Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Utah for Obama at the State Convention

Saturday morning, at least 10 of us (I hope I'm not forgetting anyone!) ran a Utah for Obama booth at the Utah State Convention. As all of our events have been, this one was a blast. We got a few special treats this time, though!

Janet Lee made this incredible banner:
I'm truly amazed at her talent!

This photo was taken for us by a passer-by:
Mark Rothacher (Co-Chair of Utah for Obama), Gail Turpin (Voter Registration Coordinator), Me, Janet Lee, Nikki Norton, Rafe Langston (Left to right, top to bottom)

We had t-shirts available for a $25 donation to Obama for America, one of which Nikki is wearing here:
Janet Lee and Nikki Norton

Our booth was right next to the Young Democrats booth. They had a Guitar Hero setup going, and it looked like a lot of people had fun with that. Goodies that other booths had, that just had to come home with me, were: a Democratic Women's Caucus LED fan (for Maria, who was wonderful and volunteered to watch my munchkins and take them to the zoo), a couple of light-up flag pins (from the guy with the huge red-white-and-blue Cat-in-the-Hat style hat), and an Obama pin from the "pin guy".

Gail Turpin went to the Women's Caucus, and I never did really get details about how that went. It seems that the whole day was a flurry of activity, between people stopping to either argue that Barack is for the war (huh, what planet are you from?!) or wanting to see how they could help us. We sold quite a few t-shirts, which made me quite happy. I think I'm going to have to carry some with me, though. But, I'll get to that story in a bit.

Nikki went to the store and got some post boards, and we each made signs. I wish I had photos of Janet Lee's - she's one of the most talented people I've had the chance to meet! We had our own little cheering section for Obama during the main caucus.

Bill Richardson didn't end up speaking, because he had to go out to California for some other fundraiser or rally. I wish I could have heard him at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner, though. I really respect a lot of what he's accomplished, and I'd love to hear him speak.

Chris Dodd did show up, though. Turns out his wife is from Utah, and she has a huge family. Since I didn't know much (or anything, really) about Dodd personally, it was very interesting to hear his wife's introduction of him. I have to admit, I haven't watched Dodd closely, because I don't have any prior knowledge (like I did of Richardson's accomplishments in Darfur, for example). I do have a bit more respect for him than I did previously, though. I still don't think he's got a snowball's chance in hell of winning the primary, but then again I do think of Utah as hell at times, and it does freeze over regularly. I will say this - should the unexpected somehow happen, and he won the primary, I wouldn't feel the least bit bad about casting a vote for him in the General Election. The one thing that he said that bothered me a bit was something to the effect of mandatory service. I got the idea that he was talking about volunteer programs, rather than military service, but I still think that would be a bad, bad thing. Maybe having incentives for volunteering would be good, but mandatory would be wrong. At one point, I went outside and Dodd was standing out front, so I shook his hand and thanked him for coming to Utah. I fully believe that the more Democrats pay attention to Utah, the more that the popular vote will lean toward Democrats, which can only make our state better, especially given the current Imperial Presidential administration.

After Dodd spoke, Mike Moffo, the Nevada HQ Field Director, took his turn. He showed a video by Barack that was quite impressive, and I think (in general) sent exactly the message it should have. Mike spoke for a bit, and I wish I had a transcript. Our cheering section made quite a bit of noise, and many in the audience participated with us. Prior to the caucus, we handed out most of the remaining signs that we had, but I don't think anyone but our group used them. I had been hoping they would.

Oh, on a side note - I had noticed that Dodd had quite a cheering section, but it turns out that most of them were related through marriage. But, that's still impressive, considering the stories Chris and his wife, Jackie, told about them being die-hard Republicans.

I was surprised that Edwards and Clinton didn't have anyone speak, or if they did, I must have missed it. I went to check on the booth before it was over, and there were a lot of people coming by, so I stayed out by the booth.

One last picture:
Myself, Theo Cowan (Secretary) and Paul Sticca (Treasurer)

I spoke with Christian Burridge, chair of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party, about what I need to do to get a fill-in delegate spot, and he mentioned needing some kind of coordinator to help with events. He suggested I speak with Angela Romero, Secretary of the SL County Dems, to get more information. I'll be doing that in the next few days.

Something that was very interesting to me (and this ties into the t-shirts thing I mentioned above), is that in the past when I've worn an Obama t-shirt, no one has really said anything to me. But, Saturday I had at least 5 people stop me to ask about Barack, including one lady at the gas station that went out of her way to drive over and ask where I got the shirt. I think I should carry some, so that people can buy them. Regardless, that tells me that people are definitely taking notice.

Go Obama!!!!

And thanks very much to Saturday's volunteers:
Theo Cowan, Janet Lee, Mark Rothacher, Rafe Langston, Nikki Norton (especially for making the run to the store for more supplies!), Janet Hurley (she still came, even with her sprained ankle!) Gail Turpin, Duchess Schuman and Paul Sticca