Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An Obama Morning

Headquarters had called to ask me to volunteer this morning. On the streets of downtown Philadelphia, strangely devoid of traffic, young black voters sported lapel stickers saying "I voted for Obama". In the elevator, a carpenter for Obama, a young female bus driver for Obama, and a woman with a wolf dog wearing an Obama poster around his body like a sweater. In the huge room there were probably two hundred people doing phone banking, or waiting to be assigned a task by the four volunteer greeters.  I was directed to a table where corrective address stickers were being placed on long cardboard door hangers to inform people where their polling place was.

Drivers were standing by to take these last door hangers to wards not yet covered. A hanging TV showed images of polling places around the country. Two tables laden with food, everything from hot soups and veggie omelettes to cream puffs and other diet shattering temptations, coffee, coke and fruit. People constantly came and went, and inevitably, as on other days, someone started jumping up and down, leading a chorus of: "Are we Ready? Ready to Go!"

The closest thing I've seen to this were the Cuban Revolution in the early sixties, and the atmosphere in Paris after the socislist Francois Mitterrand was elected, in 1981. Obama cannot fail to know that this is a people's election. It won't take a Jerimiah Wright to hold him accountable. Ominously, as I walked to a bus carrying a red and white Obama sign for my polling place, a man signaled me saying: "I hope the best person wins, but beware what you wish for."

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