Yeah. I know I'm supposed to be neutral. But this annoys the hell out of me. ~Ed.
Barack Obama is scoring a plus with me on one side of this coin: he's actually coming to Maine. Kucinich comes here, because he knows this is a place where his support is strong and he can bring in delegates. And love Dennis as I may, he isn't gonna win the election. But I do want his voice heard in the debate, and with the potential of a brokered convention this year, I'd love to see The Menace be able to swing a nomination.
Obama, on the other hand, is a star. One of the top three. Preaching his message of hope for us all. So I hear he's coming to Portland, and I say, hey, I want to meet him. See what he's all about. So I check into it... and I can see Obama speak, for the low low price of only $23.
Now, I skip the Muskie Lobster Bake every year. Why? Can't afford it. I skip the Jefferson-Jackson dinner. Same reason. I scrape together the $25 for my county's annual dinner, because I'm the vice chair, for pete's sake. I have an obligation to be there. And I know how poor our county is... I'd never ask for a complimentary ticket. I do get comped to go to the state convention, though.
I'm lower middle class, as the scale of poverty goes. I'm not in poverty, but some poor choices from my past have left me with some debt that I pay off, bit by bit. I'm not looking for pity, here, just a fact of life. But I have been very poor in the past, living in high cost of living Connecticut, family of 3, on one $8/hr paycheck. I know what it is to not eat because I don't have the money. Even today, I sometimes skip meals for that reason. I've been homeless before. I know poverty.
So for Barack Obama to speak of the politics of hope, while charging me $23 for the privilege of hearing him speak about how I need a better deal in the world... that pisses me off. Other candidates do not do this. At least, none I know of.
I will have no issue voting for Barack Obama if he wins the nomination. He's a good guy, has good ideas, and he'll be exponentially better than any candidate the Republicans have to offer. But I'm hard pressed to think of why I'd vote for a guy in the primary who I have to pay for the opportunity to have him influence me.
Senator Obama, please come see us in Kennebec County. We'll find you space to speak. But for the love of everything holy... do it for free.