Luke Melia


August 28, 2003

Ho. D. in Bryant Park

I went to my first political rally on Tuesday night. Oh sure, I’ve been to plenty of protests, but I’ve never gone out to see a candidate speak. I’m not sure why that is. I guess I was never invited before.

On Tuesday night, Jeanhee and I hopped the train up to Bryant Park, in midtown Manhattan. The park happens to be have a free WiFi network, and it was strange but cool to see people sitting small tables in the park surfing the web in the glow of their laptop screens. The center of the park was given over to a crowd of people, many holding “Dean for America” signs, gathered facing a stage and big ol’ projection screen. The NY Times put the crowd at 10,000 and that seems about right. Jeanhee spotted her neighbors among the crowd clothed in homemade “Dog Lovers for Dean” tees.

A few speakers were introduced before Dean spoke. Among the highlights were the congressman for my neighborhood Jerrold Nadler endorsing Dean; a young Vermont woman describing her two lesbian mothers, crocheting, baking their cornbread, going to their PTA meetings, and asking “how, exactly they are a threat to the family values” of Rick Santorum and GWB; and a college Republican screaming his support for Dean.

Dean himself was a good speaker. Straightforward. Enthusiastic. Smart. Confident. I was filled with anger during the portion of the speech in which he railed against the current administration’s actions. I was surprised by that reaction in myself, as I tend to prefer and cultivate a relaxed existence. But there’s no way around how frustrating it is what Bush/Cheney have done with respect to the war, the environment, and the fiscal state of our government.

Dean seems to be in good shape more than a year out from the general election, and I hope he wins the nomination. He’s a leader I could trust and follow.

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