Saturday, September 06, 2008

Camp Obama - Day 1

I am tired, my friends. Tired, tired, tired. But it's an exhaustion that's wrapped in exhilaration and buttoned up in a coat made out of hope. And pretty butterflies.


See? THAT'S how tired I am! I am talking nonsense. There was one moment today, though, when I did not talk nonsense. And that's the one moment I will tell you about before I lay my head on my pillow for the night.

This morning I, along with 125 or so other camp attendees, spent a chunk of time in breakout groups thinking about what the campaign calls our "stories of self." At first I was surprised when my group's facilitator leaned over and whispered that he hoped I didn't mind, but he'd told the organizers that I had a compelling story. They were going to call me up to the podium to share it.

I must interject here and mention that the spousal unit and I were out late last night in Berkeley thoroughly enjoying the show that Dave Matthews Band gave at The Greek. There were 8,000 people in the theatre, and 7,998 were heavily partaking in tiny, self-rolled cigarettes filled with some very fragrant herb. Your Nesting Ground Mistress was not among them. However, despite the fact that I showered this morning, I still arrived at Camp Obama smelling like a complete stoner. To make matters worse, Lea had awoken me at 5 am. I was functioning on about 4 hours of sleep, and I'm pretty sured I looked like it.

Now, back to our story....

After a few minutes, I was less surprised that my story was picked. I am a writer, after all. It would have been surprising if I couldn't craft a decent personal narrative about the events that led to my engagement with this presidential campaign. Okay, I thought. I can do this. I can stand up in front of this group of strangers and "share."

Just then, Kamala Harris walked into the room. Do you know who she is? She is the District Attorney of San Francisco. She is beautiful and brilliant in every way. Here is a picture that fails to capture even HALF of said beauty and brilliance:

Ms. Harris was introduced to rapturous applause. She spoke skillfully for the next ten minutes as cameras flashed and people basked in the glow of what can only be called The Kamala Factor. And then, she was gone. Like Cinderella at midnight, leaving a trail of broken hearts—both male and female, straight, gay, married, and single—in her wake. I'm sure you can guess what happened next.


I was called to the podium. Me. Stoner-smelling, tired-looking, flustered me.

I think I said earlier that I would tell you about what I said. But now I'm too mortified.

Let me just end by saying that there are less than 60 days left before we vote. If you are already volunteering for the campaign, amp it up! If you haven't, do. It feels really good. If you're Bay Area-based and you're my friend or my relative, join me and my little cousin Lui on our "Drive For Change" from October 17th-19th. Like thousands of other California volunteers, we're headed to the battleground state of Nevada to help secure that state's 5 CRUCIAL electoral votes for Barack Obama.


Leny said...

Ver- thanks for carrying the Obama torch for those like me who can't go to camp. At breakfast, I was telling hubby that while Obama is trying to appeal to the better (hopeful) nature of Americans, the Palin-McCains are appealing to the fearful, angry ones. And the hubby said (and I dread that there is something to this) the latter will probably win...and one more nail into the coffin of a dying empire. But the hopeful me wants to believe that we can't let that happen.
Go girl!

Leny said...

p.s. "let that happen"...i mean, we can't let our hopes die. i'm all for the empire dying in ways that it must...

Malbatron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Malbatron said...

Please get over being mortified and post your speech you Barackian Stoner. I'm interested. Maybe I'll even donate some money if you do it.

ver said...

Hi Leny! I'm very hopeful. What happened at Camp Obama in South San Francisco this weekend was happening all over the country, and will continue to happen. Someone happened to have a McCain fundraising letter, which one of our facilitators read out loud to the entire group, and your husband is absolutely right: they are preying on fear. Obama Democrats, they said, will bring a "creeping socialism" to the capitol; they are immoral; they will tax you to death. The difference this election really is between hope and fear, and I believe people are going to choose the right way.

Luj...hmmm...interesting proposition. How about if I tell my story you donate two hours to your local Obama phonebank? That's just 50 calls! Doesn't hurt a bit. I await your answer...