Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Last night Ruth and Chris and I finished our grand tour of major Democratic presidential contenders. we saw Barack OBama at a huge outside rally here in Austin last spring, John Edwards in the old railroad station in San Antonio and last night, here in Austin on election eve, hillary Clinton. This time K.K., strongly committed to Hillary Clinton and suddenly immersed in the political process, was with us.

It was a cold night and we had to wait outside Burger Center for an hour or so, excited and wrapped in layers of sweaters and coats. K.K, especially looked tiny with all those clothes on and was a bit anxious about the security procedurs and the presence of so many big men in uniform. There was a moment when we reached the security check and K.K. had to step away from us to go through the metal detector alone . She looked back at me with wild, slightly panicked eyes and I saw her as if in a very different context - a child bundled into all the clothes she owned I Poland or Germany in the nineteen forties, terrified to be separated from her family in one of the Nazi selections - who to the gas chambers?

The sobering moment passed as we filed into the arena. K.K. and Ruth, by virtue of being young, female, and enthusiastic looking, I guess, were offered spcial blue tickets to go down to the floor. Chris and I stayed in the higher seats and were able to watch them from above. K.K. looked both thrilled and shy in the crowd, and Ruth was wonderfully protective of her. It was a kick to sit above and watch the two of them in such a positive political crowd.

I was disappointed that Gonzalo Barrientos, for whom I voted many times did go negative - against OBama instead of just proHillary - It feels so without class to do that and has got to turn off more people than it wins over. Everyone else who spoke stayed positive and focused - especially the candidate herself.

We sat right behind a group of women wearing "Out for Hillary" buttons and I was pleased by their open and delighted presence.

I don't know why there isn't more talk about charisma regarding Hillary Clinton. The air around her crackled - and her policy statements were right on - concise, strong, brilliant. I came away believeing that if we can elect her she can produce the kind of change she offers. And I've got to say - though I don't like cheers for the most part - being part of a group cheering "Madame President" gave me good shivers.

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