Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pretty morning

Today is the special election to fill the Massachusetts state senate seat vacated in January by our current U.S. Senator, Scott Brown, when he won that election.

For a couple of hours this morning,  before work, and earlier than I'm usually up and at 'em I hung out at the Broadmeadow Elementary School in Needham, holding a campaign sign for the Democratic candidate for for the seat, Peter Smulowitz

An added bonus:  I got to stand next to Peter Smulowitz while doing it. Broadmeadow is his home polling place. 

Smulowitz is 34 and passes for younger, short-statured, and today he wore a pin-striped suit and his "lucky Obama-blue tie."  For someone who works full-time as an emergency-room physician and has run a full-time political campaign since January, he revealed no black circles under his eyes. And he was in excellent candidate form, asking what I did and thanking me for helping out (which was because his campaign strategist is a buddy of mine).  

Around 7:45, his wife stopped by from down the street with a Box o' Joe from DD, then proceeded to mix in the cream and sugar how each of us volunteers requested.  She even offered some to the man across the driveway, who was holding a sign for his opponent.

It was a congenial couple of hours.

The temperature was 39 degrees -- we were all in winter coats and gloves -- but the sky was as blue as the candidate's tie and it soon grew more tolerably warmer. We held our signs for the benefit of arriving voters, for the hundreds of cars carrying parents and children to the start of classes, for the smart-ass crossing guard directing the kids coming in via skateboard (and there seemed to be hundreds).  Some cars honked and waved at us. Some pointedly ignored us and waved at the guy across the driveway. Smulowitz and a couple other volunteers and I drank our coffee and stayed even as the traffic died down,  bullshitting, prognosticating about the voter turnout, noticing our hands turning numb from gripping the signs. 

No one is paying me to say this (and yes, that includes my friend the paid strategist) -- but for a guy who seems to be ridiculously smart, successful, driven and passionate about healthcare policy, Smulowitz was as neutral and calm as if we were standing around waiting for our tee time. 

Nice to know smart, successful, driven individuals my age can also be normal.

In any case, no moral to this story.  Just a pretty morning in the burbs, in the May sun.

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