Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Ended up going to the local Dem watch party, aka Tammy Baldwin’s victory rally. Not that we were nearly as confident of that as we were that President would carry Wisconsin. As we wrapped up making phone calls all the way up to the 8 PM deadline for getting in line – at 7:30, new lists were distributed, of voters in a particular Milwaukee precinct where turnout was running behind norms, in an effort to scrounge up a few more last minute votes – one of the young women in the office professed to being nervous about the outcome. I caught up to her at the watch party a few hours later, and asked her whether she was feeling better, and…you should have seen the smile lighting up her face. Kind of said it all about how we were feeling at that event, watching the President win re-election, watching Tammy Baldwin’s numbers in the Senate race climb towards election, seeing Mark Pocan’s far more predictable win in his race to replace Baldwin as our Congressman.
I didn’t really know very many people there, as I haven't ever really gotten involved with local politics in the 9 years I’ve been in Madison. Kind of odd, as interested as I am in politics, that I haven’t participated before to the extent I did this time around. Far different vibe (obviously) at this thing, as opposed to watching returns on my own as I did in 2006 and 2008. I'm really glad I decided to join the crowd last night. I spent some time randomly talking to a few folks, conversations sparked by things flashing across the projection screens, and ended up hanging with my friend Dave (fellow food pantry volunteer) most of the night. As those rambling conversations borne out of waiting for something to happen (in this case, CNN or MSNBC calling the next state or race; no Fox for this crowd, which is ironic if only for the fact that that network declared Tammy Baldwin a victor an hour or more before other networks followed suit), we got around to the topic of vote margins, which brought up how dictators would claim ludicrous electoral wins, like Saddam Hussein’s 100% turnout, 100% of the vote claims.
Hours later, after Baldwin gave her victory speech, we were sent to a nearby venue to watch Obama’s acceptance speech. En route to the new site, I was walking beside a woman who was hailed by a tall bearded guy, who started talking about numbers in some random race. Unsure if I’d heard the numbers correctly, I asked the guy to repeat them, kinda butting into the conversation, and then asked whose race he was talking about. “Why, mine,” he replied…apparently, I was speaking to the newly elected District Attorney for Trempealeau County in western Wisconsin. And in response to the quizzical looks I got about my laughter, I told them about the earlier Saddam Hussein conversation. Because the election numbers he was excited about were just as comical, he won his race 10,024-56. Looking it up just now, I see the guy was apparently unopposed on the ballot. That certainly does make it easier to win!
A few favorite moments from the evening, besides the DA’s 99.444444 percent win, included that moment when MSNBC called Ohio for the President, and declared that Obama had won re-election. A bit of a primal roar through the crowd, a chill up the back…a great feeling. Then there was Baldwin’s acceptance speech, especially, for me, when she was recounting how kind her defeated foe, Tommy Thompson was to her when she was a freshman legislator and Thompson was Governor of Wisconsin. Apparently, Thompson had known Baldwin’s father (who had since passed away) in college, and shared memories with her every time they ran into each other back then. I’m not going to forget Mark Pocan’s acceptance speech, either, partly because he was someone I’d actually met before. He went up on stage with just one other person in tow, who I figured was a campaign manager or something. The guy kind of looks like John Oliver from the Daily Show. When Pocan got done thanking others who’d helped him get to Washington, he introduced the guy behind him as his husband, and leaned over for a quick kiss. A sweet little moment. You know, unlike that earlier (no less fun!) moment when I made a call at about 7:45 and the guy just said, “I’ve already f***ing voted,” and hung up on me! I got a kick out of that one…I mean, what if I’d been calling him to tell him he’d won a million dollars??!
To top it all off, when I hopped on the scale this morning, I was down a pound from the last time I’d checked (5 days…longest I’ve gone in a long time without hopping on the darn thing!) Guess all that walking around knocking on doors did pay off a bit. But I need to get back to the gym, otherwise, I’ll never get enough facebook check-ins to get the free t-shirt.
And now, back to rarely mentioning politics in this space.
Monday, November 05, 2012
The President was in Madison this morning to start the last day before election day, with Bruce Springsteen along to warm up the crowd. I was definitely warm, but that was because upon waking at 5 AM, I rolled back over and went to sleep.
I'd planned to volunteer for the rally, but canvassers were needed last night at the same time as the volunteer meeting, and I ended up doing that instead, and that probably helped shape that 5 AM decision, as well as the fact that Obama came to Madison a few weeks ago, and I got a chance to hear him then.
The day before the election is door hanger time, campaigns trying to give one last nudge to supporters to get out to the polls, and so I was back out in the 40-45 degree weather for another 5-6 hours. I did remember to take along my pedometer today, and by the end of the second tour, it registered 8.4 miles. Over the past three days, I estimate 15 miles of walking, so I better see some benefit the next time I hop on a scale!
Since I'm being all political, here's my guess for the main event: Obama retains the presidency 290-248, outside the margin of Ohio, close enough that it might be a late night tomorrow. Guess we'll see. Trying to decide if I just want to hang at home and yell at the TV by myself, or attend some event, maybe even an official results watching party. Then again, as the Wisconsin Senate race has been rated the tightest in the country, that might be even more nerve wracking. Might have to flip the coin on that tomorrow (assuming that's open to the public).
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Spent all Saturday afternoon knocking on doors, participating in the get out the vote operations. Got to meet the guy who'll be the next Congressman from this district....but if only I'd volunteered for the 9 am shift rather than the noon shift... Minnesota Senator Al Franken apparently stopped into the office where the gotv headquarters was, to rally the troops, to help support our Senate candidate. Mark Pocan (the next congressman) seems like a nice guy, but, well, he's never been on Saturday Night Live.
5 hours of wandering around in the 40 degree temps counts for exercise, surely, but probably doesn't begin to counteract the pizza and butterfingers that are the mainstay of the weekend's diet so far. Not sweating it, at least not until I go to the gym tomorrow.
Sunday plans include waking up, more political volunteering (thinking phone calls this time, avoid the cold for a day), and the gym, and that's about it. No noon shift tomorrow, since that's when the Packers play, and political campaigns in Wisconsin know better than to disturb people trying to watch the green and gold play.
Friday, November 02, 2012
Well, can't sleep, anyway. Clowns can go...never mind.
Political ads are all but unceasing, but unlike a lot of people, I'm indifferent. I'm somewhat of a politics junkie, meaning I can be found logging into political websites on a near daily basis, which translate to being interested in who is buying ads and when on my TV. As for the content, well, I've ready voted, and I've already seen each of the ads a few times. You get kind of immune to the message after a while.
Friday is looking boring so far. Might do this or that, but first, I should try and see if I can close my eyes and make the world disappear for a few hours.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
The roommates were prepared for Halloween, candy poured into a cauldron, just ready for the trickertreaters. Only problem, they didn't really show up. Sure, a few hardy souls knocked on our door, but by the time I left for the gym, around 8:30 pm, we had served 8 kids. That's it. Maybe a few older kids showed up later, I don't know. But we live in a neighborhood where children exist. They just didn't happen to knock, I suppose.
I was oh so virtuous before going to the gym, and in the very act of going, what with feeling sleepy while watching the movie Hocus Pocus, which I'd never seen before. I limited myself to just one mini Baby Ruth, which I sampled because I wasn't sure what it tasted like. I was a bit less virtuous after returning from the gym, as the exercise had turned me into a ravenous creature. Two mini butterfingers may or may not have been sacrificed before the sugarlust was satiated.
Sadly, it may be playing a role in my still being awake... see if I can remedy that with the old standbye of turning out the lights.
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