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  •  I reread the thread, too. Wasn't it (0+ / 0-)

    interesting to revisit the olden days?  Seems like eons ago.

    This was the first time I had gone back to read what was being written on Daily Kos in early 2007.  I remember that particular discussion (probably because of the hat photo!) and recall sending a link to a friend and commenting on the size of the crowd at the Austin event.  I wasn't registered at DK then--goodness knows what I might have written about candidates!  

    I didn't start doing serious research on candidates until the summer of '07 and was impressed at that time by the thoroughness of the position pages on the John Edwards site, although I much preferred the single-payer-for-health-care position of Kucinich. Neither Clinton nor Obama had put much of substance on their web sites that early. Sounds like you were an Obama supporter well before I was.  I never had been much impressed by Clinton.  Like you,  I disliked the nastiness of much of the campaigning and didn't care for the "gotchas" of the debates.  

    By the end of January '08, when it was down to Clinton and Obama and a Clinton win was already being proclaimed a done deal, I flew to Boise to attend an Obama rally, thinking he would be long gone by the time of the Oregon primary in May.  What changed my mind about Hillary being a done deal was the crowd of 14,000+ Idahoans that showed up to wait for hours in the below-freezing, predawn darkness to hear Obama.  With only a 2-day notice, more people showed up than could fit into the Boise State basketball arena--and that was one highly-motivated, highly-charged bunch of people.  Three days later, on Super Tuesday, record crowds attended the caucuses all over Idaho and Obama won big.  Sure, Idaho is a red state, sure the electoral votes were going to go to the Republican. But I was sure that if Barack Obama had gotten that many Idahoans fired up and ready to go, he was going to be doing more of the same elsewhere.

    Taking a spur-of-the-moment trip to Idaho to attend a campaign rally is a "what are you thinking?" kind of thing I rarely do.  It helped that a frequent flyer reward ticket on Southwest Airlines arrived in my mailbox the day the Obama rally was announced and that I had a friend in Boise who lived within walking distance of the rally site.  Two days later, we were crunching through the snow in the dark, walking along the Boise River greenbelt toward BSU and startling the deer with our laughter and flashlights.  As we got closer, we could see more and more headlights of the traffic headed toward the campus and we knew it was going to be big. We had no idea how big!

    "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

    by CKendall on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 08:12:05 PM PDT

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    •  What a great story! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Who didn't think it would be over by May. (Well it really was but...)
      The caucuses were amazing...all over. So many places had very bad weather...if I recall it was icy rain in Kansas City...Alaska had feet of fresh snow and so on...but record crowds turned up all over....and reading reports of people happily waiting in long lines was so impressive. Red states or not...the enthusiasm and willingness to get out and make an effort told a story that warmed my heart.

      When I researched the candidates I didn't go to their sites...I didn't want to see what they were selling, I wanted to see who they were, what choices they'd made and why, where they came from on their way to Washington. I only really looked into the top 3 because it was clear they were our choices. I found it ironic that the 3 least experienced candidates were the front runners. I didn't think their positions would very all that much (barring Kucinich!) to study those much initially

      I read all I could about them and was very surprised how much there was to find about Obama going way back and the more I found the more I liked. I expected him to be my last choice until I found out "who he was". People who worked with him from Community organizing days on, who knew him at Harvard, who were his students. who happened to meet with him all had the same kind of things to say about him and that was before he was THE Barack Obama. I kept digging for more.
      I can't help it, I have a weakness for very intelligent, honest, curious, diplomatic, really hard working, reflective, thoughtful, kind, poised people. I did have to dig for what wowed me about him and I knew the general public wouldn't do that. Didn't know how far he would go, just how far I wanted him to.

      I found old interviews with him going back to 1992. I read so much about his positions, statements, actions and choices that by the time I finally heard him speak (after Iowa and NH) none of it sounded like flowery rhetoric to me, it sounded like the expression of his long held philosophy.
      But boy was I thrilled to hear him speak. A charismatic, inspiring wonk? Who could ask for more?

      Unfortunately the more I found about the others...well the less I thought of them...some things I wished I hadn't found. I ended up liking Clinton less, trusting Edwards less.

      Anyway it was fun going back. Like I said I was so sure Gore would come in and was our one real hope that it was late 2007 before I really paid much attention to others...

      Here we are in 2009. Interesting times.

      •  I, too, thought Gore would get in and (1+ / 0-)
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        I'd had my "Gore 2008" bumper sticker ready since 2006.

        But by mid-2007, as I watched the crowds turning out for Obama and as I saw his campaign take shape, I knew we were seeing something unprecedented in American political life.  The first time I saw the Obama red, white and blue sunrise logo, I called a friend and told her, "We have the winner.  For all-time best campaign graphic design, if for nothing else."  Fortunately, there was much else!

        I can take credit for one of those early Obama caucus votes.  I talked my brother in Colorado into going out on a freezing night and driving on icy backcountry roads to his precinct's Democratic caucus on February 5.  He arrived to find a crowd of 20, a record turnout.  The precinct captain and his spouse were accustomed to being the majority of attendees in previous years.  The vote was 12-7, Obama over Clinton.  (I don't know who got the other vote.)  My brother called me from his car as he was driving home and told me that his initial assessment of the caucus participants, mostly from the nearby farms and ranches, was that they were Republicans who'd gone to the wrong caucus location.  He didn't take any of them for Obama or Clinton voters.  Surprise!

        Meanwhile, my friend in Boise had been trying to get to her caucus the same night.  By the time she got off work, there were so many people trying to get to the county's only caucus location that there was a traffic gridlock in downtown Boise.  She called me from her car, describing the crowds lining up outside the hockey arena waiting to get into the caucus. I was following the event online and told her they'd announced that anyone in line on time would get a ballot, even if they were standing outside.  But she couldn't find a parking place in time, so she drove home to watch her caucus on television.  Her county went 86%-11% for Obama.  Statewide, he got close to 80% in Idaho and 67% in Colorado.

        A big night.  And I got to participate via telephone in two states.

        I'm so with you on this:

        I can't help it, I have a weakness for very intelligent, honest, curious, diplomatic, really hard working, reflective, thoughtful, kind, poised people....A charismatic, inspiring wonk? Who could ask for more?

        "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

        by CKendall on Thu Mar 12, 2009 at 02:55:54 AM PDT

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