February 05, 2008

"I'd rather vote for Mussolini"

My boyfriend Jeremy and I spent about 5 hours this evening (prime time- 4 to 9 pm) standing in the cold drizzle outside of a public school in southeast brooklyn, holding Obama signs that we made ourselves, which read "put wisdom back in the white house", "because he's not just talking about what your country can do for you, but also about what you can do for your country", etcetera, etcetera. It soon became clear that this polling spot (which was our coverage assignment from brooklyn for barack) is situated in the middle of a large orthodox and conservative Jewish neighborhood, and adjacent to a large african-american neighborhood, so that is pretty much who showed up to vote.
interesting surprises:
- there were many more orthodox Jews for Obama than I would have expected.
by far the best moment of the night for me, was when a very very old Orthodox man wearing wide-brim hat, side-curls, etcetera paused on his walker-assisted shuffle to the door of the polling place to read my sign. He read it, nodding, and then gave me a thumbs-up and a wink.

then there was the hasid who jogged away from the poll after voting pumping his fists in the air triumphantly, calling out "we love barack!we love barack!"

-Alternately, older black women were not having Obama at this particular polling station. They were very adamant about voting for Hillary. which was made even more outstandingly stubborn by the fact that the grandchildren accompanying them to the polls were invariably yelling "Barack Obama! yeah! go Obama!" until their grandmothers had to plug their ears in agitation.

wierdest comment of the night: man who glanced at Jeremy's sign and then said in a bluster:

"I'd rather vote for Mussolini"


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