It was my first caucus and it came with a lot of unknowns (what is going to happen, will I be required to speak, what does it mean to be “uncommitted” to a candidate, should I vie to be a “delegate”, how long will it take, should I bring a snack, can I bring my laptop, will they have wi-fi). Even with all of those looming unknowns, I felt the event needed an added layer of thrill. So I posted a personal ad on Craigslist seeking a date for this important event ("SWF in Precinct #3385 Seeking a Date to the Democratic Caucus - 35"). Now the odds of getting a date for the caucus were really, really low. What I was seeking was a man, who was registered AND voting democratic in my precinct's primary AND who was single AND who happened to be reading my ad AND who wouldn’t be alarmed by the idea of going on a first date to a caucus. That narrowed my pool to about zero. But I did get a lot of response from caucus date seekers all over Dallas and Collin counties and suddenly feel like I have several new friends in this sometimes-lonely star state.
So the primary. First I all, I dedicate this section to MO and HAI (you know who you are) who suck up campaign information like it is candy and who listened to my live caucus details (by cell phone since citizenship for MO and state residency for HAI kept them out) like it was hot porn. First of all, turnout: of the 151 who showed up, about five had EVER attended a pervious caucus (and, by the way, I have been told that about five people total generally attend these things). So 151 is a LOT and they were clearly not prepared for those numbers. The whole process took 2 ½ hours. 2 ½ hours in a middle school cafeteria with people who are growing tired, maybe hungry and increasingly disenchanted with being a part of the beautiful, mystical “democratic process.” First thing we did was sign in and declare our candidate. Then the nice volunteers added the numbers. Then we voted on who would lead the meeting. Not having a microphone system, the group almost unanimously chose the nominee with the loudest voice. Then we voted for the secretary. That job went to the nominee who actually seemed to want the job. Then the newsprint and the reporting of the numbers: 151 present. 72 for Clinton. 79 for Obama. 0 uncommitted to a candidate. Then lots of calculations. 19 delegates from our precinct will go to the county convention on March 29 in Fort Worth. With the numbers as they were, 9 would represent Clinton and 10 would represent Obama. Very close. Then we broke into caucuses for each candidate and voted on who the delegates would be (and alternates).
It was an educational experience. And I’m an official “alternate delegate” in the event that one of the other delegates backs out. I’m comfortable with that. I didn’t want to volunteer up front, but if I’m meant to go there is room for it to happen. And I have to say, this whole caucus thing is kind of fun and bonding. Not only do I have new would-have-been-caucus dates, but I met some nice, enthusiastic Grapevine democratics and for a short time we sat in a room with over about 300 like-minded people (two precincts met in there)…and that doesn’t happen often in this great big state of ours.
Labels: Texas Caucus