The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Well, I've survived five percent of the campaign, and I'm still running. I suppose that's some kind of accomplishment. I've been written about in the press and probably talked about behind closed doors. I'm privy to the first, not to the second. Going to the different communities and meeting new people is still the most fun thing about the journey. Yesterday afternoon was Windsor, which sits on top of a mountain and offers some of the best food in the universe. In my work with elders, we always compete with one another to see who gets to do a presentation in Windsor, because they always have great lunches....INCLUDING WINE! Of course, at work we can't drink, and when you're a candidate you really can't drink, but it still makes for a very festive atmosphere! But the best part of the event was the fact that people were encouraged to bring their kids to this Sunday afternoon potluck buffet. They were all ages and some played outside, some sat inside, some were literally babes in arms (opportunity to kiss my SECOND baby of the campaign!) But it was a great example of how you can't teach kids about democracy unless they see adults going to meetings, voting, meeting candidates, working for something they believe in. I met a wonderful young woman who, it turns out, goes to Dartmouth, my son's alma mater, so that was very special. I sometimes wonder whether it makes any difference to someone that age, or younger, when they see a woman running for office. At the moment, that's really the only time I think about the gender thing. Mostly I'm driving in my car, planning, strategizing, brainstorming, organizing my thoughts, and it seems pretty irrelevant what my gender is. I'm running for office. I need to go and earn a living from 9 to 5. Time is precious and every contact counts. The funniest reactions I've gotten are from the volunteers in my program. They all ASSUME I'm going to win and write emails like "Gee, we'll miss you at SHINE, but you'll do a great job!" It doesn't seem to occur to them that I could have my head handed to me either in September or November! Which is why one loves to be in campaigns where the volunteers are wide-eyed, enthusiastic true believers. They will be the people to buoy you up when the going gets tough. And we KNOW the going will get tough.

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