Monday, September 01, 2008

Electing an American President

We've had more than the usual amount of United States presidential campaign activity near OCLC's headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. Ohio is one of the key battleground states for the election of the next U.S. president so no doubt there will be many more visits by the candidates, but probably not many so close to home with both the major candidates and their running mates appearing together.

On Friday, 29 August, Republican candidate John McCain held a rally (12-15,000 people) in nearby Dayton, Ohio, and announced his choice for running mate, Governor Sarah Palin.

WorldCat Identities for the Republican ticket:
McCain, John 1936-
Palin, Sarah 1964-

On Saturday 30 August, Democratic candidate Barack Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, held an outdoor rally (18-20,000 people) at Dublin Coffman High School, within walking distance of OCLC Headquarters.

WorldCat Identities for the Democratic ticket:
Obama, Barack
Biden, Joseph R.

I was not able to attend John McCain's campaign event, but I was able to attend Barack Obama's (see the scan of the ticket stub above). The message Obama and other speakers at the rally presented was very much an echo of the speeches at the Democratic National Convention. Obama followed his presentation by moving through part of the crowd, shaking hands, talking with those gathered. I and Heather managed to position ourselves close enough to see Obama up close. His interaction with the crowd seemed very genuine as he shook hands and responded to comments. Aides gathered copies of his books that people wanted signed, and he apparently signed them before boarding his bus and departing.

While it's very easy to be cynical about the pronouncements of the U.S. presidential candidates and their lieutenants and supporters, one has to acknowledge that the excitement I witnessed at the Obama rally was very real. Presumably McCain's event garnered a similar level of excitement from his gathered supporters. We can only hope that both of the tickets are composed of worthy people, and that the U.S. electorate will choose wisely.

At libraries (especially public libraries) throughout the U.S. citizens are being offered the opportunity to register to vote, and access to materials by and about the candidates. So, gentle IAG readers, what great things will your library be doing this election season to help your users be informed on the candidates and the issues and exercise their right to vote?


Musical note:

This song has been used by both the Republicans (during George W. Bush's 2004 campaign) and now by the Democrats (for Obama's 2008 campaign).

"Only in America" composed by Kix Brooks/Don Cook/Ron Rogers ; popularized by Brooks & Dunn (AMG entry, Wikipedia entry, Brooks & Dunn Web site).


"Only in America
Dreaming in red, white and blue

Only in America

Where we dream as big as we want to

We all get a chance

Everybody gets to dance

Only in America"

1 comment:

John Kirriemuir said...

A related question from a Brit. The creationism vs evolution issue in schools isn't as controversial here (though ironically I live in the one small part of the UK where matters religious are a controversial issue).

With Sarah Palin as the GOP VP pick, some of the media has focused on this issue and how it affects teaching in the US (religion, science). Is this something that mainly affects the education sector, or does it affect the US library sector as well? In other words, are there "controversies" with public libraries stocking books of either theory, and how they are classified (religion, science, other sections)?