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Deciding Ainít All Itís Cracked Up To Be

 

I finally decided.

It wasnít as easy as Iíd hoped.

Iím one of those folks who has a strong opinion about everything Ė even things I donít know much about.  So, here I was, way past the first day of early voting, and still hadnít decided on a Presidential candidate.  It made me highly uncomfortable.  I was getting dizzy, being for Hillary one day and Obama the next.  I had to make a decision.

I was an early John Edwards supporter and, in truth, still am.  There's no slack in his rope.  I hope that whoever wins this race makes him Attorney General because it seems to me that he has the energy, ability, and fight to clean up a judiciary mess thatís bigger than kindergarteners with finger paints. 

For those of you whoíve been under the porch, there was a Presidential debate in Austin last week.  This was the first time since Lyndon Johnson that Texas Democrats had been taken seriously.  I had a feeling that I would know who I wanted to be President after I saw that particular debate.  I figured theyíd be speaking Texan Ė which is a lot like English Ė and I would be able to make a choice.  I did speculate, however, that the choice would be a lot clearer if I could see them in person during this debate. 

Tickets to that sucker were sparser than cool summer showers in Abilene.  I ainít joking.  Knowing somebody who knows somebody wasnít enough; you had to actually know somebody.  And real well at that. 

I am currently bedding down with a State Democratic Executive Committee member.  He got a ticket because of his SDEC membership.  I asked him for his ticket and sadly discovered that after three sons, 38 years of marriage, and learning to use a power drill, he really didnít like me all that much.  I cooked his favorite dinner, put on my cutest bathrobe, hid his glasses so he couldnít see all that well, sidled up to him and cooed, ďBaby, you know how youíve already picked a candidate and I havenít?  Well, can I have your ticket to Ö.Ē  Thatís as far as I got before he yelled NO.  Excessively loudly, I thought.

Betty Richie is the only person on this planet who knows what I did to get a ticket.  She ainít telling.  Neither of us are particularly proud of it, but a manís gotta do what a manís gotta do and womanís gotta do the rest.

When you attend an event in Austin, you park in San Marcus and walk over.  Bubba and I drove the two and half hours to Austin and then spent another two hours walking to the event, uphill.  And then after the event, the equator switches and itís back uphill to the car.  It, of course, was hot.  Itís February in Austin,  so the sidewalks hadnít cooled down from July yet. 

Most people who know I went to the debate ask me what goes on behind the camera when youíre actually in the room.  The answer is:  a lot.

Bill Schneider, CNNís Senior Political Analyst, was roaming the floor before the debate, talking to anybody who wanted to chat.  Bubba grabbed Schneider told him some stories about another CNN analyst, Keli Goff, who was born and raised right here in Fort Bend County and went to the first Clinton Inauguration (while she was in high school) with a fun crowd. 

There was a less-than-moderate amount of hugging and thumbs-upping between Democrats, all of whom wanted each other to know they were there and they were excited, dammit.  The UT band played and the President of UT welcomed us.  We all did the Hook ĎUm ritual which probably seems a tad strange to people from foreign states.  Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie made a speech, specifically mentioning that Democrats in Tom DeLayís home county were outvoting Republicans 2 to 1.  I stood and took a bow.  Yes, I did.

The question I get asked most is what do the candidates do during commercial breaks?  They go to the locker room.  Really.  They quickly disappear offstage and only come back seconds before it goes live.  They both furiously scribble on their tablets in front of them and the very second it goes live, they both look up and grin. 

I do not know what happens backstage. 

I will tell you this: during the first round of the debate, Hillary was the hands-down dead solid winner.  She was dancing on Barackís head, and I started leaning her direction.  She called up the memory of Barbara Jordan and Ann Richards, wisely leaving out Molly Ivins, who didnít like Hillary none at all.  Hillary was poised, on point, and strong enough to tie a bow knot in a horseshoe.  During the first break, it was obvious among the attendees that Hillary was going to take the night.

I do not know what box Barack Obama opened backstage during the first commercial break, but it was obviously filled with charisma tainted with smart.  He came back with twinkling power.  It was stunning.  Like any good warrior, he pulled himself together, focused, and found his strength.

Hillary began to stumble.  She got a hitch in her gitalong. She was booed not once, but twice.  Aside from her advertisement for the xerox corporation, her reference to the very popular State Senator Kirk Watson getting whomped upside the head by Chris Matthews on national teevee because he couldnít name specific Obama accomplishments brought groans and a few gasps from the Austin audience.   It was a cheap shot against an excellent fellow Democrat. 

By the second break, even strong Hillary supporters sitting around me were concerned.  Hillary seemed desperate and shaky. 

Okay, so Iím leaning the other direction.  These two candidates ainít about to make this easy for me. 

I look to the crowd to see their reaction.  From my vantage point, I can see most of the room.  My favorite memory of the night is looking up into the grandstands, where the State Democratic Executive Committee members were sitting, and seeing the most beautiful face in all of Texas and my favorite Democrat, Evelyn Burleson of Calhoun County, grinning.  Right smack dab in the middle of the crowd.  Evelyn knows that these badlands will grow crops again.  Evelyn knows everything will change. Evelyn canít say which Presidential candidate she supports because sheís a county chair.  To tell you the truth, youíll never know which one Evelyn voted for because sheíll support either one with more giddy-up than a John Ford western picture show.

Then I look at the other side of the room, where the lucky winners of 100 University of Texas tickets are.  These faces are almost as beautiful as Evelynís.  They are positively glowing.  I know that The Daily Texan endorsed Hillary, but those kids are obviously and openly supporting Obama.  For a few minutes I become mesmerized by looking at them.  I see myself forty years ago. 

There is a tendency to think, ďOkay, but Iím older and therefore smarter and wiser now, so I should support a known factor.  Like me 40 years ago, their youthful optimism will be banished by another Nixon and they, too, will become practical and just a tad cynical.Ē  We know Hillaryís strengths and her weaknesses.  We know what she will do and what she canít do.  The only place for hope with Hillary is that we hope she wonít mess up health care, gays in the military, and the choice for attorney general like she did right off the bat the last time she was in the White House.

There, in a simple paragraph, is where I made up my mind.  Here, right in the middle of the debate, my choice is clear. 

I do want my Momma to see a woman in the White House, dammit, and Momma is 82 years old.  Momma carefully explained to me when I was a child that it was important to pay your poll tax, even if you had to go without eating, because voting was your duty.  I know that Momma deserves to see a woman in the White House.  But Momma raised a sassy girl who cares about her world, and even through Nixon and double Bushes, that girl retains her sense of hope for renewal.

Thatís why Iím voting for Barack Obama. 

My generation fought Ė and a few of us even died Ė for the 18 year old vote.  Then we whined when they didnít use it.  Iíll be damned if Iíll whine when they do.

I choose hope for the promise of a better world over hope of not messing up.  I choose passing the torch.  I choose everything Bill Clinton asked us to do 16 years ago Ė believe in hope, trust in renewal, embrace high expectations, and build a bridge into this century.   I also choose my own face 40 years ago. I choose Barack Obama.

Momma will understand, and will just have to live to be 90. 

However, I do hope Barack Obama puts Hillary Clinton on the Supreme Court.  Momma and I both would like that.  A lot.


 

 


Welcome to the website formerly known as The World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc.

My name is Susan DuQuesnay Bankston.
I live in Richmond, Texas, in heart of Tom DeLay's old district.  It's crazy here.  No, seriously, it's triple z crazzzy.

I used to be an independent voter, but that all changed when I got to know a few local Republicans.  They are meaner than 10 acres of snakes and have the ethical compass of a bank robber. 

So, I decided that they could just Kiss My Big Blue Butt.

A lot of what I post here has to do with local politics, but you probably have the same folks in your local government.

This ain't a blog.  Blogs are way too trendy for me.  I've been doing this since 1992, so I'm used to it even if you ain't. 

Email me and I'll find a place to put it if I like it.