"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

3.04.2008

caucusing in Texas


Well, leave it to the fundamentalists to not have unsecured wi-fi. (I'm not being pejorative. They're proud of their fundamentalism.)

My caucus was pretty cool. Since there are two precincts at my polling place, they sent my precinct into a tiny room that was obviously far to small for the 72 people who showed up to be part of the democratic process tonight. We were all pretty amused at the fact that our precinct is clearly on one side of the major road in our neighborhood - and that side is the apartments. So the stable homeowners with children all went one direction, and the rest of us (students, etc.) went the other. It was pretty funny.

It was also lots of fun to meet some of my neighbors. Being the apartment-dwellers, we live in this very anonymous world. It was nice to put names with faces, and to learn that a colleague and a friend-of-a-friend live in my precinct.

(We also had a dose of 100% crazy - a guy who would threaten to call the police charging people with harassment if they kept talking to him. At least the whole neighborhood now knows who the guy who'll barricade himself in an apartment with a weapons stockpile is.)

The caucus itself took forever. An Obama precinct captain took over as temporary chair, then we all signed in. That took until 8pm. Then he got himself elected permanent chair and said that he could appoint the secretary of the convention.

Now. I'm not a super-committed candidate supporter or anything, but I knew that wasn't true. So I challenged the rules. And, sure enough, the rules state that the secretary is supposed to be elected. The group quickly voted in a Clinton supporter as secretary, which seemed fairer to most of the room.
Our precinct allocated 7 of our 8 delegates to Obama, and 1 to Clinton. The Clinton corner was a little lonely, but she had very ardent supporters who didn't hesitate to share their views with the semi-committed voters in the room. I left after the group broke into two to select convention delegates.

From what I hear, the process was interesting and a bit chaotic all over the city. The Librarian and the Attorney's precinct is at a church that has a capacity of 97. Between 200-500 people showed up. I'm sure there will be many more stories about all this tonight and tomorrow. For now, I'm glad to have gotten to participate in the process. Now, we wait.

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