Today, I am thankful for grassroots Presidential politics.
The Colorado Democratic Party currently uses the archaic caucus system to determine its preferred Presidential candidate. The caucus system, though initially less expensive to run than a primary, requires additional citizen participation on the County and State levels.
The County and State conventions are actually caucuses - just large scale ones. About 1,600 people will attend the County caucus while over 10,000 will attend the State caucus. At our February 5 precinct caucus (attended by 27 people), our neighbors elected S and I as two of the three Obama delegates to the County convention.
So, today, S and I spent nearly 11 hours sitting in a stuffy high school auditorium while the County Democratic Party completed its business: selecting delegates in support of state and national candidates to the State convention. We sat, listened and voted with one goal in mind: to support Barack Obama's candidacy and to ensure he got at least 65 percent of the votes in the Presidential preference poll.
The local Obama leaders worked hard to organize their County delegates: holding a special pre-convention information meeting last Tuesday (attended by over 500 people), calling delegates and alternates at least twice, sending information-rich email messages. Since our County earned 4 delegates to the National convention, our ultimate goal was to secure 3 spots for Senator Obama.
Well, we did our duty. Senator Obama received nearly 70 percent of the preference vote, earning 3 precious National delegate seats. Now the goal is to preserve those 3 National seats by sending a full Obama delegation to the State convention.
What a great feeling! For the first time in our lives, S and I see that our local votes and actions directly affect the selection of the Democratic Party's Presidential candidate. Of course, we hope the candidate is Barack Obama.
I am fired up ... ready to go!
For this blessing, I am grateful.