Uncommitted doesn’t mean undecided. Superdelegate X. That’s what I concluded on Saturday night after I met privately with a so-called uncommitted superdelegate. There’s nothing secret about this superdelegate or about our meeting. But I didn’t say in advance that I’d “out” her in this blog. So I won’t. Instead I’ll call her Superdelegate X. (Has [...]
Uncommitted doesn’t mean undecided.
That’s what I concluded on Saturday night after I met privately with a so-called uncommitted superdelegate.
There’s nothing secret about this superdelegate or about our meeting. But I didn’t say in advance that I’d “out” her in this blog. So I won’t.
Instead I’ll call her Superdelegate X. (Has a hero ring, doesn’t it?)
Here’s the list of undeclared superdelegates in case you’re curious.
Our face-to-face meeting lasted about 15 minutes and took place after a small dinner party at X’s home.
The way this happened is that a couple with whom I’m friends asked me to come with them to this party so that I could speak with X; they’re friends with X.
I was told that X is a long time Clinton supporter and loyalist who’s supposedly not sure yet.
The idea was that maybe my perspective on Senator Obama could shed light by offering X a fresh new rationale that’s different from the incessant arguments she’s been hearing via a seemingly endless stream of politicians and Washington insiders.
I couldn’t resist what seemed like a rare opportunity to be a part of history. What if something I say ends up changing the world? So I decided I’d do whatever it takes to show up, and I did.
I never even knew there was such a thing as a superdelegate, did you? No one did!
Bottom line is that in a close primary, superdelegates can determine the outcome. They don’t have to make their choice based on popular vote. Instead, their personal relationships, political alignments, emotional likes or dislikes, or any other reason can determine their choice.
At the buffet dinner, X kept herself busy to avoid unwanted lobbying efforts. Understandable, since everyone is trying to get to her. For example, Bill Clinton called X earlier in the day.
So she never actually stopped to schmooze. Until she stopped at the end of the evening to sit down with me (with encouragement by my friends, the couple). It was a real honor because I’m an ordinary unknown person who just showed up at her party.
Once we began chatting, I quickly felt that X was looking for a way to declare her support of Senator Obama without running afoul of Bill Clinton. She repeatedly expressed how loyal she was to Bill because he put Democrats on the map, and all he’s done over the years. She was very worried and concerned about loyalty.
She never did mention Hillary Clinton. Only Bill.
X wanted to know what it is, in my opinion, that’s making Senator Obama so attractive with so many people.
To answer that question, I took a minute to share some highlights about what I do, about Black Fives, how it got started, where things are going … and that appreciating stories and lessons from the past and making them relevant today is what resonates with people who want to make history now.
And that I’ve observed something: most everyone would really rather do their best … to be inspired to reach new heights they didn’t think possible.
For example, since I have a 3-year-old, I reminded her that this is precisely how kids approach life: instead of focusing on the difficulty of something, they focus on how much they want it. So we have to unlearn some things as adults.
People would rather move through life with joy, purpose, intention, and love … as opposed to fear, obligation, and doubt.
So as far as the appeal of Obama, I told her that I thought it was love vs. fear.
But I quickly added that in my opinion, his popularity isn’t all about who he is as a man. It’s much more about where humanity wants to go at this stage. If we elect Senator Obama to the office of the President of the United States of America, I believe it’ll say a lot more about us as a people than it will about him.
Senator Obama just happens to be the leader who can inspire us as a nation and as a global community to take the necessary steps to go where we already want to go.
That’s when she sat up and leaned forward.
It was almost as if she suddenly realized she didn’t have to focus so much on Senator Obama as much as on what’s good for the country.
I got the sense that she too, like all humanity, wants deep down to experience joy and purpose. That was her conflict. That’s why she’s feeling indecision. It’s a sign that her thoughts are not aligned with her inner self. Her discomfort is the proof.
(I think she also likes the attention of dragging out the obvious, but that’s another issue and I don’t really mind since she’s quite appealing and can pull it off.)
So we didn’t talk about politics.
I didn’t feel it was necessary to make arguments about policies, programs, or campaign specifics. Besides, I believe we’re smart enough as a nation to figure out all those details.
But first, we have to get into a position where we’re inspiring ourselves and one another to do that.
So we talked about energy, vision, attitude, approach, integrity … those things that rise above everything else.
To my surprise, she said she’d never heard that perspective before and thought it was a great insight. She even turned to an associate who came to the door and said, “This guy has some really great ideas; listen to this.”
You’re getting 41,000 emails and phone calls from Bill Clinton and an endless stream of talking talkers, and not one person is talking about love vs. fear?
Isn’t this the essential message of all religions? Of all prophets? Of our founding fathers? Of Lincoln? Of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Of Churchill? Of Ghandi? Of JFK? RFK? Of metaphysics? Of all self-help and personal improvement gurus?
Of Senator Barack Obama?
That’s what I told her.
And she was digging this.
But it’s hard to undo fear and doubt in one sitting.
So even as we were wrapping up, X continued to wrestle with herself. She shared the example of one particular trash-talking Republican, an African American woman who represents a group of wives of Southern ministers, who suggested that her group was already confident they would “skewer” Senator Obama.
“How are we ever going to handle that?”, X seemed to ask. But I believe she already knew the answer. As F.D.R. would say, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
One must understand human nature always, even in those who seek to prey on our fear. They’re driven by fear, so they believe everyone else is too. But that’s not so.
And knowing this is precisely the advantage.
Deep down, I think Superdelegate X knows this, and that’s why she’s already decided on Senator Obama. She’ll go with joy and purpose and intention.
To help reinforce that thought, I’ve dredged up this old hit (aptly, by the Grass Roots) which ought to be the theme song for X and all so-called uncommitted superdelegates.
Here’s a live version: