Monday, October 20, 2008

Vegas for Obama - or Bust!

I just returned from a weekend of campaigning in Vegas for Obama. Yes, this may sound like a very mavericky (this is my new favorite word - thank you John McCain) thing to do, but I know many many people who have been doing this same thing. It was quite a site. Thousands of volunteers, many from California, hauling ass out to Vegas to convince our neighbors that no we don't need another war-mongering robo-man governing the White House for the next eight years.






So Friday morning, my mom and I, armed with Peets coffee and homemade Egg McMuffins (compliments of Chef Dominic Cirincione) piled into the car and headed out for the dry-aired Nevada. I even got my hair flat-ironed so I wouldn't have to deal with the frizz-factor all weekend. We were full of anticipation and enthusiasm.


Spending a car-ride with my mom is always an adventure. What happens when you lock a mother and daughter in a tiny box with on only an AC and stereo for four and a half hours? This: laughing, bickering, laughing, bickering, listening to David Sedaris, then laughing some more. I like to play these games with mom where I say ridiculous things and see how fast I can get a rise. I start out simple. For example: "Mom, what would you do if I decided to join the circus?" (No response) "Mom, what you do if I got pregnant through Immaculate Conception?" (No response) "Mom, what would you do if I told you I was Gay?" (She responds: "There's too much evidence to the contrary"). "Mom, what would you do if I told you I had a big joint in the glove compartment waiting to be smoked?" (No response). "Mom, what would you do if I told you I was a Republican?" "THAT'S ENOUGH LISA..." she sighs, and I finally relent.



To change the subject, my mom begins telling me about being in High School and campaigning for John Kennedy. I was starting to understand why she, to this day, remembers that as one of the highlights of her life (of course none of it has to do with his dashing good looks). That feeling of excitement and optimism is contagious and became even more apparent when we rolled into Vegas.


We arrived just in time to drop our bags and hop back in the car to drive to Henderson, Nevada for a rally for Joe Biden (my boyfriend). Of course my car doesn't have GPS so we were relying on the ever so unreliable powers of MapQuest. Of course we got lost and finally had to stop at a gas station with no name. I asked the attendant (who was cross-eyed) "Can you tell me how to get to Morrell Park?" "No."she replied. "Okay...So...you can't tell me how to get there, or you don't now where it is?" I start to leave. "Are you going to that damn Biden thing?" "Yes, I am." "It's down the street on the left." I was going to begin my spiel about how she shouldn't put 'damn' and 'Biden' in the same sentence, but decided to spare my breath, and just said "Thank you."


We arrived at Morrell Park to a line around the block, security guards and more Obama paraphernalia than I have seen in my entire life. Of course there was some backlash. There was a McCain bus parked out front where McCainians were passing out free hot dogs...I don't really get it either. Nevertheless, the turn-out was overwhelming, and my mom and me hiked to the back of the line. People of all colors, ages, sizes and shapes were decked out with Obama-gear. To the left I heard a news reporter speaking in Italian. She was reporting for the national Italian station based out of Rome. I was feeling right at home. Then I feel a tap on my shoulder. This sweet looking girl with a wonderful French accent asks if she can interview me. She introduces herself as Cecile is a reporter for Le Monde, Paris and is doing an article on women voters and especially on their response to Sarah Palin. The article is called: Sarah Palin peine à capter le vote des femmes. It's in French, but there is a voice over and photo of me at the end. Check it out: http://www.lemonde.fr/elections-americaines/portfolio/2008/10/20/sarah-palin-peine-a-capter-le-vote-des-femmes_1109164_829254.html .


Me and Mom at Biden Rally




The rally was fantastic. Biden was so down-to-earth. He was amiable and simple, but also specific and empassioned. The best part was meeting him at the end. I pushed my way up as far as I could, but was still stuck behind some giants. He reached over and pulled me to the front. I was starstruck. I gave him a big hug and said, "Joe, I feel like I know you!" He said, "We do know eachother, we're all the same."


The next day, Saturday morning, we started on our canvassing mission. We were assigned to Region 6, southwest Vegas. These were middle class neighborhoods made up of track housing, one house after another, all looking the same. Going door to door, I was astounded by the diversity of people that support Obama and believe that he is the one that can transform our country. There were Hispanics and African-Americans. Caucasians young and old. Filipinos, Ethiopians, Israelis and Palestinians. One Filipino man named Asisi said, "People are always talking about 'Pro-Life' that is their reason for voting for McCain. Well, what about Pro-Life for our soldiers in Iraq and for the innocent Iraqis? This is our opportunity to do good." Here are pictures of some of these awesome people I met along the way.

The Abdala Family. Me and Samir Abbasi. Me, Harvey the Bouncer, Jackie.


There were kids, teens, retirees, everyone so excited and pumped-up by the prospect of having new blood in the White House. And for those that were on the fence, when they asked me, why on earth they should listen to me, this is all I could say: "I believe Barack Obama to be a transformational and inspirational figure for our country. I believe he can help us start fresh on a more compassionate, humanitarian and humanistic path. For the first time, in a long time, I can truly say that I feel proud to be an American."


Thanks for reading.






1 comment:

Julien said...

Hey Lisa,

was unexpected but pretty nice to listen to your voice in "Le Monde"!
congrats for the website. hope ur well.

Julien.