Amidst townhouses on streets lined with yellow and gold trees, a change of seasons clearly evident, I witnessed a row of Obama/Biden signs, here in Northern Virginia. Amongst the signs, was one leaning McCain/Palin sign. That seemed symbolic of the McCain campaign to me and the transitioning trees seemed to me metaphoric of the change in government many are desperately hoping for in the election of Senator Obama as President of the United States.
And so with only three days left, here in Alexandria Virginia, where the seasons have changed since the campaign began, the work continues. The canvassing has not slowed down, the rallies continue, phone banking continues. Obama supporters emphasize that although he appears to be ahead in the polls, the work is not done.
Out canvassing on this green, yellow, and gold illuminated street, this Sunday, I found S. Howard Woodson, III. Mr. Woodson is an African American Attorney in the Virginia area. Mr. Woodson told me he runs his own law office and has been active in Virginia for quite a while and was previously president of the Black Lawyers association in Virginia. His wife, out canvassing the neighborhood with him, is Joyce Woodson, a previous City Council person.
Mr. Woodson seemed to me a very busy man, as he told me he runs his own law practice, specializing in various areas of the law, litigation, domestic relations, general practice, but he was enthusiastically giving up his Sunday to knock on the doors of Northern Virginia dwellers.
I asked him how it was going, and Mr. Woodson indicated that everyone in this area seemed already to be a Democrat. (I guess this was obvious from the row of Obama signs I saw. In one lonely house did I see a McCain/Palin sign). Well, I asked him, is this waste of time? "Not at all," he told me. "We are focused on getting the people out there to vote." S. Howard Woodson, dogged in his mission, said he doesn´t want the people to be swayed by the polls showing Senator Obama ahead and become complacent. He seemed to believe his work today is vital in getting out the vote. While I was talking to Mr. Woodson, another gentleman, who seemed to live in the neighborhood, asked us where the nearest campaign office was. He said he needed a sign for his yard and he wanted to go and get one presently. Since we are both African American, I guess he assumed we were Obama supporters, but Mr. Woodson was extremely gracious, and asked him for which candidate he sought the campaign office. "Obama "he said gleefully, " I need a sign in my yard." He seemed content when I gave him the address of the nearest office in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.
But despite this enthusiastic voter, the Obama campaign is not taking anything for granted, especially here in Virginia, which has somehow become critical to this election. This is the latest campaign plea I have received from Bradley Austin, of the Alexandria Virginia Obama campaign office: ¨We are about to deliver Virginia for Barack Obama and our reward will be an end to campaign ads! Oh yeah and a US President we can trust and take pride in. All we have to do is canvass a few more times this weekend and Get Out the Vote on Monday and Tuesday.¨
I have also received more fast and furious amount of emails from the campaign, this weekend, including requests for donations and following invitation to a Rally in Manassas, Virginia, which I would point out is pretty far away from where I live.
"This Monday, November 3rd, please join Barack Obama in Manassas for his final Virginia rally before Election Day. "
Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama
Prince William County Fairgrounds
10624 Dumfries Road
Manassas, VA 20112
Monday, November 3rd
Doors Open: 5:00 p.m.
Program Begins: 9:00 p.m.
The invitation was made to seem personal and said that I didn´t have to RSVP, but it was advised. Sort of like Senator Obama was inviting me personally. A good way to maintain the enthusiasm of weary supporters I would say.
So here is the final line up in Northern, historic Alexandria part of the great State of Virginia and the efforts to maintain the enthusiasm and stave off campaign and voter weariness:
Saturday, November 1 at 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM
Sunday, November 2 at 12:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM
Monday, November 3 at 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM
Tuesday, November 4 at 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM
Okay, so admittedly I am one of those getting a bit campaign weary. I´ve voted, I´ve given, I´ve canvassed, I´ve written. But simultaneously, I am anxious for the metaphorical changing of the trees in America, for the bad 8 years to fall off, like dead leaves, for the preparation after a winter of work and toil, for the blossoming of a new and better age.
These last campaign days, I am waiting with longing for this new age of leadership, under Senator Obama, where like President Clinton indicated, our leader will be an "An agent for peace." I am anticipating this new direction where unity replaces divisiveness, where, hope replaces war, where we work together to make things happen for all, and not wait for them to "trickle down from a few." I dreamingly see those fallen leaves as symbolic of a time where invention in new technologies that save the earth will replace old oil barrels of peril that destroy the earth, as Senator Obama spoke of in his plan. I wait in hope for a new government, where Joe the Plumber is given just as much respect as the single African American mother, where health care is a priority for everyone, not another "Think Tank" policy that leads to disaster, where there is room for the views of everyone, regardless of their race, religious belief, sex, sexual orientation and all other kind of arbitrary barriers.
Ok, so maybe I am not as weary as I thought. Unlike the beautiful trees on the tree lined streets of Virginia, I realize this change I long for, isn't going to happen on its own. So I see what S. Howard Woodson meant, the work is not done. And Bradley Ausitn, from campaign headquarters is also right, all we have to do is canvass a few more times and get out the vote, and our reward will be a President whom we can "trust and take pride in."
We know that Senator Obama is not the Savior, but I don´t think that is why the Obama campaign workers are working so hard for in Northern Virginia and elsewhere. They are working for the opportunity to be a part of a new and sweeping change that promises to be historic and better for the United States and the world. So these final days enthusiastic and weary supporters will continue to work to get the vote and fight for the cause.