Friday, October 10, 2008

WLIF conference, Friday, pt 2: Massage is another word for engagement

5.38 - Gayle King is going to introduce Michelle Obama; aww, not as big a standing ovation as Oprah's. What do we learn from Gayle? Maria Pinto dresses Michelle Obama, she's never been disappointed by Barack and that Gayle's ex cheated on her! Thanks, Gayle.

5.50-Michelle Obama walks onstage; wow, her suit rocks. It's lean, black and velvety and very urban chic. She looks so good! Meanwhile, I'm a little bloated. For an event that's meant to massage the big donors, this whole day is working for me; it's personal, personable, intimate. It really feels like a tent revival meeting. She gives a version of her convention speech but I don't think anyone minds. What I like about her is her no nonsense, smart, straight up, a little stern but also funny manner - she's the cool mom, the cool older sister who will tell you the hard stuff, shrug and then say 'You know what you have to do.' I totally respect her!

And just like that, the first day's session is over! I can't believe I have to be here tomorrow morning at 7. Dude.

Final thoughts: took a while to get to the mixer but I've sucked down several gin/tonics 95 stories above the city. I'm excited about tomorrow: the policy workshops! Especially excited about the SCOTUS and economy workshops.

Some folks might look at this like an event for privileged, rich donors. Well, yeah. It is (though it's certainly not a pleasure junket.) Fundraising 101: big donors like to be massaged. To be clear, though, these women aren't merely donors. These women spend a lot of time volunteering for the campaign, so it's not just about money.

I liked seeing the energy of the campaign from the other side. I was saying to my roommate that the Obama campaign has been faulted for being aloof, cool, slow to react, whatever. But listening to Ploufe I saw his intensity and I can only assume that everyone involved in this campaign is just as intense. This campaign is anything but aloof. They are angry at the latest smears, they're indignant at our political landscape, they are hungry to win, they believe in their ideas and they truly believe that you change things by leading by example. (So, no. Don't expect the Obama campaign to whip the gloves off and call McCain a Race Baiting Geezer. Ain't gonna happen.) The volunteers are fired up; every woman who stood up there was almost vibrating with their burning desire to win this election. This kind of engagement was amazing to see and feel.

What the hell am I going to wear tomorrow?


Anonymous said...

"I'm excited about tomorrow: the policy workshops! Especially excited about the SCOTUS and economy workshops."

You are such a geek! Tee hee.


ding said...

i am! but i think i'm geeked out. Ding needs a nap, you know?

I've snuck away to check email at my office and change clothes. I should be at the foreign policy session but the secret service is sweeping for bombs right now.

I need a nap, a sundress (the weather is gorgeous) and a couch to curl up on.

Anonymous said...

When it's over and you want to relax, you should check out this fun new book I read recently:
Leonie Swann, Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story.

A flock of sheep solve the case of the mysterious death of their shepherd. I shit you not - it kept me up late.


ding said...

sounds hilarious. i'll pick it up this weekend. i trust your recommendations!

caught Obama Saturday afternoon - wow. he is totally a rock star. 1500 women (and men) yelling and screaming when he walked onstage. it was like a live wire went through the crowd. i got a few blurry photos that i'll have to upload to facebook.