Last night over seared tuna steaks, asparagus, and fresh, sweet corn, we (and by we I mean me, Krista, Patrick the chef, and Sam) watched the democratic national convention. Our plates loaded, we chewed with gusto as Al Gore told us about a man named Abraham Lincoln who became president though he had little political experience. Hurrah, hurrah – the people in the audience cheered as Mr. Gore drew an eloquent parallel to Senator Barack Obama. The camera zoomed onto a heavy-set man wearing a woven straw hat and a stained t-shirt, his thick, round glasses smudged with dirt. I paused, fork in midair. Wowzer, who was that? The camera quickly panned back to Al Gore as I imagined someone in the control room yelling, “Not that guy! Not that guy!”
Dinner finished as the pale and somewhat limp, Senator Biden took the stage. I used this opportunity to get up and refill my wine glass. After Mr. Gore’s intelligence and passion, Biden’s climb up onto the dais seemed pointless. His wife on the other hand, made me yearn for home. I’m a native Delawarean and moms to me look just about exactly like Mrs. Biden. I could easily imagine myself as a teenager, stopping by her home for dinner after soccer or to get ready with her daughter for the school dance. “Eat my vegetables, Mrs. Biden? Okay, but only if you promise we’ll get your famous home-baked cookies afterwards…that and you tell Mr. Biden to cut his hair in the back. It’s starting to look a little like a mullet and we’ve got far too many of those in Delaware already.”
And then it was time for pie and ice cream and Obama…and to be corny, they all fit together quite nicely. A video came on narrated by one of my favorite actors, that as intended, pulled on my heart strings and made me feel in awe of Barack Obama. He seemed so real and hard working and well, special. I went for it hook, line, and sinker. By the time the man himself came out to talk, I had to remind myself that there was one more convention to go. I was ready to run to the polls for this strangely named man whose advisers made videos about as great as those people over at Charmin Toilet Paper do. And when he spoke, it was hard not to listen. Take a minute to stand in another person’s shoes – he repeated several times. It’s a new day and a new age, and the old political machine of ‘fat cats first’ isn’t what we need anymore. It’s time to look at the struggling senior citizens, the out of work lower middle class, the uneducated inner-city poor, and to remember that the only thing that separates us (if we’re one of the lucky ones who has an education, a job, and healthcare) is a different pair of shoes. Only change would allow for us to think as a group, to make choices that benefited and rewarded everyone’s hard work, not just those lucky enough to be in the upper echelon. I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper…
And then the camera zoomed onto a sweaty woman with an ‘I Love Cats’ emblazoned across her shirt. I blinked. She was bouncing up and down with her arms raised towards the sky, her abundant bosoms shaking like small earthquakes. I could work with this. I could be my sister’s keeper, but the t-shirt would have to go.