Barack the voteOctober 22, 2008 at 10:21 am | Posted in celebrity obsession, politics | 1 Comment
Tags: Cambridge, celebrity writers, Obama campaign
Last night I attended my first Obama fundraiser. It was a serendipitous occurrence: I woke up Sunday morning to Colin Powell’s endorsement and thought, “I need to contribute to the campaign this week.” The next day, Lindsey invited me to attend a house party in Cambridge called, “Writers for Obama.” It was the kind of event I could only dream up: held in an old Victorian house in Cambridgeport, fires burning in every fireplace, chili cooking on the stove, lots of wine. It was hosted by a number of well known writers — a who’s who of the New Yorker, basically (and indeed, the magazine’s fiction editor was there…) — and Lindsey and I, English majors and wanna-be novelists ourselves, walked around staring at name tags (“Did you see who that was?”) Here’s whom I spied: Susan Faludi, Lois Lowry, Claire Messud (the hostess and Lindsey’s friend — our ticket in), Gish Jen, Elizabeth McCracken, Helen Lee, Tom Perotta, Susannah Kaysen, and Robert Pinsky (yes, Robert Pinsky). We got up the nerve to gush our fandom to Tom Perotta, shorter and slightly more awkward than one would think, albeit perfectly dressed in a black leather coat and thick black glasses.
Just as important was the event itself. A woman from the Obama campaign swung through on her way from New Hampshire to Logan to fly to Ohio. Her speech was rousing, and because she went both to Columbia and Harvard Law with “Barack,” she spoke forcefully about him as a candidate and friend. I realized when I returned home that not one negative word was uttered all evening about the Republicans. Instead, it was a celebration of the momentum that this campaign has created and needs to continue for the next two weeks. The woman from the campaign said, “I’ve quit my real job at this point. Because if for some reason we should lose on November 4, it won’t because I didn’t do everything I could to get Barack Obama elected.” And she encouraged all of us to do the same. For my part, I’ll be manning a voter “hotline,” on election day, where supposedly I will dispense legal advice to those who feel their voting rights were impinged. I doubt the state of Massachusetts will produce many of those calls but, nonetheless, it will be exciting to feel like I’m truly involved in the day itself.