OffTheBus readers continue to share their natural wit as we approach the end of the 2008 presidential campaign. It's tough work to choose, but we have picked new entries from hundreds of submissions that show the variety of political observations East to West. If you are volunteering on a campaign and have heard something the rest of us would enjoy, or if you have an anecdote that tickled you, please send them on to us in 100 words or less. Submit your note to us using this Survey Monkey page. We will keep posting the best entries each Monday until the election. ~ Edited by Annie Shreffler.
Here are the top picks for this week:
Here in Colorado, I have enjoyed the occasional French vanilla latte from 7-Eleven, which, in the spirit of the election season, offers a choice of an "Obama" or "McCain" cup. I choose the blue "Obama" cup for my morning treat. It compliments the Obama bumper sticker on my car. Also, I can furtively campaign while riding the elevator to my office every morning. I hope I am helping a few lost souls find their way. Today, my curiosity got the best of me, and I logged on to 7-Election.com and found Obama is leading, 59% to 41% over McCain.
-Linda C. Harris, Colorado
I spent some time in out-patient surgery yesterday. While waiting, I was watching CNBC as the stock market closed. My nurse said, "Well you know this was all caused by that group Acorn." I asked her to explain and she said, "Oh you know, that group that forced them to give mortgages to people who could not afford them." End of conversation.
-Susan McIntyre, Grinnell, IA
On Friday at a Republican campaign rally in Lakeville, Minnesota, I saw a woman stand up and, with visible disgust, call Barak Obama "an Arab". Shaking his head, John McCain said "No, ma'am. He's a decent family man that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues." I grew up in Minnesota. My town and its people gave me opportunities I might not have received elsewhere. I now have a career I love and I spend my spare time volunteering and gardening. Although Barak Obama is not a person of Arab descent, I am. Both my father and mother's families came to Minnesota from Lebanon. They came, as I am sure did the family of the woman at the rally, seeking opportunity and a chance for a better life.
-Cindy Lou Ferris, Minneapolis, MN
In an effort to snatch Democratic women, the Republican party sent me a "Party Affiliation Change Form". So I did what any good Democrat would do......mailed it back with an Obama '08 sticker.
-Ms. Raine, Bel Air, MD
I watch the news daily. I just heard Chris Matthews go to commercial with this statement: "Most immigrant families came from other countries." Most? Do not all immigrants come from other countries? Lol I love the news.
-Phoebe M. Couse, Somers MT
I'm an Aussie and I'm very frustrated not to be able to vote for Obama. A friend of mine, expat in Sydney, was so moved by my passion for Obama, he drove his absentee ballot three hours to Canberra, so I could watch him fill in the Democrat box. Then he let me fold it, put it in its double envelope and post it. I have a good friend and I (almost) voted for Obama!!
-Trish Mitchell, Oxley, ACT, Australia
Living in Kansas, the reddest of red states, I am used to being in the minority in my political ideology. As I was walking Greta, my feisty long-haired dachshund, we ran into my ultraconservative friend and neighbor, Denise. She immediately noticed Greta's "Bark Obama" tag and snidely told Greta she should "bite Obama, not bark Obama." Without missing a beat, Greta pooped at her feet, and off we went on our merry way.
-Suzanne Hayes, Overland Park, KS
"Officer, can you please do something to stop the people who are stealing Obama signs from yards and streets all over town?" He replied,"I can't do that." We asked, "Why not?" He said, "They're exercising their 1st amendment right of free expression when they take the signs down." A new skit for Saturday Night Live? A bit on Jon Stewart's Daily Show? No. An actual exchange with police refusing to counteract wide spread vandalism in Tularosa and Alamogordo, NM. Since all the missing signs are for Democrats, you be the judge about who's doing it.
-Judy Fair, Tularosa, NM
Overheard at a call bank event for the Obama campaign: "What was that ma'am? A sign? You're looking for a sign?" The speaker continued, "I don't know what to say ma'am. He's doing so well in the polls. That could be a sign. I'm not sure what else to tell you. What was that? For your lawn? You want a lawn sign! Oh, oh... well... ah, yes. Yes ma'am. I think we can do that. You're welcome, ma'am."
-Kristian Hammond, Chicago, IL
In Alabama, a glaring neon red state, Obama signs and stickers are appearing everywhere. I wore my outrageous Obama tee to the supermarket. This shirt has the Kenyan emblem next to Obama's name. The store was popping and at least ten people called out to me, "Love your shirt." I don't think for five minutes that the deep south is going for Obama, but there are hints that maybe even we southerners with our tempestuous history of slavery and subsequent segregation, may be emerging from the dark ages. One can only hope.
-Mary Mansour, Fairhope, AL
I overheard a funny exchange as a dozen "backwoods rednecks" waited to check out at the convenience store. One man was offered a McCain-Palin sign but wouldn't take it. Then he said, "But I'll take a picture," and he added, "I don't want a McCain sign in my yard because it will block my Obama sign."
-Karen Johnson, Machias, ME
My friend was on a treadmill at a local fitness club and next to her, two women were talking. "I like Sarah Palin, she's just like me," one woman said. My friend stopped her treadmill and asked two questions on issues. Neither woman could answer. My friend started up her treadmill again and said, "That's why I don't want someone like you for the VP. You don't know the facts."
-Kay Morris, Springfield, IL
An old rancher recently called Governor Palin a "post turtle." When asked what that was, he said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, and she doesn't know what to do while she's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dummy put her up there to begin with."
-Tom Upton, Menlo Park, CA
Canadians voted yesterday but woke up to find that Barack Obama is not their prime minister. Why? A recent poll showed that 42% of British Columbians wanted Obama as prime minister; 29% preferred Stephen Harper, elected yesterday to head another Conservative minority government. An earlier, national poll found that 15% of Canadians wanted to vote in the US general election instead of their own. The Election Day cartoon in the Toronto Star, entitled "Canada's Dream Ballot," showed five names. Four were Canadian party leaders. The fifth, the one with the 'X', was "Obama." So why isn't Obama Canada's prime minister? He didn't run.
-Frank A. Campbell, Ottawa, ON, Canada
The McCain-Palin Campaign's vicious smearing of Obama is literally making people sick. My blood pressure has been higher than normal. It rises precipitously every time I read the blogs or watch the news. I saw my physician last week and she said that many of her black women patients were experiencing higher than normal blood pressures. She recommended that we double the dose of our hypertension meds until Obama wins.
-Wende Marshall, Charlottesville, VA
During the last debate John McCain suggested that returning servicemen and women be exempt from getting that teaching credential and having to take that pesky test in order to teach our children. Both my daughters are teachers and went through years of college, post-grad work and student teaching before they were allowed in the classroom. That's why they are good teachers. Just because someone served in the armed forces doesn't make them qualified to teach others, just as someone who's been a POW doesn't automatically qualify to be president.
-Virginia Paresa, Torrance, CA
After hearing more than a half dozen times a fellow congregation member say that Sarah Palin was a "Breath of fresh air" I had to say, "If she's a 'breath of fresh air', you really need to get out more."
-Anonymous, Nashville, IN