One Day


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I Don’t Know His Name

There is a story I haven’t told yet from my time at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

I didn’t mention it to anyone. Not my colleagues there or my husband at home. I’ve kept it tucked in my mind, because in all honesty, I wasn’t sure how to articulate what occurred.

On the second to last day of my trip to Denver I was on the phone with my kids outside the Pepsi Center. In between trying to coax my 3-year old into telling me about her day and explaining to my 5-year old why he needed to take a break from the Wii, I saw a man looking up at the Pepsi Center sign.

There were a million people around, all rushing into the Center to hear Joe Biden. So it was jam packed. Just a few minutes earlier the Daily Show was taping out front, and other camera crews were set up all over the place. In short, it was chaotic.

The man was probably about my age, 30’s. He was African-American, and carrying a plastic shopping bag. It was the cheap kind of bag. The ones you can mostly see through. I could see toothpaste, a toothbrush, some clothes. It was as if he had lost or broken his suitcase and had to resort to whatever he could find around. He was dressed very sharply, slacks and a button down shirt. So the bag seemed very out of place and caught my attention. Otherwise, I might have missed him. Around his neck was a credential to get inside and a digital camera.

As I hung up the phone with my kids, I watched him struggle to take a photo of himself in front of the DNC sign, and I walked over and offered my assistance.

He said thank you, I took the photo, and as I handed back the camera I asked him where he was from. Small talk.

He was shaking his head. Not because he didn’t want to tell me, but because he was too emotional to speak. It was then I could see the tears in his eyes.

Of course, having been an emotional wreck over all this myself, I put my hand on his and without us having even exchanged names or hometowns or anything I too began to cry.

All I could say to him, with a smile through my tears, was ‘I know. I know.’

He firmly grasped my hand and said ‘I never thought I’d see this happen. Not in my lifetime. Not ever.

I nodded. These two total strangers welling up outside the Pepsi Center holding hands.

He thanked me for taking his picture, gave me a hug and said ‘and I was here‘ and walked away.

I have no idea who he was. I have no idea what happened to his suitcase. I have no idea why at that moment two complete strangers held hands and cried in a sea of people.

Wait, that’s not right. I do know why. I know exactly why.

I took a photo of the man with my cell phone camera as he walked away, and then deleted it. At first I thought I needed to document what just happened, and then I thought maybe I was crazy for thinking I had this ‘moment.’

Now I’m mad I deleted the photo. Because the past year and so-many-odd months for me has been about that moment. Because of that moment. The sheer idea of that moment when this all started and realization in Denver that yes we really can come together.

There is one week left. One more week. And I know we’re tired. And I know we’re sick of all this political sniping and endless punditry. But for one more week I can push on and you can push on because we HAVE to get to Nov. 4th and elect Barack Obama as President of the United States.

Because together we can change this country and together we can change the world.


It all started innocently enough…I was plucking my eyebrows in my bathroom mirror. My 3-year old wandered in, stared at me, then stared at her own reflection.

Mommy what are you doing?

But why would you do that?

Hala wants you to see her painting

It was then my heart sank and I chose my words very carefully. She was watching me too closely, looking at herself too closely, and I could see her 3-year old brain trying to decide if her eyebrows were subpar-in need of that thing Mommy was doing.

The very idea that my daughter would find any part of her body, any tiny portion of her little face anything but perfect, sent a wave of nausea over me.

It was only a few days earlier she came home from preschool crying because another girl didn’t like her new haircut. Of course it was quickly forgotten and the two girls are paling around as if nothing tearful had been exchanged.

It has begun and she is only 3.

I don’t know how to stop it.

Of course her father and I always talk about her wit and brains, and attempt to build up her esteem in every way possible. We try not to focus on how ‘pretty’ she looks in her princess dress, but do make a point of letting her know she’s beautiful. She’s beautiful playing dress up and she’s beautiful playing in the mud.

We try and focus on her being perfect just the way she is…

…then come nights like tonight, when my daughter wants me to paint her toe-nails pink. Not because of any other reason than she wants them painted. She would prefer blue, or purple but all I had was pink in the house. A pink I bought a long time ago then put away.

But tonight it was about fun. Harmless girl fun. We giggled as I painted her toes and she was giddy to have it happen. And I wonder if with that simple act, coupled with watching mom pluck her eyebrows, put on her makeup, primp…if I just added to her already doomed body image path.

I hate this. I hate that I’m worried about this. I hate that political headlines involve clothing and makeup (dude, next time Sarah…try Target) but it’s impossible to avoid.

I can’t avoid it at 33 and my daughter can’t avoid it at 3.

I don’t know how to stop it.

Show Them

I’ll be taking my daughter and my son. I hope you take your kids too.

And I For One Welcome Our Liberal, Tree Hugging, Overlords

Double digits.

The other side is crumbling.

They have sunk so low, they have gone through the bottom of the barrel and straight into hell.

They are asking talk show hosts for help.

Republicans are jumping the sinking, dishonorable ship.

I’m offering free hugs to McCain-Palin supporters. Let us know when you’re ready.

Joe Biden Made Me Cry

I’m not kidding.

This afternoon I got to listen-in on a call with Senator Biden and 500 advocates, workers, victims and activists fighting domestic violence against women.

Biden helped those listening celebrate a milestone for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and it’s 2 millionth call.

Biden said, “2 million have worked up the courage and the conviction to be able to come to a phone, most of the time hiding and praying to god and hoping no one hears them…they were able to call a federally funded number and they know someone will actually answer it.”

Amanda Scott from Women for Obama writes, “Approximately 1,400 women a year – four every day – die in the United States as a result of domestic violence. And 132,000 women report that they have been victims of a rape or attempted rape, and it is estimated that an even greater number have been raped, but do not report it.Biden wrote and passed the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which is the strongest legislation to date that criminalizes domestic violence and other forms of violence against women, provides victims with the support they deserve, and holds batterers accountable.”

Now I had known all of this about Senator Biden. I had known about him writing the Violence Against Women Act, I knew he had championed the legislation…what I wasn’t prepared for was hearing him speak about women and violence like I am used to my friends speaking about women and violence. Hearing him speak like a man passionate about protecting women, empowering women.

He told me about how violence against women is society’s dirtiest and ugliest secret. He told me about wishing everyone in America could sit in the call center for just a half an hour to hear what he’s heard. He told me about how women initially blame themselves for the horrible acts committed against them He told me about how violence against women is a cultural issue, with people thinking it’s a “private” or family matter and how WRONG that is.

Senator Joe Biden went on and on and on and on, barely taking breaths in between his words to talk about what he’s seen and why he’s fighting for women. Then he said if he and Senator Obama had the honor to be elected,

“I promise you, I PROMISE YOU, you will have the strongest allies you’ve ever, EVER had.”

And I was floored.

Biden then went on to announce Obama-Biden plans for a special advisor, in their administration, IN the White House, who would report directly and regularly on violence against women, because he understands this needs sustained high level leadership on the issue. He also discussed plans for their administration to take their ideas global, and reward countries for stopping violence against women.

Today the campaign released this new video, so you can see exactly what Biden is talking about:

For more information on the National Domestic Violence Hotline, you can visit Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you or someone you know is frightened about something in your relationship, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

CrossPosted at BlogHer.

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With 14 days to go in the election and everything at stake, Senator Barack Obama is leaving the campaign trail to be with his ailing grandmother.

Leaders have priorities, and Senator Obama’s are clearly in place.