Going To Ohio

So. I am going to Ohio. I have decided. I did not think I would do it. But I am going. All political junkies I know are going. This is too much peer pressure. It is like, if you are not going to Mecca, how are you a Muslim?

Since I moved to NYC, I once went a few hours out to New Jersey for a Christmas party with the Madhesi friend who authored the idea of me moving to the city, her boyfriend's family's place, second home. They actually live in Fairfield, CT. I actually did not like the idea of going out of the city.

But this is going to be a big one, an entire weekend out. Adam tells me once in a while you have to get out of the city. So when you come back in, you get excited all over again.

Anything for Barack. Anything for Godfather.

Barack's Mother Makes An Appearance
Barack Has To Talk Much About His Mother

But I am Obama 2008's self-appointed national shadow Campaign Manager. Campaign Managers don't go knock doors, hand flyers. We inspire. So I think I am going to be doing a lot of sightseeing in downtown Cleveland. And I am going to meet as many Obama people as I can. I am sure this is like Iowa. Barack is already on schedule to winning Texas. So the feeling must be, let's take Ohio, and then we are done. I am sure there are Obama volunteers there from literally all over the country. I know Kathleen Sebelius is there.

This is going to be an entire weekend totally offline. That might be good for me. I need to get into the talkative thing. I think I might end up with dozens of new Facebook friends by the time the weekend is over.

It is between sightseeing and just whiling away at the headquarters. And some knock, knock, knocking on the heaven's door.

Come to think of it, Cleveland is the first American city I went to. Cleveland, Indianapolis ("But where are the people?"), Atalanta. I covered those three the first year. Downtown Atlanta was quite a feeling. In Cleveland, I kept bugging people, but where is the water, where is the water, show me the water. So they took me. Deep in the night. You could hear the water. The lake.

I have figured out the logistics. Wear jeans. Take one small bag: guys are stuck with the shaving thing. Be super light. Two days of eating out, six meals, okay so that is some more money. And some extra cash, in case you get left out for some reason and have to make the return trip on your own.

I once got left out. I was five, maybe less. This was some relative's wedding. Weddings back there are like this trip to Ohio. They last full three days. So you show up Friday evening. All of Friday night is rituals. All night, I am not kidding. So when my running mate and subsequent SGA Vice President Damien got married, I am like, wait a minute, I was just warming up, the ceremony is already over? It lasted all of 20 minutes.

So you show up, and they feed you Saturday, three fancy meals. Sunday they feed you, and then you leave. And it is not always a weekend thing. Depends on when the holy days are.

So I get taken to this wedding. And Sunday morning everyone leaves. In the confusion, I get left behind. Then someone in the jeep asks, Where is Pappu? Where is Pappu? And they turn around and drive back. This is on mud roads. Jeeps raise dust like it was a tornado trying to rise up from the ground up.

They found me all by myself, not a soul in sight, crying.

So carry extra cash just in case you have to buy a ticket back to the city.

$110 is an extremely good deal. I like Walmart, Dell, that 99 cent pizza place on 41st and 9th. I like the low price businesses. They are democratizing. $110 for round trip, and lodging and pizza. How did they do that?

I emailed saying I want to pay cash. Cash is real money.

DL21C Bus Trip to Cleveland, Ohio

Friday, Feb 29 - Sunday, March 2, 2008

Welcome to DL21C's Buckeye State road trip! We hope you'll join us next weekend. We expect the bus to fill up quickly, and the only way to confirm your spot is to sign up here.

The cost for the trip is $110 which covers roundtrip transportation on Campus Coach luxury bus lines, lodging (3-4 per room at the Holiday Inn Express, downtown Cleveland) as well as bus trip, pizza and beverages. You will sign a release upon departure and be responsible for all other incidentals not related to travel and lodging. Dress warmly (lake effect snow!) and be prepared for lots of walking to get out the vote!

(we will mail a complete itinerary to you early next week):

Friday, February 29
6:30pm Depart Penn Station via Campus Coach (pizza and welcome party on the bus!)

Saturday, March 1
2:00 am Arrive Cleveland, OH (Accommodations at Holiday Inn Express downtown, around corner from campaign headquarters)
8:00am-8:00pm Volunteer work with campaign of your choice (Cleveland and surrounding suburbs)
9:00pm Dinner and DL21C party - downtown Cleveland

Sunday, March 2
9:00am - 4:00pm Volunteer work with campaign of your choice
5:00pm Depart Holiday Inn for return to NYC
12:30am (Monday) Arrive Penn Station

Please email campaignvol -at- dl21c -dot- org with any questions or if you need more information.

We look forward to you joining us and being a part of history next weekend!

In The News

Superdelegates switching allegiance to Obama Guardian Unlimited After once leading Obama by a 2 to 1 ratio in the superdelegate chase, Clinton now has 241 to his 181 ...... the trickle of superdelegates who have defected from her corner to Obama's. The shift comes as she failed to deliver a telling blow on him in their penultimate TV debate before the Texas and Ohio primaries ...... two percentage points in Texas, well within the margin of error, and seven points in Ohio ..... "I think that it will sort itself out," Clinton said. "We will have a nominee, and we will have a unified Democratic party, and we will go on to victory in November." .... Superdelegates who represent areas won by Obama face pressure to declare for him.
In South Texas, Obama Focuses On Hispanic Voters Washington Post Clinton led Obama 59 percent to 36 percent among likely Latino voters ...... Obama offered a brown-black connection with the largely student audience with references to Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez, who organized the United Farm Workers Union in California. King, he said, had once written to Chavez to say their causes were one. ...... "Crank it up, guys," he said to the reporters huddled over their laptops. "Words matter. Don't listen to Hillary."
Obama Campaign On "The Moment" Atlantic Online the difficulty Hillary Clinton would have drawing a clear contrast with John McCain in a general election was when she, quizzically, attacked him for supporting the war in Iraq. Clinton also voted for the war