Not Martha

my first caucus

I’ll be heading to caucus tomorrow, it’ll be my first time and I’m equal parts excited to do something new and terrified of being trapped somewhere with a bunch of very serious people for hours.

Last week I was sort of interested in caucusing, but since Super Tuesday has left Obama and Clinton still duking it out, I find myself thinking that caucusing here has quickly become very important.

If you are living in WA and are a Democrat here are the basics for getting involved in nominating the candidate you want:

  • Your vote in the Primary Ballot you were sent won’t matter, the Democratic delegates are being apportioned based on the results of the caucuses tomorrow and the results of the vote are being ignored. However, NPR reports “Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed is a big proponent of the primary because more people participate. He says that even though it’s nonbinding, the national media will pay attention.” So be sure to vote as well, it just might sway someone else.
  • Caucuses are tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 9th at 1 p.m., you can find the location of your caucus here at Washington State Democrats Caucus Finder. At this point the caucus areas are divided up so small that your caucus location will be nearby, mine is only a few blocks from my house.
  • If you are new to caucusing read Caucusing Is Easy, by The Stranger. Not so scary.
  • If you want to know just what is going on around here see Back to Basics by The Stranger’s Eli Sanders who points us towards information on caucuses, superdelegates, rallies and the political lay of the land.
  • One last thing, The Stranger wants to hear your caucus story, so if you have something to tell after you get home, or want to read about others experiences, you know where to look.
  • added: More details from The Stranger — you can register to vote or update your address at your caucus site (though it’s a good idea to bring a print out of the voter registration PDF), you can leave early if you need and have your vote counted (though you should inform the person on the way in).

I’m going to support Obama. I have many reasons but one important one is that I’m excited about the effect he’s having on lots of other people.

Here is something I found discouraging, I heard this last night on NPR during an interview with a volunteer during an Obama caucus training session:

Obama’s supporters skew so young that the trainer worries some of the teens and 20-somethings might wander into the caucus meetings too late and get shut out because they overslept.

This is an insulting assumption, and one that makes me far less likely to support a process that thinks so little of me. So, the only real thing to do here is to show up early and prove them wrong.

· comments [31] · 02-8-2008 · categories:mumbling ·

31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 megan // Feb 8, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Added: And, ok, I don’t really count as a 20-something anymore. But, I’m still offended by the Obama people who think their supporters are too lazy to be someplace by 1 in the afternoon.

  • 2 Alissa // Feb 8, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    I’m so glad to read that you’ll be caucusing and supporting Obama. As a California resident who already voted for him, I’ll be holding my breath to see how he does tomorrow. Obama 08′!!

  • 3 kr // Feb 8, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Good luck! Caucusing is easy and you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment in helping Obama toward the presidency. At least that’s how I felt after my own caucus on Super Tuesady. :)

  • 4 sizzles // Feb 8, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I was just listening to the livestream of Barack at the event center. I wish I could have gone! I hear over 20,000 people turned out. Amazing and inspiring.

    I’m glad so many people are explaining the caucus thing because as a native California who is new to WA state, I’m clueless about it.

    I stand for change! OBAMA!

  • 5 megan // Feb 8, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    It’s strange, up until this Wednesday I didn’t think the caucuses here in Washington would be important. Super Tuesday was expected to have shown a clear winner by now. It’s interesting to watch as the Obama and Clinton campaigns scramble to get moving here. Clinton visited last night and thousands turned out despite having less than 24 hours notice about the event. Obama is currently packing an arena here in Seattle and there are reports that 3,000 people are standing outside (in the cold, cold rain) because they won’t fit inside.

  • 6 kris // Feb 8, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I cancelled a massage appointment I had scheduled for tomorrow at 12:30 now that Washington’s caucus is going to count! My husband just sent me this link:
    http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/wacaucuscenter

  • 7 janet // Feb 8, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    My sister is caucusing in Seattle (ok, the burbs) for Obama tomorrow too. At least I hope for Obama! I’ll have to call her and check. Hope it’s fun!

  • 8 andrea // Feb 8, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    thanks for the info! I’d been meaning to find my caucusing location for a while now. I do share your wariness of being stuck for hours though — even though it’s supposed to rain, it’s still saturday, and as much as I revere my right to vote, I’d still rather be crafting!

  • 9 megan // Feb 8, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Andrea – It looks like you can leave early if you need (which we might need to ourselves). This is taken from the WA Democrats site and annontated:

    “What if I have to leave my Caucus early? When you sign in at your Caucus, your vote will be counted toward the allocation of delegates (which is what your vote counts towards). You will not be able to leave a proxy or voting instructions once you leave (which means you cannot change your vote or have someone else vote for you once you leave).”

    http://www.democracyforvancouver.org/2008/02/06/clear-your-calendar-for-the-caucus/

  • 10 paola // Feb 8, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    As a Brit in Seattle I’m finding this all very exciting and just wish I could vote. It would be fascinating to go to a caucus.

    I’m loving the way the ‘script’ appears to have been written by the ‘West Wing’ writers – young, idealistic, ethnic minority Democrat v. old guard, maverick, but not entirely without merit Republican who offends ultra conservatives.

    But not even the WW scriptwriters thought to throw an electable woman into the mix (and although I don’t much like Hillary it delights me as a woman that she is around and credible).

  • 11 Troy // Feb 8, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    I heard that same annoying statement about 20 something arriving late.

    At the rate things are going, Indiana’s late primary might even mean something for once. Yay!

  • 12 lena // Feb 8, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    i agree with you, but considering obama girl (the youtube girl with the video about her crush) didn’t vote tuesday because she had a stomach ache, i think barack’s team has a point!

  • 13 mjoe // Feb 8, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Wha?? That quote is so offensive.

    Although I am worried because so many of my friends (Obama supporters in their 20s and 30s) have work or school on Saturday. Which probably is truer for younger folks.

  • 14 mjoe // Feb 8, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Oh, and yay Megan! (for supporting Obama)

  • 15 gina // Feb 8, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I think one of the most important things is to participate!!! I am WAY past my 20s and I know this is the first time I feel like I can have an impact at this stage of the process (short of being a phone volunteer when I was in college)! My hubby and I are going to flip a coin to see who goes…the other will stay home with the kiddos. It’s truly a unique opportunity!

  • 16 Jamie // Feb 8, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    I am a 20 year old college student and I will be turning out to show my support for Obama! And I will be on time!

  • 17 Sarah // Feb 9, 2008 at 5:53 am

    Yay Obama! I’m in Texas & waiting for my turn, which usually never counts for much, but just might this time!

    (Also, that quote at the end? Insulting! Young people can be inspired by a chance at political change, but not enough to get out of bed?! Oh, please!)

  • 18 mony // Feb 9, 2008 at 6:34 am

    So far the political ‘experts’ have been surprised at every turn, and have shown they cannot help but make smarmy comments such as the slur against youthful Obama supporters.
    This fifty-something is very very excited to see the breadth of support for Obama.

    Consider supporting him with some moola and some emails, too. It is far from finished.
    Mony from Tennessee

  • 19 Deb // Feb 9, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Obama has my vote and I am 53. It is so refreshing to finally have a candidate that portrays hope and trust. He speaks from his heart and America is listening.
    His intelligence and true compassion speak for itself. When he speaks, he impacts you. He has also inspired my husband, who usally votes republican and he is also voting for him. Way to go Obama!

  • 20 mjoe // Feb 9, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I just got this in my inbox and I’m sending it all around. 12 reasons to support Obama — really good.
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/01/31/6747/

  • 21 jkaymac // Feb 9, 2008 at 11:39 am

    I hope you enjoyed your first caucus. I’m from Iowa and this year’s caucus was the most exciting one I’ve ever been to. Lots of first time participants who were really passionate about their candidate, which is great for the party and the country.

  • 22 Kimberly // Feb 9, 2008 at 11:52 am

    This will be my third Washington caucus. I’m thrilled that we Democrats are choosing between two brilliant candidates, who happen to be a woman and an African-American. I’m supporting Obama today, but will gladly vote for either of them in the general election.

  • 23 lillie // Feb 9, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    cheers to you! go obama08!

  • 24 Rita // Feb 9, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    I’ve seen the projected results on the news this evening. Looks like everybody wandered in on time. :)

    Go Obama!

  • 25 Me // Feb 9, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Just got done reading the news…thanks for doing your part, Megan!

  • 26 Rachel W. // Feb 10, 2008 at 4:49 am

    Looks like nobody hit the snooze button. Up by 36 points! I’m in NH, so our time of political mania (if you are a political junkie, I highly recommend you see it in person)has passed for this year, but I am delighted to live vicariously through your post.

  • 27 Ewa // Feb 10, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Thank you for voting, and for voting obama! As a citizen of Sweden I can only hope for a better politic future in USA ,and, for the rest of the world. You as americans can change many things in the world and make it a better place by voting for the good guys. Sweden is voting for the democrates! YOU GO! Warmest regards from the north of Sweden!

  • 28 Carrie // Feb 11, 2008 at 11:11 am

    My sister also caucused for Obama in Washington this weekend and blogged about it. It sounds cool. I’m totally jealous (even if I’m more of a Hillary supporter). Although its looking like our little primary here in Ohio may matter after all, which will make me feel involved.

  • 29 Julia // Feb 11, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    I am so glad I went to my caucus. I almost didn’t go because I wasn’t sure who to vote for. Initially I voted for Hilary, but after attending the caucus and listening to so many people talk about Obama, I was swayed. It was actually one woman in particular that did did it. She said, “For those of you that are going to vote for Hilary, remember that you’re not voting for Bill..” I know that sounds pretty obvious, but it occurred to me that I was leaning toward Hilary because I wanted Bill back and that’s not a viable reason. There were other speeches that helped me really feel right about moving my vote. So, not only am I now an Obama supported, I’m also a delegate for my precinct!

    It felt really empowering having had attended my caucus. I’m so exited for Jan 20, 2009!

  • 30 PhilissA // Feb 17, 2008 at 8:10 am

    I didn’t get to the WA state caucus. I had to work. I am appalled to find that the ballot I was sent that I filled out and sent in for this coming Tuesday’s primary is virtually meaningless. Workers like me were not only disenfranchised, we were and are MSenfranchised. Yah, I voted for HIllary. SHe started working on health care FOR FREE back in 1992. Hope Obama can walk the talk is alls I can say.

  • 31 Joey // Feb 24, 2008 at 12:19 am

    The sad thing is that I did sleep in too much to make it to the caucus. Although this was caused by the giant deep-chest cold I had.

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