Monday, September 18, 2006

Belated: Pictures of Deval (and I) from New Bedford Rally

I told you all about the Deval Patrick speech in New Bedford from Saturday - and it was a blast. Well, here are some pictures!

Did I mention the venue was packed? On a very warm Saturday, literally hundreds of people showed up - and most of them either climbed four very long flights of stairs or waited in an even longer line for a very slow elevator. People are excited!

The first speaker of the day was this lovely blond woman - a local activist who has literally secured thousands of election-day votes for Deval before the polls open. She's done more for Deval in the South Coast than probably any other volunteer, by the looks of it. Kudos!

Finally, I waited around for a good chunk of time so I could get a clear picture with him - the guy who has inspired me like no other. He stayed around for probably more time than he should so he could listen to lots of people talk about obscure issues that are surely important to them, but not to 99% of Massachusetts. Yet, he does so happily. That's because he, unlike a lot of politicians, listens. Quaint, huh?

A few other tidbits from the rally - besides the venue being absolutely beautiful, Deval departed from the script in other events I've been to so he could talk about community building. Perhaps he's confident of his chances and wants to remind his supporters that, no matter what, the work we've done so far in this campaign won't end on Tuesday or in November. We've built a broad-based coalition of engaged citizens during this campaign and it will take people like us to effect positive change in Massachusetts. So keep on talking about Mrs. Jones, Deval. It's an important lesson.

Finally, I bumped into a very nice lady walking up the very long stairs - her name (I think) was Libby. I didn't know her, but she was very friendly and said hello. We chatted on the way upstairs. I was intrigued and asked if she was a part of the campaign. "Oh, yes, I'm the press secretary." She was a doll! Just as we got upstairs she took a closer look at me and said, "you aren't Ryan from Ryan's Take, are you?"

"Why, yes, I am," I said. She then proceeded to chat about various things with me, how the campaign was going, etc. It wasn't very important stuff and I told her I wouldn't put it in my blog, but it was just so nice to see that Deval has attracted people who are as nice and engaging as himself. Not only was it nice to see that she was keeping track of what everyone was saying, but that she was as nice before she recognized me as she was after.

So, to Deval's campaign, kudos! Kudos for a great event, kudos for a great candidate and kudos for attracting some of the nicest, hardest-working people I've seen anywhere. May we win tomorrow and bring a new hope to Massachusetts!

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