One of the advantages of living in Florida in election season is that the Romneys and the Obamas are always coming around, trying to woo everyone into voting for them!
This is because Florida is a swing state (George W Bush won it by just 543 votes in 2000!) and has a very varied population, even for the United States. In Florida you’ll find Cuban exiles, retired Jewish Americans, Mexican immigrants, traditional "cracker" types, African Americans, Scientologists, and there are even some British expats, I’ve heard! It’s like a US Noah’s Ark, with two of every type of American (and others) crammed into a hot, steamy, swampy flat peninsula. Okay, maybe I am going too far now. But you get the message.
The bottom line is that the first lady, Michelle Obama came to town this Monday and my wife managed to get some tickets for us to go and see her talk at a rally!
It was all rather exciting and took a bit of organizing, as my wife had to leave work early, and we had a tennis practice straight after. A further annoying complication was that it was a very popular event and so we couldn’t find anywhere to park on the day within a mile of the university venue.
Eventually, after driving around for about twenty five minutes and getting more and more desperate, we managed to find a metered parking space that allowed us 2 hours grace in return for a wallet full of dimes and quarters.
Consequently, we arrived at the venue later than we’d planned. After negotiating the airport-style security, we gained entrance - but having arrived late, we were shunted into seats at the rear end of the indoor stadium. It meant that for the most part we were viewing Michelle from the rear and had to view the big screens to see her face when she spoke.
But she is a good speaker with charisma, who projects and induces a lot of warmth. Her talk wasn’t so much about trying to convert the unconvinced, but more of a rallying cry to the troops. Michelle has wide appeal, but she is also a particular heroine of African-American womanhood and they were out in force.
|The indoor stadium was packed!|
|Not the best view of Michelle - but at least there were large screens to watch!|
After the talk, we headed back to the car. We were well within the 2 hour parking period and feeling rather buoyed up by the talk until we reached the car and discovered that we had a parking citation stuffed under the windscreen wiper. We’d been booked for facing the car against the stream of traffic, a petty offence for sure, and ordered to pay a 30 dollar fine!
Trying not to let it spoil our evening, we tried to forget the fine and went to practice our tennis. It wasn’t until we arrived home that I switched on my computer and discovered the news about the secretly recorded video of Mitt Romney, where at a private fundraiser, he seemed to imply that 47% of Americans were dependent on government handouts and that they would vote for Barak Obama regardless of what Mitt said or did, so Mitt didn’t care about them.
The Romney scandal seemed big. It was like he’d self-destructed. It almost felt like the election was over before it had even really begun.