I’ll confess that in some ways I’m still slightly ambivalent about whether I want Barack Obama as president. But I am in no way ambivalent about the very solid fact that I emphatically do NOT want Mitt Romney. And I live in a swing state with a lot of electoral votes. So . . . yesterday we attended an early birthday party at our local Obama For America office.
The last real political meeting I attended was a caucus in Provo, Utah that felt like a cross between a Mormon Sunday School class and a high school popularity contest. So I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the Obama Party turned out to be delightful, with a very fun vibe.
It started out with a Southern barbeque, complete with homemade baked beans, potato salad, and red velvet cupcakes. The buffet was manned by the same ladies who’d made the food, and they encouraged us to try everything.
Next, Tony and I walked around to different tables, deciding which political activities we’d like to engage in. We settled on registering people to vote and precinct-walking. Tony assured the coordinator that we were experienced precinct-walkers, and that last time around we’d even done it with our kids on our backs in baby carriers. He omitted to mention the reason for that particular precinct-walking experience, which just happened to be promoting Proposition 8 in California. I guess experience is experience.
Meanwhile, the kids were ushered to a kids’ corner, where they colored, ate cookies, and passed around the Obama mask.
Then we had a little assembly and watched this video. Seventeen minutes is kind of long for a political video, but it doesn’t feel so long when you’re in small-town, racially-charged America, and everyone around you is cheering their hearts out for a president who they feel really represents them. I’m having problems lately with embedding video, but here’s the link:
It’s a very nicely-done video, with lots of inspiring “noble leader making excruciatingly difficult but ultimately amazing decision” shots. If you’re for Obama, you will love it, and might possibly even cry. If you’re not, you most likely won’t.
After the video, there were some speeches by people about how excited they were and how much they loved being Democrats. But they made sure to welcome the Republicans and Independents too, so I felt included. The best speech was by a woman who participated in sit-ins during the 1960’s Civil Rights movement right here in Volusia County. She was awesome.
A good time was had by all, even me. I typically feel fairly disenfranchised by U.S. politics, and end up in the voting booth still trying to decide uncomfortably between Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, and Yoda. I’m still conflicted, and I’m still going to be off to Europe whenever I get the chance, but I felt pretty proud to be an American last night, doing my civic duty.
And if you live in West Volusia County, you might just find me on your doorstep next to my indefatigable husband this Saturday, encouraging you to get out in November and vote for Barack Obama.