Snow and Politics Come to Town

Finally, it snows- on April 4th

I don’t usually discuss politics on this blog, but these are unusual circumstances. With no clear nominee for either party this late in the race, all of a sudden New York has become a high stakes battle ground. Candidates, who normally would bypass this area, are motivated to connect with upstate voters. On Monday, Hillary Clinton was the first one to visit.

Over the years, I have participated in peace demonstrations and marches for women’s rights, but never in a campaign rally. Excitedly, I contacted a friend who wanted to join me. Her 17-year old daughter also wanted to bring a friend. Both of them will be able to vote in the general election, so I thought this was a fantastic way for them to start their voting career.

The day of the rally was the only day we have received significant snow since January. By 3pm it was up to 5 inches. Thankfully they did not cancel the event, but it made driving messy and it was very challenging to find a parking spot. By the time we found one on a side street several blocks from the site, people were already walking away, shaking their heads that we would never be able to get in. Still, we were too excited to turn around. We found the end of the line that wrapped around the building into the parking lot and there we stood- in the snow and cold- hoping we would be lucky enough to get in.

20160404_181755

As the time passed, we chatted with fellow ralliers who said they hadn’t seen lines like this even for Black Friday. Every so often, a group would break away from the line in defeat, either out of frustration or frostbite. Occasionally a staff member would walk down the queue and every 10-20 feet make an announcement about the progress of the security check, when Hillary was expected, or promise that they were going to get everyone in.

20160404_175300

Even though I was bundled up in my long parka, it was freezing cold. I offered my hat to my friend, but the young women were frozen. I felt torn between wanting to see Hillary or get the kids back to the car to warm up. As we crept closer to the entrance, we saw the Secret Service drive behind the building and few moments later we could distinguish cheers from inside.

20160404_190522

My husband was home by the fire, following the news on tv and texting me updates on who the various speakers were- assuring me that it was not yet Hillary the crowd was cheering. We finally entered the building and, just before we walked through the metal detectors, the security official told us that Hillary was just starting so we wouldn’t miss much.

20160404_191934

We quickly entered the gym and, amazingly, found plenty of space to stand with a good view of the stage. We were within 50 feet and felt embraced by the energy of the crowd.

20160404_194203

Every time Hillary paused, a wild cheer and applause would erupt. The students in the bleachers would wave their pompoms and raise the letters that spelled her name.

20160404_193144

Hillary knew how to rally the crowd by continually connecting with people in every direction to show them that she cared. She seemed very warm and genuine and the crowd loved her. After it was over, I congratulated my friend’s daughter on her first rally at a much younger age than me or her mom. I hope the long wait in the cold will not discourage her from doing it again. But was it worth it? #HillYes!

20160404_194157

When we got back to my car, I discovered a parking ticket on my windshield. Apparently the empty spot I had found was blocking someone’s garageless, unmarked driveway, buried under the snow. Oh well, I will consider it part of my campaign contribution. Immediately after this event, all the other candidates announced stops in the area prior to the April 19th primary. It is very flattering, but I think I will pass. One is enough for this week.

Advertisements

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wins hall
    Apr 10, 2016 @ 18:07:04

    Great blogs – Hill yes! And Paper less! You are such a clear writer and really know how to tell a story.

    Like

    Reply

    • themiddlegeneration
      Apr 10, 2016 @ 18:33:37

      Well I can see where I get it from with your clever response! Who knows, maybe the snow kept enough people away to allow me to get in. If it had been the 73 degree day of April 1, the line would have been down the block.

      Like

      Reply

  2. Looking Out The Window
    Apr 11, 2016 @ 20:59:19

    Great posting. I am so glad you stayed and got in. It is kind of cool that for the first time in a long time it seems like everyone’s vote counts.

    Like

    Reply

  3. themiddlegeneration
    Apr 11, 2016 @ 21:14:43

    That is the message I tried to give to my daughter. I actually motivated her enough to request her absentee ballot. No matter who she votes for, at least she is exercising her right- one that many take for granted. It seems like this year, more people care what happens.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: