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Early Voting Rally Today
October 16, 2008, 8:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, first of all – I VOTED TODAY!  If you are in NC, voting is now open, and you should go right now!  For more info about early voting in NC, or anywhere else for that matter, just go to http://www.barackobama.com and go to your particular state’s site.  In NC, you can go to nc.barackobama.com.  If you are in Durham, you can vote at Duke this year – in the Old Trinity Room near Chik-Fil-a on West Campus.  I went there today around noon or so, and was voter number 332 at that location.  Later in the day, approximately 3:30 or so, I asked a voter what number she was, and the site had gotten over 700 voters by that time.  Not too shabby for the first day of early voting.

So after I voted, I meandered over to Griffith Film Theatre where the Duke Democrats, along with the various campaigns, were holding a rally.  On the docket for the Early Voting Rally was Bev Purdue (running for NC Gov), Kay Hagan (running for US Sen), David Price and Brad Miller (running for US Rep), Former Governor and the wildly popular Jim Hunt, Floyd McKissock Jr (running for NC Sen), and a couple other local office-seekers, with Durham’s own Mayor Bill Bell emceeing.  Quite a panel for an early vote rally, I reckon.  

Some impressions… I thought Bev Purdue was really weak.  She was first up to the mic, she tried to rally the crowd with some early voting rhetoric, but her explanation for how to vote on the ballot confused me, and I had just come from doing it.  As soon as she finished up her 5 minute (if that) speech, she was out the back door as quick as she came in.  Now, I’m not saying I regret voting for her – she’s certainly a much better candidate for Governor than the right-winger Pat McCrory.  Brad Miller was not really all that memorable either, but then again, he’s not my rep, so I guess that’s ok.  On the other hand, Durham’s own representative in the House, David Price, was on as usual.  I actually got to see him about a week or so ago in a town hall format where he answered questions for over an hour from a rather small crowd at Duke.  He was exciting to listen to, in complete command of the issues, and answered a question from me regarding mortgages that he called “a really good question.”  (I guess I may be biased).  But he was on, talking about his Duke roots, and imploring us to get out and vote early, and bring a friend too.  The former Gov. Jim Hunt, who I had really not known much about until recently, was also amazing to listen to.  He easily pivoted between fired up rhetoric often found at events like these, to discussing the ugly racial past of North Carolina in the context of our least favorite public servant, Jesse Helms.  And speaking of Helms, and the carpetbagger that took her slot in the Senate, Kay Hagan then addressed the crowd.  She has a pretty good chance of unseating the Republican no-show (Dole spent a total of I believe 36 days in North Carolina in 2005 and 2006), and helping bring a big Democratic majority to the US Senate.  Her remarks were good, and the crowd was psyched about her, although it felt like she was just reverting back to robot-stump-speech every now and then.

Finally, after all the speeches and rhetoric, the candidates led the crowd from the Bryan Center over to the polling place on Duke’s campus, where everyone was able to vote.  

However, on the way over there, Maital and I were ambushed by…. dun dun dun… Fox News!  Ambushed is a strong word – they asked us for an interview and we gladly accepted.  The reporter was nice, asking us about why we supported Kay Hagan – we both gave good (I reckon) responses.  I stressed the importance of a Democratic team in Washington to help Obama get through his big-think agenda.  Maital talked about her history of support for Kay, being from Greensboro (Kay’s home), and also about support for the Democratic ticket as a whole.  But then Maital did what she does best – she flipped the script, and as the TV crew wandered off for some more b-roll, Maital interviewed the interviewer.  First she asked about Fox News’ so called Fair and Balanced coverage of the presidential race, and their clear or perceived bias towards Republicans.  She hedged on talking about Fox News in general, but did say that she as a reporter always checks her opinions at the door.  They then talked a little bit about Sarah Palin, and the fact that no one has been able to vet her.  The reporter said that she personally had not had a chance to ask Palin any questions – which surprised exactly no one.

Although organizers lamented the weak turnout at the event, which was admittedly pretty low, it was cool to see all the office-seekers getting psyched about early voting, and getting some students excited in the process.  Enjoy the photos.

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