On The Night I Became Part Of “The Media Elite”

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

The press is not impressed. They are not giddy with anticipation or soaking up their surroundings in big, huge gulps. Maybe you get used to having this kind of access to the world.

But I, well, I am beyond impressed. I am in awe.

I am 50 yards from the podium. With a laptop. And electrical outlets. And chairs and tables and proper lighting and everything a girl could want at a political rally.

Well, everything except free public Wi-Fi.

Officially I am with the media.

Technically
I am a citizen journalist looking for a story for The Huffington Post’s Off The Bus.

Actually, I am a political junky who is as close to the system as I’ve ever been in my life. And I am on cloud nine.

I am 50 yards from the podium with a clear view of the stage. A stage that will hold both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in just over two hours. I’m surrounded by photographers and journalists from all over the world. The languages are as varied as the computer equipment and zoom lenses.

Aside from reveling in my enviable vantage point to the stage, I am swollen with pride and patriotism.

This is the Free Press.

This is my Constitutional Right. Our constitutional right. To have open access to the political process based on little more than an honest desire to document it. At a time when the media is constantly berated for it’s bias and lack of objectivity, I am reminded that our access to The Truth is only limited by our willingness to seek it.

We spend a lot of time during the election cycle talking about Them. The Media. The Government. The Powers That Be. We give up our responsibility and personal accountability to our country’s welfare as easily as we hand over our civil liberties after a terrorist attack.

But We are Them. As citizens of a democratic, representative nation, we are each charged with the task of becoming One of Them.

And to those who would suggest that the major mechanisms of change are controlled by elitists and all powerful men on hills with fancy suits and invisible strings, I say – not here.

Not in this election.

Not in this country.

For here sits a 28 year old personal blogger, with a laptop and an inPhone – and a press pass.

This post was written from the media section at the Obama/Clinton Early Vote For Change rally in Kissimmee, Florida while Faiqa and I waited for the event to begin. It hasn’t been edited from its original draft, in part because I didn’t get home until 2am. But also because I need to capture this moment, just exactly how it was for me at that time.

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  1. B says:

    That is an amazing picture and talk about being part of something important and being able to take part in something not many Americans get the chance to do.

  2. Avitable says:

    Do the press throw their panties at Bill Clinton?

  3. Dawn says:

    It’s really strange — I’ve never, never in my whole life, had any interest in politics. Never. Not the Canadian politics that I grew up with. Not the American politics that, come election time, made — not just the U.S. — but the whole world different. Never, not even when I moved to the U.S. But you’re kind of getting me into it. I watched (most of) the debates. I read your blog posts. I’m INTERESTED. You’ve got some power, lady!

  4. Finn says:

    Were you able to sleep at all? You must have been vibrating with adrenaline all night.

  5. Turnbaby says:

    See–your words never fail you.

  6. Obama is right now, at this moment, 1 block from where I reside. He is most likely going over his notes, or maybe not since it will probably be the same thing you heard last night, but still…… a viable candidate for president is in knocking distance to my door!!! How cool is that? WAY cool!

    But I had to blog about he made me taking my kids to school a living nightmare since the school is also right next to where he was speaking.

  7. Oh and my 11 year old daughter wanted me to let her skip school so she could go to the rally. 11. years. old. I sent her on to school anyway, (she had a project due and would get marked off for it) but I was glad she is taking an interest in the political process!

  8. NYCWD says:

    Bubba was there?

    Were cigars passed out as rally favors???

  9. RW says:

    I remember having JFK wave right at me when I was 9. we were living in Chicago and he’d just been elected the previous fall. They were just finishing the expressway from the airport to the loop and he was the only car on it (it wasn’t open yet). A ward committeman’s wife went around collecting kids from the schoolyard where we were playing baseball and marched us up the side of the highway to the rail. There were, like, eight of us, and they went by in a convertible. I seem to recall his red hair was REALLY red in the sun. And he smiled and waved.

    My big moment.

    It’d be fantastic to see Obama. Clinton not so much. This will be a great memory 40 years on, kiddo.

  10. Michelle says:

    Hey Britt, we have our elections next year. (South Africa) Care to cover them? YOu would have free board and lodging (with me, of course), all you’d need was sponsorship for your air fare – I’m sure we could come up with that! I guarantee you an electrifying time!!!… and plenty fodder for your blog.

  11. Michelle says:

    PS. The offer of accomodation was totally serious!!

  12. SciFi Dad says:

    This was a great post, Britt. It really captured the moment well. I’m glad you left it unedited.

  13. If John McCain was on that stage I’d be seething with jealousy.

    Aw hell, who am I kidding? I’m jealous anyway just because it had to have been the most awesome experience ever regardless of who was speaking.

  14. Faiqa says:

    That’s a great photo. They look as bored as we were trying to act.

  15. ali says:

    this is awesome. awesome. :)
    and i love that you didn’t edit it. really captures how you were feeling.

    love.

  16. Mr Lady says:

    That? Is amazing. Can’t wait to read the next installment. :)

  17. Sybil Law says:

    Oooh! Change has already begun! Hell yes!

  18. Britt's Mom says:

    I am so excited for you – so proud of you! So excited for us all!! No matter how the election turns out, it must be a good thing that so many people are so much more engaged this time in the process and the debate.

    I love you!

  19. I would have sold a vital body part to be there, alas, I watched the entire rally on TV till the very end. As excited as I was in the comfort of my home, I can only imagine the thrill os being there.

  20. Clown says:

    I want an inPhone too!
    Maybe then I wouldn’t always be on the outs.

  21. This is amazing. The process is amazing. The history is amazing. The historical significance of this election season has already begun to change the political process as we know it.

    You write with such passion. Such knowledge. And such influence. You are an amazing woman …

  22. Total awesomeness.

    How would you rate this experience compared to dancing with Prince?

  23. Melissa says:

    First you get the cutest haircut ever, now you’re 50 yards away from Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. How do you expect me to NOT be jealous?

    In all seriousness I’m thrilled for you, Britt. That just rules. :)

  24. Can’t wait to read the rest! I saw Obama the night he announced his nomination, and we’re seeing Bill Clinton tonight. I would totally throw my panties at him if they weren’t maternity panties.

  25. And if I could bend over to pick them up once they dropped on the floor.

  26. Mattie says:

    This is the first time I’ve registered to vote since, um, well, I think it was Bill Clinton.

    I recognize that this election is history in the making and I want my vote to count.

    I’m voting for Obama. No question. For two reasons, I believe in his policies and in him as someone who knows what is really going on in this country and will give it his best shot to figure out how to change things.

    The second reason? My brother is voting for McCain and for all the wrong reasons — because he was a POW (my brother served in Viet Nam). I have to cancel his vote. It’s totally the wrong reason to vote for someone.

    I don’t believe it’s going to be as close as the political pundits are saying. I think he’s going to win by 20%.

    I would have sold a kidney to see Obama here in PA.

    Oh. Wait. I only have one kidney.

    Nevermind.

  27. georgeh says:

    Enjoy your freedom of the press, because it’s not gonna last if BO wins.

    The fairness doctrine for TV, radio and The Internet? Are you going to have to submit your blog postings to the govt before posting?

    Black listing reporters who ask inconvenient questions?

  28. Avitable says:

    Yeah, GeorgeH, the liberals are so well-known for removing Constitutional protections. Oh wait – maybe I’m thinking of the incumbent retard.

  29. Faiqa says:

    @georgeH : How about some documentation to go with those accusations? At least *try* to appear credible.

  30. Rick says:

    Don’t be too hard on the press. You gotta remember the network guys are hearing the SAME SPEECH at least four times a day, day after day. The only thing that changes is, “Hello, we NEED you!” For MONTHS. You think campaign ads are bad? Try wearing the same suit for weeks at a time.

  31. Mr Farty says:

    I’m proud of you. Seriously, this is the kind of raw reportage that engages people in the political process. Keep it going, girl!

  32. RW says:

    georgeh – talk to me about the Patriot Act, You duplicitous little piece of tripe.

  33. HuffPo is my BFF. I voted Monday afternoon.
    Obama gives me hope and makes me believe that we can have an intelligent,dignified, respectful President once again.

  34. Cris says:

    Oh! So I guess YOU’RE one of THOSE that think the Government knows how to spend my money better than I do?

    Just kidding! Wish I was there

  35. Momma says:

    RW, you are hilarious!! I loved it. I guess georgeh thinks that’s what happens in Canada. You suppose?
    I envy you, Britt. I was looking for you on my TV screen(I think I saw you :o ) ) while I was watching Barach’s rally ~ I was telling everyone who would listen (that would be no-one) that “Dee’s friend is there!!”

    Good for you!!

  36. Izzy says:

    Hey! Are you a part of that imaginary liberal drive-by media that Rush Limbaugh is always carrying on about? I sure hope so :)

    (AM. SO. JEALOUS.)

  37. Selma says:

    Well that will be a moment to treasure always. I heard Bill Clinton talk the last time he was in Australia. What a charismatic man. The raw power of the man really caught me off guard. To hear he and Obama on the one night would be so memorable. This would have been something to see.

  38. Lynn says:

    Wow. How lucky you are!

    I am so jealous!

  39. Miss Britt says:

    B: yeah, the uniqueness of the opportunity was not lost on me.

    Avitable: only the Fox reporters.

    The rest of us don’t wear panties.

    Dawn: *sigh* you so know the right things to say to me *swoon*

    Finn: well, by 2 am when I got home, I was more than ready for sleep. lol

    Turnbaby: *blush* thanks. And thanks for the encouragement.

    Blondefabulous: yay for your 11 year old!

    NYCWD: only to the volunteers.

    RW: I want to hug you right now.

    But yeah, I was very aware the whole time of putting each second into a mental time capsule, so to speak.

    Michelle: now I need a plane ticket…

    SciFi Dad: me too. A little embarrassed by the typos, lol, but still glad.

    Sheila (Charm School Reject): I’d go to a McCain campaign rally, just to see the difference.

    Faiqa: we were so TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL!

    ali: awww, thanks. Love.

    Mr Lady: heh. yeah. there probably won’t be one. AM LAZY!

    Sybil Law: hehehehehe

    Britt’s Mom: love you too, Mom.

    Marie (momsnuts): I definitely think that everyone should do something like that at some point in their lives.

    Clown: oh, well, helloooo fucker.

    Sharon – MomGenerations: you are too, too kind. So appreciated.

    Employee No. 3699: honestly? It’s comparable. Same level of “Siginficant Moment In My Lifetime”.

    Melissa: does it help to know I have horrible gas today?

    Missives From Suburbia: hhahahaha, luckily for everyone there that night it was 40 degrees out. That’s too cold to throw panties at ANYONE.

    Well, maybe Prince.

    Mattie: YAY FOR REGISTERING AND VOTING!!!

    georgeh: while I appreciate everyone’s right to an opinion, I have a lot more respect for an informed opinion.

    You’re not doing anyone a favor by throwing around bullshit like that. Surely there are legitimate reasons to vote for the other guy that don’t include “the sky is falling! the sky is falling!”

    Avitable: yeahhhh

    Faiqa: HE SHARED TOYS! ;-)

    Rick: oh no, I didn’t mean to be hard on them. I have a strong appreciation for what they do. It’s natural it would be commonplace for them – as opposed to my spastic giddy ass. LOL

    Mr Farty: *blush* thank you.

    RW: A-fucking-men to that.

    Little Miss Sunshine State: LOVE HuffPo.

    Cris: hehehehe

    Momma: you are the best surrogate Canadian Momma ever. Did you really see me!??!

    Izzy: damn straight!

    Selma: yeah, it really was. Incredible.

    Lynn: I should say something humbling here – but I am. Right now. Really, really lucky.

  40. Momma says:

    Maybe, I hope so, but I am an eternal Pollyanna!

  41. [...] I am not going to even try to write it better than my fellow infiltrator did in her post yesterday: This is my Constitutional Right. Our constitutional right. To have open access to the political proc… [...]

  42. Ginger says:

    I am in total awe. Of the opportunity and of you, my dear. Kudos!!!

  43. Melissa says:

    I was there too! Unfortunately, I had to stand on line from 530 on, but I was about 30 feet from the stage when Bill & Barack arrived (yes, I consider myself on 1st name basis!).

    I had met Obama twice before (once right after he became Senator and once last summer when I met all of the Democratic candidates) but I had never seen/met Bill Clinton.

    Seriously, one of the best nights of my life.

  44. Courtney says:

    wow, that’s so amazing. I’m so happy for you for getting to experience that!

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