So, my fingers are shaking and it’s hard to type. Why? Well, I’ve been outside.
It’s 17 degrees, not including a very brisk wind from the north.
My current political boyfriend, Barack Obama, is speaking right now. A coworker and I went. Doors opened at 3:45. We got there are 5:05. My boyfriend was scheduled to speak at 5:45.
Now, I’m no dummy. I know 5:45 really means 6:30.
However, we stood and stood and stood, us and a couple hundred other voters, waiting for some movement of the line. It was cold, but there was great people watching. An incredibly diverse array of similarly disenfranchised people surrounded us.
I was amazed and invigorated that so many people – all colors, all ages, all socio-economic appearances – had ventured out into the cold to hear Senator Obama speak. One dad had three little girls and one box of Girl Scout cookies to keep them all happy. The feeling was festive. These were people full of anticipation, waiting to hear what this man had to say. People who were hungry for real hope.
And then, a woman walking the wrong way through the crowd said she’d been there since 4:10 and had never moved in line. And then about 10 minutes later, an Obama hack announced that the auditorium was full, but the senator would speak to the overflow crowd first.
A mass exodus ensued. Coworker and I decided to hang tight in the luxurious 40 degree warmth of the staging area. Twenty minutes later, the Obama hack announced that the senator was on his way from the airport and would be arriving any minute.
We went outside. And stood in the snow. And waited.
Then, another hack announced that the senator was running late and was speaking inside. He’d address the overflow crowd when he was done – in 45 minutes.
Did I mention we were standing in snow?
When my grandmother was born, women couldn’t vote. People die for the privilege to vote. They walk miles and miles to the polls. They stand up against armed forces who really don’t want them to cast their votes. I appreciate that standing in snow in freezing temperatures really isn’t even a blip on the democratic hardship radar.
This is 2008. This is America. Get your shit together and get a venue that will hold more than a handful of people. Make some fucking signs that tell people where to go. And for God’s sake, be honest when things don’t work out according to plan. Don’t go hide, you campaign goons.
I hope that none of the folks who waited in the snow hold this event management nightmare against Obama personally. I’m trying. I can’t feel my feet, and it’s hard not to be bitter.