I stayed an extra couple of nights in Indy after the race to volunteer for the Obama campaign. On Sunday and Monday, I canvassed for Obama, talking and distributing information to literally hundreds of people. I figure I probably walked at least another half marathon over the course of those two days. (Actually, I recommend a good healthy dose of walking following a distance event; I felt great.)
I had some memorable conversations along the way.
One retired white guy who had previously been an enthusiastic supporter of Obama was now furious over the Wright affair; he said he wouldn't be voting for Hillary or Barack. He went to great pains to assure me that he wasn't a redneck racist, but...well you get the picture.
My last precinct was one of the most rewarding. Largely African-American and relatively poor, nearly every person I talked to was both a supporter of Obama and planning on voting in the primary. With the exception of one old black guy who, with a few front teeth gone AWOL, looked like he'd been around the block more than once. No, he was not registered to vote, but he had plenty of opinions. The main one being, no black man will ever be elected president. First he tried to tell me that the constitution says that the president has to be Caucasian. I assured him that wasn't the case. Then he said that white folks would never accept a black president. I pointed out that I'm white, and that there a whole lot of white folks who feel the same way I do. Then he said that if Obama were elected, he'd just be assassinated. That, I said, was a risk that Barack and Michele had decided to accept. Then he asked me for my Obama pin. I gave it to him, and I could see that even though he doubted that the U.S. had come so far, he harbored some hope that maybe, just maybe, he'd see a black man in the White House.
So you can imagine that I was more than a little obsessed with the primary results on Tuesday evening. And given his big showing in North Carolina, his close second place finish in Indiana looks a lot like a win.
Now playing: GIRL OF THE NORTH COUNTR - JOHN GORKA