A Part of the Solution

My friends (heh),

So I did the March for Obama from 21st to Belmont – there must have been 400 people marching. Old, young, black, white. Great signs – one Woman had a big sign in the shape of a moose that said, “Alaskan Wildlife for Obama”. Another lady had a sign taped to her son’s hockey stick – “Hockey Moms for Obama”. There were Nurses for Obama, Steelworkers for Obama, Soldiers Wives for Obama, Babies for Obama, Rednecks for Obama, Teachers for Obama, Veterans for Obama, Jewish Canadians for Obama, Families of Faith for Obama. At the end of the March, we ended up on the Belmont Campus at a Rally.

I saw a sign that said, “Sarah Palin Makes Me Want to Puke” – right on! One gay man had a sign proclaiming his crush on Obama. Lots of quotes about hope, liberty, truth and change. I made a handful of signs with different messages, but the one I ended up using got a lot of laughs – “Keep Your Lipstick off My Pit Bull!” Lola is so proud!

At the rally, people were engaged in dialogue about the issues that mattered to them. There were a group of Socialists calling for an end to the two party system. A group of students drove from Knoxville to call for an end to the war and to devote that money to paying teachers a living wage. Two folks from a group called NORML invited me to a “Smoke-In” on Saturday and invited me to bring friends. Sounds like fun, but I may have to pass!

There were tons of reporters with still and video cameras, and most of the marchers stuck around, plus others joined us!

There were only a handful of McCain/Palin supporters and they looked stiff, uncomfortable and disoriented (not unlike their candidate at the debate).

At the rally, there were several media tents set up – MSNBC had one, as well as the local CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates. We were asked to be a background at the tents, and I set up at NBC behind Dan Miller and Jeremy Finley. The field director asked very nicely that we not yell, and folks, we were so polite! We waved our signs, we talked quietly, people got on their cell phones to call mom or boyfriend and urge them to turn on the TV to channel 4. You may have seen a corner of my sign – I’m short – them’s the breaks! Then, this weirdo guy in a Tennessee Women for McCain/Palin staggers onto the set and mugs for the camera. The field producer pulls him out of the shot and says, “Little man, these people are behaving themselves, but you’re going to have to leave because you’re acting like a tool.” He may have said “fool” – but either way, he was acting like one. He staggered off to bug one of the other media tents.

Finally, Dan Miller asked the field director, that if, since we had all behaved so well, we could cheer one time – the field director OK’d it, and we got to scream and yell. Thanks Dan! When they were at commercial, he asked us a lot of questions –did we have to go through security, how many people marched, etc. He was super nice, and although you know I pledge my allegiance to Fox 17, Matt’s former employer and the station where we still have tons of friends, I have to give props to the Channel 4 team for being cool with us.

I eventually decided it was time to head back home, and I walked up Belmont til I could find a cross street to hit 12th. Lots and lots of people lined the streets – I saw news trucks from Little Rock and Knoxville, I saw people selling food, shirts, buttons, and so on. There were cop cars and cops everywhere – there were also police on horseback. Lots of people asked for pictures of my sign, and then finally, I got back to the house. Matt (who worked late)had arrived shortly before me – so we went to grab some dinner and watch the debate.

I’m sure you know who I believe won the debate – but I was disappointed – I thought the questions were all bland and expected – I loved the final question – from the internet – “What don’t you know and how are you going to learn it?” Mad props to Peggy in New Hampshire. I will also say I found it interesting that McCain left the stage after a few handshakes and that Senator and Mrs. Obama were still out there talking to people 30 minutes after it ended.

I will say that Nashville’s undecided voters looked pretty bored (which I know, they had to, debate rules and all). Also – at this point, I think the only people who are undecided are fiercely lonely and want major attention.

I’d like to point out that the Today Show had Biden on this morning, talking debate, but they told us that Sarah Palin refused a request to appear. Go figure.

And finally (finally!), I’ll say that I’m a little sad now that it’s over. This is the only national attention we’re getting in Tennessee this election – because we’re so solidly red. In fact, this is Obama’s first campaign stop in Tennessee – INCLUDING the primaries. So, that was our moment in the spotlight. I enjoyed the hell out of it, and I can’t wait until Senator Obama takes office in January.

Now get out there and get out the vote!

*Photos coming soon!