One more biggie to go this week – the free screening of Iron Jawed Angels is tonight. I'm so nervous, I hope people come. You just never know about things like this. Actually, our group has never done anything like this, so we really don't know.
Yesterday's ribbon-cutting event turned into two. The dignitaries who attended and spoke at the long-term care facility open house also snipped a ribbon at the local Democratic headquarters.
It was quite a heady feeling for me, standing between the governor and my Congressman, with my Delegate behind me, posing for a picture (which I don't have, but you can bet I'll post it when I get a copy!). Governor Tomblin and Congressman Rahall know me by name; I address Delegate Mahan by her nickname.
Being married to a native of this area helps, but my husband hasn't wanted to be quite as involved as I've been. He's very supportive, but when the executive committee asked him to join, he declined. When the women's group asked me if I were willing to serve as president, I jumped at the chance.
I've met so many people who are doing so many good things. Democrats care about people more than profit, about fairness and equality and opportunity and job safety and equal rights. I feel good identifying myself as a Democrat.
But being a Democrat in West Virginia can be challenging. More than half the registered voters are Dems, but they're crossing over because of the perceived "war on coal." The coal lobby is doing a good job of blaming President Obama for the closing of mines, when in fact coal production is up and mining jobs have increased.
You can't persuade them with the truth. Or I can't, anyway. It might be possible if the President weren't a Socialist Muslim from Kenya. I wish my neighbors didn't think like this, but there you go. They do, and that's that. No amount of facts will persuade them otherwise.
Funny story: As I left the hospital yesterday to head to Democratic headquarters, I noticed a couple men deep in conversation near my car, which is, um, held together with Democratic sticker swag. I could tell (believe me, you really can just tell) who they would be voting for, and it wasn't my guy in the White House.
As I approached, I said with a smile, "Heyyyy, I bet you guys are getting ready to steal my bumper stickers!" They laughed and we ended up having a pretty decent conversation. One of them said the President "didn't like his kind – I like my guns and my God." I was able to point out that he has more gun rights now than he did under President Bush. So then he said the cost of his ammo has gone way up. Well, supply and demand drives the market, President Obama doesn't regulate the price of bullets.
I got out of there pretty quickly, feeling like I'd made my point without being overbearing and without being reluctant or afraid to speak the truth.
A big change from the previous Presidential campaign season, when a small-minded man declared, "He [candidate Obama] ain't nothing but a damned n****r."
I was speechless then. I doubt if I would be today.