Friday, October 31, 2008

A Hug from Michelle Obama

I was waiting for a PDF to generate when I clicked play on the video of Michelle Obama's interview with Jay Leno. As I was watching I flashed back to an episode of Seinfeld in which Elaine interviews for the editor job at Doubleday which had formerly (and famously) been held by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis - Jackie O.

Shockingly I couldn't find a clip online so here are a few lines from the script I found at Seinfeld Scripts.

LANDIS: Of course, Jackie O. was a great lady. Those are going to be some tough shoes to fill. Everyone loved her. She had such...grace.

ELAINE (gushing): Yes! Grace!

LANDIS: Not many people have grace.

ELAINE: Well, you know, grace is a tough one. I like to think I have a little grace...not as much as Jackie -

LANDIS: You can't have "a little grace." You either have grace, or you...don't.

Michelle O. has grace. In the interview she also proved she has humor and intelligence. It was then I decided to close the work computer and drive to that bastion of Colorado conservatism, Colorado Springs (home of the zealous Focus on the Family) to see Michelle O. speak at the Early Vote for Change Rally.

Colorado Springs is an hour south of Denver. I arrived 15 minutes before the doors were to open and walked around the building to the end of the line. It wasn't looking good for our entrance to the indoor Colorado Springs City Auditorium but the excitement was invigorating and those of us on the line bonded in our hope to make it.

By the time we passed the McCain supporters, laughed at the 9/11 conspirator, feared the anti-choice protesters, and got to the front door of the auditorium, the doors were shut.

Don't worry. There are speakers in the parking lot and you can listen to the rally there.


But we walked our excitement over to the parking lot and stood at the waist-high barricades, listening to the local politicians and volunteers, and watching the news trucks setup a microphone and dais. I just hoped that when Michelle spoke she would give a shout out to those of us who couldn't get in.

As I stood listening to the wife of a soldier who had devoted herself to electing Barack Obama, and Jan Martin, Republican Colorado Springs City Council Member who has endorsed Obama, I glanced over to the other side of the parking lot and watched a woman walking towards us, flanked by three men in dark suits. As the woman got closer, I grabbed the arm of my line friend and said, "There's Michelle O." At that point, others had noticed her also and the cheering became cacophonous. Michelle walked up to the microphone and her first words that night were, "And this is just the overflow?" The crowd went wild.

Michelle thanks us for being there and said she had to get inside but she wanted to go around and shake some hands - which is exactly what she did. Having been 20 people from the beginning of the parking lot line I had an excellent spot holding on to the barricade.

Michelle walked down the line, shaking hands with some and hugging others. She got to my line friend and said, "Thank you very much." Then she looked at me and before she could say anything I said, No, Michelle. Thank you very much.

Maybe it was my tee shirt adorned with a huge picture of her husband. Or maybe it was the I Voted sticker that was stuck on it. Or maybe she just liked what I said but she stopped and hugged me before moving on down the line.

The woman behind me grabbed my shoulder and said, She just hugged you. I gulped and nodded my head.

Oh, I wish she had hugged me, she said.

Quick, hug me. You can have a Michelle hug by proxy.

And we hugged each other which excited her to no end. And me? I'll never wash that Obama shirt again - not that I've washed it in a long time. Since I early voted and put that sticker on, the shirt hasn't seen the inside of a washing machine.

Michelle O.: a graceful successor who is sure (fingers crossed) to be the next First Lady of our United States of America. You go, girl!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Obama: Colorado Ain't Swinging No More

Over 100,000 people joined me in welcoming Barack Obama back to the Mile High City. This is three times the amount that showed up to welcome Bill Clinton when he campaigned for President in Denver in 1992. (1992 was the last election in which Colorado swung for a Democratic nominee.) Civic Center Park takes up three city blocks (not counting the Capitol steps mentioned by Obama). Before settling in the center of the milling throngs, I walked the outskirts. It was amazing and invigorating to feel the excitement and see the diversity.

About three hours later, Obama spoke in Fort Collins, Colorado (immediately south of the Wyoming border) in front of a reported 50,000 people.

Here's the Denver news story with photo credits. The ones I took didn't do justice to the expanse. Next time I'll bring my crane.

And lastly, this little one couldn't make it to the park but decided to join in the excitement anyway.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama: Rush's Race to Judgement

Rush Limbaugh believes that Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama is totally about race. So let's turn Limbaugh's attempt at logic around.

I proclaim that my endorsement of Barack Obama is totally about race.

Thankfully, Obama has a white mother because I could never vote for a black person.

Excellent video but why didn't the artist use creative license on Limbaugh's face?

UPDATE 10/29: How come the pig doesn't call out this McCain supporter for his endorsement of McCain being totally about race? Click the image for the Raw Story and very disturbing video of McCain supporters advocating assassination. This is scary stuff.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama: Schlepping for the..

A month after we moved into our house in Denver, I was driving south on Wadsworth Blvd. on my way to the in-laws (if there was a law). Waiting at a red light, I watched a man at the church on the corner cleaning up the letters he hadn't used for the church's sign. It touted the following Sunday's sermon. I thought the sign was funny but I also thought it odd that the cleric wrote it did not understand the implicit meaning of the words. I went back the next day to take a picture.

Unfortunately (I can only assume that) when the cleric saw the sign in the light of day, it (sic) must have finally understood because the words were gone.

A month ago I received an email with a picture from another house of worship. This one used a Yiddish word that I have heard often in my 50 years.

Yiddish is, in a simplistic nutshell, a German language written in Hebrew. In German and Yiddish, shvarts means black. Although I can't answer to any German interpretation I can tell you that shvartser in Yiddish means black person and the word is used as a derogatory term by alter kakers (a derogatory Yiddish term for old person). In this case, the cleric who wrote it did understand the explicit meaning in the words - vote for Barack Obama. I thought it a brilliant and funny attempt to reach the same group of people that brilliant and funny Sarah Silverman wants you to reach in the video, The Great Schlep.

After all this, it turns out that the latter sign was created online at a site called Church Sign Generator. When I saw what you could do on this site, I decided to recreate the former sign using the name of the zealous pentecostal church Sarah Palin left in 2002 - right before her first run for a statewide office. How convenient!

Palin didn't win her first run. I can only hope this generated church sign helps to defeat her (and the alter kaker she's running with) in her first run for national office.

UPDATE 10/23: Even if you and I don't think this race is about race, there are plenty who do.

UPDATE 10/24: People are schlepping.

UPDATE 10/29: More information on her sashay from the WAOG can be found in the Newsweek article, What Are Sarah Palin's Religious Beliefs: Jesus and Witches.

Friday, October 3, 2008

With a Dog and a Cat...

...working from home can get a little crowded.