Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Four years ago …

roadsides and bumpers were littered with campaign signs of all varieties. Navy blue McCain-Palin (remember them?) stickers were prominent, but not any more so than the Obama sunrise. It wasn't at all unusual to get passed on the highway by someone who either waved in delight or flipped you off, depending on the stickers adorning his or her vehicle. (Trucks sported McCain stickers, while Obama was more popular with the Subaru/Volvo/Prius set.)

Now? Not so much.

I still have three signs to put out (yes, I'm one of those). Obama was the first one up, followed by Chafin (a woman running for Supreme Court) and Wheeler (the former sheriff who, after an eight-year run, sat out a term, per county regulations, and is running again). Who's left? Jeffry Pritt, running for House of Delegates; Nick Rahall, who will most certainly be re-elected to Congress, and … are you ready? … I have a Byrd for Senate sign, which I'm not going to put too close to the road.

Yesterday as I traveled in southern WV and southwest VA I saw lots of Romney signs, a few Obama-Biden placards, one Maloney for Governor and none for Manchin (D-Senate) or Tomblin (D-Governor). I think Republicans will vote for Manchin and Tomblin, but don't want to advertise the fact. I think Democrats will vote for them, too, in fewer numbers than previous elections, and I know the Dems don't want to do much to promote them. They're blue-dog Democrats – far too moderate for my taste, or for that of most Democrats I know.

I'm curious as to what I'll see in swing-state Ohio today. As Ohio (Virginia/Florida/Iowa/Colorado) goes, so goes the Presidency. My cousins are all Republicans. If challenged, I plan to laughingly announce I'm the token Democrat, representing their Uncle John (my dad) and our grandfather Benjamin Harrison Young, who posted a photograph of FDR on the outside of the rude little shack in which our parents all grew up. (Ironically, Benjamin Harrison was a Republican. My grandfather – who died before I was born – must have been something of a rebel in his time.)

Four years ago signs were plentiful, enthusiasm was high, opinions were loud and conversations were heated. This year? Not so much. West Virginians have voted seven times since the 2008 presidential elections; we're about voted out. It's been difficult to get folks excited.

Mr. Wheeler stopped by the other day to make sure he had my vote. During our conversation he said something that brought back a little of that hopey-changey feeling, and made me think people will still go to the polls. What were the words that left such a big impression?


1 comment:

Vickie said...

our city ordinance in regard to signs/placards has changed since the last election.

Temporary signs are banned.

This was done as a beautification measure and is really effective.

NO masses of garage sale or other signs at corners.

Businesses either have to have a permanent sign or someone has to stand and hold the temporary sign.

So, for example, pizza places on Friday nights now have people dressed up on key corners, dancing and holding signs. They are very clever - rock and roll boy with a sign in the shape of a guitar dancing at corner.

No, I do not know if accidents are being caused by this as they definitely attract attention.

I am not sure what impact this will have on election signs. I can think of one corner I have seen where the homeowner has them nailed very high in a tree. They are not there long term. I think I have seen the signs there on THE DAY for local elections. I am not sure how the code applies to this or if he is getting away with it on cleverness alone.