I just returned from spending several days in South Florida campaigning for the next President of the United States, Barack Obama. It was one of the most refreshing experiences I've ever had and rekindles my belief in both the electoral process and the bright future that Barack Obama will bring to Washington.
I was amazed at the number of totally committed volunteers, both young and old, who work hour after hour, day after day, in satellite offices around the state. The degree of organization created by the Obama campaign is so far superior to any campaign that I've ever seen, including the Gore campaign in 2000 and the Kerry campaign in 2004. Each office has identified regular voters and sporadic voters on each street, in each precinct. I was asked to join a group of volunteers who went door to door telling people about Barack Obama and making sure they would come out to vote.
One day, I was asked to join Danny DeVito and his wife, Rhea Perlman, on a whole series of campaign stops. We went to senior citizens homes, restaurants, polling places with long waiting lines, and spoke to both committed and uncommitted voters. Danny was a hoot, stopping regularly to sign autographs and take pictures with adoring fans. Both he and Rhea are active progressives, who contribute both their money and time for worthy causes and worthy candidates. They were down in Florida in 2004 and campaigned diligently for John Kerry. It was a joy spending time with this committed and unpretentious couple, who just want to make our country a better place for everyone to live. What a refreshing thing it is to meet people from all over the country, who travel long distances just to help make a difference.
On another day, I went to visit the busiest polling place in Palm Beach County. The lines were unbelievable, and the waiting time to get to vote was five hours. I walked the line and told each voter about my long time relationship with Barack and that I was speaking about him from personal experience, not something I heard on television or radio or read in the newspaper. I talked about his judgment and character and the kind of leader he would be, not only for America, but for the world at large.
As I was going through the line, the heavens suddenly opened up and it began to pour. Much to my amazement, nobody left the line. Young and old alike continued to verbalize how anxious they were to vote, how important they felt their vote was, and how much pride they had in casting their vote. Many parents brought their kids along as a way of expressing their faith in the system and the importance of casting ones vote. It was truly one of the most heartening experiences I've ever had in politics and gives me faith that come the evening of November 4th, we will be on a new path to change the direction of our country and tell the whole world that the America they used to respect is back.