I turned on the TV this evening to watch the news, which I have a bad habit of doing sometimes. It turned out the Democrats were having their National Convention live, and all the news I was going to get was their story. Jimmy Carter was saying that all but one member of his immediate family now supports Barak Obama. He expects the guy to do well in a lot of the deep south, but maybe not so well in Virginia. If I'd been thinking then like I'm thinking now, I'd have taken his picture. He wasn't on the floor addressing the convention but in Jim Leher's studio talking to the guy and a panel of color commentators providing historic analysis. After a while it occurred to me that maybe they were filling the air until the next big deal worth broadcasting.


That turned out to be Caroline Kennedy, JFK's only surviving child. She said some inspiring words about how great Edward M Kennedy, the Senator from Massachusetts is. There were lots of roars of approval.


Then they played a tape of Kennedy endorsing Obama and saying he is going to carry the baton on the health care issue. There was lots of footage of Kennedy sailing a big sailboat with lots of help from family members, but I didn't get a good shot of that.


Listening to the TV got old out I went into the kitchen and looked at the tomatoes there. The purplish one with light spots was grown in a friends yard and give me by her son, right after he picked it. The red ones came from my upstairs neighbors community garden plot. The yellow one I got at the farmers market a week ago. I'll be eating the rest of it with supper.

Thinking about tomatoes, I went outside and looked at the ones still growing on the vine there. This is the first cluster to really feature an edibly ripe fruit almost the size of a baseball this year. I've been watching over this vine, watering and fertilizing it since March or April. I've tied up its branches when they threated to flop over. I've urged it to grow faster, and now there is ripe fruit. The only problem is I've other tomatoes to eat before I want to pick it. I'm hoping nobody beats me to it....

I mention this all because they are more real and three dimensional than the posturing of the Democrats on my TV. After all they don't know me from any other face in the sea of Americans that go to the events they prance across the stage in front of. That would be if I went to one of their rallys, which I probably wouldn't do, except as a protester outside the hall. As a practical matter, the change in my own pocket now is likely to have a more immediate impact on my life than those politicians on TV, but not one that will be as immediately rewarding as that of those tomatoes. That's one reason I'm a green activist. The Green Party is as real to me as those tomatoes, and a lot more human.


Then Jim Leach, the former Republican Senator from Iowa gave a speech saying that the most dangerous thing America can do is continue to slide along under the kind of leadership the Republican Party is giving us right now. He characterized them as "male and pale". In my mind I also heard "stale". He urged everybody to help put Obama in the White House.

He was followed by this Missouri Senator, who also thinks Obama has a great *American Story*(TM).


Then they played a brief movie about the life of Michelle Obama. She grew up in Chicago, and feels deeply connected to the people there.

That was followed by a live speech by her brother, who is an Oregon University Basketball Coach "Go Beavers!" was one of his lines. He gave a complimentary analysis of Barak Obama as a basketball player, saying the guy will take advantage of whatever openings he can find, and he makes everybody on his team a better player.


Then Michelle Obama came on to explain that the American Dream is a deeply motivating force in her life, and also the life of the community she considers herself part of. I nodded my head many times listening to her.


Then they had a live TV hookup with Barak Obama. He had been listening to the speech in the home of some voters in Kansas City. His kids waved to him and they exchanged complimentary words. Electrically speaking, he wasn't any more connected to them than I was, in the sense that we were probably watching about the same live feed.

It could be that the information signal I was getting had a (three hour?) tape delay because I'm on the west coast in California. Those KC voters on the other hand, were on the same page he was, in that shaking hands with someone discharges any potential difference between the two people involved, electrically speaking. It's hard for me to think he didn't shake hands with them.