election vignettes

Here’s a couple of things I’ve been thinking about lately. Soon, the election-related posting will stop. I promise.

1. Last summer when the Bee and I were driving home from camp through the streets of Big City in a Swing State, she noticed a homeless woman’s camp on the side of the road. The woman had a neatly stacked pile of belongings, and had her laundry hung up on a line to dry. The Bee brightly said something along the lines of, “well, that woman seems to have made herself a nice situation, even though she’s homeless.” It was just one of the many times in the past year that something that one of my kids did or said strengthened my resolve to work as hard as possible on this year’s presidential election.

2. On Sunday, I took the Bee to work with me. In my car (which is suffering from a very bad case of campaign car* right now) was a t-shirt from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, that I had gotten at an event the prior day. We got into a long conversation about birth control, and why a group that cares about women’s reproductive health also feels the need to be politically active. I was actually excited to have that conversation, because I’ve been wondering how to start talking to the Bee about birth control, and puberty and all that stuff. When we got to the office, some of the other women who work on the campaign were talking to her, and one of my coworkers asked her if she likes any boys. The Bee indignantly reported that boys are gross. So I guess we won’t be visiting Planned Parenthood any time soon :).

3. On Monday, I canvassed a guy who told me that he had gone to see MLK speak in 1965, and how when he was growing up in Raleigh, his parents weren’t able to vote. He said, “Martin didn’t live to see this day. But I did. You don’t have to worry about my daughter going to vote tomorrow. Everyone in my house is voting!” I haven’t cried at a stranger’s door too many times in my life, but that was one.

4. For some reason, I ate less pizza and more Chinese food on this campaign than any campaign I’d previously worked on. On Saturday night, one of my coworkers decided that instead of ending every fortune cookie fortune with the phrase, “in bed,” we should all end them with “when Barack Obama is president.” My last fortune? “To be mature is to accept imperfections…when Barack Obama is president.” So true.

5. On Tuesday night, I was at a party in a hotel suite with a bunch of my team and some other co-workers, watching TV. When MSNBC called the election for Obama, we all jumped around, screaming and hugging. All of us–black, white, Latino, gay, straight, men and women–had tears of joy running down our faces. When Obama finally spoke, I had tears streaming down my face and a woman that I’ve only known for about six days came over to give me a hug. It was the election of Hope vs. Fear, and for the first time in a long time, Hope won.

*Full of boxes, dry cleaning, old turf maps, empty coffee cups, random other garbage, random raingear, campaign lit, etc.


November 6, 2008. '08 election.


  1. Procrastamom replied:

    I’m so, so glad your team won landismom…because that victory is also one for all of us in other countries of this world. I was glued to the TV all night with my kids and was surprised to find myself tearing up a few times too.

  2. Andy replied:

    I have a bad, bad case of campaign car.

    I had a phone call late on eleciton night to a voter who didn’t think she was going to be able to cast her ballot. When I hooked her up with a drop site (we’re a mail in state) that was across the street from her house she teared up, thanked me no more than twenty times and told me that it was because of me she was going to be a part of history. I cried on the phone, and it really made the month long stream of 12 hour days and the missing my kids and complaining about sore feet and ears totally worth it.

    It’s moments like those that keep me motivated to do the exhausting work we do.

  3. shestartedit replied:

    Excellent work, Landismom. I am so thankful for everything you’ve done to make it happen!

  4. sweatpantsmom replied:

    #3 made me cry, too.

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