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Blogging Obama

Blogging Obama

Laura E. Ruberto (November 5, 2008)
Laura E. Ruberto
Drawing of Barack Obama, by this blogger's five year old son

Passing impressions from California, written at midnight on Election Night.



Tuesday morning I remind my five-old-son that today is the presidential election. He’s well aware of the race: what with the general Obama buzz all around town and in our house, parents who’ve been phone banking, Obama jack-o-lanterns, posters, stickers and the like.
He says, “Si, lo so” (yes, I know), speaking, as he generally does to me, in Italian. He states matter-of-factly: “vincera’ Obama,” (Obama’s going to win), and then, with the air of a political pundit, he adds very seriously, “lui ha fatto piu campaigning” (he’s done more campaigning). I ask him if he knows what that means, clearly a word he’s heard only in English. He’s not sure, but with the confidence of a child, he stands firm on his position.
All day Tuesday I remind my college students to go vote, that even if they have voted they can make sure a friend or family member votes, and that even if they are not eligible to vote, they can make sure someone they know votes.
I finish teaching and rush over to a party, meeting my family there. Friends, mostly from a babysitting co-op we are part of, gather to eat, drink, and watch the returns. It’s a diverse Berkeley crowd, and I walk in as Pennsylvania—the state I was born and raised in—goes blue. My Italian American West Virginia-native friend, gives me a hug. The wine tastes especially good.
Driving home later, we pass through South Berkeley and North Oakland, right by the Northern California Obama Headquarters, and see lots of people on what are usually deserted streets. My son is taken in by all the action, the celebration. I wonder how much of this night he will remember.
My 19 year old Italian-Swedish cousin writes me on Facebook:
GO OBAMA!…we are following your election from my apartment. It’s a little bit uncomfortable that we are 9 hours before you, it’s 2.30 in the morning here and the results will stop coming in at 5 or 6 AM, but were staying hopeful! It’s funny how this election feels more important to us then our own =).
Although the evening is bringing some news that worries me—California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, appears to be winning, for one—the night is thrilling, full of a happiness that cannot be contained.

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