Now I'm not someone who typically hangs around with politicians. I usually try to stay away. But for some reason, I'm totally engaged with politics this election season. Note that I'm also ready for it to be totally over (two years is a bit too mouch). But when I found out yesterday that one of the presidential candidates was holding a rally less than a mile from my house, I just had to go. I've never attended a political rally and it doesn't get much better than being able to walk to it.
The "gates" opened at 3:00 and the speechifyin' was supposed to start at 5:30. Tom and I walked down to the eventat 3:00 and spent the next hour and a half standing in line. There were a lot of people there (traffic started picking up in town around 1:00). I made two large tactical errors: I didn't bring any knitting and I didn't have any snacks.
So we waited and waited and eventually the line began snaking towards the security area. Before too long (relatively speaking) we were in. Surprisingly enough, we found several people we knew. The speechifyin' started right on time. One of the candidates for Senate talked, then the governor of our fair state, and finally the candidate himself.
What can I say? He made the usual stump speech, appropriately substituting "Virginians" for "Ohioans" or "Floridians." He talked about taxes, the economy, health insurance, and a little bit about foreign policy. The crowd was appreciative, but not nearly as fired up as I thought they'd be. But then again, given that both Tom and I go out of our way to avoid crowds, we positioned ourselves far away from where the action was happening.
The people were interesting to watch and everyone seemed to be happy and open to possibilities (unlike some of what I've read about the opponent's rallies). I did take pictures, but the candidate is just a little tiny spot. As the rally went on, it became more and more difficult to take pictures; my fingers were so numb with the cold (hmmm...if my candidate loses, maybe Canada is not the best country to which to flee).
Was I galvanized to action? No. I think I'm too much of a cynic. Was my choice reinforced? Yes; the candidate didn't do or say anything that I thought was reprehensible (not exactly a ringing endorsement but nonetheless I think he stands head and shoulders above his opponent). Will I vote on November 4th? Absolutely.
After the rally was over, we walked back home. It was kind of cool to see thousands of people walking down the middle of the street, chanting the candidate's name. It was particularly cool because that end of the street has pretty much declared for the opposition. And even more cool, the candidate's motorcade drove right by my house a little later! So, if said candidate is elected, I've got pictures of him before he was president and I can say he drove by my house.
That and $3.50 will get me a latte.
No matter what, be sure you vote on November 4. Even if you are voting for the opponent.
(This is not a paid political ad.)
P.S. It's a very good thing I decided to work from home today. Our street (which is a main thoroughfare through town) was gridlocked in both directions until about 8:00 this evening. I would have been so angry not to have been able to get to my house.