Monday, November 29, 2004

Switching Topics

As mentioned in the sidebar, just can't do the purely political anymore. There is more to life than that-and a lot more to write about. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

No Stuffed Socks...or Buddy Either

While watching a recap of the week's news that included the dedication of the Clinton Library, Tom and I spied a very lifelike Socks and Buddy, former presidential pets, in the background of one shot. Tom thought they were the work of a taxidermist, I swore that no Democrat would ever display stuffed dead animals-at least in public. A bet was made: winner buys tickets to Little Rock.

Googling for the answer, I first thought I'd be the purchaser, having come across Buddy pic with the caption "stuffed dog part of Library exhibit." Turns out, it was just a less-than-truthful blog post...but the comments, oh the comments. Speculation on whether Vince Foster would be in a glass case also, the insensitivity of Slick Willie, and, of course, a big portion of blame resting right on Hillary. Thankfully, the next hits, a Houston Chronicle article and an AP feed quoting the Library's director, proved me right: just very lifelike pet tributes. Not that disturbing: that's a category that comes to mind when you view the fan site people created for Buddy (of blessed memory.)

Friday, November 19, 2004

American Taliban Doesn't Like 69

How I hoped this was an Urban Legend, a Net Ha-ha. Sadly, it isn't.

John Hostettler, the Congressman representing the 8th district of Indiana, has introduced legislation in the House that would change the name of an Interstate 69 extension to a more 'moral sounding' number. This reared its head in the midst of an exciting extension of route, taking it all the way through Texas through Mexico.

Poor Hotstettler complains that teenagers point and snicker when he appears with his 'I-69' button. It apparently hurts his feelings (and addles his brain): he's declared: "I believe it is time to change the name of the highway. It is the moral thing to do.”

Really? Let's make a list of three other moral things to do:
1) Provide children with health insurance (John Kerry is working on this and you can help him here.)
2) Stop adding on to the number of civilians murdered in Iraq. (Call your Representatives and Senators and ask for the establishment of an Iraqi Victims Fund. The capitol Switchboard is 202-224-3121.)
3) Quit beating and terrorizing detainees in the jails Homeland Security uses to hold immigrants awaiting deportation-right here in the U.S.(read about it here.

Done with that? Still feel like taking on 69?


Don't Know Much, But It Sounds Like Jackboots

"I worry that some people are entertained by the idea of this war. They don't know anything about the Iraqis, but they're angry and frustrated in their own lives. It's like Germany, before Hitler took over. The economy was bad and people felt kicked around. They looked for a scapegoat. Now we've got a new bunch of Hitlers."

-Linda Ronstadt in USA Today, on all you need to know (from a historical perspective)

Yes, Florida, Yes, Those Machines

Researchers from University of California, Berkeley, released a report today (very thorough, read it if you have any doubts or just love statistics) stating that George W. Bush received 130,000 more votes in Florida in 2004 than he should have received, and that the only real explanation has something to do with electronic voting machines.  

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Bill Clinton ABC Interview

On the occasion of his library opening (love the building, looks like a Designer Double-Wide,) a very changed looking President Clinton gave it right back to Peter Jennings when he started going down (oops) the well-covered Monica road:

"No other president ever had to endure someone like Ken Starr inviting innocent people, because they wouldn't lie, in a systematic way, and having respectable news outlets treat them like they were serious, and parroting everything they leaked. No one ever had to try to save people from ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, and people in Haiti from a military dictator that was murdering them, and all the other problems I dealt with, while every day, an entire apparatus was devoted to destroying him.

And still, [there's] not any example of where I ever disgraced this country publicly. I made a terrible public-personal mistake, but I paid for it, many times over. And in spite of it all, you don't have any example where I ever lied to the American people about my job, where I ever let the American people down, and I had more support from the world, and world leaders, and people around the world, when I quit than when I started."

Monday, November 15, 2004

"The New Cold War" Salon Article

Seems like EU Blue might be the new Red: and that might be just the thing for this season. Read it here.

"While America has been gnawing on its own innards for the last decade or so, feuding internally over White House blow jobs, flawed elections, the threat of terrorism, the ill-fated war in Iraq and an angrily polarized public discourse, Europe has quietly been cohering into an impressive whole, the world's newest superpower. For all its layers of bureaucracy and all the challenges it faces, the EU has forged a harmonious society on a continent that spent most of history at war with itself."

Friday, November 12, 2004

Resolutions from the Edge of Reason

In honor (or 'honour') of the release of the new Bridget Jones Movie, my Bridgetesque list of post-election resolutions, effective immediately:

1) No more Blizzards or Hot Wings or Carb Festivals just because "the world has gone to hell and who cares." Is bad enough living in nut-driven theocracy without being fat (at least until burquas become the new black.)

2) Stop running all pictures of W in media through shredder while muttering incantations more suited to Witch Doctor than Educated, Fair and Balanced Writer Type. Or maybe limit to once weekly as part or recycling effort.

3) Incorporate nature walks into anger management/fitness regime (must do before nature is paved over as oil drilling site/strip mall/Halliburton Corporate HQ.)

4) Practice taking deep breaths and spouting noncommittal phrases such as "interesting" "you may be right" and "hmm" before engaging Bitter Diatribe Mode.

5) Check to see if car is occupied before spitting on W bumper stickers.

6) Improve distance and productivity in said spitting.

7) Repeat often: "many millions of Americans are not total idiots."



Elizabeth Edwards: Strong and Classy

What a great Second Lady she would have been. Here's the e-mail she just sent out to supporters, which contains her e-mail address for best wishes:

"First, I want to thank each of you for the support you have given to John Kerry and John Edwards. You gave it in a thousand ways: coming to our events, volunteering to set up and clean up, working the phone banks, knocking on doors, contributing, blogging, standing on corners with signs, whatever it took. Your strength carried us through.

You may have heard that I have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Your strength is carrying my family through too in this latest struggle, and this is a fight we will win. We have (and I say we because John has been with me every minute) started chemotherapy with tremendous confidence, confidence in our doctors, in our ability to face obstacles, and in our friends far and near who we know give us their thoughts and prayers and support today and will continue to do so in the months ahead.

So many of you have tried to reach me recently with your support, and I know that the Senate office and the Wade Edwards Learning Lab have been flooded with calls and e-mails. No complaints there, but in order to take a little pressure off of them, I have resurrected my old e-mail address at elizabeth@oneamericacommittee.com, where you can reach me. I will e-mail periodic updates to you about my progress from there, if you would be interested in getting those. Treatment should last until about next June with follow-ups every three months or so.

I hope you understand how much your support has meant to us. This thank you is to our new and expanded family.

Elizabeth Edwards"

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Do this Today: Sign e-petition

Feel good in 20 seconds or less. This is a followup to the investigation I mentioned earlier headed by a few cool congresspeople who believe we should know for sure if we really got what we asked for on Election Day. Visit and help here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

From Portland, Reasons to Stay Put

I'm enjoying a few days of work on a very cool conference in crunchy-green Portland, OR. I was sharing a Town Car with a few other hotel guests when the to expat or not to expat thing came up (I did NOT bring it up and deny being on a recruiting mission. But, since you asked...) A fellow passenger directed me to this piece by CommonDreams.org's Sarah Anderson. Here are my top four picks from her "Reasons Not To Move To Canada":

1>After the February 2003 antiwar protests, the New York Times described the global peace movement as the world's second superpower. Their actions didn't prevent the war, but protesters in nine countries have succeeded in pressuring their governments to pull their troops from Iraq and/or withdraw from the so-called "coalition of the willing." Antiwar Americans owe it to the majority of the people on this planet who agree with them to stay and do what they can to end the suffering in Iraq and prevent future pre-emptive wars.

2>Say so long to the DLC. Barry Goldwater suffered a resounding defeat when he ran for president against Lyndon Johnson in 1964, but his campaign spawned a conservative movement that eventually gained control of the Republican Party and elected Ronald Reagan in 1980. Progressives should see the excitement surrounding Dean, Kucinich, Moseley Braun, and Sharpton during the primary season as the foundation for a similar takeover of the Democratic Party.

3> 2008. President Bush is entering his second term facing an escalating casualty rate in Iraq, a record trade deficit, a staggering budget deficit, sky-high oil prices, and a deeply divided nation. As the Republicans face likely failure, progressives need to start preparing for regime change in 2008 or sooner. Remember that Nixon was reelected with a bigger margin than Bush, but faced impeachment within a year.

>Americans are Not All Yahoos. Although I wouldn't attempt to convince a Frenchman of it right now, many surveys indicate that Americans are more internationalist than the election results suggest. In a September poll by the University of Maryland, majorities of Bush supporters expressed support for multilateral approaches to security, including the United States being part of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (68%), the International Criminal Court (75%), the treaty banning land mines (66%), and the Kyoto Treaty on climate change (54%). The problem is that most of these Bush supporters weren't aware that Bush opposed these positions. Stay and help turn progressive instincts into political power.

If you'd like to have the index card/bumper sticker suitable version, my colleague Martin offers this: "Oh, shut up, stay here, and fix it."

Sunday, November 07, 2004

WTFDWDN: Stars-n-Planets

Not that I am a Nancy Reaganesque total horoscope believer (although I still envy the chance she got to sit on Mr.T's lap)but, following a weekend of Tom repeatedly noticing: "you're really angry/you've never been this angry/I saw you Googling anger management and maybe that's not a bad idea," maybe I should pay attention to this one:

Well, are you snapping out of it or just snapping at everyone around you? As the Election Week fervor subsides, the planets are following suit, giving us a reprieve from all that racking tension. It's over, come back to the present where all the action really is (and the only place where it's possible to know peace). I've got good news for you!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Following A Disaster, Check the Black Box

I can hear the 'conspiracy theory,' 'sour grapes,' and 'get over it' 's being typed already, but I'd like you to take a look at these recent developments.

1) Yesterday, two members of the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution sent this letter to the Comptroller General of the United States, head of the U.S. General Accountability Office. They're the fraud folks.

2) Black Box Voting.org is now conducting the largest Freedom of Information action in history. At 8:30 p.m. Election Night, they "blanketed the U.S. with the first in a series of public records requests, to obtain internal computer logs and other documents from 3,000 individual counties and townships." They believe that the only way to find out what happened with those exit polls (see post below) is to audit the machines. Just the way your taxes might be audited, or the records of your business, or anything that matters just a little bit.

They are trying to raise enough money (some states charge fees for these records) to continue their work: you can kick in a few bucks by mailing them to: BLACK BOX VOTING,PO BOX 25552, SEATTLE WA 98165-1052

Historic Exit Polls

Never before has there been such a difference in the exit polls and the 'actual' election results. Interestingly enough, this difference is most significant in places where your votes were not recorded on paper. Lean in close to your screen and give this a look:

exit_poll_graphic

Friday, November 05, 2004

Then and Now?

2004civilwarmaps_1

WTFDWDN: Lonely In Canada

Yes, it's cold up there, but we have some neighbors who would be glad to keep our nights warm: they're on Marry an American.

"Now that George W. Bush has been officially elected, single, sexy, American liberals - already a threatened species - will be desperate to escape. These lonely, afraid (did we mention really hot?) progressives will need a safe haven. You can help. Open your heart, and your home.

Marry an American. Legions of Canadians have already pledged to sacrifice their singlehood to save our southern neighbours from four more years of cowboy conservatism...Canadian singles, tired of the dating scene, are willing to act for love or just plain pity. Let's drop our borders/inhibitions/commitment issues, set a date, pick out our china patterns and wed a sexy American liberal."

Important note: gay marriage is legal in the Great White North.




Thursday, November 04, 2004

What Brits Saw In the Mirror

mirror header

WTFDWDN: Halley

Fantastic. Read it all here

"The election loss -- which was quite close, so everyone stop freaking out -- hit us hard, in a way similar to how you felt the wind knocked out of you after the Dean campaign ended, which energized so many people to participate as citizens -- many for the first time ever.

Call me Pollyanna, but I compared it to being a person who was out of shape, decided to run the Boston Marathon, had never run any long distance and then didn't manage the 26 miles but ran a very impressive 10 miles. That's how I feel about my experience. I started to be involved in politics and learn about being a net citizen and get right in at a grassroots level like I had NEVER done before.

Okay, I didn't run the whole marathon. We didn't win. But I can run 10 miles now! And I couldn't do that before.

So I said a few things about this last night

1. Let's not let the energy of these new democratic muscles were flexing just dissipate; let's keep at it;

2. Blogging the truth about your life and being there to inspire or give permission to other people to be do that, or simply giving them the encouragement to be BRAVE and try things is what the blogging infrastructure we're building is all about;

3. We need to study what happened with all that momentum towards citizen democracy in the Dean campaign, understand why it wasn't channeled into electing Kerry and not let that ever happen again.

David Isenberg had many good things to say about how this makes you feel as a blogger, rather raw and vulnerable, maybe even paranoid about continuing to be so outspoken under this Bush administration. I agreed."


Write A Thank-You Note

Mother and Grandmother were right: they're always appreciated. Especially when the recipient has worked his heart out and is probably having a crappy day like over 50 million of us.

Find several mailing addresses for John Kerry here or just pick up a pen (I know we all love e-mail, but doesn't a handwritten letter really stand out?) and write c/o:

One Bowdoin Square
Tenth Floor
Boston, MA 02114


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

WTFDWDN: Anne Lamott

(The acronym, which I think will be one of the guideposts of this blog moving forward, begins with "What the" and ends with "do we do now." Fill in the rest in line with your level of comfort and favorite expletives.)

"I don't have a clue what we're going to do, outside of what we always do when we are crushed -- when, say, a close friend dies suddenly, which is sort of how this leaves me feeling. We'll feel like shit for a while, together. We'll let some time pass, together. We'll take care of each other. We'll especially take care of the people who were already really sick before the election. We'll do the laundry. We'll baby ourselves for a few days. (I personally am going to finish off every single bit of Halloween candy.) We'll make lots of indoor domestic lights, as the darkness increases -- fires in the fireplaces, candles on the mantel.

Then we'll feel better, and only feel sick to our stomachs off and on. Those of us with kids who will be of draft age soon will have to figure out where we need to move to, but in the meantime, our dogs will need to be walked. Then we'll remember that we have a dream, and those of us in an increasingly vast left-wing conspiracy will begin to think about our strategy for the midterms."

Huddled Masses, Want To Turn Back?

Do you know as many people as I do who are seriously looking into how they can leave the country for the next four years? So many of us said it as a joke until this afternoon.

Is going expat giving up? Does being part of the solution always mean staying and fighting? And is it especially rich to leave because of increasing religious fundamentalism, a dogmatic worldview, and an ultra-individualistic mentaility when those are some of the elements which brought some of the early settlers here in the first place?

I'm not sure. I do know that I got some serious comfort from the existence of my freshly renewed Dutch passport today.

If you'd like to start exploring your options, you can start with this Harpers guide.

Why This Happened: Four Reasons

1) "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

- Karl Rove? Dick Cheney? Not W (syntax too complex) but Hermann Goering

2) The young people who registered when they saw celebrities were doing it but then didn't actually show up to vote. In a cruel and quick karmic turn, guess who will be heading out to Iraq?

3) The reasons it has been said that the Democratic Party should not ever be equated with Al Qaeda: Al Qaeda is better organized, more generously funded, sets clear goals and focuses on their next move.

4) Apparently the majority of Americans are ready to vote against their own self-interest if they feel their 'Christian Values' (as Tom points out, this is an incorrect term for people who apparently skipped all of the prohibitions in the Christian tradition that cover lying, cheating stealing, killing innocent people.)

Fine, Civic-Minded Reasons For Hope

From the MoveOn.org folks:

"Although George Bush won by 3% nationally, we must remember that 55.4 million Americans stood with you and with John Kerry. You are certainly not alone. And a healthy environment, a strong and fair economy, good schools, domestic safety and the end of the war in Iraq are goals we all share -- red states and blue states alike.

Our journey toward a progressive America has always been bigger than George Bush. The current leg is just beginning -- we're still learning how to build a citizen-based politics together. But it's a journey our nation has been on for a long time. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice."

Today, we'll take a breath. Tomorrow, we'll keep moving toward the America we know is possible."


I'm still at the point where I feel like I'd edit the ending to read: "Today, we'll take a baseball bat. Or maybe a blowtorch. And smash some inanimate object that is our property into shards. Tomorrow, we'll keep moving toward the impeachment we know is deserved."

First Reaction

You thought 9/11 was a dark day? This is a black hole.

Not Over, But I Was Done

I came upstairs to blog and apparently fell asleep/passed out (exhaustion, not the force of the one Bud Light I managed to have downstairs!) I just woke up with my laptop on the other side of this giant bed, VH1 humming softly on the TV, and the sun coming up. Feeling like the politically incorrect exchange student character in Sixteen Candles who starts the day hanging from a tree in the front yard following a rough night. He has just one sadness-tinged question "Wha hoppened?"

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

What's On Air America

Yikes, the band struck up. This choice must have been a political favor: the singer makes one of my karaoke performances sound like Pat Benetar when she was still in opera school. I think they may be followed by a speech from a local pol. I've gone upstairs to blog and catch up to my radio pals (also a request from the Atlanta ladies.)

>Chuck D is in Cleveland with Jerry Springer. Some Cleveland polls are still open.

>Civil Rights group Common Cause has already gotten 50,000 complaints including a battery failure on machines in Boyton Beach Florida and Republican voter harassment in Ohio, where some voters have waited for over six hours.

>Miami Dade numbers are 83% counted, Kerry's ahead. Still no Palm Beach, and they' had a 75% turnout. Absentee numbers might not be counted for another day or so...people are still in line in other Florida precincts.






Do Not Freak Out About Florida

Miami isn't in yet, lots of votes are still being counted, people were still at the booths here after 8 p.m. You know they will be counting as CAREFULLY as possible. There is a huge fear of being the world's election joke punchline again-heard that the state police suspended all speed traps and that the highway people halted all construction projects on the roadways to make sure there wouldn't be any of those voter blocking shennanigans which are sooo 2000.

Victory Party, 9:30

The ballroom is about 60% full, the food is already gone, and people who have been out at the polls are still streaming in. The office where I spent the last two days has apparently stayed open because of the volume of voters who have been out in line for such a long time...two ladies who were there until 8:00 said the streets outside were still packed with sign-wavers and early celebrators for both sides.

Meanwhile, in Boston

It's cold, Kerry is eating dinner, and, when I asked my sister Emily what the mood is like, she said that they "feel like winners."
She and Charlie are planning on heading out to Copley Plaza for the party (Bon Jovi and Sheryl Crow will be there also) and they'll hopefully be able to give me some good updates as things get going.

Fun Numbers

6:30 pm exit polls:
Kerry/W:
FL 51 49
NC 48 52
OH 51 49
Missouri 46 54
Ark 47 53
Mich 51 47
NM 50 49
LA 43 56
CO 48 51
AZ 45 55
Minn 54 44
Wisc 52 47
IA 49 49

$8000: amount it would cost to to ship the Bush family furniture from the White House to Crawford (Ted Kennedy's already written the check)

Queer Eye and a Woman's Heart

Just finished my final assignment of this staggering campaign: coordinating the decoration of the Radisson ballroom. The atmosphere is really fantastic here; a blend of giddy, exhausted and nervous. We all look a little rough from being 'on the ground,' but we're feeling great.

At The Polls, 10:30

kateatwork

Couldn't He Be Speaking for Lots of Us?

I've lived out so much frustration over the last few years that this is a liberating experience for me. I feel excited by it. I feel energized by it. I welcome it. And I just want other people to understand what's at stake here.

-John Kerry in recent Rolling Stone interview

It's Not All Agitation

Sorry if things are looking too negative here, but it's really not that bad in this little chunk of "Election Ground Zero." Here are a few fantastic things about the day so far:

>A Cellist from the ASO set up next to the water station and played gorgeous music for an hour.
>Everyone gives the first-time voters a round of applause.
>The beach is ten minutes away.
>The minute an elderly or handicapped person pulls up, people are there to help them and let them go to the front of the line.
>Tonight's the victory party.

Really Really Racial

That's how things are feeling this afternoon at the polling station. I finished my 'watcher' shift and went to the corner of the main intersection to help an older man hold up a giant Kerry/Edwards sign someone had dropped off (there's an ocean breeze today, just the perfect delicious level of cool against the sunny morning.) We were waving at cars, getting honks, and then one guy leaned out in my face to use an epithet I thought went out with early Civil Rights legislation. Let's just say it ended in 'lover' and it wasn't "ABBALover" or "KerryLover."

The Crawford crew has been joined by a few over-65 ladies. They stand on the corners with signs and full voices with the playlist set on repeat "Four more years, Four more years" Whenever a person of color with a Kerry sign strolls to their corner, they scurry back to find where the young frat boys are, not even bothering to make it look less than obvious.

If You're Out Voting and Something Smells Funny

Here's the number to call:
1-866-OUR-VOTE

Public Disservice Announcement

101.5 FM here in Jacksonville told morning drive time listeners that people with outstanding parking tickets are not eligible to vote.

WRONG.

Lawyers apparently made calls and the Associated Press was checking into it. Three people came up to where I was standing to ask it it was true.

Not Homeless, Just A Blogger

I've found a way to get on the public library's wireless network, but it requires taking a little walk and sitting on the sidewalk at the rear entrance. Someone just offered me one of their box of donuts-more proof that this is a kind and friendly place!

Good Morning, Election Day

Back at the Supervisor of Elections for a 4:45 a.m. call: five media trucks were already in front of the Supervisor of Elections Office. At first, I thought I was the only one who had fallen for the prank, but within a few minutes we had a crew of five signsters ready to respectfully show our preference in the background shot.

I got to talk to two radio stations as well, both asking the same question: at this late moment, what in the world can showing up with a sign do?

For The Ladies

Thanks for my friend Becky up in Atlanta for this one: a bumpersticker for my favorite lists

The only Bush I trust is my own, and even she has made a few bad choices!

I'm Not Sleeping. Are You?

Although I have fortunately never had an insomnia problem (and know I have to get up super-early), I cannot sleep tonight. But it's not that panicked kind of lying awake worrying wakefulness: it's more like Christmas morning. More of 'this is a day for something good, let's get it started.'

Hot milk in the microwave, this should do it.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Local Leaders Get Out The Vote

mike_corrinneHere is my new big cool friend from Jacksonville, Mike Langton. He served four terms as a state representative and now has two thriving businesses: a prosperous New Democrat with a wicked sense of humor. He's here with Corrinne Brown, a U.S. Representative who has been very present at the pools, never failing to draw crowds who want photo ops. Journalists were asking her how she feels about 'delivering' her consistuents for Kerry. She said "I'm not worried about anybody going to the polls voting for a Bush."Not the people I represent."

Great Perspective, Overheard

"People wait two hours in line to go on a ride at Disney. Isn't it worth it to vote in an election that will affect the rest of your life?"

Divided and Thirsty

I've just come from 5 hours at the polls, where the city of Jacksonville has thoughtfully and sensibly provided free bottles of water for the assembled circus voters, volunteers, poll watchers, protesters, and international observers. Unfortunately, they ran out early and couldn't restock for a couple hours. Many requests, loud complaints, lots of fanning.

When the truck finally made it through the packed street to the water tent, D.J. the city cordinator was joined by several strong men and women, who rushed to offload and distribute the bottles to the giant line. One of the guys helping was an Edwards staffer wearing a miniscule (truly less than an inch) Kerry-Edwards pin. A guy with a Bush sticker had his hands on the bottle when he spied the tiny decoration. He pushed it away with a disgusted "no thanks!!" Did he think it would make him a liberal? It was sealed. And cold. Maybe he feared going gay or turning Black? A ripple started behind him with the W voters loudly and proudly refusing the water, even when D.J. explained that he was a city worker, with no party affiliation who wasn't even voting.

What have we come to when we swat away free water on a Florida afternoon?

Florida by the Numbers-Monday afternoon

Here in Duval county, as of this morning:

>1/3 of eligible voters have already done their civic duties.

>As of Sunday night, 50,000 early votes. They had hoped to have 20,000.

>55,000 absentee ballots already in.




Cool Presidential Daughters Parts 2-4

Chelsea talks! And she does it very well. So cool that she has made her political speechifying debut:

"To be honest, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else today," Ms Clinton, 24, said in Osceola County, where she appeared at a rally with Caroline Kennedy, Karenna Gore Schiff, Cate Edwards and Vanessa Kerry.

"I couldn't imagine not being in Florida because the stakes are too high and the choice is too clear."

Admitting in advance to being "a little nervous", she kept her speech short and focused on the economic benefits of her father's presidency and a potential John Kerry administration.

"I know that it will work," she said of Mr Kerry's policy platform, "because of everything that we experienced as a country during the eight years that my father served ..."

Ms Clinton has rarely spoken in public before.

"I'm not quite an old pro but thankfully, I come from a family of old pros, and hopefully I'll do them proud,"

Bursting at the Seams

There are so many people here to volunteer that they've filled every precinct assignment twice. People are folding flyers and making that may never get distributed tomorrow, but they're doing it because it's Election Eve and they want to do something. There's a pretty good feeling in the air: some frenzied activity, some standing around, lots of chatting in that excited "hey, it's almost time for the show" way.

Meet and Greet

I admit it, I gave you false information: Poll Greeters actually do do their work covered in flair: I had 5 different buttons on when I got to the Supervisor of Elections office in downtown Jax at 7:30 this morning for my first shift of greeting early voters.

Can't say enough about the people of Jacksonville I've met so far: so friendly, welcoming, enthusiastic, the kind of people you can talk to for five minutes and then have the feeling that they're your old college buddies.

Favorite quote from this morning, from an attractively dressed woman to her husband "What's been takin' you so long? You go in there and pass an amendment or somethin'?"

Cool Presidential Daughters Part One

“It’s hard for me to listen to President Bush invoking my father’s memory to attack John Kerry. Senator Kerry has demonstrated his courage and commitment to a stronger America throughout his entire career. President Kennedy inspired and united the country and so will John Kerry. President Bush is doing just the opposite. All of us who revere the strength and resolve of President Kennedy will be supporting John Kerry on Election Day.”

-Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg