Political Race & Campaigns: Apt Terms.

Thursday, October 28th, 2010


Central Philadelphia campaign headquarters which consists of 10 to one dozen Internet phones, flat surfaces for logging get-out-the-vote calls and the debris of many long days and nights.

Lurching from one chaotic event to the next is the mode of operation in a race for office. It’s not the complexity of the wide variety of the associated issues, but their pace and quantity that challenges staff and management. A day’s events comprise the unveiling of a historic marker in commemoration of the Underground Railroad; a meeting with a self-described bishop of a collection of community churches; a midday luncheon in the four block square Chinatown followed by bandit-like darts into shops and restaurants to hand-out signs; check-in at a satellite office for 50 phone calls; a rally on the other side of town in a room buffeted on either side by the outdoor, salsa music modulated aerobics class and the stink of a genuine boxing gym complete with every bit of paraphernalia that you’d associate with a time and sport long gone by. I couldn’t help myself by fooling around with the speed bag. After dark, back to the Bishop’s neighborhood for door to door literature hanging to demonstrate Heading to dinner while planning the turn-out (crowd creation) for the visit of a former President, then learning of the weekend visit of the standing President.

I’m nearly worn-out after four days and many of my new colleagues have been at this for 1 or 2 or 4 years. I suppose that they are sustained by ambition, excitement and the productive fruits of their labors. There are many, many people to help- the wide swath of God’s children, I guess. Simultaneously, one observes the ennobling, small pleasures of life and the corrupted behavior of some who seek to lead- or rule- only for the privileges of access and ruling. Human behavior is not that elegant at the closest range.

I’ll have more to say after Tuesday’s final count. I’m always touched by the second place winner in a tennis tournament or similar who must graciously accept his trophy as the audience eagerly awaits the award of the championship honor. Politics is more of a gamble than a tournament as the winner takes all. There are no second place trophies. All in, all won or all out. One path to the marbled hallway, the other leads to…. there is no other road.