Ramblings from the Route | Super Tuesday Hangover

This morning I drove to southern Utah for a work conference. Yesterday I needed to pick up a company motor pool car for the occasion and this allowed me to indulge in at least a one-way public transportation commute to work in the morning (an adventure I've lately shied away from in our barrage of winter storms). During my bus-train-bus commute I could think of little but Super Tuesday. After clearing my schedule Tuesday night so that I was free to enjoy six solid hours of PBS News Hour coverage of results, predictions, and pollsters, my brain was sloshy and swimming Wednesday morning. I'm positively giddy to once again be enveloped in the chaos of an election cycle. Giddy.

I do not profess to be a political blogger and I have no desire to be, but I am a political person who blogs...so for what it's worth this post will be a true "rambling from the route" - an unedited stream of probably-partisan thoughts and uncensored sweeping generalizations. You've been warned. Welcome to my brain. Keep your hands and arms inside the cart.

Cheating on Hillary? I don't at all regret my vote for Barack. I have to say however that when I saw Hillary speak from her Manhattan headquarters Tuesday night I honestly felt like I had cheated on her and then run into her at a friend's party and was trying not to make eye contact because regardless of my love affair with Obama I still really care for her because she is the safe comfortable one I've been with for years and even long after the relationship is ended you know the number is still in my phone but Barack is the butterflies and the romance and the exhilarating sense of stepping to the edge of the light and after a deep breath...making that first step into the darkness because you know, you can just feel it, you'll find your way.

One more reason to respect Obama. Bill and Chelsea Clinton came to Utah, but no Hillary. Obama came to Utah last summer and Michelle was just here on Monday. For the campaign to put that commitment into a horribly red state the day before the nation's largest presidential primary (the largest ever, not just since the last presidential race), shows such respect to the people of the state. In other words, we weren't simply written off as a one-dimensional block of Republicans. Boise, Idaho had an Obama rally of 14,000 people, the largest rally in the history of the state. Idaho, folks, Idaho. Colorado also went to Obama, after a rally of 9,000 greeted his visit to Denver. His sweep of red Rocky Mountain states shows his appeal to independents, moderates, liberals, youth, et.al. It's incredible. He raised $32 million dollars in January alone. Staggering. The newest move by the campaign is to highlight the number of individual donors, rather than the number of dollars, and the goal is 500,000 donors by 04 March. Stay tuned.

Girls rule. The majority of the Democratic electorate is now female. Suffragettes, we outnumber men in the decision of who to elect as our party's candidate for president. We've come a long way from picket signs and protest lines. Hillary's campaign is undeniably a contributing factor. I love her for that.

Fear versus Love. Listen to the Republican debates and speeches and you can hear the fear in their voices. I'm not talking about fear like, "Uh oh, the Democratic party will take the White House..." (which we will), but fear as a state of being, a way of life. They hate and they fear and they pigeon hole people into categories that are more easy to deal with than dynamic, complex human beings (re: Immigration. Gay rights. Terrorism.). It must be exhausting to live in such a space of fear all the time. The Democrats, on the other hand, speak from a place of love. (Any Ruiz fans in the audience? This dichotomy should sound familiar...). Democrats are FOR something, not simply AGAINST everything. They come from a place of hope and have the luxury of being positive because they are fighting for something. The Democratic candidates are not in a heated ideological fight with each other. Even the most respected pundits recognize that the policy differences are microscopic. This is one of the major reasons why the race is so tight...we're tickled pink, most of us, with either choice. We're just happy the Bush/Cheney regime is finally coming to an end. It's all up hill from here.

Emails from the President. I get probably three emails a day on behalf of each campaign (Barack and Hillary, in case there's any possible confusion at this point)...as can anyone who visits their campaign websites. I find it absolutely fascinating to watch how they say things, the words they choose at which moment, the tone they choose to address certain issues, the rhetorical strategy is many times more important than the message of the email itself. As I sorted through a swarm of emails in and around and on Super Tuesday, I thought, why can't they continue this when they're in the White House? I'm not naive enough to assume Barack is wandering around with his blackberry shooting off messages to his billion-person distribution list. I understand that they have staffers and writers and message crafters that handle this stuff...but how awesome would it be to visit the White House website, voluntarily sign up for email alerts, and get a message every so often from your President. I giggle every time my alert pops up with "New email from Brad Pitt" re: The One campaign. It's also invigorating to see "Barack Obama" in the "From" column of your gmail. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people, right? I want a president who shoots us a YouTube video every so often, like Michelle did Monday afternoon. I miss John Edwards. He would totally email us. Kucinich, who I also really miss, would stop by your place for coffee talk. Point is...keep up the communication!

Compassion. I watched every. single. candidate speech on Tuesday night. They were scattered about the country at their different campaign headquarters and each spoke at different times as the night rolled on. Only Barack and Hillary, ONLY Barack and Hillary, made mention of the tornado survivors and victims in the southern state, saying they were in their thoughts and prayers. Think about it.

Yes, we can. In Atkins, Arkansas the tornado destroyed more than just polling stations, obviously, but before people put their homes back together, before the storm had even stopped raging, they assembled a makeshift Red Cross shelter, moved the ballot machines in, and people went right on voting. Don't tell me that we don't care. Don't tell me that we no longer have it in us to be engaged. The historical origins of Super Tuesday (commonly believed to be the 1988 election) come directly from states fighting for influence, wanting to have a voice in the nominating process, competing for the right to vote early. We do care. The poetry of nights like Super Tuesday remind us that we are actually all in this together. You may drive from your front door to Starbucks to work to Starbucks to your front door...but we are citizens at heart. I honestly believe that.

P.S. News broke today that Mitt dropped out because he "didn’t want to do anything that would hurt the party or hurt the nation..." Though I will certainly miss the opportunity to double the size of Guantanamo...god speed and good bye!

State Capitol Photos 2.0

Republicans fall in line...