(Pretty awesome to see Edwards walking the line in support of the writers. – promoted by David Dayen)
(Crossposted from DailyKos)
I am going to apologize ahead of time because this diary is going to be a bit, well a lot, fan-girly. If you want substance, this isn’t it. Keep moving.
I’ve never met Edwards in person before. I’ve supported him since 2004 and have missed a few opportunities to see him in person. Yesterday I was lucky, very lucky. I went to the picket line for the WGA where Edwards came to lend his support.
But for the moment, enough about me.
Edwards came to walk the picket line with the WGA, Writers Guild Association, who have been on strike since November 6th. Edwards is the first presidential candidate to picket personally with the writers after releasing a statement of support last week. Obama and Clinton have also released statements in support of the strikers.
“The striking Writers Guild members are fighting an important battle to protect their creative rights. These writers deserve to be compensated fairly for their work, and I commend their courage in standing up to big media conglomerates. As someone who has walked picket lines with workers all across America and as a strong believer in collective bargaining, I hope that both sides are able to quickly reach a just settlement.”
“I stand with the writers. The Guild’s demand is a test of whether media corporations are going to give writers a fair share of the wealth their work creates or continue concentrating profits in the hands of their executives.”
“Writers Guild’s pursuit of a fair contract that pays them for their work in all mediums. I hope the producers and writers will return to the bargaining table to work out an equitable contract that keeps our entertainment industry strong and recognizes the contributions writers make to the success of the industry.”
The event yesterday, from my fan girly perspective.
I arrived early and made a new friend while waiting for the ridiculously long crosswalk light to change. Her name is Janice and she is a writer and member of SAG – and she is an Edwards’ supporter who came out especially to see him. She said that his coming was the extra “reason” to come out to the picket line. I asked her why Edwards and she said that his work with Unions, (naturally) is really the reason she is supporting him. She appreciates his “outspokenness” on the issue and mentioned that for her, he is the only candidate.
I had prepared myself by bringing along a bag of the JRE08 and Elizabeth for First Lady Lapel Pins that I designed some months back and was very happy to give her a couple. She insisted on buying the pair, which I thought was very generous considering the strike, and I assured her it would go to the campaign which it turns out she had been donating small donation to as often as she could.
When we arrived at the corner the crowd was still small and we were able to find out which direction Edwards would be coming, however as the time grew near the crowd swelled into quite a large scene of excited anticipation, noisy but yet harmonic car horns and crazy I-have-no-idea-what-you-are-saying-chants. Press passes were beginning to materialize and some important-people types were milling around discussing strategy. “He’ll come down here and then we’ll have him step up right here…”
We’ll “right here” folks was right where I was and if I didn’t move, they were planning on depositing Senator Edwards into my lap.
Not that I’d mind.
But I figured I’d have to move.
But they would have to “make me” move and I was quite determined that they couldn’t do that.
So in the meantime, I listened to conversations which were very pro-Edwards. I made some more friends with the CBS, NBC and independent (MSNBC, CNN??) news people. We talked about Edwards and I found out that they were either for Edwards or they were Independent – I gave them JRE08 pins but skipped the Elizabeth pins cuz they are manly men types. Although one did mention he really loved Elizabeth.
I also was able to overhear an interview with Assemblyman Paul Krekorian (D-43rd California) who was asked at the end of the interview; “John Edwards coming out today, photo-op or real?” To which Krekorian replied that Edwards was “for real” and gave a lengthy positive answer about Edwards and everything he has done for Unions and Union workers. Very nice answer indeed.
So now we come to the juice.
I climbed onto this cement planter with several of the camera/video guys and immediately noticed the crowd was starting to move into a tight group a little off in the distance. I said “He must be here!” and several camera men took off towards the crowd after asking me to save their spot.
Like I was leaving. I knew the plan.
And sure enough, a few minutes later here comes Edwards and true to the important-peoples word, he climbed onto the planter – RIGHT NEXT TO ME!
No, not on my lap I’m sorry to say.
Inside I was squealing like a 13 year old at a Britney Spears concert, I swear, but I held it together, I think. I took a picture and then realized there was a wall of cameras and unless they had Edwards on a super-tight close up I was probably in the frame, so. I put my camera down and tried to clap but I was balancing myself (now in the dirt and no longer on the cement part) between a tree and the several 10 or 12 people pushing from the side and behind me – but I managed to fend them and the tree off and cheered with the crowd.
Smiling like an idiot I’m sure.
I hope my hair was OK.
I was wearing my JRE08 shirt.
And my Elizabeth pin.
Oh, his speech!
Yeah, that, well…
Three minutes or so of a great supportive go-get ’em, speech, not a candidate vote-for-me speech, just I’m-here-with-you speech. He talked about the corporate lobbyists and about corporations trouncing on the working people, standing with workers every day as president, other stuff – well I didn’t take notes people. I mean, my God – he was right in front of me! I expected the first time I’d see him was from like 100 feet away not like, well, almost (dammit) in my lap!
I can’t believe you expected me to remember what he said.
Impossible to please you people are.
I hope my hair looked OK.
Oh, the crowd loved him. Cheered like crazy. From the buzz of conversation they were very happy that he came out to lend his support – I didn’t hear a single negative word. He really did sound great and you just can’t capture the magnetism on TV like you can in person. Really quite incredible.
Now for the kicker.
After the speech he turned right around, looked me in the eye and gave a big smile. And then he grabbed my hand…
I hope my hair looked OK.
An experience I won’t forget. I shook the hand of the next President of the United States!
I hope to be at the next event scheduled today. Hope to see some Kossaks out there. Look for the swooning blond in the JRE08 shirt…
Today, Saturday the 17th, John Edwards will be taking part in the Presidential Forum on Global Warming at the Wadsworth Theatre in Los Angeles (on the VA grounds) 11301 Wilshire Blvd. West Los Angeles, CA 90073
12:30 Rally at NE corner, intersection of San Vicente & Wilshire Blvd.
1:30 Presidential Forum
2:30 Edwards will come out to meet the crowd.
Here are my pics, you can see how close I was!
UPDATE with video.
Thanks to NCDemAmy who posted the video below.
Courtesy of the WGA.
And here is me in the background being jostled around.