A couple of weeks ago, Barrack Obama visited Florida and stopped in Dunedin for a quick rally. Given that this election is such a historical event in more ways than one, I asked my oldest daughter, Allana, if she wanted to join me at the Obama rally. Allana has been studying the branches of government, the candidates and the election process in school and this first-hand experience provided a wonderful learning opportunity for her.
Although the doors opened at 10:30, we arrived around 9:30. At that time, the line to enter the stadium was already half a mile long. As we waited in line 3 hours, the line continued to grow approximately another half mile behind us. Knology Park stadium has approximately 5,000 seats, but it has been estimated that 10,000 people attempted to attend Obama’s Dunedin rally and many supporters were turned away.
As Allana finished some homework, I chatted with people around us. The crowd was very diverse. Young and old, black and white, college students, working people, retired folks, homosexuals, heterosexuals, liberal and conservatives all rallied together to hear the solutions the next President of the United States offered to fix our country.
The rally began with a non-denominational prayer and the pledge. Despite the stereotypical assumptions often made by conservatives, it demonstrated that Democrats are spiritual and patriotic.
Local politicians (the mayor of Dunedin and the CFO of) and a volunteer for the Obama campaign gave short speeches prior to Obama’s arrival to the podium.
Allana was so moved by the whole experience that she wanted to create a sign to capture her feelings about the whole scene. If you read it carefully, she wrote “I love B.O.” With a stadium jammed with 6,000 sweaty Obama supporters, there was certainly a lot of that!
Political rallies always make me chuckle, because they remind me of the football pep rallies during my high school years. Politicians often use words like “We need to shake them up!” or “Those politicians didn’t keep their eyes on the ball.” Obama was no exception and the enthusiasm of the crowd was intoxicating.
His talking points were the same issues he shared during the first presidential debate and once again, Obama’s presence was very presidential. He was articulate and I believe he will represent America well.
After the Obama rally, I had considered voting early. Voting early will help avoid a repeat of the 2000 election. Plus, the temptation to vote early offers a lot of appeal to any mom because we can avoid waiting in long lines with whining children. Although, I realize the importance for my children to witness democracy in action as I model my civic duty when voting, waiting an hour or so in line with screaming children in tow to vote can deflate anyone’s patriotic passion.
Somehow, I avoided procrastinated voting early. Honestly, I don’t know if I will vote for Obama because I don’t believe Obama represents the true left of the Democratic Party. If I voted today, I would cast my vote for Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party.
However, with an election so close, Obama could lose the election because of my vote. I want to vote my conscious but I realize I may need to vote my party on Election Day to help Obama defeat McCain.