Monday, September 22, 2008

Barack Obama for President--of Arkansas

A week ago Saturday, Mrs. Archaeopteryx and I drove up to Pine Bluff to buy a few gewgaws at Lowe's, and to have lunch at Chili's. I wore an Obama 08 t-shirt. Several people stopped me to ask where I'd gotten my shirt. Some were black, some were white. That night at dinner back in Monticello, a man came over to our table and said "I'd like to compliment that shirt." This past Saturday, the missus and I made our monthly trek up to Little Rock to hit Sam's, and Barnes and Noble, and to run a few other errands. Again I wore the t-shirt, and again, people walked up to me and commented on my shirt--it made me a celebrity. I stood in line at Sam's ahead of two old white ladies who were discussing their clearly fundamentalist Bible studies. One of them saw my shirt and said, "Where'd you get that? I've been looking for yard signs and can't find them." A middle-aged white guy walked up to me in Garden Ridge, and made me put down a double-armload of tailgating supplies (Go Weevils!) so that he could shake my hand. "We can't take another four years of the same stuff," he said.

My point--no need to write off Arkansas. Where is the state party on this? How come Governor Beebe isn't publicly supporting the nominee of the party? Maybe it's hopeless to think that Obama could win Arkansas, but it's important that he make a good showing. I understand that the national campaign has to concentrate its resources in the states where it will most likely produce results, but I give money to the state party, and I expect them to at least try to mobilize the electorate here. And, frankly, I think that a lot of people are overestimating the effects of racism in this race. Sure, there are a lot of old fuddy-duddies who wouldn't vote for a black man if he were running against Satan. There are also a lot of old white people who have enough sense to vote their interests, even if it means a brother in the White House. There is a huge amount of pent-up anger against the Republican regime, right here in Arkansas. Somebody should tap it.

6 comments:

Sona said...

Hear, hear.

I went to a rally in my home town and while all local politics is democratic, this state is always red for national elections. And at the rally you barely heard a word about Obama - it's as if it's a done deal he won't win here.

Well he's getting my vote and if the locals would stop thier defeatist thinking he might just do well here.

steve said...

Nice shirt! It's interesting to hear some perspective from a supporter in a "red" state.

John said...

I hope you are right, I live up the road in Baptist land and don't hear many comments such as yours. I think our state party ought to be pushing hard as well, we need the votes anywhere and everywhere.

Cindy said...

It's very much the same way in my state - Florida.

Sure, we've been uber-red but there is a real, live groundswell.

I get much the same reaction when I wear my button - and to my bumper sticker.

(btw - the Obama '08 bumperstickers from the campaign are the removable kind so they don't mess up your car, very thoughtful!)

Keep wearing that shirt!

Archaeopteryx said...

Hi, everyone. Thanks for the comments. Steve, that's not the actual shirt I wore--just the only Obama t-shirt photo I could easily steal off the web.

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