Monday, February 11, 2008


Had a lovely time playing with democracy (and Democracy) yesterday, when our little town participated in the presidential caucus. A hundred Dems showed up at the elementary school gym (not bad for a town of 900). We voted 75 Obama to 25 Clinton, thus anointing three Obama delegates and one Clinton delegate.

Somebody said the Republicans only got 13 voters last week. This used to be a Republican town. Everyone I know has a story about some dyed-in-the-wool Republican who's left the party because of Bush.

Interestingly, quite a few households were divided--husband for Obama, wife for Clinton, or vice versa. Everyone was cheery about it, though. I think we'd all be pleased either way. A woman sitting in front of me on the Obama side was a Republican until four years ago. Her husband, who changed parties when she did, was on the Clinton side.

It can take courage to vote with your entire body in a small town. This came home to me when the woman next to me gasped and said, "Why, John Smith!" (Fake name.) Turns out John was over on the Clinton side, when he might have been expected to be an Obamite. He probably had to explain himself later. You don't have to do that with a secret ballot. You can even lie about your vote if you want to.

The speeches were interesting. Pro-Clinton: It isn't every day you get to vote for another woman; She's got more experience and knows the foreign leaders; Clintonites know what to do about the economy. Pro-Obama: He's energizing young people; I haven't been this excited since 1960; It's time for young people to lead. Head vs. Heart, mostly.

Standing in line to sign in, one point of view was unanimous: Everyone was leery of the super-delegates deciding the nomination. The state party chair, who is from our little town, has said he will cast his super-delegate vote with the majority of Maine voters, which turns out to mean for Obama. The people around me thought that was a fine idea.

1 comment:

TJ Brown said...

How fun... we have completely gone to mail in ballots here in Oregon and I hate it. There is something so energizing about going to the polls with other people.