Monday, April 21, 2008
Voting in PA
These images are from a 1944 Democratic Digest magazine that I found recently. The woman in the first photo is my grandmother who was the assistant chair of the Democratic National Committee. My grandmother was lots of things: an active feminist, an unconscious bigot, an active, dedicated Democrat, as well as smart, charming, pragmatic, and a pain in the ass . I've thought a lot about her during this primary race wondered who she would have supported. She was born in 1900(ish), and fought for women to get the vote. I think she would have loved to see a woman become president, and might have been a Hilary supporter. But she also liked winners. She supported JFK early in the primaries, when most people assumed he could never win. So she might have seen a winner in Obama's charm, ease, and obvious intelligence. There's no way of knowing. But I know she'd be excited by the contest and the fervor it's stirring up.
Here, in Pittsburgh, Obama supporters are out in force, going door-to-door, lobbying for him. Last week, I was in a thrift shop I haunt and a young black man approached me. Now, I'm a lovely person and all, but I'm long past the age when cute young men of any race chat me up. As if just casually conversing, he asked me, "So, you registered to vote?" I said, "Oh yeah. I've been registered forever." He went on, "Well, who you gonna vote for?" I told him, "Obama," and he visibly relaxed and we had a nice long chat about our guy. After it was over, I realized that this middle-aged white woman must have looked, to him, like the bullseye of Hilary's target demographic, and he thought he'd check things out and see which way I was leaning. A sort of casual poll. I hope I made his day. Anyway, as most of you know, I've been an Obama mama since the beginning, even though I liked Hilary well enough. But right off the bat, Obama seemed like a leader to me, someone who could talk and coax the country into a better future. And it's possible my grandmother might have responded to that too. She liked a smart persuasive people, being one herself. So, tomorrow I'll vote and cross my fingers that Pennsylvania leads the country out of the past of Clintons and Bushes and ugly divisive politics.