattie at 8:44 PM on November 3, 2008


No way they are losing on purpose. The mind of power does not work that way. It is always better to have power than not to have power. And after a long period of corrupt rule, the risk of accountability is high if the other side takes over.

Nope They just ran a suck-ass campaign.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:44 PM on November 3, 2008


When I have grandkids, I want them to call me Toot. That's the best grandparent name EVER.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:57 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


We can honor her by winning and taking our country back. Vote, and call or e-mail five people you know reminding them to vote.
posted by bardic at 8:58 PM on November 3, 2008


Hell, pinky, I'll call you 'toot,' now. In New Orleans it's a universal term of affection.

Also, I don't think there are really any undecided voters. I think they just like keeping everybody in suspense. That's cool. I dig cliffhangers.
posted by jonmc at 9:00 PM on November 3, 2008


Is it tomorrow yet?
posted by gofargogo at 9:09 PM on November 3, 2008


Apparently there were 90,000 people at that Manassas rally.
posted by delmoi at 9:13 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by wrapper at 9:15 PM on November 3, 2008


Tomorrow's election is terribly important.

So vote wisely.

Vote LANDO/CHEWBACCA
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:19 PM on November 3, 2008


"Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it."

Strom Thermond:
Segregationist who fillibustered the Civil Rights Act. Politician.

Ronald Reagan:
Illegally funded the Contras, who, amongst other things, raped women, kidnapped civilians, executed children, and targeted healthcare workers for assasination. Funded and helped train the Salvadorian death squads which killed up to 70,000 Salvadorians. Sent arms illegally to Iran. His administration trivialized AIDS for seven years, described by his Communications Director as"nature's revenge on gay men". They specifically refused to increase the federal budget to investigate the disease, even as thousands of Americans died and tens of thousands were infected with a death sentence. Reagan's first remarks on AIDS came in mid '87, near the end of his second term, two years after his friend Rock Hudson died of the disease. When he spoke, 36,058 Americans had been diagnosed with AIDS and 20,849 had died. Politician.

Richard Nixon:
Illegally bombed civilians in Cambodia, killing up to 600,000 and paving the way for the "killing fields" of the Khmer Rouge, which killed 1.5m. Watergate (break-ins, illegal campaign contributions, wiretaps, hush-money, unlawful intimidation, obstruction of justice.) Politician.

Madylyn Dunham: Um... hardworking, self-reliant, strong woman who died of cancer. Loving mother and grandmother.

Anyone see a difference?!
posted by markkraft at 9:30 PM on November 3, 2008 [17 favorites]


.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:42 PM on November 3, 2008


Jesus Fucking Christ, Nixon was directly responsible for the needless deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands of innocent people, this was someone's grandmother, are you out of your fucking tree?

Worse than that. Over a MILLION. Over 4.5 million Vietnamese died in the course of that war. Give LBJ credit for a little less than half. The French, Kennedy, and Eisenhower get their cut. And Nixon, post carpet bombing, credit for the rest. Not to mention a million or so of Cambodians and Laotians.

And since Nixon was also responsible for my dad being gone six years out my life as child and being emotionally broken for years after his return hole... then yes, I'm glad Nixon is dead. And I hope he rots in hell. How that opinion anything BUT just and rational.
posted by tkchrist at 9:45 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


hole = "From that hell (hole)"...
posted by tkchrist at 9:47 PM on November 3, 2008


Occasionally i wonder if he's purposely throwing the election.

Stop that. Stop that right now. The idea that your opposition would throw the election is a symptom of internalised defeatism.

If it made sense to throw a presidential campaign, it could only mean that the presidency is powerless.

Why, just yesterday, I heard Obama tell John Stewart that times like now are precisely when people who want to serve the public can make a difference. Only if the president could not make a difference would it make sense to throw an election.

Look, you've just seen eight years of the president fucking up (deliberately or not). Do you doubt that things would have been different with a different president? Of course not. So you believe that the president makes a difference. The Republicans do too. They may want to make a different kind of difference, as it were, but by no means will they yield even four years of power voluntarily.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:48 PM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


.
posted by DaddyNewt at 9:50 PM on November 3, 2008


My heart went out to Senator Obama at the start of that speech tonight. He looked and sounded so tired.

I was glad at the end when he picked up a little. And I do love those crazy shaggy dog stories he works into his speeches.
posted by winna at 9:51 PM on November 3, 2008


Obama in a landslide: Dixon Notch, NH (fictionalised in The West Wing as Hartsfield's Landing) has only 21 registered voters. They vote at midnight to be the first town counted. They have voted 15 to 6 in Obama's favour. The first time they've gone Democrat since 1968.
posted by crossoverman at 9:51 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by quazichimp at 9:52 PM on November 3, 2008


Is the single period the keyboard equivalent of being too choked up to talk? It happened to me when I stood in front of The Wall in DC, and now again. With sympathy for the Obama family, and tears in my eyes

.
posted by X4ster at 9:53 PM on November 3, 2008


And apparently on MSNBC they mentioned there was a Obama voter protection lawyer even for those 21 votes. Now that is organized. I also found their internal voter protection pdfs. These people know how it's done. Look it over (and a small glimpse on their election day ground game in Appendix I). After seeing that, I signed up to volunteer but it was too late.
posted by amuseDetachment at 9:58 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


X4ster: "370Is the single period the keyboard equivalent of being too choked up to talk?"

Yes, it is. But the inverse of the single period, roughly equating to feeling too hope-full to talk, works also.

O
posted by iamkimiam at 10:00 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


By the way, I'd like to give a shoutout to Asparagirl and any other mefites who have volunteered as poll workers and observers for this most massive and amazing of elections. To all of you: thank you.
posted by scody at 10:05 PM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


I miss my grandma.
posted by dersins at 10:05 PM on November 3, 2008


jesus. I have deliberately tried to keep from crying for weeks (my own life is stress to the hundredth power since April of this year) and this fucking broke me. "sad" doesn't quite cut it. epically tragic.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:06 PM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by dagosto at 10:09 PM on November 3, 2008


X4ster: Yeah, thats about right. It's a note of respect also.
posted by schyler523 at 10:09 PM on November 3, 2008


A Charlotte NC television station is reporting that 25,000 people showed up at Obama's rally there today. It was cold and raining and he still pulled in 25,000 people.
posted by marxchivist at 10:26 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by rjc3000 at 10:31 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:44 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by liquorice at 10:46 PM on November 3, 2008


Just got back from Manassas. It took me literally 40 minutes to get out of the fairgrounds back to the street after the speech was over. Just a solid mass of people (who, btw, were shouting FIRED UP READY TO GO the whole way out.)

I had thought I had horrible seats when I got there, and it didn't seem like there were very many people there, but then I turned around after the speech, and I was just like, holy shit.

I think the polls lie. No one is going to be prepared for the blow out we're going to see tomorrow.
posted by empath at 10:54 PM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Brody's chum at 10:55 PM on November 3, 2008


Unfortunately the Daily Yomiuri is about 24 hours behind everyone else with the news.
posted by gomichild at 10:58 PM on November 3, 2008


From earlier tonight.
posted by markkraft at 11:03 PM on November 3, 2008


(And in about 20 hours, it's Hannity's turn.)
posted by markkraft at 11:05 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by DreamerFi at 11:56 PM on November 3, 2008


When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me
There will be an answer
Let it be.
posted by zaebiz at 12:49 AM on November 4, 2008


Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.

Mary Frye 1932
posted by dog food sugar at 1:50 AM on November 4, 2008 [8 favorites]


I've had some pretty extreme emotions over the election this year. I've reconsidered positions I previously had. I've had chills down my spine. I've been variously full of hope, fear, determination, and worry. More than once, I've been brought to the verge of tears by the pure drama and history we've seen. Thoughout it all, I've managed to remain mostly composed.

mightygodking's comment finally broke the dam. Tonight, I weep freely. Over this, and all the rest.


Thank you jammer, for expressing something close to what I'm feeling. If this election wasn't over tomorrow, I guess maybe I'd have to drop out of the world and wait, I'm not sure I could take another day more.

.

Godspeed, Mrs. Dunham.

Mr. Obama: please, please, please, honor the memory of this woman and make her proud. Please help us make this sad twisted eight years of shame and cynicism and defeat a distant pale memory.

Please.
posted by herichon at 1:54 AM on November 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by SuzySmith at 3:07 AM on November 4, 2008


Hawai'i pono'ī
E ka Lāhui ē
'O kau hana nui
E ui ē
posted by No-sword at 3:31 AM on November 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


At 6:23 am I was the 18th person in line to vote. It is now 6:46 and there are close to 100 folks in line. For the record, I live out in the sticks of Chester County, PA. My tiny little township has almost 100 people in line to vote before 7 am. I think this is gonna be a voter turnout like we haven't seen in years.
posted by shiu mai baby at 3:49 AM on November 4, 2008


I agree. The bloviators are not seeing this, but they will. We'll see 130 million voters today.

And a 54-44 win for Obama.

I'm so proud of him, of everyone I know and have met in this movement, of all of us. We're taking this country back today, for democracy and for our children and grandchildren. The right almost had it stolen, but they tripped and fell flat on their ass trying to get away.

And now they are due for a whuppin.

Fired up, ready to vote.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:08 AM on November 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I grieve for the loss of anyone's grandparents. But don't feel too sad for Barry. He cares so much for his family I'm sure he's spending election day helping his dear Aunt Zeiti find a new apartment. I'm just guessing that is why she is unavailable for comment about her illegal immigrant on public assistance, status until after the election.
posted by Gungho at 4:17 AM on November 4, 2008


Great story on MSNBC right now about the excitement level in Kenya, which is off the charts.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:25 AM on November 4, 2008


Yeah, gungho.

That's why the GOP will be decimated today. The party that stands for beating up on old ladies. For picking on the powerless, for calling human beings "illegal aliens." You do realize, however, that much to your addled nationalist imagination's consternation, NOBODY CARES about Aunt Zeiti's immigration status?

Go find out how many of the groundskeepers for McCain's seven houses are illegal immigrants. In Arizona? Bet you they are.

Enjoy the taste of tears tonight, you thug.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:28 AM on November 4, 2008 [6 favorites]


ThugS, fcm, thugs plural. They are legion, but we are stronger and better organized and actually believe in something. It's gonna be awesome.
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:41 AM on November 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hey SMB, I know. I was calling him/her/it out for thuggishness specifically, but s/he/it represents the right wing rump (see all its prior comments about how we should be terrified -- terrified -- that Barack Obama knows William Ayres). I know a couple of them (and am related to one, sadly). These are people who are terribly angry at the world. They cannot believe, and find it astounding, that all the threats and terrors they see and fear in the world their feeble, troubled minds don't scare other people as much. That's because they are either paranoid mentally ill people, or because they are bitter little angry trolls who feed on anger and hate, or because they only know how to motivate and be motivated by fear and rage. Probably had abusive parents. Certainly weren't loved enough as children. Or maybe they're just such weak people that they've let the propaganda machine shape their thinking.

So when we say to them "I'm not scared of the very things you find so fearsome," they become enraged, sure that they see something other people can't, sure we're all doomed if we don't listen to their Cassandra act. When you say "actually, sir, I embrace Muslims, illegal immigrants, gay people, poor people, and our nation's responsibility to the rest of the world" they flip out.

Luckily, there are millions more of us than them this time. The magic elixir of "9/11" fearmongering has worn off, having been diluted to nothing by the Bush administration and its phony baloney "terrorism" riff, played every single time they are out of ideas, which is often.

They want us to fear Muslims, 60s radicals who are now old men, little old ladies in Boston public housing, black people having a say in the political process, urban dwellers (presumably we're all gay and that's even scarier), atheists, cosmopolitans, immigrants, young people, working class people, educated people, women, and of course . . . . Muslims.

Unfortunately, the list of people we're supposed to be scared of has grown to include a significant majority of Americans. Hard to be scared of yourself, and it's offensive to be told you should be. Fear is all they know, hatred their only response.

gungho will be screaming into his/her/its tear-soaked pillow tonight. Good. Maybe it's the start of coming to consciousness at last.

Now I'm off to vote and help others vote. I can hardly wait until 9 tonight. This is the repudiation of everything I hate, the end of 8 years of rage against the machine. Our champion is going to deliver this nation from 8 years of wandering in the wilderness of hatred and fear.

GOBAMA '08! They told us we were crazy two years ago. Crazy, yeah. Like a fox. This is what happens when you put a "community organizer" in charge of the most important campaign of a generation: victory on a scale never imagined.

Eat that, Rudy and Sarah. And see ya. See, being a community organizer is a lot like being the mayor of a small town -- except you go on to become the President of the most powerful country on earth.

Everyone, please vote. Stay in line. No matter how long it takes. Every single vote is a nail in the coffin of the worst administration in the modern era. I know I don't need to say it here. But I am anyway.

posted by fourcheesemac at 5:01 AM on November 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


I guess I shouldn't feel that bad that my girlfriend dumped me last night. If Obama is president tomorrow all the bullshit of the past year will be worth it. Come on, God, one time for the win, ONE TIME!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:08 AM on November 4, 2008


Obama will make your girlfriend get back together with you. It's true.
posted by Skorgu at 5:30 AM on November 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


fourcheese you sure do talk preety. I me I do not fear Obama. I fear that the nation of Obamites has swallowed the Kool Aid. I fear that they cannot see through his poor choices of sponsors, co-organizers, and spiritual advisers. That those choices reflect poorly on Him. The man has broken campaign finance promises, conveniently forgotten that dear Aunt Zeiti was living in Boston, illegally, on public assistance! She was at his Senatorial inauguration! I fear that the Obamites have no clue, nor care what his policies if enacted will do to our country. Let me ask you what do you think Obama's economic policy will do to shore up your Social Security and retirement medical benefits? What do you think Obama's tax the rich policy will do to encourage job development in this country? What do you think Obama's hands-off approach to Gay marriage will do to encourage true civil rights in this country? What do you think Obama's lassaiz faire energy policy will do to ensure the energy independence of our future?

The man has no solid ground to stand on. So go ahead and vote for Him. He is The One you want afterall, to hell with the facts.
posted by Gungho at 6:12 AM on November 4, 2008


I hope so, I really do. Despite my libertarian leanings I'm committed to vote for Obama because of his controversial but necessary "Girlfriends for Nerds" program, aka No Nerd Left Behindless. Change I can beleive in.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:22 AM on November 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


You see, if Bush had been a real Texan he would've remembered the old motto of the Texas Rangers: "No man in the wrong can stand up to a fellow that's in the right and keeps on a-comin'. "
posted by octobersurprise at 6:29 AM on November 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I just voted in Portland, Maine... in a precinct that generally has pretty good turnout. The lines were out the door, which I have never seen in my 5 years of voting here. And given the neighborhood, I'd be 90% Obama. I had a nice conversation with a young man of Sudanese descent, who said it was his second time voting. He said some people said don't bother, because nothing will change...but he said back to them that if you don't do anything, that's a definite, and that at least voting is giving it a try.

I me I do not fear Obama.

Well said, Gungho. Spoken like a True American©.
posted by miss tea at 6:50 AM on November 4, 2008


He is The One you want afterall . . .

I know, right? He's like Neo AND Morpheus wrapped into one, the student and the teacher.

*cue "bullet time" imagery"*

Seriously though. Gungho, I understand where you're coming from, but from what I've seen over the past few years, there are an awful lot of people ready for a change.

Whether that change will bring hardship and strife, belt tightening, and other trials, or it will be magic unicorns peeing rainbows in the streets (I HOPE SO), we cannot go on the way we've been.

The past eight years have been one clusterfuck after another, lies, pointless war, economy headed into the ground, a hundred more issues I won't bore us all with.

The alternative to Obama is . . . unthinkable. Really. (Unless you have a magic unicorn)
posted by exlotuseater at 6:56 AM on November 4, 2008


I would like to thank her for raising such a fine grand son.

Thank you.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:58 AM on November 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


sorry for the tautology-- ALL unicorns are magic by their very nature.

VOTE MAGIC UNICORN / BATTLE DOLPHIN 2016!
posted by exlotuseater at 6:59 AM on November 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


People are interpreting his grandmother dying the day before the election as really bad luck, but the truth is she probably forced herself to hang on one or two weeks longer than she otherwise would have to get that far. In other words the fact that the death happened that close was no coincidence, it was an impressive force of will that just barely missed its mark.

Imagine losing a one on one with Michael Jordan by one point. I'd say you were lucky, not unlucky, to go that far.
posted by dgaicun at 7:13 AM on November 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Mahalo, Toot.
posted by elfgirl at 7:24 AM on November 4, 2008


I think the Depeche Mode quotes upthread (1, 2) are off the mark. For my money, the best quote would be:

"I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours
But I think that God has a sick sense of humour."

I hope that Obama's personal beliefs will bring him solace on what should have been a day unmired by personal sorrow.
posted by malocchio at 8:12 AM on November 4, 2008


So go ahead and vote for Him. He is The One you want afterall,

I just did. Yes He is. And Yes We Can.

Ain't democracy pretty? Quit whining and go win an election for your side. Good luck with that.

"After all" is two words, by the way. Funny how people with obvious limits to their education presume to lecture the rest of us on our ignorance.

Barackalypse Nw.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:19 AM on November 4, 2008


er, Now!
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:19 AM on November 4, 2008


"...epic is the silver lining around nightmare"
posted by minkll at 8:20 AM on November 4, 2008


You did good, Toot.
posted by Capt Jingo at 8:20 AM on November 4, 2008


A most unfortunate turn of events.
posted by csteelatgburg at 8:49 AM on November 4, 2008


Please don't assume anything about anyone's education. I never took a single typing (or was it called keyboarding?) course. Gungho can't type to save his/her/ its life.

Just in case... to, too, two, there, their, they're, it's, its, and i before e except after c... most of the time.
posted by Gungho at 9:02 AM on November 4, 2008


Oh, and "Ain't"? What kind of word is that for the self-professed educated elite?
posted by Gungho at 9:04 AM on November 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is this still about Obama's grandmother? Because I'm sad about that.

.

She must have been about the proudest grandmother ever. I sure miss mine.
posted by Nabubrush at 9:14 AM on November 4, 2008


[few comments removed - pissing matches OUT OF HERE, thank you]
posted by jessamyn at 9:16 AM on November 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


“Nixon was directly responsible for the needless deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands of innocent people...”

Kennedy though. He was a freakin’ saint. Strategic Hamlet, now there was a stroke of genius. Massively increasing the number of troops in Vietnam and the ‘62 Foreign Assistance Act mandating military assistance to countries around the communist bloc under attack by communist forces, no, that didn’t escalate the Vietnam war at all.

“Their comments about Granny Obama are no worse than what was posted here after Strom Thurmond, Ron Reagan or Nixon kicked it.”
&
“It's like the old schoolyard rule, insut me all you like, but leave family out of it.”

They didn’t have families?

“I've never said a single word against any of their grandparents, and would defy you to show me where any MeFite has.”
&
“You wouldn't see those same people delighting in the death of their parents.”

Lol, whut?
Did you even read the Tony Snow thread?
And on and on:
http://www.metafilter.com/70217/The-Legend-Will-Live-On
http://www.metafilter.com/36888/Arafat-is-dead
http://www.metafilter.com/26659/Strom-Thurmond-Dead
http://www.metafilter.com/18641/
http://www.metafilter.com/69423/RIP-William-F-Buckley-Jr
http://www.metafilter.com/70562/Charlton-Heston-dead-at-84
http://www.metafilter.com/57357/Saddam-Hussein-is-Dead

I don’t see where anyone said anything specifically against Obama’s grandmother. Seems like it was mostly directed against Obama. And there were a great many people decrying that there. Same as here.
Many comments were deleted, so perhaps I did miss something. If that was the case, then sure, that’s wrong. Obviously. And it would piss me off too.
But as it is, seems like this is slander against Obama. By most of y’all’s own rules if I’m reading the general idea correctly - that’s ok.

You want to talk details ok - I don’t see anyone on MeFi specifically saying anything against someone’s grandmother. Ok.
But that’s a facile argument.
The gist is that MeFi doesn’t do hate and ‘they’ do. Which is bullshit.
The other arguments along the lines of “well (this specific person) deserves it.”
Yeah, I got news for you - everyone who hates thinks that way. No one thinks themselves a villian. And they all think it’s ok to spew venom and bile on someone who ‘has it coming.’
Well, y’know, maybe they (whomever) do.
But upon someone’s death - just for a brief period - there should be some respect for the personal nature and great emotion of the thing.
Just a recognition of the basic humanity that we all share as truly meaningful and above other divisive and often petty concerns.
What does anything, money, success, politics, anything mean at the death of a loved one? Nothing.
We’re all mortal. We all love people who will die. I don’t know anyone who would give a shit about anything going on in the world on the day they bury their mother or child.

I think Obama recognized that truth when he took time off from what is arguably one of the most important struggles of our generation to visit his grandmother.
That speaks volumes about the man.

The point being - it doesn’t matter what ‘they’ say. Only matters what you say. And do.
We can denounce their statements, but let’s not make these wide sweeping generalizations that ‘we’ are better than ‘them.’ Or that ‘our’ side is better than ‘theirs’ because our hatefulness is righteous and well placed while theirs is sick and wrong because it’s the same damned thing ‘they’ think about ‘us.’

Individually, you all know what you’ve said or haven’t. You go reckon it for yourselves.
But don’t hand me this it’s ok to hate someone like this, but hating some other way - whoa, that’s out of bounds.
Hate is hate, man. Pisses me off whether it’s celebrating Hussein’s execution, Thurmond’s death or this b.s. with Obama’s grandmother.
But recognize it for what it is.

And on that note:

Gungho - flagged as derail.

“Leaving no potential avenue of attack unexplored, the Republican National Committee has decided to bash Barack Obama over his October visit to see his ailing grandmother in Hawaii.
[...] On Monday afternoon, the RNC blasted out a complaint from the California Republican Party charging that "Obama for America violated federal law by converting its campaign funds to Senator Obama's personal use" for the trip.”

There’s a great scene in The Godfather, often overlooked, where the feds are getting the license plates of cars and taking pictures of the wedding and Sonny Corleone comes out and confronts them.
He’s pissed because, y’know, it’s his sister’s wedding. And he takes a camera from one of the feds, smashes it on the ground. He pulls money out of his pocket and throws a few bills on the ground.

Kinda the reaction I’d like to see from Obama here against a petty stunt like this.

Already said my piece on her death.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:23 AM on November 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


My vote was my . and proudly so. Felt good to be an American today. What lucky little carbon units we are. If I was a praying man I'd pray for haling and unity but alas -- I am a cynical old bastard and I do not believe that everyone is good at heart or has the best interests of the nation in mind.

God, it would be wonderful to be proved wrong...
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:56 AM on November 4, 2008


Healing. Healing, that is.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:57 AM on November 4, 2008


.
posted by Foosnark at 10:01 AM on November 4, 2008


.
posted by cdferr at 12:01 PM on November 4, 2008


In my heart, I imagine that Toots has the best vantage point of all. What felix betachat said.
posted by uncorq at 12:17 PM on November 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don’t see where anyone said anything specifically against Obama’s grandmother. Seems like it was mostly directed against Obama. And there were a great many people decrying that there. Same as here.
Many comments were deleted, so perhaps I did miss something.


You're correct - there were a lot of comments deleted. Specifically, I read comments directly suggesting that Obama's campaign either 1. killed her, or 2. delayed announcing her death until now, for political purposes. There was no beating around the bush on this - it was directly suggested in no uncertain terms.

Unfortunately we can't have a reasonable discussion about this because the items were deleted.
posted by odinsdream at 12:27 PM on November 4, 2008


I’ll add -Sunday was All Souls Day - (and the Day of the Dead) which commemorates the faithful departed and -asks for intercession on their behalf.
I mean, c’mon.

Whether you’re religious or not, or believe in God - whatever. If the story of a guy hearing the shouts of the oppressed souls in purgatory and the lamentations of demons complaining about the effectiveness of the prayers of the faithful in rescuing them and the reconciliation that results in the prayers and care for the dead doesn’t resonate with you as it pertains to this - you’re not really paying attention.

The weight of history, and of the dead, is surely upon this election.

And whether it is a requiem for the last of the bad old ways of doing things or not - we need to look inside ourselves and imagine this country if we don’t figure out how to reconcile what is essentially two nations with different standards of health, education and income.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:28 PM on November 4, 2008


“Unfortunately we can't have a reasonable discussion about this because the items were deleted.”

No, I’ll cede that point. Hell, I’ll augment it and say behavior like that is fucking abominable.
I just think the broader point about legitimacy of how anger/hate/etc. is directed and the individual vs. group thing is still valid.
We could argue degrees there, but I’m willing to to call a spade a spade and go with you - fully - on those particulars. I’m not doubting their existence.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:35 PM on November 4, 2008


As I was walking back to my office after lunch today a group of 3 black men from the low income housing down the street were walking toward me. One of 'em looks at me and said "Did ya vote?" I said "Not yet. You?" One of them said "I voted early!" The guy who asked me said "I can't."
I stopped and asked him: "Was it a felony?"
"Yeah."
"Are you on probation?"
"No. I'm off."
"Then you can vote. Right up the street there. Show 'em your I.D., or if one of your buddies have I.D. and are registered, they can vouch for you. It's easy!"
"You sure?"
"Sure I'm sure, go vote!"
"Aright!"

I'm a dodgy geezer and have seen far too many dreams shattered to be as hopeful as I am today, but, dammit, I'm more excited about an election than I've ever been and I'm going to allow myself to feel that. There was no line at High Dudgeon School when I went to vote, and tonight, as I filled in the little spaces between the arrows, I thought of that man who thought he couldn't vote and felt like, this time, just this once, I got to vote twice.
posted by Floydd at 4:30 PM on November 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


.

It is touching how this sad loss of 'Toot' has reminded so many of their own grandmothers. In Hawaiian the word for (either) parent is Makua -- which is the same word used for uncle or aunty. Only grandparents get specific titles -- tutuwahine (grandmother) and tutukane (grandfather). Such is the status of grandparents -- who often have been the primary caretakers of the moopuna (grandchildren). I think that is something many of us can relate to.

I am sure Toot (tutuwahine) is watching her punahele (most beloved child) tonight.
posted by Surfurrus at 3:30 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


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