Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Obama and Me

The conservative David Brooks and the liberal Maureen Dowd have both recently called upon Barack Obama to run for the Democratic nomination for president. I am beside myself with misery. It’s not that I disapprove of Obama. Quite the contrary, I like him very much and I will certainly vote for him ahead of Hilary. I am unhappy because of a story I am about to tell.

A true story that happened, happened this way. I live on a fairly busy street with a lawn in front of my house. Every time elections roll around, people come to me and ask if I would put up a sign for their favorite candidate. I generally refuse because I don’t want to get too involved. I used to put up signs for my Congressman, Sidney Yates. I was about Yates. He was in Congress for like forty years until he was, maybe, a hundred and twelve. Whenever they asked him anything he said “I’m in favor of funding for the arts.” Vietnam…arts. Budget deficit…arts. With Yates, I knew his position on everything and I agreed. I, too, like funding for the arts. When he wasn’t talking about the arts, he stayed home and rested.

He then retired and I was left with Jan Schakowsky, a Jewish woman who has an opinion on everything. I went to a little pot-luck dinner fund-raising deal, and they asked her for a brisket recipe. She had an opinion. They then asked her about NAFTA, she also had an opinion. The ACLU gives her, on a scale of 0 to 100, a 400 rating. I vote for her but I’m not about Schakowsky, and she gets no sign on my lawn.

Four years ago, people came and said there’s this guy Obama, he’s really cool and would I put up a sign for him in the upcoming primary. I asked my beloved late wife a‘’h, what to do and she said sensibly, “He ain’t no Yates.” So I said no. Then my friends came and said, “There’s this heimisher guy Klein, he’s running for traffic court judge…we know him…he has some opposition this time around. Help us out. We don’t know anyone else in Evanston.” I say okay. I put up a sign for Klein. On my street, we end up with 15 Obama posters, 5 Schakowsky, and 1 Klein, My neighbor comes and asks who and why Klein. I say, “Very liberal guy. Solid opinions. Gem of a fellow.” The neighbor says, “What are you talking about? He’s running for traffic court judge.” I sputter, “Very, very, fair man. Trust me.”

The primaries come around and Obama wins by an overwhelming landslide. In Evanston he got 102% of the vote (remember we’re talking Chicago, where we vote early and often). Schakowsky mobilizes her little machine and trounces Klein. People walk by my house saying, “Poor guy, he was in favor of Klein.” I hid my head in shame and tried to forget about the whole affair. But they don’t let me rest. As the Yiddish expression goes ‘’It would be possible to live, but they don’t let.’’

Obama is running for President, and I could have been in on the ground floor. If Obama wins the presidency, and had I been clever enough to take his stupid sign, there’s no telling what could have happened to me. I would have been invited to all these meetings, I would have made a strategic donation here, and there, and he would have owed me big time, this Obama, since I would have been one of his earliest supporters. Maybe an ambassadorship to Togo or the Fuji Islands, you never know. I then would have been Togo Jew instead of Evanston Jew. But all this will never happen. He won’t even invite me to a victory Kiddush downtown.

The moral lesson to this sad tale is: there’s more to life than being heimish.


At 11:04 AM, Blogger David said...

Yes, there is more to life than being heimish. But not much more.

Great blog. Very funny

At 6:09 PM, Anonymous meme said...

You have a very interesting blog! I've been trying to go through the archives.

Can you tell us something about how you identify religiously?
What you do professionally?
Or am I being too nosy:)

At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Joe in Australia said...

Very good :-)


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