Notes from a swing state

Walking along this suburban-ish street today, I kept seeing young people with clipboards. Using cell phones. I giggled; this is what democracy looks like.

Those who know me well, or even knew my old blog shop, might feel puzzled that I almost never blog about electoral politics  – especially since I moved this summer to Pennsylvania, which both candidates treat as their jogging track. I didn’t blog Springsteen’s free concert in Philly, or Joe Biden’s frequent invocations of Scranton, or try one whit to write something comparable to the folks crowding my Google Reader — Sullivan, or Ezra, or Coates or Aravosis, or the brilliant Lindsay, who writes in 10 places at once. Because they all do it so well; because I’ve been spending as much time as possible working on the book, and trying to help propel the nonpartisan site that gives me my current day job. I didn’t even think of my feelings the day we lost last time, or how I talked to my students about the long haul – how only organizing could prevent it from happening again.

I didn’t know that day that someone who didn’t lose his Senate race that day, who had once worked at the very same college where I was now subjecting them to writing drills, would prove an uber-organizer.

I wonder if this week, any of those students are doing what those kids I saw today were doing. Maybe even today.

I do know that not a single canvasser, in my usually-leans-Republican Northeast Philly neighborhood, was doing so for John McCain. I’m just saying. (Update, Mon: The others were, apparently, part of a 1.9-million-voters-strong weekend.)


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