It should come as no surprise…

Detroit loves Obama!

From the Movement in Hart Plaza, to the Northland Roller Rink on 8 Mile Road, mad love all around for Obama.

My grandma asked about the button, twice. The first time:

“Who is that you’re wearing?”

“Well, good for you!”

That was the first thing she said to me. She’s been staying at the hospital, and I haven’t seen her since the holidays. Still, she knows what’s up.

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May 31, 2007. Barack Obama, Travel. Leave a comment.

“Don’t worry about this gun…it’s the BULLET-BULLET!”

Fresh from Detroit! It all started when I took an airplane…from LaGuardia.

I arrived at the airport uncharacteristically early, so I decided to make use of my time by finding an available seat at the bar with the least number of TVs. The airport bar, like the hotel bar, is a wonderful place to meet strangers. The old hippy that took the seat next me seemed very promising indeed.

“How are ya?”

I’m great! I can’t wait to get out of here. You?

“I wish I was in Denver already.”

He orders a double Jack neat and a Heineken back. I love shot and beer kinda guys.

“The plane broke at 2 this afternoon. I guess they’re flying another out. Taking their sweet time.”

This guy seems like a complainer, not a hippy. I’m a little bummed.

“So you like Obama?”

I do. I like him very much. I’m excited about voting.

“What’s his stance on second amendment rights?”

That’s a good question. I don’t really know how to answer this one. Reasonable, I guess? Obama’s probably reasonable about guns. Not sure. I have a gun, but I don’t know how to use it. Its a rifle actually. I have no bullets. I admit ignorance.

“Cos I need to know where he stands. That’s my voting issue. I’m a libertarian, politically. All this insurance is b.s! Medical care? You know what the first amendment is, right?”

I nod. I also roll my eyes.

“Well there is no first amendment without the second!” He throws back the whiskey, guzzles the beer, looks me dead in the eye, then walks out of the bar. My brush with death; that was no hippy.

May 29, 2007. Barack Obama, Guns, Travel. 1 comment.

Giuliani

The arguing middle-aged couple that lives in my building steps onto the elevator.

“The Black man! I want him too.”

I’m in laundry/cleaning/huffing cleaning fumes mode, so it takes me a minute to figure out what she’s talking about.

“A Black man or a woman, uh uh. You know who they’re gonna elect?”

I shrug.

Her husband leans forward and goes, “Giuliani!”

(I totally wasn’t thinking Giuliani.)

She’s shaking her head and says, “Yup…but I wish we could get who we really┬ávoted for one day.”

May 22, 2007. Barack Obama. 1 comment.

“You have something in your head.”

Friday night I was helping a friend move, so I needed to stop and get gas. Gas station attendants in New York don’t usually think I can pump gas, despite my Michigan license plate. So the man comes out to pump my gas although I told him repeatedly that I could handle it (pet-peeve: people who insist). Clearly the man is bored out of his mind; he just wants to chit-chat.

“Oh, so you’re for him?”

Yup.

“Why not Hillary? She’s a New Yorker.”

I point to my license plate and say, “I also know how to pump gas.” He’s annoying me.

“Obama talks a lot about Africa. Darfur. Are you Jewish?”

No.

“The Jewish media is controlling the coverage of Darfur, and what they say is going on there isn’t happening. Obama speaks for them.”

Oh really? Is that why there are thousands of refugees living in Kenya and Ethiopia? Nothing’s going on in Sudan?

“You shouldn’t mock me. I am from Sudan and I know what’s happening there. But I like you, you have something in your head.” He finishes pumping the gas. “Come inside and have something to drink. You have something in your head. I like talking to you.”

Sorry, I just need that gas. Thank you.

“No, I want to hear more about you and Obama.”

Again, not taking no for an answer. I will never go to that gas station again.

May 20, 2007. Barack Obama. 3 comments.

Obamathon Button

obamathon

Yup, that’s another button.

Last Saturday I helped out at the Obamathon fundraiser in Battery Park. Lots and lots of people raised money in support of Barack Obama’s campaign. I donated zero dollars, but lots of enthusiasm (I even flyered some more…). But I was there for education. I learned how to make sno-cones, but flunked cotton candy. Thankfully, I was flanked by a true pro.

May 17, 2007. Barack Obama. Leave a comment.

Work to do

So I’m perpetually in SoHo…The guy selling sunglasses says:

“Hey Miss, who’s that on your button?”

Barack Obama.

“Who’s that?”

He’s running for President.

“Of the United States?”

Yes. He’s a Senator from Illinois.

“Is he black?”

Yes.

“You voting for him?”

I hope so.

“Good for you. God bless you.”

Random white lady eavesdropping with tweenage daughter:

“This conversation is getting scary!”

Mother and daughter are wearing crocs and socks. I’m seeing this all over the place and it is not a good look.

May 13, 2007. Barack Obama, New York City, Parents. 4 comments.

Paul Smith

Interjected into my necktie shopping on 5th avenue…

“Oh, you’re a true believer!”

Indeed.

May 11, 2007. Barack Obama. Leave a comment.

Wet behind the ears

I am late again. Always, always, always. I hang my head as I walk into school, punch the damn time clock, and head for the library. Of course, there is my principal. I fear the worst, but instead:

“25 million! I guess that button’s not so silly after all!”

I would be hopeless without this button.

“I still think he’s a little wet behind the ears, though.”

May 10, 2007. Barack Obama. Leave a comment.

Bloody Stumps

I hate flyering. Just hate it. So I have no idea why I volunteered to pass out flyers last Saturday for the Obamathon. I don’t take jokes, criticism, or rejection well. Flyering in a public place sets one up for all three.

The trial began at Union Square, where I met Howard B.–the organizer–and picked up a stack of flyers. I was a little bummed that they were boring black and white, but whatever. He sent me on my way to SoHo to join a few other poor souls who’d sentenced their beautiful Saturday to an afternoon of flyering. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the cause. Fundraising is important. But have you ever passed out flyers? Its almost like asking people for money.

So I attempt to redefine my mission. I will do every errand imaginable in an attempt to strike up as many random conversations as possible, granting me many opportunities to present the flyer.

My first stop is T-Mobile on Broadway. The store is empty, and the lady working there can smell the flyers in my purse. No, she can’t fix my phone. No, they won’t loan me another. No, they can’t help me make the insurance claim. Her vibe is “GET OUT OF MY FACE, YOU AND YOUR STUPID BUTTON!” At least that’s what I’m imagining. So I step outside to find a pay phone (gross, gross, gross) to call customer service. While I’m making the claim/on hold for 45 minutes, I manage to unload flyers on many people.

“Where’s this money going? For the campaign?”

“Sorry, I just broke my cell phone. I’m on hold.”

“That sucks. It’s such a pain when that happens. Do you still have your SIM?

(I nod)

“That’s good, at least.”

I’m really not doing Obama any favors by being too busy to explain the flyer, but I have a good outfit on, so in my head it evens out. Part of this good outfit is these new Cole Haan sandals with Nikeaction. More about them later.

I conclude the cell phone business, and am on my way to Washington Square Park to look for the Ori Pei I saw in the dog park last weekend. Dog people in this city are kinder and gentler than the average New Yorker. I deduce that people who have dogs in the city like Obama.

“Can I bring my dog to walk in the Obamathon?”

Why not?

An hour and a half later, I finally make it to SoHo. What was I thinking? I can’t pass out flyers in SoHo! Stores pass out little pieces of soap, and crap like that around here. I quickly make the decision to try on jeans at Co-op, where a friend of mine works. The jeans are PERFECT! I’m debating whether or not $250+undisclosed discount is too much to spend.

“Did you get that button on the web?”

I ask why he’s interested.

“I never voted for president before, and I am almost excited to vote for somebody that I actually like.”

I tell him that my button is limited edition and that I got it “years ago,” as I simultaneously pull out the flyer.

Again, I’m on my way. I can’t get out of SoHo fast enough. Chinatown is full of tour groups from the Midwest wearing bright orange shirts, and is equally useless because none of these people will be here next weekend. I head for TriBeCa. The film festival is going on. Those guys like Obama, too. The ones with their movie passes around their necks totally take the flyers. Then I’m by a park. People with kids are even better targets than people with dogs. They aren’t going to demonstrate rude behavior in front of their children by refusing a flyer from a smiling lady. Especially, not if you give the baby a compliment first.

Now back to the Nikeaction sandals. These things suck. My feet are blistered and bloody. I’ve been walking around for hours. I used all two band-aids in my purse, but I have some packing tape (used for posting flyers). Yes, I “packed” my feet up. I need to MAKE CERTAIN Obama gets elected, so I can have some healthcare for my feet, which will surely need to be amputated.

I press on, making my last stop at J & R to replace a lost battery charger. The lady behind the counter looks at my button and shakes her head.

“My husband is dying for this man, too.”

I doubt she saw my bloody feet through the clear packing tape, but I can’t be sure. I give her a flyer for her husband, and she just laughs.

May 8, 2007. Barack Obama, Dogs, Fashion, New York City, Parents. Leave a comment.

“I like the way you drive…”

I was in a taxi the other night, and if you’re anything like me, then you MUST talk to the driver. I thought to begin with a compliment.

“I like the way you drive. I drive a lot like you.” The way that I drive is exciting, though rarely cautious and typically uncomfortable for passengers.

“I like Obama,” he says.

This is rapidly turning into a lovefest.

“If I could vote, I would like to vote for him. I knew about him before he spoke at the convention. He is very good. I love to discuss politics. The Clintons are snakes!”

I agreed that the Clintons seem snakey. I also admit that I am worried about Obama being assigned secret service.

“He needs protection. Can you imagine what would happen in Brooklyn if Obama got shot?”

May 7, 2007. Barack Obama. Leave a comment.

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