Saturday, February 09, 2008

Caucus lessons learned

Postscript: There were several lessons learned for next time.

1. Bring water and snacks. It was incredibly hot in the gym/cafeteria and the nearest school water fountain had a noticable chlorine taste. The snacks are just standard protocol for outings: I'm a grazer during the day.

2. Sit in front of the precinct leader. We were behind her and couldn't hear anything since she didn't seem to recognize that with all the extra people and attendant side conversations, rustling, and such, she needed to raise her voice at least a smidge. She was talking as if there were two people gathered to caucus in her living room. Grrr.

3. Find a chair as soon as you arrive. The lunchroom tables are great for holding the rear ends of squirming 7 year olds or the average super model, but not adult-sized ones. Note to self.

A better shot of the three of us with Ava wide awake.

Oh, and I looked up the school rankings for the caucus site elementary school with the fancy climbing wall. It received one out of five on one site, three stars out of 10 on another, and 859th of 1069 public elementary schools ranked in Washington. Looks like the kids will need the practice climbing up from the bottom. Ugh and unbelievable at the same time that that doesn't strike school leaders as wrong in some fundamental way. I've got five years until Ava goes to school. I'm afraid. Very, very afraid.


We're done! Headed home. Final count remained the same. Go Dems!

Athletics & academics

While we wait for them to finish the first tally of candidate preferences based on what people wrote on the sign in sheets, I noticed this school has a climbing wall here in the gym. When I get a chance, I'm going to check the ranking for this school. If they are lagging academically @ the same time they've spent precious budget dollars on a climbing wall, i'm going to be chapped. I hope to be pleasantly surprised, but most of the schools near me aren't that great, unfortunately.

First tally is done: 17.6% for Clinton to 82.4% for Obama. Our precinct has 4 delegates to allot. Now the lobbying by supporters on both sides begins.

three generations

Me, Aunt B and Ava, who is clearly so excited by this occasion that she's opted to go to sleep.

confusion ensues

This is our precinct committee officer ruffling through all the sign-in sheets. I've already seen several folks I know, none of whom have ever caucused and no one's telling us what we're supposed to do next. So everyone, including the people holding precinct signs, looks mildly confused and unsure if they should continue milling about or leave.

So far in our precinct crowd, I only see one Hillary sticker in a sea of Obama pins.

the teeming masses

We're inside (me, Ava & J.'s 90 year old great aunt). We found our precinct number on a map, which helped us head to the right room. Luckily, I saw a neighbor who had already signed in and he guided us too.

I signed in, found a chair for Aunt B, and bumped several people in the ankle trying to get out of the crowd with my stroller.

The acoustics in this elementary school cafeteria/gym are craptastic so every time some tries to direct the crowd, everyone keeps yelling "We can't hear you!!" Aah democracy.

Moblogging the caucus

I'm caucusing! I decided to take part for the first time ever. Check out
the line! Headed in now.