Yesterday morning I started my day at a small rally at Rep. Murtha's Johnstown HQ. Senator Bob Casey gave a warm, well-spoken introduction and then Mr. Murtha presented his case to his supporters why they should help him get re-elected. He was his usual, straight-talking self. And, despite what people outside his district might think of him, he's truly a Congressman who understands the need to serve his country AND help his region. At the end of his talk he mentioned the need to support Senator Obama because of his judgment.
After that rally, I hoofed it down Main Street to the Obama office to get my canvassing assignment for the day, which led to two very encouraging encounters that gave me hope for the country's future if Senator Obama gets elected.
I was assigned canvassing duty in a neighborhood in Johnstown that is predominantly African-American (for the record, I'm a 50-year-old white guy) and was impressed by the level of support Senator Obama is receiving from both whites and blacks. But of all the positive feedback, the best I got was from two kids.
One was a kid of about ten or so who was being watched by his teenage brother while his mother and aunts were out. When the teenager answered the door and said the women were out, the younger kid spoke up from behind his older brother and said the women were all voting for Obama and that's who he was rooting for. Then he added, "he's cool," which made his older brother roll his eyes. I smiled and went across the street to the next house on my list. When I finished there, the older kid was sitting on his porch and asked me about my paperwork, wanting to know if I needed someone to sign anything. I told him I didn't and briefly explained how the process worked. I could tell he was interested but, naturally, didn't want to seem interested. Maybe both of these kids will turn this glimmer of interest into something positive in future elections.
The second incident was at a house of a white woman with two young kids. The woman's sister was on my walk list but didn't live there anymore. So I thanked her for the information and started to walk away. Before I got to the end of the sidewalk, the door opened and the woman turned to her adolescent daughter standing behind her and said, "Go ahead, ask him."
I didn't know what to expect. In a small voice the girl asked if I had a sign that they could have. I said I could get a yard sign from the office and bring it back on my way home but the mother said they couldn't have a yard sign but could have one to put in the window. I said I thought I could get them one and would return later with it.
Well, about a half-hour later, when I finished my walk list and returned to my car. I looked at the faded O'Bama St. Patrick's sign I'd placed in my rear window back in March. It was faded and a little tattered, but I thought, what the heck, I could always get another sign of some sort at the Obama office. I drove to the house and knocked on the door. When the girl saw the sign her eyes lit up in a way that makes my throat thick and eyes water even as I type this diary.
These kids are the country's future and Senator Obama, win or lose, has given them hope and enthusiasm.