well, this is a first (Potomac Primary / Chesapeake Primary)
listening to: How Far We've Come - Matchbox Twenty
In my recollection, no Presidential candidate has EVER campaigned him or herself in the state of Maryland. EVER.* [Yikes, UPDATE: found out chatting with friends, before Marc so nicely pointed it out to me, that Wallace had been here. "Wallace. He was shot here in Maryland." "Oh, right, he was, was he campaigning when he was shot?" "Yes." To give myself some credit, I did say in my recollection. lol See, in the parts of 1972 when anyone would be campaigning, being a November baby, I'd have been only 10 years old. I remembered he'd been shot, locally, but heck if I would have remembered that it was while he was campaigning. My world only brushed with politics at that point. Even if I helped register voters in my high school come 1979, when I ws too young to vote myself (17 until that November, and not sure what date in November the elections were that year).]
I'm a local, born in DC and grew up primarily in Montgomery County, Maryland, with some time in South Portland, Maine, two summers in Santa Barbara (Goleta), California, and some time in the greater College Park, Maryland (Prince George's County) area.
No one comes here. It's as if we're, I don't know, too close to D.C., not meaningful enough, something. Going door to door? I don't recall any political door-to-door person ever coming by, who was in support of a Presidential nominee/candidate. It's rare for me to see anyone going door to door campaigning, then again, I did see a few when at my father's house. It's closer in, and a house-house. My mother/stepfather live in houses and not condos or apartments or townhouses, but much further north.
The radio ads for Barack Obama started, hmmm, a week or so ago? He's switched from one to another, which I think hits out more of his message that way, and I've seen one of his on television. I haven't seen or heard of any from any other candidate so far, not here. I read today that Hillary Clinton has a television ad that was to start today (or yesterday?). I also hear that there's been more focus in Virginia, particularly from Senator Clinton. Ah, yes.
There have been campaigns for probably all four main current candidates, I'm told. Our otherwise fine Governor Martin O'Malley, along with gotta love her Senator Barbara Mikulski, held a rally for Hillary Clinton yesterday in Annapolis. M was off school, and if Senator Clinton herself would have been there, we'd have found parking somehow there and gone. Even if I'm a Barack Obama supporter. We went to a shipwreck exhibition instead:) oh, and window shopping for a beach-themed "big show" costume. FYI -- Maryland Attorney General, Doug Gansler, supports Barack Obama.
The night of President "Dubya" Bush's latest state of the union address, Barack Obama held an overwhelming flowing out the doors successful rally at American University. If any other candidate has taken time to stop in D.C., it wasn't noticeably on the news. He's connected, and connecting more and more -- a surge a movement, whatever. He is taking the time. That can matter.
Today, Washington State votes, where my aunt Beth, uncle Len, my cousin Ian and his new wife, Kelly live. I'm not sure if she can vote yet -- I suspect not. She's a legal immigrant from Canada, on whatever visa, etc., she's allowed to be here on. I don't believe one can fast-track to citizenship that quickly. But, the others can vote. Len is still quite sick so he may not get out, and Beth may stay in with him, I don't know. I did hear that Barack Obama had a successful campaign stop in Seattle last night.
The caucus (I think) in Maine is tomorrow. Both Senators Clinton and Obama were there, at University of Maine, and Bangor, respectively. I wonder if LEL's gotten herself an absentee ballot or not, how my aunt Vesta and uncle Kenny will vote, Stephanie and the rest. My mother, from Maine but a resident in Maryland for years now, is a Democrat, but dislikes Hillary Clinton. Really dislikes her. Many of my Maine relatives have worked in paper mills, my grandfather at a rock quarry, etc. Would Mom have voted for John Edwards? Would they have? (Note -- he's pulled out of the race.)
<FONTLANG=0 PTSIZE="10" FAMILY="SANSSERIF" size="2" face="Arial">M and I watched the New Hampshire Presidential debates, Republican and Democrat. I try to keep her educated and informed, about the process, about how to chose for yourself and vote. She'll be voting in the next general electoin 4 years from now. I'd ask her neutral questions, and why did you like him, why did you not? If she had to vote Republican, she preferred Rudy Guiliani, seemed most leader-like and liked his NYC policy on handling immigrants in emergency rooms.
M REALLY liked John Edwards, "He was just on fire, Mom, on FIRE." She had more reasons than this, and we laughed about tie style/colors and how it doesn't matter, yet can reflect an image yadda yadda. While we've talked elections in depth previously, other general elections are just not strong in her memory, other than the 3day wait to see who really is President.
M also thought that Bill Richardson should be Vice President. She believed him to be knowledgable in important areas, but not a strong enough leader him self to be President. I came into that debate knowing I liked John McCain as a person, but nothing politically, liking Hillary Clinton, thinking I could like Barack Obama, and not remembering a lot about John Edwards.
(As a POW, John McCain had spoken at a luncheon that my mother, brother, and I had attended once, in honor of those who had died in the Korean war. Mom's brother, Billy, had died as a teenaged POW in the Korean War. I forget the other speakers, but remembered him as a decent man. Again, I otherwise didn't know his politics which I'm learning about more and more now.)
I've always liked Hillary Clinton, even M did. M cut out a photo of Hillary Clinton from The Washington Post, when Hillary was First Wife. She was sitting on a White House balcony, as if thinking. It's a lovely shot, and M posted it in her scrapbook of bestest stickers. I also believe it was up to her, it was her decision, whether or not to stay sticking by her husband after his affairs became so public. Her, God, and him. Not us, not me. Heck, I like him fine enough, too.
But I kept hearing more and more about Barack Obama, from a few mentions as the freshman Senator, to personal comments from others. N had reason to take interns to "the" Hill for a Congressional session last summer for part of a day. N actually pointed out, of all the things he could have commented on, how very impressive Barack Obama was. Shortly after the NH debates, friends of mine got together long overdue I needed that, and the conversation turned to politics. My good dear "knight in black leather jacket" friend, E, die-hard Republican, said, "He's eloquent without opening his mouth." Ah, yes, Barack Obama is eloquent, intelligent, articulate, and seemingly respectful. It's not just that he's a man with a way with words, which I admit I'm a sucker for, but what's behind them. From the things I've heard, such as his work in Illinois putting credibility back into finances (campaign? financing, something politically -related so they were no longer one of thee worse states), working to better public housing situations, and not messing in political mudslinging, to me speak towards Barack Obama's integrity.
I even liked how he mentioned that he'd been going back and forth between watching the Republican debate, and the football playoffs, when it came time for his interview during the NH debates. (Even if the Redskins lost that one.)
In watching those debates, I saw Barack Obama rise above the b.s. (not get into the negative stuff, just be classier than that), be a leader. Hillary Clinton looked tired, and as she stressed her experience, it clicked for me all whom she'd be beholden to, all those connections. Could she just run the country, or would her past, even a good past, get in the way of that? I don't really like how she's run her campaign, it's more politics as usual (like most of the other men competing, no worse).
The policies between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are relatively similar -- if either wen't such a strong contender, it'd be nice to see them run TOGETHER. But, Barack Obama? He's just got it together, inspiring hope, asking for ideas from any of us (just go to his website), what can we ALL do. He is NOT politics as usual. And, THAT is exciting. Even as his wife, Michelle, says he's still just a man, he forgets to put the butter away. LOL, yeah, only God should be worshipped.
So while more and more candidates drop out, the Potomac Primary or Chesapeake Primary, takes place Tuesday. That's the State of Maryland, Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia (Democratic only for them, I believe, but being that the city is overwhelming Democratic, that's really a mute point). Americans overseas also vote on Tuesday.
Hillary Clinton has put in an additional $5M of her own money (wow, that anyone has that much), yet she's not focusing on Maryland that I can tell. From what I've heard, she does plan to make a stop, herself, in Maryland but hasn't yet announced (confirmed?) a location. Uh-huh. She does plan to visit Manassas and Roanoke. Barack Obama will be visiting Alexandria (oh, I love that town), and Virginia Beach -- conflicting info that Virginia Beach is Monday evening, or tomorrow/Sunday.
I believe they will debate in Richmond, or at least they have a dinner there tonight. To quote today's The Washington Post (John Wagner and Tim Craig): "On the Republican side, Huckabee has an appearance scheduled today in College Park, and McCain announced a rally in Richmond on Monday." I will note that the Virginia Governor, Kaine, is supporting Barack Obama.
Monday, Barack Obama will be at Cole Field House, University of Maryland, College Park, doors opening 10:30 a.m. That afternoon, he will speak in Baltimore, at the Mariner Arena (a big convention center downtown), doors opening at 2:45 p.m. To get clarification as to when he'll be in Virginia Beach, and where, please check out http://www.barackobama.com
It's a first in my 46-year old memory to have any national Presidential candidate visit Maryland personally for campaign reasons. [Sigh, having somehow not been politically savvy enough to remember Wallace's having been shot.] I'm most comfortable with the UMCP site, but that's alright -- it'll be closer to the D.C. area and the many supporters he may have in Prince George's county, and otherwise. He picked a state school, a good one, but a state school, he is supposedly big with the college educated and the younger generations. (So how come so many not well off older whites support him? lol, many reasons. And, hey, he spoke for benefits for seniors, too, when this so-called economic stimulus package was going on, I'm attuned now when helping seniors is mentioned). Anyway, this is a first for ME as an adult.
And, as my mother pointed out -- in 1960, a year before I was born and Barack Obama was born (both in 1961), segregation was still strong and around. Back in Civil War times, Baltimore city had the largest population of free blacks in the country. Yes, this is a huge first, also. I'm so glad he'll visit Baltimore, where the Star Spangled Banner was written, "for the land of the free, and the home of the brave."
When my grandmother, worked on "the" Hill for her (Democratic) Congressman from Ohio, I wonder if she'd have ever thought she'd see the day when a woman, and a man born of a Kenyan man and a Kansas white woman, would be running strongly and taken seriously as Presidential candidates (against a veteran). (Grandma was born in Rising Fawn, Georgia, to Quaker parents, a doctor father and a school teacher mother, but went to college in Ohio, where she met my Irish immigrant grandfather.)
This is history.
So, yeah, I'll take M out of school part of Monday. Been a while since she's been to my alma matter, anyway:) Btw, there is a LOT of information on Senator Obama's website, about his (Christian) faith, about whatever, even social networks, etc. For those interested.
Primarily, people should get out to vote, whomever they wish tovote for. Even if the only campaign signs I've seen are one bumper sticker for Obama and several roadsigns for Ron Paul. The ads here are just beginning. We, all of us Americans, can do it. We have the right to have our say. This year, Maryland is getting some attention.
(Update: Hillary Clinton did come to Maryland, Bowie State University and the GM plant. As The Washington Post stated, Barack Obama had arena crowds (UMCP and B'more, but also at a cafe in Silver Spring), and Hillary Clinton's were more intimate gatherings. Huckabee, I don't know how large, but he did visit, and unclear if McCain did or not -- but he's around, also.)