I think this is so interesting!
Last January I was interviewed by a journalist from Japan who was doing some reporting on Obama. Here’s what the article looks like:
I’m grateful that Keiko marked the spot where the article begins, cos otherwise I would have had no idea.
At this point I can still barely speak about Ohio. Here are some lowlights:
- 12 hour drive through a blizzard after work on a Friday night
- walking through a foot of snow in expensive boots to canvas abandoned apartments
- forgetting to take down the ‘do not disturb’ sign, resulting in the reuse of the towel on the floor
- Dutch Oven cabbage rolls
Barack spoke at a town hall meeting at a high school in Parma, OH and we got to sit in the fifth row.
Still, no handshake, but the Senator definitely waved at me.
So I’m flying back to NYC through D.C. I had to get one of those cheap tickets, so I’m changing planes and airlines. This is totally annoying because I have to go through security twice. In Dallas I made it through with all of my carefully hidden lotions and shampoos. Unfortunately I got caught in D.C. I was pulled over to the inspection table in my socks.
“Shame on you, Barack Obama!”
Excuse me? (Did he find my contraband shampoo? Is my Obama button souring his opinion of Barack?)
“You saw Hillary this morning, right? Complaining about the campaign mail?”
Oh yeah, I did. Thought I was getting in trouble with you.
“I can’t believe how she’s grasping for straws! How dare she go after Barack after the bullcrap she and Bill pulled in South Carolina!”
Another security guy joins in the conversation.
“And that plagiarism charge! How many lines has she borrowed from Bill?”
I was really hoping these guys would keep it up and fail to notice that my bag is stuffed with above regulation size bath products. Alas, they did not, and I was forced to leave behind my shaving cream, face lotion, perfume(!), shampoo, and conditioner.
Here’s myself and 19,000 like-minded Obama supporters lined up (some as early as 4am) in Dallas to see our candidate speak.
Emmett Smith introduced Barack…we did the wave!
See the signs on the lower right-hand corner by Barack? Yeah, that’s as close as I got to the stage. I also made another reversible sign that read “Dog Lovers for Obama”/”Cat Lovers for Obama.”
I got pretty close, but no handshake this time, either. There were two parts of Barack’s speech that ellicted huge applause from the crowd. First, when Obama made the statement that there will be no George Bush or Dick Cheney on the ticket next November. And second, when this happened:
These days, you need to steal an official Obama campaign sign if you don’t have one already. I saw exactly two yard signs in Dallas, and both were Obama signs. Here’s one on Swiss Avenue (go and get it!):
In Brooklyn, folks were pissed off when told that no signs were available, but in Texas people just made their own.
Here’s the sign that I made for rally on February 20th. The man who got to hold it in the front row wouldn’t give it back to me, nor would he let the little boy behind him get in close to the barrier so he could also shake Barack’s hand.
Enjoy you jerk. Make sure you vote twice on March 4th.
The Dallas Obama office is really nice. It is huge, just like everything else in Texas. Here’s the Brooklyn 3 at the office:
Just look at all that space!
Nothing at all like the Brooklyn office…
My two favorite parts of the office were the sign making table and the “health and wellness” table, a la Google.
The start-up of the Dallas office was a little slow. I had to repress all of my New York-y tendencies to keep from freaking out at the lack of phones and Internet access for the first couple of days, but eventually things came together as Dallas was starting to get its first taste of the Iowa treatment.
The day after arriving in Texas, a big rally for Barack Obama was held outside of the beautiful Hall of State building in Dallas.
Obama wasn’t even in Texas yet, but a few thousand people turned out to show support, both young and old.
Brooklyn’s crew made some signs.
And I found a miniature Statue of Liberty!
The 15 year-old rapper, KO, performed a pro-Obama song that I’ve been calling “We Need a Chaaange.”
Trying to leave New York City around 5pm on a Friday evening via the Holland Tunnel is hardly ever a good idea, unless you’re headed to Dallas to volunteer for Barack Obama. I mean, what could be better than working a full day at school, then getting into a car and driving 24 hours straight to Texas? In my book, nothing.
Here are Ben and Gunnar (BHO-BFFs), and our stupid KIA:
Thanks for the bagels and birch beer, Ben!
So off we drove into the sunset. I drove through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. We stopped at Denny’s and had an awful meal (eggs & toast/chicken fried steak & imposter mashed potatoes). Gunnar drove to Tennessee. Then I drove into the Central Time Zone part of Tennessee, which pushed dawn back another hour. I couldn’t take it too much more after Nashville, so we stopped at a Waffle House just before 7am. Our waitress had no teeth but she did have an abundance of buttons and pins on her hat. We ate another bad meal and Gunnar drank a diet coke instead of Waffle House coffee, as he was convinced that “good coffee” was around the corner. After about a half hour on the road we made it to Jackson, TN and found:
After the coffee buzz wore off, driving became rather difficult. We hit Arkansas and NPR was no where to be found on the radio. Plus, it was raining. We resolved to stop in Little Rock and visit its most famous library…
Bill’s library is pretty nice! No blue dresses on display, though. We had our best meal of the entire trip in “Cafe 42,” where the choices included Starbucks coffee, a Presidential salad bar, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s chocolate chip cookies. After we finished up with the library, we set off on the final leg of our journey through a rainy, rainy East Texas. I’m not sure, but Gunnar may have a touch of pluviophobia. So I spent the final stretch watching for funnel clouds while Gunnar kept his eyes on the road.
It was sort of tense.
Click on the video associated with this link. That’s the Obama campaign’s new headquarters, which is scheduled to open tomorrow.
Texas is something else; much, much more to come…
The Chevy has been rented, the flight reservations have been made, and three Brooklyn for Barack-ers are about to head out to Texas. The plan is to drive straight through to Dallas, though my co-pilot has requested a few “20 minute stops” to read historical markers/pay respects to Elvis. Once we get into town, we will seek out the Dallas Obama campaign office and get to work (or take a shower and then get to work).
Sometime between then and now I need to find a digital camera. My camera-phone’s photo quality is not acceptable for the nature of this journey. Plus, I think I really need a zoom, cos I have the feeling there’s some stuff that I’m really gonna want to see that I don’t necessarily want to get that close to, i.e. scorpions or saloon fights.
The weather looks semi-decent for Dallas for next week. Rain’s predicted, but I fully intend to pull out the warm-weather stuff to pack in my bag. Unlike my experience in New Hampshire, one Texan has guaranteed that there is no such thing as “too-short” when it comes to skirts.