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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Obama on campus Thursday: UPDATE

click image to enlarge

Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00pm: I'm back from the rally, and it was electrifying! The man can speak and fire up a crowd of thousands of college students. The crowd was projected to be 20,000, but all I know is, it was BIG.

And I just heard that McCain has suspended his campaign in Michigan. What?? He's announcing that he's given up Michigan to Obama? Is that a smart political move? What is happening here?









Hillary was in my small home town last Saturday at a rally for Obama, and tomorrow the man himself will be here on campus at MSU, just a short walk around Circle Drive from my office. I'm planning on taking the student who is here for an appointment at 2 (if she comes!) over to Adams Field to hear him speak. It's supposed to be chilly outdoors, but I think this campus will give him a warm welcome. I know I will! I'll try to post pictures after the fact - at least of the crowd. Michigan is an important swing state in the election. We're expecting several more visits by McCain and Obama in the next month until November 4.

59 comments:

Anet said...

Great Ruth! You'll be so close. If it's anything like when he was downtown, it should be really crowded!
I have my two Obama yard signs up:) But I think I'll pass on trying to see him.

reggie_will said...

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but a friend has recommended that I reach out to you about a problem that you may be having but may not be aware of: Have you ever considered whether your ostentatious support for Senator Barack Obama is really a disguise that hides a deeply anchored form of racism towards Black-Americans?

Racism comes in many forms, and there is a significant possibility that your sponsorship of Senator Obama is really an obsessive compulsion to prove to yourself, and to others, that you are not a racist. Have you looked within yourself and examined your motives?

Sure, we can turn it all into a joke, like some have: an Obama lawn-sign is the yuppy status-symbol du jour; a hip and shiny accessory, this season’s iPhone. “But dear, every Volvo in the Whole Foods parking lot has an Obama sticker on it!”—that’s yet another parody of White property-owning affluence as described by stuffwhitepeoplelike.com

Have you really considered why you are so fixated by Senator Obama? How important was the pigmentation of Obama’s skin in spurring your interest? Do you really believe that he, or anyone else for that matter, is more qualified to run for the presidency than Senator Hillary Clinton? C’mon, let’s be honest with ourselves; that’s the first step in the healing process.

Isn’t making a big deal out of Obama’s skin color just another form of racism?

Unfortunately, Senator Obama and his team have approached this question in a very cynical way. Can anyone really brand former President Bill Clinton a racist? After all he had done for Black people? Well, the Obama campaign did. Can anyone accuse the Rev. Jesse Jackson of being a racist against Blacks? The Obama campaign almost did.

You should be absolutely certain that you are not being carried over to the voting booth upon a guilt trip. You should take this opportunity to look deeply within yourself and ask, “Why did I fall for Obama? Why am I, after all that we have accomplished on racial issues, still feeling guilty? Am I an unconscious racist? Am I any better than those who pretend not to stare at an inter-racial couple?”

I’m sorry to tell you that voting for Obama does not absolve you of racism, it may even confirm it. You may be besotted by Obama because he’s the least-black, half-Black politician out there. Did you catch yourself thinking that Obama is remarkably “clean” and “articulate,” as Senator Joe Biden condescendingly said?

I beg you to visit www.instituteforhealingracism.org, and allow the healing process to begin. Cleanse your soul of the last vestiges of racism, and come over to a better world of hope, understanding and self-awareness.

Loring Wirbel said...

And Michelle was in Boulder today, Abby got to see her. Colorado and Michigan seem to be the two most contested swing states this year, the candidates are visiting them more than any others!

Loring Wirbel said...

Reggie, are you serious? Obama is the chosen candidate of the Democratic Party, so probably the majority of Americans come November (based on recent polls) will vote for him. Are you going to call all of them racist? Only a small percentage of Obama supporters are Obamaniacs - the rest recognize him as a centrist candidate with faults, but certainly better than any alternatives associated with the major parties. This has to be one of the weirdest posts I've ever seen, and I think your thought processes are questionable.

Ruth said...

Anet, I drove by the location of the rally on my way home, and it is going to be way too small for the rally! There's hardly room for the porta-potties!

Ruth said...

Reggie, your concern about racism is admirable. There's still a lot of racism in this country, there's no doubt. And no doubt I have some racism inside me. Actually I'm not fixated on Obama at all. I'll vote for him, and I feel hopeful about the beginning of change. But I recognize in him compromises that the two party system has squeezed our elections into.

I visited the institute's web site, and it gives an important notice that they have no association with a message that is being circulated, referring to their web site.

Ruth said...

Loring, I was quite surprised at how many times the candidates are planning to come back here.

Rauf said...

Reggie_Will, i can understand what your are saying if Obama chap was an independant candidate. but as Loring says he is chosen by a national party. He just happened to be a black or half black as you say. Citizens who seek a change would have supported even if Obama was a donkey. Citizens are sick and tired till the tip of their noses.

The present mess apart, if Obama wins he will always be under pressure. As a President he can't show any favouritism to the black community and he will be cruicified for that.

Ruth has evolved to a state where she doesn't consider herself superior even to an ant or a spider, leave alone other humans.
i would ask you to stop being an inferior. i assume you are a black.
you are an individual under the sky along with the other species on the earth who have equal right to be here. Do monkeys feel inferior ? or the snakes ? all i know is that there is an element of fear in all of them, in all of us. That fear helps us to defend ourselves and survive.

i cannot bring any dignity to you
This is something you have to do yourself. Not even Martin Luther King.

Rauf said...

Will there be any question and answer session Ruth ?

Loring Wirbel said...

Rauf and Ruth, we may be talking to an independent-automated-blogger-spammer. The response seems so undirected to Ruth's comments, I wonder if this is automatically programmed to leave a response at any blog that mentions Obama!

Rauf said...

hahahaha LORING ! my conspiracy theories are not as advanced and as high tech as yours. and Loring i am a good talker with walls. And i treat machines as individuals. i talk to them. i get very angry with my keyboard. But i get stuck and can't talk with answering machines. One particular joke always stops me from leaving a message on answering machines.

I dialed a number and got the following recording: "I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes."

Sharon said...

Yikes! I'm just going to take comfort in Loring's spammer theory and leave it at that!

Rauf, you are right. I would probably vote for an actual donkey at this point! :)

Oh, and I LOVE that phone message!!! I can't wait to show it to Larry, he'll really get a kick out of it.

Rauf said...

Sharon, if i suddenly walk in to your house, its very unnatural to see you relaxed. Fear is a natural and basic instinct. The same fear and caution is often mistaken for racism.

RunninL8 said...

Oh, I wish he was coming here! I was so hoping that the whole Sarah Palin thing would bring him up to Alaska but it doesn't look like it's going to happen.
Well we can look forward to the train wreck tomorrow night!!!

Ruth said...

Dear rauf! I wish Reggie_Will were a real commenter who would read your illuminating response to him. I was thinking the same as Loring, that this fellow searched Blogger for 'obama.'

I doubt there will be question and answer or a press conference. I am curious how they will squeeze the expected 20,000 people into Adams Field, one of the most congested areas on campus. It's Homecoming weekend, so I'm assuming that's why they didn't assign this event to the football stadium.

I love that answering machine message!

Ruth said...

Sharon, isn't it the truth?? (about voting for a donkey, like rauf said).

One of my professor friends at an event last night was telling me she has been waking up at night practically in a cold sweat thinking we could wake up with the same party in office November 5. I also just read about a voter fraud/hacking rumor for this election. The rumor is that if McCain wins by 51% of the votes and 3 electoral votes, then it was fixed.

Ruth said...

You know rauf, you make a very good point about fear and racism. When people lead separate lives and don't mix with folks of other races, religions and beliefs, a position of mistrust and lack of understanding is probably natural, unless there is a very concerted effort to overcome it.

Don teaches in a predominantly white school district, affluent too. Most of the parents are professionals - doctors, attorneys, professors. One of his 4th graders a few years ago was an African American boy (there were maybe half a dozen AA kids in the school of 400). It was Black History month (February), and the class was discussing the history of racism in this country, Civil Rights, Rosa Parks, etc. Don explained that a black child would not have been able to attend their school. The AA boy spoke up and said, "I'm African American." The other kids looked at him in surprise, and several commented that they never thought of him as different than them. And it made them angry that there would have been a rule to keep him out of their school. (Unrelated to that, this boy is now one of the best prep ice hockey players in the state of Michigan.)

Ruth said...

Oh RunninL8, that would be brilliant! I never once thought of that. So his campaign has already said they're not going up?

Oh dear, as much as I don't feel sorry for Sarah Palin (I mean she agreed to this candidacy, knowing what she doesn't know and what she hasn't done), I cringe watching her struggle to answer pretty basic questions about her running mate, etc.

Ruth said...

Taking a shower I was reflecting on this series of comments, and again I realized that I rarely think of Obama's race. Every other week or so I'll hear someone in the news mention what a breakthrough election this is, and then I remember, oh yeah! This is the first time an African American has been a final candidate for the White House. When I think about that, I get shivers. But mostly, I'm not thinking about that at all. I like this guy because I like how he thinks, I like his judgment. I don't agree with him on everything. Even the war in Afghanistan, which he supports, is illegal (Binladen did not represent a state when he attacked the World Trade Center - if it wasn't an inside job, which it might have been, I know, you might not agree with me, but I think the evidence might be there that it was, but even if he was responsible, we're not supposed invade and attack a country because of a person), and Obama supports it. There are other areas I don't agree with him on, but how his mind works, how he approaches issues, how he spoke of race in his important speech (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/18/obama-race-speech-read-t_n_92077.html), are the main reasons I support him. Yeah, I support liberal causes, and he's obviously closer to that than McCain. But there's something about this man I trust, in spite of his being a politician and all the hogwash that goes with that.

Loring Wirbel said...

Rauf, I loved the phone message. And I, too, talk to machines. The message reminded me of a poster Woody Paige had hanging over his head when he was providing sports commentary on TV:
"Cancel my subscription. I don't want your issues."

Loring Wirbel said...

Hey, Rauf, while I think of it, are you aware of any good books regarding India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)? I just read a fascinating article by Barbara Crossette on the covert-action history of RAW, and I realized how little was known in the U.S. about this intelligence agency.

mystic rose said...

Yes,
there's something quite electrifying about him :)

mystic rose said...

And have we never wondered if Obama had no skin pigmentation, he might actually not be facing as much resistance?

John Ackerson said...

See how Obama has had a positive effect on some visual artists at http://www.manifesthope.com/.

Btw, Stephen Harper (Canada's prime minister) is much like Bush or McCain in that he can't get any Canadian artists willing to take his side in our upcoming national election.

shicat said...

My son and I went to see Obama in Detroit this summer. The crowds were huge and his speech was all that I expected it to be,except that it was too short. I can't believe McCain suspended his campaign in Mi.? Somethings up, he has nothing to offer but campaign theatrics. Oh I forgot, he does have Sarah, her latest quote was that she represents ,"Joe sixpack". What is that,who is that???? Too scary.

Rauf said...

Loring, RAW doesn't make any noise, never heard of any books because its not worth wasting paper and ink on them. But i'll check, some out of work barber or some sacked football refree must have written something on them.

They don't have much history, they made some news during Indira Gandhi's period. Occasioanlly they appear on the news paper when Pakistan accuses them for some disasters including earthquakes. And India accuses Pakistan's ISI for some disasters including floods.

Obviously i can't get a job there because it is Indian intelligence something i have no desire to possess.

How intelligent is our Indian Intelligence ? Lets see.

I accuse you Loring, YOU YOU YOU !
i know you are hiding behind the sofa.

So you the Americans get the best of Indian brains and talent, THE BEST. The best of India is in the US. Any Indian student dreams of a life in the US.
The second best goes to European countries or Australia, the third best goes to the gulf countries. So we are left with fourth and the fifth best which is not best at all. Out of whats left of 'not so best' the best of the junk, prefers private sector jobs. So a man who couldn't get the private sector job tries to get government employment. This man is pissed with life. India has the worst police in the world. Criminals get caught out of their stupidity like leaving a name card their picture ID phone number along with finger prints at the scene of the crime.
Out of stupid criminals, only those who fall asleep at the scene of the crime get caught. We have sloppy criminals too. Police prefers to seek the blessings and bribes out of smart criminals, they never get caught. a 5 year old child can rob a bank.
So very little is left of Indian intelligence for RAW. They can only have the best of the brainless dreaming of a life like James Bond with gorgeous females and exotic locations.

Rauf said...

And Loring, you have to know this.
Only 2% of Indians wear shoes. 8% wear something called Chappals like slippers made of leather, now synthetic leather. Rest of India, that is 90% is barefoot. 90% of Indian children go to school barefoot. 20 years ago i along with my friend Jawahar went on a south India tour barefoot. i wanted to experience what its like to feel completely Indian. It wasn't a good idea. But surprisingly i never got sick or visited a doctor after that.

So imagine a candidate who was barefoot all his life or wore only chappals, applying for a job in police army or intelligence. You give him a uniform and make him wear shoes. He'll never be comfortable, he can never run. Mostly they are out of shape.

Loring Wirbel said...

Thank you Rauf, interesting! And Ruth, I can't believe McCain has suspended Michigan, that would be a BIG forfeit.

Ruth said...

Mystic, aside from what auto-spammer reggie_will wrote, it seems there is still enough racism here to prevent Americans from voting for him based on the color of his skin. Maybe worse than open acknowledgement of that by some is the hidden fear that will prevent some from punching his line on the ballot in private, even though they profess not to be racist in public.

As for him being electrifying, when I hear myself and other supporters talk about why that is so, it is never about his policies. There is a special stature in him as a person and in his campaign that keeps going steadily and efficiently along (this is how he beat Hillary).

Before we went to the rally yesterday, some of us were talking in my university office about the phenomenon of tens of thousands (there were 16,000 yesterday it turns out) of supporters turning out in place after place, day after day, and how we've never seen that. My boss, the chair of the department said everyone is so tired of the current administration that we're dying for this change. But I realized later that I would not have gone to a rally of say, Tom Daschle or even Joe Biden. The excitement is not just for a change of administration. The excitement is for that youthful, genuine concern and intention that Bobby Kennedy also had. We need a good leader now more than any time I can remember, more than 9/11.

Ruth said...

Wow, John, not being an artist, that had not occurred to me! You know, that inspiration just speaks for itself. Thank you for sharing that web site.

Ruth said...

Cathy, an artist, like John. What is that something that inspires an artist?

I don't know exactly how long Obama spoke yesterday, but I left before the end - which tells me it wasn't too short! Truthfully I wanted to head back to my office before the 16,000 other people started mobbing.

Clearly Palin's schtick has worked big time with the 'folks.' So she played that up big last night in the debate, I'm sure it went over well with those like my father-in-law who think she is 'neat.' I can see how a segment of our society relates to her. What disturbs me is that by relating to her they think that qualifies her to be Vice President!

Ruth said...

rauf and Loring, now I am waiting for some Indian RAW auto-hacker to put me on their watch list and maybe a Stateside operative will come to my door and question me. rauf, maybe RAW is only pretending to be incompetent and they are really very sharp and wily. Or like Inspector Clouseau, they bumble into success. Thanks a lot, you two! Now I'm worried!

Ruth said...

Hey, rauf! Funny you would mention the barefoot thing just now. Yesterday I was checking my flickr account yesterday, I go there once a day and see if there are any comments. Well some Portuguese flickr group called VIVER DESCALÇO which translates as LIVING BAREFOOT asked me to join their group because of one of my Holga laundry line photos! This is the one:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/55222550@N00/2870334704/

Ruth said...

Well, Loring, we'll see if McCain's strategy to focus on Pennsylvania and Colorado pays off. Have you heard the rumors about electronic ballot tampering? The guy who supported Bush last round who was found to be involved with voter fraud in 2004 . . . I need to find where I saw it.

Ruth said...

Loring, oh, it is about Michael L. Connell, a high-level Republican consultant who has been subpoenaed about the alleged ballot tampering in 2004. Also that Stephen Spoonamore talks about Bush vote fraud schemes and the plan to steal this election by 51.2% of the popular vote and 3 electoral votes.

It's at Winter Patriot:

http://winterpatriot.blogspot.com/2008/10/frigged-in-rigging-whats-wrong-with.html

Rauf said...

More you write about this man Obama more worried i get Ruth. He is a politician afterall. He may disappoint you. They are all the same, This man is young and dynamic. i like him toos. But i am not expecting any radical or sweeping changes. He looks very capable. Actually i am seein his pictures only on your post. This is the best picture of him i have seen. nice honest and sincere smile there. i would like to trust him. But politicians are politicians. Saint politicians are the worst and scary kind. hope he doesn't become a saint receiving divine revelation to invade North korea. oh there is no money there Ruth, but there is a lot of money in Iran. The crocodiles must be drooling. Obama will not be able to stop them.

Ruth said...

Yes, I know, rauf. Sometimes I am worried too about having hope. Honestly (I am trying to be honest with myself), it's not that I am expecting sweeping change. Not at all. I am old enough to know better. I watched a very good man, Jimmy Carter, administer a nearly disastrous presidency. I wanted him to do well, because I believed in him as a person. The things that happened on his watch were partly coincidental, and partly because people resisted working with him. My father-in-law also tells me about how Congress was unflinching in its determination to resist John Kennedy's administration and vote down whatever he put forward, because he was Catholic. I don't know what would happen if Obama is elected, what kind of stonewalling he will encounter, or what events will happen to hamper his presidency. Already he faces one of the worst crises in American history with our financial mess. To inherit that is no small burden. No, I don't expect miracles. I also don't agree with all his policies. What I feel desperate about is that we need a fresh perspective, a new way of looking at the world that does not see it as our little oyster to be devoured and exploited. A fresh perspective that wants to strengthen who we are as a people here at home without defining ourselves as terrorist prey. Thank you for your concern, rauf.

Loring Wirbel said...

Ruth, thanks for the info. And yes, regarding Obama, I can't say that last night's debate thrilled me, knowing that many Obama interventionist policies will be Bush-Lite in nature. But then, Sarah made some Dominionist-Christian statements ("I believe in exceptionalism, I believe in the City on a Hill.") which are even scarier.

mystic rose said...

Re: barefoot. rauf, I love being barefoot, I walk barefoot here as well, my neighbor was concerned that when i grow older, I might get arthritis, I think she is right, the earth here is cold. India is THE place for being barefoot, being a sadhu etc. :), you just love feeling the mother earth under your feet. Thich is probably why I now cannot find anything comfortable enough for my feet. They are used to running wild :p

mystic rose said...

Ruth,
the strange comment left ehre, amde no sense to me, it had no one perosnality to it. Reminded me of Palin.

Ruth said...

Mystic, I'm positive it was an auto-spam message, a response to this post just because it had "Obama" in the title.

Ruth said...

Loring, I just read about CNN's onscreen feel-good meter tracking responses of undecided Ohio voters. They preferred Biden most of the time, but they went nuts loving when Palin made that remark about being a nation of exceptionalism and a shining light on a hill.

Loring Wirbel said...

Myth is more powerful than truth. Manifest destiny was insanely popular in its time, now we get the slightly-less-virulent rerun. I'm in the middle of Neal Stephenson's Anathem right now, which can drive you crazy thinking about myth, divine order, objectivity.

Rauf said...

Mystic Rose, i checked up with Jawahar toos. He left for france after that. He toos doesn't recollect falling sick anytime.

i love trashing myths, sometimes these myths have a role to play in our lives and they kind of become realities. Some are dangerous some are useful. But going barefoot is definitely not a good idea, specially during winters in your country and in a country like India. i walk barefoot in my room, all friends remove their footwear. But we have marble in the ground floor, stupid idea, it wasn't my idea. i have strictly forbidden my sister niece and nephew from walking barefoot in the house.

Ruth said...

Loring, I think you just helped me understand this Palin phenom. Thank you. Beyond what she said about being a light on a hill, just knowing some people find her to be such a powerful, magnetic symbol of something they want in a leader indicates a myth of Americanism of an ilk that has been growing and evolving since maybe Vietnam. Born out of the anti-hippie mindset, turning into patriotic-flag-flaunting-support-the-troops-let's-protect-what-we-have mythology.

That book sounds intriguing, let me know if you recommend it. I think it got fairly good reviews?

Sandy said...

That's exciting for you Ruth, having Obama visiting there.

That roof looks like mine!! What in the heck are they doing up there. That is my roof and my trees, exactly my roof line..

Take care and enjoy!

Loring Wirbel said...

The City on a Hill has a specific meaning in Dominionism, going back to some of the 1840s evangelist stuff. America was chosen by God to be the New Jerusalem, to lead other nations and to not follow the rules other nations had to follow. Reagan always used the City on a Hill quote, but it was also used by Andrew Jackson, James Knox Polk, etc. And there's this really strong connection between American millenial evangelicals and Zionists these days for that reason.

Loring Wirbel said...

Yeah, so far, Stephenson's new one is great, but slow going because he invents a new language of sorts. His last work was the Baroque Trilogy set in Louis XIV's time, lots of pirates and punk rockers and Newton & Liebnitz fighting over algebra. Now we're in a monastery in some odd future time. Stephenson is his own kind of writer, droll, odd, very funny.

Ruth said...

Sandy! I couldn't get a read on the letters on their vests, but they were checking for dangerous types, like me - so when he saw me he waved. Well, there were 16,000 people, so maybe it wasn't me, but I didn't see anyone else pointing a camera at them. You have a slate roof?? Many of our campus buildings have them, and they are just beautiful. Lucky you!

Ruth said...

Loring, thanks for the history of City on a Hill. It just gives me the creeps.

Just to clarify, I was making up my own little theory about the mythology of the group that has arisen in this country since hippiedom protested Vietnam. The myth that they represent the flag but those who protest American wrongs don't represent the flag. Etc.

Gwen Buchanan said...

He does appear to be the only choice.. I hope for the best for him and us all...

Ruth said...

Gwen, as Jim Lehrer said last night, in the last month of a presidential campaign, a week is a year. We have a month, a lot can happen.

Gwen Buchanan said...

You're so right Ruth! This is going
to be a watcher.. by the world...

Ruth said...

Gwen, Wed. morning Nov. 5 I am going to have a hard time turning on the TV.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Same here, Ruth!

RunninL8 said...

Glad you all were able to experience Obama first hand!! We had a great Obama rally here as well. They passed around a buch of nicly bound sketch type books for everyone to sign with a greeting that will be sent to Obama. Hopefully he will fit us in!

Ruth said...

RunninL8, me too, me too! I'm glad the rally there went so well, I hope he will find time to fit in a visit to AK. I wonder if AK would have gotten so mobilised for him if not for Mme. Palin!?

Ginnie said...

I still can't believe Hillary was in Grand Ledge! That seems like a huge disconnect for me, for some reason. I saw her in NYC in April and that made sense. But Grand Ledge? It only had a 5,000 population when we grew up there!

I LOVE that "Barack to the Future" button.

Ruth said...

Boots, I haven't been able to figure it out yet either. Was she with a candidate for some office in the district who was from GL? I just don't know.

There were a lot of clever button and t-shirt slogans. This one caught my eye.