Thursday, October 30, 2008

Phone banking

I have done it many times in the past 8 years - phone banking - telemarketing for the fearless, the unintimidated. I am phone banking from my PC in NY to people in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio - they call them "Battleground states" - I can see why - they are definitely battleground states. The emotions that emanate from the other end of the telephone are strong, to be quite sure.

I am doing it because I want to do SOMETHING. I had hoped to be hired to work on the campaign full time, but decided against something that would require so many hours - I struggle with having too much stress and too many hours of work - it is difficult to have a disability, particularly one such as mine - people tend to not understand, and more often, tend to not want to understand.

I am polite on the phone - I follow the script religiously, respecting the differences, rejoicing inwardly, and outwardly, when appropriate, when I meet a true Obama supporter - the first time voter who screamed in the background of one of my first phone calls, the green card holder who cannot vote, but is proud that her citizen husband can and will vote for Obama. The 70 year old who thinks that Obama is the only one who can heal the country and is convinced of its demise under McCain. There are many - there are also the few who hang up - less than a handful so far, actually. It is all part of it - again - that is why they are called battleground states - strong opinions from the residents thereof.

This election is the most important election that we are likely to see in our lifetimes. The next few years will explain where we are as a nation, whether we have overcome our personal biases and have the guts to vote for the right person, regardless of the color of his skin. I am wearing one of my Dr. King pins - I got them at the annual luncheon I attended a couple of times in Utah - another lifetime ago - I wonder what people think when they see it - do they think I am making a statement? I am, but not the one they might think of necessarily - I have a dream and that is that my 4 brown sons will always be judged by the content of their character, and not the colour of their skin.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Can Obama close the deal with those white guys?

The presidential race has taken an exciting turn now. It all started this morning with Powell's endorsement.

It is officially all about race - no, not the race, but race, as in skin color.

The title of this post comes from the NY Times magazine today. I have not read the story - I am, after all, a tree hugger and not inclined to read many magazines or newspapers, except at my local library on occasion, or online versions.

Does Obama really have to close a deal with white guys or does he have to close a deal with all the remaining undecideds? He is moving ahead swiftly of McCain and there are still more voters' minds to sway.

At this late stage in the game, one has to ask - are people going to vote for McCain just because he shares their skin color? His economics plan has been reviewed, as has Obama's by an independent group - several, in fact - and Obama's has been deemed the most viable. McCain's ads become more desperately negative as the days inch closer to November 4th - we are now two weeks and two days away from the most important general election in many of our lifetimes.

I would like to think that we have progressed in America - that we do not see things in terms of color and race alone - that we judge people based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin - Colin Powell stated today that he hopes we have moved beyond the so-called Bradley factor, but I am not quite as optimistic.

Should I be?

An endorsement of monumental proportions

I dared not believe it......I certainly hoped and tried to be cautiously optimistic, but I dared not believe it. When I heard that retired General and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell was to be on NBC's "Meet the Press" today, I thought that he might speculate again as to his lack of endorsement of a presidential candidate.

It was at around 4.00 today that I heard the news - I was at a local eatery in Hartsdale when I was told that Powell had indeed endorsed Obama. CNN in some fashion is always on the TV and we discuss politics whenever we go to pick up some delicious West Indian food from Ruth's restaurant. I was incredulous - I could scarcely believe the news. All these months of waiting - watching Powell be so very careful as he decided whether or not to endorse, knowing of the ramifications from his party, his race and his friends, were he to endorse one way or the other. Colin Powell is West Indian by heritage and began his education at City colleges of New York - nothing is impossible in this country if one dares to dream - absolutely nothing, and methinks that is perhaps what is the most perturbing for all those out there who tried and failed - they thought that the White House was theirs as if by predestination - they had earned it by decades of public service, their last names, whatever - and then comes Obama, the Junior Senator from Illinois, with his intellect, wisdom and amazing vision - a man who can heal our nation and bring about the change that we so desperately need here in America.

A lesser person than Powell would have remained neutral and kept their voting decision to themselves, but Powell has shown us time and again that he is not a regular Joe - he is a remarkable man - intelligent, eloquent, poised, polished, with great vision, wisdom and insight into the political goings on in the country, even the world - yes, and not just on military matters dare I say it.

He is now damned because he did, and damned because he didn't. McCain is a close friend of his and they have known each other for over two decades - Obama is becoming a very close friend and they have become close in the last two years......He has often been a counselor and sounding board, mentor and now friend to the young - or relatively young - senator from Illinois.

Powell knew that he would be accused of playing his own race card by siding with Obama - had he sided with McCain, he would have been accused of betraying his race AND political party - it tooks guts, courage and the tenacity that have made Powell one of the most respected and admired political military figures of our lifetime. In another ending, he could well have been the first black President of America - he finds it "electrifying" to think that Obama might just be the one to do this instead.

God bless America and God bless Senator Obama.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just passing this on - for those who normall vote Straight Democratic, or Republican for that matter

Just Passing this on... For those who normally vote 'Straight Democratic', please pay close attention!!!!! I was informed this weekend by a group of Obama volunteers that when voting for the presidential candidate this November, you have to make sure you punch Barack's name first, then proceed to punch 'Straight Democratic' or else the vote for the president won't count. I'm not sure if any of you are aware of this, but we know they won't tell us this at the poles. Please make sure you inform others.

For your information, I tried to verify this via Snopes, but was not able.

You be the judge....

Vote for President Barack "Osama" a freudian slip in Upstate NY - methinks not!

It was an ugly typo to say the least. One could not begin to imagine how this had happened. Sure, the powers that be hurriedly apologized for the error, but did not explain HOW this happened, only that they were sorry. For the mothers in the reading group, we recall having to practically force a civilised "sorry" from one sibling who has hurt or offended another, recognising that there was no civility there, and there was surely no "sorry" except that the offending party was caught.

What on earth is afoot in the great state of New York? Granted, it is now my residence, and for the NYC'er who is somewhat geographically challenged, they consider my county of Westchester to be "Upstate", but it is a mere 40 minutes from the city, truth be told.

Lately, we are hearing about the so-called Bradley factor - named after Tom Bradley of California. When he ran for office, in California, he was predicted to win by polls, but according to Wikepedia, something completely different happened that day:

The Bradley effect, less commonly called the Wilder effect,[1] is a proposed explanation for a discrepancy between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in American political campaigns when a white candidate and a non-white candidate run against each other.[2][3][4] Named for Tom Bradley, an African-American who lost the 1982 California governor's race despite being ahead in some voter polls, the Bradley effect refers to an alleged tendency on the part of some voters to tell pollsters that they are undecided or likely to vote for a black candidate, and yet, on election day, vote for his/her white opponent.
The theory of the Bradley effect is that the inaccurate polls have been skewed by the phenomenon of social desirability bias.[5][6] Specifically, some white voters give inaccurate polling responses for fear that, by stating their true preference, they will open themselves to criticism of racial motivation. The reluctance to give accurate polling answers has sometimes extended to post-election exit polls as well. The race of the pollster conducting the interview may factor in to voters' answers.
Some analysts have dismissed the theory of the Bradley effect as "baseless",[7] while others argue that it may have existed in past elections, but not in more recent ones.

It would have been nice to see Hillary Clinton be the first female President of the United States, up there with Angela Merkel, Margaret Thatcher et al, but it was not to be.

Are you really telling me that we are still so race conscious in this country, that we would rather be "PC" about this, and no, I am not talking DELL here - than to tell the truth when asked in a poll, exit or pre-election or otherwise?

Freudian slip my foot!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Barack Obama - the first black (?) president

Donna Brazille spoke eloquently of Barack's parentage earlier this week.

I am the mother of four amazing sons. I gave birth to each of them. They share genes with their Caucasian father. I could no more expect them to deny their father's race than to deny mine. They were raised for a time in Germany and then a couple of military towns - Lawton OK and Radcliff KY- their experiences are as varied as they are individuals. Each of them has grown up with varying degrees of racism.

Barack Obama was raised for most of his life by his mother and maternal grandparents - he did not live in the deep south, yet he is accused of being elitist - he worked hard and made it to Harvard Law school - again he is called elitist - he and his wife just recently paid off their school loans, due in part to the phenomenal success of his two books - again he is elitist - last time I checked, he lives in a stately home - just one - in an area that he represents as a senator.

Let's stop calling the race card - Obama is of mixed parentage - black and white and will be the first president of America with mixed parentage - according to today's standards - in Abe Lincoln's time - that was another story......something about one drop of blood. What would our forefathers say?