Feb. 8, 2008 at 6:31pm
(and finds a cause to support)
I am, at best, politically ambivalent.
I know the causes and platforms that make me warm and fuzzy, I know parties I generally support, and I know the politicians that make me sick to my stomach, but ask me about caucuses, primaries, issues, specific policies of candidates, and you'll generally see me smile and nod awkwardly like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming Hummer.
So today, that changed.
My mother in law of sorts (her son is my domestic partner of twelve years-- hence, I am "Girlfriend" in Tacoma, not Wife in same city) asked me if I had an interest to go see HIllary at the UPS Fieldhouse. As she lives relatively nearby, and I suspected it would make for an interesting slice of historic "I was there" pie, I said, sure, whatev, I'll go with you.
We got there and I was gobsmacked. The crowd went down the block, around the block, and around the next street. I saw friends Pat and Abby of King's Books, stopped and chat, and saw Jenymama... I thought there was no way we'd make it into the building, and had we gone in with Jen, I suspected we'd be lynched by an angry mob. And I was cold, so the MIL and I decided to make our way home. Already, I thought, I would take away an energetic, lively spirit that hope was alive in this city. I could go home with the feeling that political change was something that could potentially take place, for real. I was taking heart, I was feeling more hopeful than I had in two elections.
And then a miracle happened. As I was snapping shots the building engulfed the line, and MIL and I made it into the building at the very end of it. I saw Nath, my friend from many contexts, and asked the goon at the door if I could just say hi to my friend. He said, sure, and Nath said, follow the girl in the black sweatshirt. I almost said, oh, no, I couldn't, (and did say, I'm sorry, I have my mother in law here) and he said, grab her, follow ___. I did, and we did. And I got treated to cold pimpin' fabulous seats pretty much front and center-ish, right behind the stage.
That's when I began to bask in the glow of political energy. I began to take in the packed crowd of diverse (though predominantly white) faces, the signs, the volume. The hope. It was like a concert, where the excitement about what's to come sort of takes you out of your body, you just sort of ride the wave of adrenaline.
When Hillary Clinton came out, I realized, she's small. She has a teeny waist balanced out by big coif and distinctly feminine hips. Her voice is strong, exactly as it sounds on TV. What comes out of that mouth are topics that are articulate, intelligent, and real, in a tangible way. The whole experience was real. It was a sort of intimate connection-- as much as you can get with a herd of 5000-- that makes you realize the talking heads belong to actual bodies. It was intense.
More than that, I was swept away by the ideas she presented. Mostly, as this was a healthcare summit, she talked at great length on healthcare and how she plans to reform it, making insurance companies less strong, making it an individual's right to have equal access to quality healthcare. She spoke on a number of different topics-- the war in Iraq, Veterans Rights, Education, the Environment, and a number of topics connected to these topics. And as her speech flowed, I realized-- holy cowcrap, batman-- this woman *gets* it.
She wasn't just on her pulpit blowing bubbles of grandiose ideas, ideals, and aspirations and letting them float out there-- she had a comprehensive plan, solid ideas, and a global view that made me break out in goosebumps. It sounded to me like, for the first time in many years, we could have a candidate who might take the campaign promises, combine them with the knowhow gained through years in the white house and on the senate, and turn them into an *actual* *progressive* *administration.* Add to that, she has a spouse who could be a huge asset to her in his knowhow of matters politic and diplomatic.
As we waited in the cold, hanging out with the last fifty or so stragglers for a chance at a final peek, I felt my toes gradually lose consciousness. My fingers nearly went in the same direction. My throat and voice, already raspy and worked from viral onslaught, were going to hell in a handbasket, quickly. And yet I needed one final glance, to see that for-real woman who might be our next president, our first woman president, who might help our country work toward gaining the respect of a world community, who might just be as progressive with programs, reforms, and progress as FDR (who also, you will recall, had a strong spouse).
A dude and his iPod running by stopped and said, what's the motorcade all about? We said, Hillary was here. For real? He asked. Yup, we said, and explained it was a speech, that she talked about her plans and programs.
Oh yeah? asked dude, Like what? We said, healthcare, Iraq, education. Cynically, he asked what the plans were, testing us to come up with any thing beyond the campaign rhetoric soundbite. We recapped, with condensed blurbs of remembered information.
He digested a second, and kind of looked impressed.
Cool, he said, and waited there with us for that one final chance at a glance.
In his shorts.
(My shots are on flickr, and I'll have some video posted to the feed, soon!!)
comments  | posted under 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary at the UPS Fieldhouse, TacomaComments
by tacomachickadee on 2/8/2008 @ 7:43pm
by jcbetty on 2/8/2008 @ 8:29pm
|(I hope in a good way! GIve your hub a thank you hug for me!!)|
by tacomachickadee on 2/8/2008 @ 8:30pm
|Yes, a very good way. Esp. since I couldn't be there. Thanks for being there for me!|
by ensie on 2/8/2008 @ 8:32pm
|Sounds like Hillary was awesome today. I won't be changing my caucus vote tomorrow, but glad to hear that if Obama doesn't get the nom, Hillary is a good second choice.|
by jenyum on 2/8/2008 @ 8:34pm
|She was extremely impressive. (Like this entry, which is lovely btw.)
I tried to catch Nathe's attention as we headed up the stairs but he was otherwise occupied.
Next time we go to something like that I need to wrangle my way into the media line, somehow. I had no idea just how big it would be. (Or how long poor little miss A. would have to stand out in the cold in her Jackie O. dress.) Fortunately, when I told her the cameras were pointed at her she perked right up. The prospect of the first girl president was only briefly interesting but the idea that she might be on the news was worth sitting up straight and listening attentively.
by jcbetty on 2/8/2008 @ 10:13pm
|Jen--oh, no!--Bunny Junior Jen musta' been c-c-cold!!! --Sounds (and looks) like your seats were fab, anyway-- nice pix! (thanks for the entry props!) --there was no way I would have/could have gone to that today in "press" capacity, I just got lucky by the kindness of a door goon who let me say hey to a friend who then rocked my world!
Ensie-- I was kinda' feeling lethargic about the whole thing until I 1. heard Hillary's plans, and 2. Heard her say something in her opening words to the effect of, "other candidates should know, Washington is made up of more than just Seattleites." --or words to that extent. And I think it was a point well-made; I think the Seattle mob and the Tacoma intimacy were kind of a very cool metaphor for the way I now view the two candidates and even their platforms...one says great things about change and hope and orates like an angel to the masses, and the other wants to get in there, keep things real, and get her hands dirty to improve the country...And she throws out ideas like "green collar workers" --bringing an environmentally progressive force of labor to America, to bring back jobs and fight for a smaller national carbon footprint, as well as ideas like college loan forgiveness for public work, putting teachers and health care workers into the inner cities who need them... and a number of other cool things ... she was also very good with questions from the audience, answering them *directly* rather than hedging around the questions and bringing herself back to whatever key points she was trying to make anyway... though her people sort of led questions by specifically getting the healthcare audience members to ask many of them (which, really, was fine, as the whole thing was kinda' billed as a healthcare summit...)
I'm not trying to change your mind, b/c I think you're set, I'm just trying to process and remember some of the stuff that happened today. It inspired me to become involved, which is really rare for my ambivalent self...
chickadee-- you're welcome, then, and thanks!
by jcbetty on 2/10/2008 @ 2:50pm
|Does anyone else feel a Juno reference? men in jogging shorts? Porkswords?
I know, I know. Jess comes to some political epiphany and all I can focus on are porkswords.
by jcbetty on 2/10/2008 @ 2:51pm
|oops!!! This is Steph DeRosa. hahaha..I'm on her computer. Didn't realize she was logged in.
by tacomachickadee on 2/10/2008 @ 3:49pm
|If I didn't know one of you, I might suspect duplicity ... wait, I only know one of you ... so ... crap. ;)|
by jcbetty on 2/10/2008 @ 5:12pm
|Heh. You'll know her, soon!!
This is what happens when you let a friend log on. Her mini-me and my little one had a great time playing, while we had a great time chatting. -- I'd never be clever enough to reference "porkswords" b/c I am, like, the ONE person in Tacoma who has yet to see Juno.
(Oooh, maybe I'll do *that* as a b-day treat from me to me?)
by tacomachickadee on 2/10/2008 @ 5:13pm
|I haven't seen Juno either. Something about multiple young ones makes movies hard to see. Hmm ... perhaps that's what I'll request for my belated Valentine's Day date. (Hubby has meeting on 14th ... I can deal. I'm not that commercialized, but reasons for dates always good ... so belated just as nice, if not better, than predetermined days that fall on evil weeknights.)|
by jcbetty on 2/10/2008 @ 7:02pm
|...feeling your pain, feeling your pain. In so many ways. We. need. to. get. together.
(wine and movie, perhaps???!!!??? Or kiddieland playdate???!!!???)
by tacomachickadee on 2/10/2008 @ 7:08pm
|Yes, yes and yes.|
by jenyum on 2/10/2008 @ 7:31pm
|we have no school thursday, friday, or Monday. Heeeeeeelp meeeeeee. I need a play date too, or maybe a grown up play date to see Juno, which I also have not seen.
The kids are sick today but they *will* be better by tomorrow because I would like to get out of here.
Why does Odyssey 1 not serve wine?
by jcbetty on 2/11/2008 @ 8:15am
|We could bring in water bottles full of straight vodka to Odyssey and spike some random kid's b-day soda pop, just to make a point? Or not...
I'm game for a playdate one of those days, I'm thinkin' zoo? Perhaps? something wide open with running and loudness encouraged? MY kid's jonesin' for a children's museum day, too-- maybe that could get in there one day?
we'll have to chat more and try to make plans re Juno. Maybe crash the chickadee's date, sit behind 'em in the theatre and trow popcorn at 'em?
(I think I woke up feeling irresponsible and rebellious, due to lack of sleep.)
by jcbetty on 2/11/2008 @ 8:15am
|--oh, that would be "throw", btw|
by jenyum on 2/11/2008 @ 8:23am
|Daphne claims to be far too ill for school today. I *could* make her go, since she's definitely up and around but I think I'll let her stay home. No need to visit her coughing and sneezing on the other kids since I don't have a job to get to or anything.
So I will miss you at the gym this morning, I'm afraid.
Is shawn back in town for now? Wanna try to see Juno some night this week at 8:50?
by jcbetty on 2/11/2008 @ 12:37pm
|Oooh! Why yes, he *is* in town! Fabulous plan!! But we're going to the mountain on Tuesday which kills tonight and tomorrow night, we've got loud mouthed women on Wednesday, Valentines on Thursday, and then potential date-with-men night, on Friday... Maybe, we can get the men to take us, and try to put together double-dates? Or catch it at some point Saturday?
(wise momma, keeping germy kid home. I'm sure some healthy kid's mom is thanking you right now!!)
by jenyum on 2/11/2008 @ 2:18pm
|Double date means babysitter, but I'll see what I can do. Jason is more inclined to go if I tell him your other half is coming and he's in the reserves. (Putting him in the demographic of Men Jason Likes to Talk To.)|
by jcbetty on 2/11/2008 @ 3:57pm
|heh. "former ranger" might also work for that ;)
--I'll see about what the man is inclined to think, this evening... personally, I'm kinda feeling like it's probably easier for the two of us to hit a show, sans boys... Maybe the following Monday? Will it still be playing?
by ensie on 2/11/2008 @ 6:59pm
|I heard that Juno will be playing for at least another week. It's so worth it! Even my Mom loved it!|
musing her way through arts, culture, dining, shopping, exercising, and parenting, all while wearing a pungent, truffle-like aroma.