My Day at the Polling Place

My homemade ‘MBA of Public Service and Campaigning” continues.

Yesterday I decided that I was going to stand at my polling place and do what I could to support Hillary. I began at 9am and it was sunny and cold and left at 5:45 and it was just getting dark and cold. It was um... cold ... but also really interesting to talk with and hear what people had to say and the questions they had. I basically just asked each person:

Hello, are there any questions I can answer about Hillary for you today?

I was surprised at the anger there was amongst Democrats at Hillary for not campaigning in Michigan. I explained to varying degrees of success that it wasn’t up to her. The DNC couerced a pledge from ALL of the candidates not to campaign in Michigan or Florida as punishment for defying their rules and moving our primaries up. The REASON we needed to do this as a state was so that our issues get heard in the campaign process as ‘normally’ our primary was so late that it didn’t really count. Some issues of Iowa and New Hampshire like corn ethanol and wood burning stove regulations are relevant to some but Michigan needs the candidates to address manufacturing and trade and the economy too!

There was one very nice meek looking woman who yelled in response:
Yeah I have a question what the hell has Hillary done for Michigan!? I was so taken aback that I said… umm you know that she is the Senator from New York – right? Then went on to explain that she also was the only candidate on the Senatorial Caucus for Manufacturing and that she does understand that we need to make Free Trade FAIR Trade! Not sure we got her vote.

I had many discussions people who were supportive as well. Quite a few older gentlemen just winked and replied – don’t worry you have my vote sweetheart. They were cute old men. There was one who stopped and wanted to discuss his challenges in voting for Hillary. He just wasn’t sure if he could vote for a woman. I thanked him for his honestly and by the end of our discussion on the issues he was much more comfortable.

I had one gentleman respond – I was an Edward’s supporter and have been urged to vote ‘undecided’ but I never saw any guy named undecided on the talk shows or the debates so that is not going to happen! This was in response to a push from Edwards and Obama’s campaigns to have all of their supporters vote undecided so the delegates can group together and decide in Denver in August at the convention who ‘they’ think the undecided vote should go to. It is just one more silly part of this whole fiasco as Edwards and Obama succumbed to the political pressure from Iowa and New Hampshire and withdrew their names from the ballot and Hillary stood up and said - enough is enough - NO - Michigan is going to get to vote for me if they want to. I have heard people ask if they other two were elected - If they can't stand up to two little states, how are they going to stand up to say.. Iraq?

I talked to young – one girl’s father brought her in to vote for the 1st time. She walked 10 feet tall wearing the Hillary sticker I gave her. I talked to the very old and saw an amazing array of canes and walkers. I discussed the issues with some logical… and some very illogical Ron Paul supporters.

In the end of the day people talk about the fact that the Michigan Primary meant nothing because Hillary was the only name on the ballot but I still felt it was important to be out there, to participate in the process and also I now know what some of the issues are for Michiganders when she and the campaign can come to Michigan after she is the nominee.