Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Friday, March 7, 2008

It's hard to believe, but an actual former president came to Tupelo! The local paper said it was the first time since 1956, when Harry Truman paid a visit. National politicians usually ignore Mississippi, thanks to its relatively low number of voters and its reputation for socially conservative and racially divisive politics. Nevertheless, we were recently on the national political radar screen for a couple days, thanks to the contentious presidential primary for the Democratic Party nomination. However, instead of coming here herself, Hillary Clinton sent her, campaign for her.

Some of the local Tupelo crowd were very enthusiastic about such a prestigious visit. And there was no shortage of middle aged women screaming "We love you Bill!" at predictable intervals. Clinton gave a good stump speech covering issues like health care and green collar jobs and talked a bit about his Foundation and more than a bit about his Presidency. You could almost hear his handlers as he reminded the crowd, "But this isn't about me, this is about Hillary."

Carley attended the event with our good friend Emily and her sister Amy (pictured with Carley above), who was visiting from Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband Jason for the weekend. (Rob stayed home with Rowan, since we didn't have a babysitter.)

What about the other candidate?

Unfortunately, Barack Obama didn't come to Tupelo, but he did visit nearby Columbus, Mississippi, a small city about an hour and 10 minutes south of us. The venue his campaign chose was inexplicably small given the crowds that Obama usually pulls, and the 1200 tickets were taken before we even knew they were available. Nevertheless, Carley donned her "Obama Mama" t-shirt and we made the trek to Columbus hoping to find a way inside. We never even got a glimpse, but we had a nice time outside on the grass, listening to his speech over the speaker system with the other good-natured folks who were shut out.

Although we didn't get to meet him, our very good friends Todd and Emily did, thanks to their position with the main local newspaper, the Daily Journal. Todd is one of the paper's photo-journalists, and Emily reports on Tupelo's municipal affairs.

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