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.

14 comments:

sageweb said...

I can't wait for all this to end...tired of the bickering, but tomorrows vote will be fun to watch. Your vote counts!

Elizabeth said...

I think we're all sick of it. It's gotten too nasty lately, and after eight years of nasty, I don't have much tolerance for it. Anyway, this too shall pass, right?

yellowdog granny said...

ive been an obama mama since before he had mama's..about 4 years ago...maybe longer...i want a woman president someday too.and if we had the right one..i'd vote for her..but not hillary..
your grandma rocked...

Rebecca said...

I was somewhat divided until Hillary's campaign started getting uber-nasty -- and stupid -- and Obama made his historic speech ... WOW. That got my attention. Not same-old, same-old. Do I feel some cynicism that I wasn't aware of starting to melt away? Here's a candidate I can actually feel excited about having in the White House. My mom voted for Reagan way back when. She supports Obama.

Love and kisses to you, Lizbeth.

Willym said...

Your grandmother sounds like an incredible, and if I remember correctly from past post, an impossible woman. If she had been born a bit later she sounds like she would have been candidate material herself.

Elizabeth said...

Granny: She did rock, in a lot of ways, and I wish I'd known her before she was lost "in her cups." I knew her more as a racist, alcoholic, pain-in-my ass socialite who wanted me to be a debutante. But lots of people respected and adored her.

Rebecca: I, too, have been really offended by the negativity of her campaign. I could have voted happily for her before, but not now. That's amazing about your mom. What do you think is the reason for her change of political heart?

Willym: That's her in a nutshell, impressive and impossible. And I've never thought of it before, but you're absolutely right; I think she would have loved to have run for office herself, and I think she would have been great at it. In the public arena she had incredible people skills.

Elizabeth said...

Sageweb: You keep changing your hats, girl! Can't keep up with you in your new icon fashion frenzy! The pink is very fetching on you.

citizen jane said...

Couldn't have expressed our shared sentiments about being an Obama Mama better myself. As much as I am fascinated with this whole process, I'm also ready to get on about the business saying goodbye to ugly divisive politics as well.

more cowbell said...

Well, I just watched them both give their speeches. >sigh< As you know, I was undecided in the beginning, came in for Obama some time back, but still had respect for Hillary, and could've genuinely supported her as the nominee, but now ... I'm so turned off by her that I get snarky every time I see her negative mocking bit on tv. I hate that, I don't know why she's gone that route, I don't think she needed to. Anyway.

Wow, your grandma sounds like a fascinating woman. Love the pictures! I'd love to hear my grandma's thoughts on this election too. So weird how there can be such extremes within a single person, different sides.

Elizabeth said...

Oh Cowbell, sigh and double sigh. I really hoped he could wrap it up here. Oh well.

Doralong said...

My lord- is Grandma from Davidson?

Elizabeth said...

Doralong, no, she lived most of her life in Charlotte. But if you know a Tillett in Davidson, they're almost certainly kin to me.

pat said...

Nice story about the casual poll!

Doralong said...

Ask her if any of Grandpa's people migrated to Fuquay-Varina- we might be related by marriage ;)