Saturday, April 05, 2008

Raucus Caucus Part Deux

On Saturday, while The Spouse was watching The Child's volleyball team hold their undefeated record, I was at the Legislative district caucus. You'll remember that I was elected as an alternate at the February caucus. Washington has a 3 tiered system: precinct caucuses, then legislative, then state. As we move up each tier the pool of delegates is consolidated until we have our final 97 delegates (13 alternates) who will represent their candidate(s) at the national convention in June.

I will not bore you with the details of how this all breaks down. Suffice to say, I had a headache by the time I left. You're welcome.

As an alternate, I wasn't even sure if it mattered if I went on Saturday. But I got a call on Thursday from a woman who was a former state representative, who's working on the Obama campaign, and she said it was important, especially as she hadn't successfully contacted all the other delegates from my precinct. She told me that if I wasn't seated I could leave.

So I went. There were probably 1000 people, filling the gym of the neighborhood high school. Call to order was at 10; it didn't happen til 10:45 because they were still signing in people. Then there were lots of speeches and procedural Roberts Rules of Order stuff, all of which was made bearable by the fact that my friend David (of David and Stina) was a delegate so we were hanging together.

There were some highly enjoyable moments, not the least of which was when a city councilwoman got up to tell us how great it was that we were all there and she didn't care who we were supporting "as long as it's Hillary", at which point the over 600 Obama delegates started chanting "O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma!". Then her mike went out so she couldn't respond and some woman ran up and slapped an Obama sticker on her. It was all in good fun. Like when the chair was talking about how we'd eventually be dividing up into our sub caucuses, with the Obama people staying in the gym "and" whispered David, "the Clinton people going to the teacher's lounge".

Right. There were over 600 Obama delegates, as I mentioned, and about 100+ Clinton delegates. Which meant that the rest of the folks in the room were alternates, like me, waiting to see if they would be seated. And what, you ask, did that mean?

If a delegate from my precinct didn't show, I'd be seated in his or her place.

And why would that matter, you ask again? Persistent little bugger, aren't you, I say. It was important because if a delegate didn't show and no one was there to fill in, Obama would lose that delegate in the count.

OH! says you. We wouldn't want that.

And that's why I sat in an overcrowded gym for 3 hours waiting to find out if I was needed. Dedicated much?

Finally all the recording and counting was done and 80 alternates would be seated. They announced the names precinct by precinct. My percinct number is up there. So I waited. As we got closer David started saying, "You're coming up! Oh, I'm so excited!" and other silly things. Then she called my name and David threw up his arms and cheered. There was much laughter in response. I whispered to him, "I think I'll just wait here for a bit". Had to let the blushing subside, don'tcha know.

Right, so then I go to get my credentials and who should be handing them out but Chickypoo. That's right. Little miss "I hate politics and think this whole process is stupid" was not only a delegate that day but working behind the scenes. So much for hating politics, eh? But she recognized me and was all excited that I was now a delegate. Whoo hoo. Whatev.

Funny thing is, by now it was 1 o'clock. We'd been there since 9. We waited for the final delegate count (there was a 10 minute "switch period" during which delegates could inform the chair that they were going over to the other camp...which I don't think happened) which was 684 Obama, 139 Clinton.

Now it was time for the pools of delegates to go to their corners, as it were, and decide who would be advancing on to the state level. Clinton people had to decide on 8 (4 alternates), Obama people had to decide on 37 (19 alternates). And what that meant was that we were going to have to listen to 30 second speeches by all the people who wanted to be delegates to the next round and then vote on them.

Dave and I were out. We'd done our part, assuring our candidate got his full complement of votes. We didn't care who was going to represent him at the next level. Unless it was us. Which it wasn't going to be because there were people with leaflets and cookies and tshirts etc. etc. campaigning for themselves to be delegates. Hard core. We hadn't even prepared speeches, let alone made bumper stickers. And with our raging headaches enduring what was likely to be at least an hour more of speeches, was simply out of the question.

So we went to his house and had sandwiches and Cokes with Stina. And my headache went away.



Blogger rosemary opined...

You went, you saw, you made a difference.

April 07, 2008 12:14 PM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

That is true dedication. I was dedicated once, to something but I have already forgot.

April 07, 2008 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha (Note no W)

Hmmm. Mine was similiar. In the union hall though 1085. Someone said there were like 30 last time around. Got out about 4:00.

Was exclusionistic now more inclusionistic. Each step counts.



April 07, 2008 12:39 PM  
Blogger TWISI opined...

you go girl!

April 07, 2008 1:12 PM  
Blogger Mom opined...

Politics is messy theater. Thanks for being there and counting.

April 07, 2008 2:45 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Ann opined...

Brava for going and enduring. What is that bumpersticker slogan about "95% of success is just showing up"...or something else equally pithy - anywho, I'm grateful you went and endured.

April 07, 2008 5:18 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

Tommorow,I'm going to brag about you at work to all the whiney-do nothing-republicans about how I know someone that actually gets involved!..
Oh yes,I'll be basking in your glory big time!

April 07, 2008 5:52 PM  
Blogger Miss Healthypants opined...

Way to go, Rainey! You make us Obama supporters proud! :)

April 07, 2008 6:21 PM  
Blogger Citymouse opined...

Be a part!!!! And you always are!!! YOU ROCK.. not to mention set a great example for the child.

April 07, 2008 6:26 PM  
Blogger Grish opined...

Way to go! No small feat for the child as either

April 07, 2008 6:49 PM  
Blogger Auld Hat opined...

So proud of you!
You'll have to bake an applesauce cake for it next time. Ain't nobody can turn down an applesauce cake.

April 07, 2008 7:12 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Y'all are so sweet. It didn't actually occur to me until way later how important it was that I stuck it out...the whole "losing a delegate" thing...but it was totally worth it.

Thanks for your encouragement. Sorry for the lack of individual replies...been one of those days. (In a good way).

Kiss kiss.

April 07, 2008 7:57 PM  
Blogger Miss Healthypants opined...

Pardon my ignorance, but who or what is Stigna?

Thanks. :)

-MHP :)

April 07, 2008 8:13 PM  
Blogger Iwanski opined...

Thank you for putting up with this for our country.

You done your part, and we is proud.

April 07, 2008 8:19 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

MHP: Stina...David's of my best'll meet her when you guys come out here.

Because you will someday.


You is welcome, Iwanski.

April 07, 2008 9:56 PM  

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