Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Swinging in the Heartland

I've lived 35 of my 48 years (including the last 28) in the midwest--Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri. Fly-over country to you on the coasts. The Heartland.

I love being a midwesterner . . . it's solid not flashy. Practical not trendy. (Although I do seem to remember that the Crocs craze started here. Sorta defines us, don't you think?).

By no one's definition would I be considered a swinger.

But, man, oh man, am I starting to understand all the excitement in being a swinger. And it's changed my life. My husband's, too. It's crazy. Hot. Exciting. Even, dare I say it, sexy.

For the first time ever I'm living in a swing state. Oh, yeah, baby. Missouri rocks!

For example, on Monday, John McCain, Dick Cheney and Bill Clinton were all within a stone's throw (or short drive) from my front yard. Hubba hubba.

This weekend, Obama drew 100,000 people to a rally in downtown St. Louis. That's 15 miles from my house. I mean, he was practically on my front porch. Plus, in the last week I received calls from Michelle Obama and a bunch of pollsters. After all these years of feeling like my vote didn't really matter and my opinions counted even less, everyone is vying for my vote and complete strangers want to know what I think. (Too bad my kids are less interested in my opinions.)

Seriously, it's pretty cool. Democracy in action. Neighbors--even ones with dueling yard signs--are out talking and walking and participating in this every four-year political experience. Never have I lived in a state getting this much interest during an election. Never has it mattered more.

And, oh baby, does it have me excited. Swing high, swing low, swing all over the place--Missouri is where it's at right now and I'm loving it.

(Also posted on my group blog.)

10 comments:

debra said...

You can swing on over to my home, Ohio, too. A week or so ago, McCain came to a nearby burb, snarling traffic and closing the rec center, the mall and the schools.
And Obama's been here, too. But YOU had a Cheney sighting---wow---we were wondering where he'd been hiding.....

Katie Alender said...

We don't have any of that kind of excitement out here in California! You midwesterners get to have all the fun.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Debra--I'm sure it's nuts in the Buckeye State too . . . and you even got a Springsteen concert. I'm still waiting for him to come here.

Katie--Oh, yeah, the midwest is where it's at! You get gorgeous weather; we get Dick Cheney.

Therese said...

We're swinging here in NC, too. Shows how centrist the Obama/Biden message is. Talk about CHANGE!! Yes!!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Oh, I know--it's so cool. This summer, Missouri was solidly a red state. Now? Not so much. Fingers crossed for the 4th . . .

Lisa said...

Woohoo! Swinging here in Colorado too. I love to hear the doorbell ring to find out who is pounding the pavement for Democracy. We had the lone Obama yard sign in our highly Republican enclave for a while and then came back from vacation to find that a handful more had sprung up in our absence. It is exciting -- but I am SO ready for it to be finished. I only hope that once we're past November 4th that we will remain engaged in the process and continue to make our voices heard in Washington. Party on American voters!

kristenspina said...

Judy, this made me smile! You can swing all you want, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all you swing states will be feeling very Blue come Nov. 4th!!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Lisa--Isn't it fun to see Obama signs springing up in the neighborhood? We're even housing some volunteers from California--it's so exciting.

Kristen--Glad I could bring a smile to your face--let's hope we're all grinning big blue grins the morning of the 5th!

deola said...

wow! Obama seems to be everywhere. Obviously he is going to win the election. I hope he comes to Nigeria too.

Daisy said...

Even my conservative accountant neighbors have an Obama sign! I hope that means Wisconsin is going to go Blue again.