Where does the good go

Something in which to believe

“You’re going to be a complete Obama maniac,” Karol said when I was deciding whether to spend an obscene amount of money to go to a fundraiser for the junior Senator from Illinois.
Gosh, I hope so.
I mean I love Dennis Kucinich…although that he’s got a trophy wife now kinda takes away the quirky little engine that couldness that really sold me on him the last time around, but let’s face it “I did not bankrupt Cleaveland” just doesn’t win elections like it used to.
So, I was in the market for a “VC:” viable candidate.
A woman for President. I chuckled. Another Clinton for President. HAHAHAHAHA… stop it, you’re killing me.
Yet another throwback to the ’04 presidency AND his wife has cancer…uh…President of Hope College in the other America, maybe but not my guy.
Though still hotter than New Orleans in August.
I didn’t want to be the black chick for the half black guy, but then Oprah went and all endorsed him, so what was a sychophant to do?
I entered my credit card numbers on the obamanyc site, kissed dreams of my 2007 World Series of poker championship goodbye, threw on a pair of shoes and headed out to meet the man, the myth and the legend at the Hammerstein ballroom on Friday night.
There was a line which snaked up the avenue.
So, of course, I assumed this could not be the rich people’s line. I walked to the front and very politely asked to be ushered away from the masses and straight to the VIP lounge.
You’ll see why that’s funny later. For now, however, suffice to say, I was referred to the back of the snake by the index finger of the volunteer at the door.
Ok. Cool. Obama keepin’ it realz.
I noticed that he had the Canadian vote locked up.
I finally made it to the front of the line and checked in with a spirited blond woman.
“How much did you pay?” she asked.
I told her and she pointed me to a woman holding a list at the end of the table.
A yellow band was affixed to my wrist. I also saw blue bands and red bands.
I formed the line for the elevator up to the VIP suite.
HAHAHHAHAHAH…again…in a minute.
The elevator was crowded. Both blue bands and yellow bands were allowed inside. Red bands hit the stairs.
However, only yellow bands could enter the promised land.
I was shocked to find myself in a plain, medium sized beige room with low ceilings. There were no chairs or windows and a half dozen Obama ’08 placards and a dozen or so helium filled balloons passed for decorations. Wait…and the four vases filled with flowers. I remember these because when I went to rest on the ledge after two hours of standing around in the poorly un- ventilated tomb…er…VIP lounge, my eyes started to water and shut as they began to trigger some sort of allergic reaction.


There were only about 11 other people in the room when I first arrived. I went toward the bar to grab a drink. I paused when I caught sight of the cash register.
Oh well. It’s a fundraiser not a…umm…whatever the something that involves Dawn having access to an open bar would be called…casino is the only word coming to mind.
I formed the line and figured I would get some water.
“Is this it,” a well dressed woman in front of me on line turned around to ask.
“Is this it or is Obama going to come in and greet us?”
“Oh…um…I dunno…I thought there would a greeting.”
There. Better. DAMN. WELL. BE. A. GREETING.
How could there not be a greeting? 15 people pay to stand around in a tomb, you greet them.
Politics 101.
The line moved excruciatingly slowly. Although, to be fair, whenever I have to wear shoes instead of sneakers excruciating pretty much describes everything. I waited for the woman’s husband or boyfriend to dig through his pockets for enough cash to pay for her vodka cranberry and his beer.
Finally. It was my turn.
“I’d just like a water.”
“We only have bottles.”
For this:
Bartender wouldn’t even give me the bottle.
I left the tomb and searched for a seat.
I walked out onto the main floor where the other bands were located.
The room was jumping. I’d decribe the musical selections as 70s soul…a bunch of Michael Jackson post boy band pre Thriller and some Marvin Gaye.
There were hundreds of people milling about.
This is where you could just feel the excitement. I mean I didn’t talk to anyone, but um…they felt excited.
That sentence came out wrong.
I found a seat by the guard and texted with pearatty and alceste. I would periodically stick my head in the VIP lounge. It was almost full by 9 o’clock. Word started to spread that Senator Obama was on his way. I made my way back inside. And not a minute too soon.
The handlers shut the doors.
And turned up the thermostat and sealed all the entrances with duct tape. At least that’s what it felt like.
Imagine you and 100 of your closest friends and no way out.
Some dude introduced himself to me and started prattling on about really finding a candidate that he could get behind.
A woman near us mentioned that she’d seen the Senator speak when she was a senior at the U of Chicago during his failed run for the Congress.
“I thought to myself ‘the skinny guy has something’ and now look,” she said all proud of herself for identifying talent early.
They said some other stuff but I was trying to list in my head all the words I could make with the letters AEINSST and I kept missing one. However, I must have looked like I listening intently cause I could feel that crease in my forehead becoming more pronounced.
I ended up talking to another couple — the man of which said he learned about Senator Obama by reading parts of his first book in the bathroom.
He was going to ask the Senator to sign it.
I assume he wouldn’t mention where it had been.
At 9:20 I bitterly texted Alceste that the Senator was still not there. Though I must have lost at least sixteen pounds standing in the sauna in my suit.
My shoes were history.
Finally, I saw a rush to the door AND it opened.
Obama! I mean Barack! It’s him!
A handler stood on top of one of the speakers to tell us to stand back and indicated that we’d get a chance to meet the Senator later because he was running late.
But never mind all that. The Senator had arrived!
He switched places with the handler.
And thanked us.
“I know it’s hot,” I remember him saying.
He looked good, but he was flustered. He apologized for being late by saying “you know how it is. Days like these the last event always gets screwed.” He might not have used the word screwed.
But yeah, I know how it is. The last time I ran for President, I was always running late for my last event.
He jumped right into his stump speech and I turned on my video camera.
You know, so I wouldn’t have to listen.

But he definitely said something about healthcare, and the war…the wrong war or the badly executed war or the really hot, sweating needing air and free water war.
He then promised to “give a big long speech” in the other room.
He thanked us and stepped down. Everyone applauded.
I felt my left eye shutting down from the flower allergens.
Everyone pushed toward him.
He stepped back up on the speaker and said “I’m so sorry, but Ben Harper has got some great music ready for y’all and he can’t really get started till I get out there, but there is a place at the front reserved for you and I promise to shake all of your hands after the speech. I promise I will touch each and every one of you tonight.”
He was then ushered away and we were taken to our special section in front of the stage…but behind the ropes. I eyed the “VIP seating” up in the balcony that I had paid for…but decided to stay for my Obama touch. Plus, I was going to ask him some hard hitting questions.
The first speaker is head of the Brooklyn for Obama group. He told us about how his life changed on February 10th, the day Obama announced he was running. How he finally got up off his couch and realized he could do something to change this country. He went to and started a blog. About Obama. And we could all do the same because Obama has put his campaign in the hands of the people.
And our blogs. I call this the get off your couch and get on your computer action plan.
He then introduced Ben Harper.
Ben Harper walked on stage wearing jeans and carrying a guitar.
I took my shoes off again.
I can’t remember the lyrics to his song, but my desperate text to Karol said “Hippie black dude on stage playing the guitar and singing about peace on earth.”
The next text, five minutes later said “he’s skat bebopping now and believes there’s a better way.”
Ten minutes later the text merely said “Kill me.”
The crowd was also pretty distracted. I heard one woman in the crowd tell her friend that she thought there would be more cute black guys.
Ben then said something like “this next song,” and I cried. The problem with the word next is that it implies that not only is there another song coming, but since he didn’t say last, that there’s at least one more song coming after . In this case. Two.
Ben then said “There is a void out there right now. A void for the greatest leader in American history and I believe that role will be filled by Mr. Barack Obama.”
Then Senator Obama appeared from the wings and took his place in front of the giganticest American flag I ever saw and the weirdest replica of the Statute of Liberty that I’ve ever seen.
(In the middle of his speech, he pointed to it and said “that is the symbol of America. And the French gave it to us, so don’t bag on the French that was a pretty cool gift.” I’d like to say that this is not where he lost me. I would. I really would.)
He talked about an America where we’ve come to expect that some kids just can’t learn and that contrary to its name millions of kids are getting left behind. He said we need to turn to allies and enemies in the region to work our way out of Iraq as carefully as we recklessly got into a war which should never have been authorized. He talked about a single mothers and her child with asthma. He did not call me and my mother by name though. Which, you know, kinda rude. Just walking around stealing people’s stories without credit.
He said that America needs to tell her that we care. Her government cares.
He harkened back to his well received speech at Selma last Winter and said that when his colleagues in the Congress praised him for talking about African-American history he said “man, you don’t get it. That’s not African-American history, it’s American history.” This was a huge applause line.
I would have applauded too, but my shoes were in my left hand and my camera in my right. And the one time I forgot — he said something like “how you don’ New York?” and i heard my heel hit my lens. D’oh. Note to self.
Anyway, he talked about his first night in New York as a student at Columbia and how he slept on his bags in an alley in Harlem because his housing didn’t work out. And that the next morning he washed his face in a hydrant stream next to a homeless “brother.” It was a very striking image and you just hope and pray it’s all true so that we don’t have a classic “oh my favorite song as a child turns out to be a song that wasn’t written till I was in college” incident later on in the campaign.
He then seemed super duper impassioned about gas mileage and getting us to 45mpg in 5 years.
“This can happen by the end of the next President’s first term…by the end of my first term.”
I chuckled…he doesn’t even believe it.
And I couldn’t tell if the audience believed either.
There was applause and is speech was good. But it didn’t blow me away. There were no goose bumps like during his speech at the convention. (Though he did have a –“This crowd tonight is like the one I saw in Iowa…there were black folks and white folks and…” he goes blank and people in the audience help him out “latino folks” he answers old time religion style “yes, latino folks.” Someone else calls out “asian folks” and he again answers “yes, asian folks.” He picks up the rythym and goes on about “straight folks and gay folks, old folks and young folks, but especially young folks.”)
At the end, he got a standing ovation.
I have mentioned that there were no seats, right?
As promised, he came down from the stage and headed for us behind our ropes.
“Thank you so much for your support.”
People start telling him their names.
He shakes their hands and “says thank you Paul. Thank you Andrea…Good to see you again, Jim.”
He gets to me and I make eye contact.
This is my big moment. Make me stand around waiting for hours. IN SHOES. I’ll show you.
Senator, my name is Dawn Summers. do you really think you can beat a Mccain or a Giuliani or a Thompson? Do you have enough experience to be President? Didn’t you make a commitment to the people of Illinois that you’re breaking? Is it true your friends call you Barry? Seriously, you admit to doing coke??? IN WRITING?? What were you thinking???
Or else I said something like:
“Hi.” Followed by a ridiculously huge grin and intermittent giggling before he moved on to the next outstretched hand.
So Dawn Summers isn’t quite ready for primetime.
But I have a blog, dammit. And I know how to use it.
Bottom line, yeah, Obama touched me. But he didn’t, you know, touch me.
Primary ’08: A continuing series.

(If you would like to see more posts like these leave comments. Otherwise, I’ll tell you more facebook stories.)

26 Responses to “Something in which to believe”

  1. Fisch Says:

    Good stuff.
    Bottled water. Not your post.

  2. Karol Says:

    I just don’t know what to make of this. You’re his target market in every way.

  3. Chilly Says:

    The Stud/8 “I busted out of a limit tournament in the first orbit” story would have been much more interesting.

    Oh, and the Dems are still looking for a VC.

  4. Dawn Summers Says:

    Fisch, I basically embedded that video as a gentle reminder that I have footage of you doing a jig and I know how to post it.

    Karol, you’re his target audience. You’re his target audience. Racist.

    Chilly, I could have won.

  5. Fisch Says:

    “Fisch, I basically embedded that video as a gentle reminder that I have footage of you doing a jig and I know how to post it.”

    Then you continue to act because of me. You know the great debate between whether we have free will or there’s determinism. Well, for me it’s free will, and my free will causes you to live in perpetual determinism. You’re an apple or tangerine at best.

  6. dawn summers Says:

    Ok, now I’m crying. See? Oh…wait…oh well.

  7. Jake Says:

    Dude, you got totally ripped off.

    I have been to a number of Republican events of this type, and you ALWAYS receive the following:

    Free food
    A handshake from the hero
    A chance to talk to the hero
    A 6 by 8 picture with the hero

    This has been true whether it was the president, governor, senator, or representative.

    All you got was 100 words in a sweatbox with a “Don’t Touch Me” ending.

    A classy woman like you deserves better.

    (Excellent writing Dawn)

  8. Michael Bates Says:

    Jake’s right. You pay for the VIP experience at a GOP fundraiser, you get treated like a VIP. No cheesy cash bar, either.

    Very classy for B. O. to tell his gold donors, congratulations, it’s the last event of the day, you got screwed. And, please: “don’t bag on the French”? He’s making Dubya seem eloquent.

    Yes, I would like to see more posts like this.

  9. Casca Says:

    RACIST! What’s with the colored wristbands? From each according to his talents, to each according to his needs! Workers of the world unite! Viva Le Revelocion! Please wash your hands before leaving the restroom.

    There, now that is done, you may make the check out to cash, and mail it to Casca at General Delivery, Coronado, California.

    Obamba… meet the new buffoon, same as the old buffoon… Dean, only less psychotic.

  10. Karol Says:

    Anyway, he talked about his first night in New York as a student at Columbia and how he slept on his bags in an alley in Harlem because his housing didn’t work out. And that the next morning he washed his face in a hydrant stream next to a homeless “brother.” It was a very striking image and you just hope and pray it’s all true so that we don’t have a classic “oh my favorite song as a child turns out to be a song that wasn’t written till I was in college” incident later on in the campaign.

    BTW, if this totally bullshit story is true, I’ll eat my hat.

  11. Dawn Summers Says:

    Put up the hat right now.

  12. Consigliere Says:

    Go Fred!!

  13. Save The GOP Says:

    […] Courtesy of Dawn Summers. Its a long but worthwhile post to read. […]

  14. Dan Says:

    OK That was VIP room?

    Sounded like something from ’28 weeks later’.

    That’s the campaign style? In NYC? Feck.

  15. Hillary Is 44 » Blog Archive » Equal Time Says:

    […] Today we provide an Obama supporter and contributor an Equal Time opportunity. ( linked the wonderfully named Dawn Summers blog on its website and we discovered the Dawn Summers site there.) […]

  16. feral cat Says:

    That was a very fun read. Really well done. It’s like a screenplay, so keep at it. And, yes, we wonder if the “homeless brother” he slept with will make a guest appearance one of these days on the TV. “Don’t bag on the French” is my favorite moment. He’s kind of a scoldy pants.

  17. bitter Says:

    You know, I paid $100 to go to an Obama event in NYC a few months ago, and no one got anywhere near him. I’m a little bitter that you paid $100 and that was considered “VIP.” If anything, the price for a handshake should be going UP.

  18. Dawn Summers Says:

    hahahahah…it was more than $100. hahahahahaha

  19. bitter Says:

    Oh good. I totally read something incorrectly. I feel sooo much better now!

  20. Dawn Summers Says:

    hahahah…and i feel worse! :(

  21. on_thg Says:

    “Yet another throwback to the ’04 presidency AND his wife has cancer…uh…President of Hope College in the other America, maybe but not my guy.”

    James E. Bultman for President … he’s from the other America!

  22. timl Says:

    hidy hey dawn! i just came to your site from hillaryis44 (which i just found out about from the conspiracy theorists at meet the press) and i wanna thank you for making me giggle as i read a couple of your pieces. (btw, I agree, hippies really are annoying arent they?) since i now feel so close to you, i gotta say – it makes me sad that you just dont like dear hillary, but id guess thats cause you ve never met her…so really how could ya know how fun and funny she is. (Im a hillary lover and I hope, a friend, from when I first met her long ago…the first time I really spoke with her in a non group 0 crowd format, was at a house party and I was more then a little semi drunk, she had just become like the most famous woman in the world…and as everyone else seemed to be surrounding her husband and the new prez, she and I had a long chitter chat about navajo creation mythology, hopi kachinas, tootsie roll pops and how fun olives are) Your just gonna have to trust me on this, Hillary is bitchin cool.

    By the way….take this from someone who lives in and hides from the politico world…never, ever, ever…give or go to a political fundraising event that is not being run by a close friend. Ever, ever. They are always abusive and tedious events. If you dont know the prople who throw these events or give BIG money, you are gonna be treated like cattle. And if you wanna give money to a candidate….wait for an event that youd like to go to anyhow and get a two-fer. For example, I guaran-damn-tee ya that come….whenever the show is at MSG…there will be a special “girl power” event for Hillary there when the Spice Girls come to town. So for a nice check you’d get to jump and shimmie and sparkle in a sky box and scream for your fave SG. (mine is Gerri Spice cause she likes the UN and all)…and help elect the nicest candidate (i said, meant and truly believe in and enjoy the word nice) for President, like ever…or at least since Lincoln, who really seems like one hell of a nice guy…if you werent trying to split up the union or whatever…

    Btw, since Ive just developed a lil internet crush on you…Id like to share this lil tidbit and to show how silly all this “rockstar” who-ha is…back in my youthful, care even less teens, I used to get a lil high with “Barry” Obama…back in my “go light blue” Columbia U days…(I remember smoking up with him from pot we’d all buy from the real pot-fake record store directly across the street from the cathedral of st john the d…a tres bag o dope stamped with the logo of the starship enterprise…3 bucks,,,oh, the good ol days…) He was a friendly fellow and I did and do like him…but, my goodness, people gotta stop looking for world saving heroes and saviours through the media process of makin em celebrities first….jeeze, its so silly, amazingly stupid and quite annoying….And since I was brought to your site, via hillaryis 44, from the venerabal and hillarious “meet the press”…I also will disclose that Ive also gotten stoned with one of today’s panelists who brought up the Hill website to begin with… (I think you can see a patern here, like Louis Amstrong – who’s b-day is weds btw – I am always drawn towards and become friendly with those who like a nice smoke and a chat) at least some is right with the world on this sunday semi morn…cause as long as there are some hidden smokers in our body politic, maybe we can make up the damage that two terms in the White House a dry drunk coke addict has caused to this nation, the world and my general mood.

  23. Casca Says:

    Stalker Alert!

    Just sayin’, because you have that whole character judgment thing.

  24. Clareified » Blog Archive » President Clinton: One More Time! Says:

    […] I had been practicing the line for days. “So, are you going to spoof anymore HBO shows for your commercials? Or are you leaving Big Love to Mitt Romney.” Smile and prepare to laugh appropriately. It was just a few seconds, shouldn’t be hard. (In the interest of full disclosure, Karol wrote the line for me when I told I her I was going to meet Hillary Clinton in a few days and didn’t want to choke.) No sirreee Bob, no choking here. I was once again the VIP guest of a candidate running for the nomination of my party and I was going to take full advantage of that access to speak my mind. As per usual, I laid out an obscene amount of money for the privilege, but this time I had a few friends working behind the scenes so I was promised all the water I could drink and a definite face to face with the woman of the hour. Now, I have been skeptical about the Hillary Clinton candidacy for a long time. I just didn’t see the country welcoming 1) a woman as President (especially women, because we’re bitches and we totally hate women and since females make up the bulk of voters… 2) This particular woman who comes with more baggage than Imelda Marcos from a show store. I mean, why, when it seems like the White House is ours for the taking could the Democratic machine not find some regular, passable, white dude to stick on the ballot. Safe, you know? But after my failed attempt to get excited about Obama, and my acceptance that Kucinich wasn’t going to win, I needed to get on board with a candidate for the primary, so I accepted the invite to meet Senator Clinton and practiced my mini speech. Especially the laugh appropriately part. The line was already around the corner when I arrived about ten minutes early to the nightclub where the shindig was being held. I checked in, got my schmancy VIP room bracelet pass and prepared for an extensive wait. Senator Obama was darn near three hours late and well, this was Hillary Clinton… Happily, about 30 minutes in, the ushers said the Senator had arrived and would be meeting with us in a few minutes. I walked into the VIP room and it was packed with about 100 people — though it was well-lit and airconditioned, so it wasn’t at all uncomfortable. I ran into a friend from Old LLP (and a partner who, although I worked with her for a good two weeks during my tenure there, made no sign that she even knew who I was.) Now, this friend had a crazy hyphenated last name something like Gonzalez- O’Mallory because her husband was Irish, but she was Latina. And I would always make a point of using her whole name when greeting her “Hello Iris Gonzalez-O’Mallory,” I could be heard to shout through the cafeteria. And even after she dropped the Gonzalez and just went with her married name, I stuck to my traditional greeting. A few years ago, I heard that she was divorced and this was the first time I’d seen her since then. Our eyes met pretty much at the same time, and as if reliving her association with me post-traumatic stress disorder style, she quickly said “Hi, Dawn. It’s just Gonzalez now.” Gulp. “Yeah…I heard. Sorry.” And just when I was about to say something derogatory about the bum – who in this case, actually really was a bum, the little voice in my head was all “no, dude.” So I went with the ever neutral “How are you doing?” And she said “Good. It was very amicable. We’re still friends.” Whew. We call that a win for my schizophrenia. By now, the Senator had started greeting the folks at the beginning of the line. She shook hands with each person, and spent some time chit chatting and laughing while a professional photographer took photos. As I made my way toward the front of the line, I started to panic. I can’t make fun of mormons!! I mean, what if she laughs and someone overhears and then it’s like a huge scandal and it’s all my fault we get President Giuliani *shudder.* So I decided to go with the more sychophantic “I always thought I was going to be the first woman President, but if it can’t be me, I’m glad it’s you.” But then, I heard someone in front of me say something similar, so I scrapped that in favor of “Actually we’ve met before. I was a White House intern.” But well, you can imagine why I ended up scrapping that. Then I was going to tell her that earlier that night I heard a rumor that she was going to be salsa dancing. Yes! Perfect! Not cheesy, not controversial and hey, if she actually salsa danced she’d have to give a shout out to the Gimp from the VIP lounge! Done and done. Breathe in. Breathe out. And there I was… two people away, her handlers asking me if I also wanted a picture with my own camera, me stammering yeah — and settting the camera up. She was deep in conversation with the woman in front of me — the aforementioned Iris Gonzalez. They were talking like old friends. How do people do that!!!??? Don’t they know she’s HILLARY CLINTON!!! OHMYGODOHMYGODOMYGODOHMYGOD. And then this happened: Handler: Okay, go on. Hillary Clinton: Thanks for your support. Me: Handler: Okay turn and face the camera HC and I both face the camera. Hillary Clinton: Thanks for coming. Me: I took my camera and sulked out of the VIP lounge. I suck so much. I asked Iris what the hell she was talking about so long. “Oh, I told her I was President of the Hispanic Bar and that we were all excited to have a candidate who supported Latino issues and I wished her luck.” Fuck. Wishing luck, yeah, I coulda done that. We all took our seats for the speech. The woman that introduced the Senator totally screwed up. It was like watching a train wreck. I guess she decided that she didn’t need to write anything down, but then decided to write down “points” because she ended up repeating the same sentence something like 45 times “Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the America” That’s right. Her one sentence wasn’t even that good. I couldn’t watch. But when Senator Clinton took the mic, it was pure smooth. The event was hosted by Latinos and Latinas for Hillary Clinton. So, she began by thanking her introducers and the certain people she knew by name and then she said “It’s great to be here with Latinos and Latinas for…Me.” I laughed so hard. As did everyone else. She then went on to say she loved coming home because New York was the best state in the best country in the world and the audience went nuts. From there she just hit a stride that reminded me what a politician is supposed to look like. “The Bush administration has created a class of invisible people. Minorities, poor people, single mothers and God help us, even the members of the military. Well, I see you.” Huge applaud. She laid out plans for college assistance programs, but also for apprenticeships for young people who don’t want to go or can’t go to college. She laid out her plans for universal health care and universal kindergarten. It was a great speech and she had the audience with her the whole way. I was so impressed that I actually felt sorry for the other Democrats in the primary. I haven’t been watching the debates, but dude, she is going to eat them alive and crap them out the next morning. The night ended with a thunderous standing ovation and I left energized and planning to volunteer. And then I remembered that I was a lazy slacker, so that probably wouldn’t happen — but hey, you all should get on board now. She is our best chance for taking the White House next year. I mean in 2009. Stupid Geroge Bush presidency till 2009. Groan. […]

  25. Yukiko Says:

    Awesome article. You should use social websites to increase traffic
    and make your site go viral. There are tools which automate this time consuming process.Visitors
    can flood your page in no time, just search in google
    Rixisosa’s Social Automation

  26. Lupita Says:

    I see huge monetizing potential on your site. I browse your website often on my smartphone and don’t see any ads.
    You can monetize all your mobile traffic very easily just by installing simple wp
    plugin, just search in google for – Dremosny’s
    mobile ads plugin

Leave a Reply