A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Howard Dean Came to Town Today

It was just a couple of whistle stops, the first one down at the AFL-CIO to whoop up the troops for the Central Ohio candidates on DFA's Dean Dozen list, the second one (which I and my companion attended) at the headquarters of ACT to help them corral more volunteers to do the street canvassing, phone banking, and data entry for the get out the Democratic vote effort here in Columbus, which has actually been going fairly well.

It was my first time to see the Governor in person and I had a front row seat as good and as close as the primary camera on any intimate interview or speech Dean has given on television. For the record, WYSIWYG. The man on television is virtually seamless with the man in person, without a separate face for the camera than the crowd, and the man in person is quite solid, committed, and undivided in mind and in heart. There is not a hint of evasion in his eyes that I could see or a single false note in the voice that I could hear, and I see and hear both quite frequently in many politicians on television.

I am, among other things, an ex-professor. We get a lot of lies told to us in that trade, and the sharpest of us get pretty good at spotting liars.

The content of what Governor Dean had to say was nothing startling, except that he stated the contrarian view that if the Kerry campaign wins, it will be by turning out more committed voters rather than by persuading the undecided. It is a view that I agree with.

But it was a very intimate and relaxed setting, we were a warm and welcoming crowd, and the ten minute remarks swiftly bloomed into a 30 minute reprise of why both he and we had come so far together. I could see him basking in the warmth and goodwill and non-frenzied friendliness of his audience as he edged closer and closer to me sitting directly in front of him in the front row. He just couldn't quite bring himself to wrap it up and wind it down despite the edginess of his young chaperone in the suit with the Kerry button off in the corner by the exit door.

Nothing special. Just the pure magic of single-mindedness between speaker and crowd and a glimpse of his inner steadiness, inner goodness, and inner commitment, which he has made to our cause, and which still keeps him out on the road even though he is now largely off of the radar of the political press and its stuck-up punditry.

Thanks, Howard. It's been good to work for you all these months, and I'm glad I finally got to see you.


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