Fear and Loathing At the “Delegate Selection Caucuses”

Remember that zany primary we held a few months ago for the Democratic presidential nomination? Yeah, that one. You probably thought “I voted and that’s that” but you’d be incorrect. Now comes the arduous task of selecting the actual delegates who will go to the convention in Denver and actually vote for Clinton or Obama.
These seemingly dull events can get quite heated, as people this time rillyrillyrilly wanna go to the convention as an Obama or Clinton delegate and more people are involved than ever before on both campaigns.
I’ve been getting all sorts of pleas from folks to vote for them on Sunday – but I can’t vote for ’em as I do not live in Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s district, I live in Rep. Speier’s district (CD12). So while I can send ’em my good wishes, and hope that the delegate slate isn’t dominated by politicians, I can’t help ’em out here in SF. Both campaigns are using union halls for their respective gang initiation rites (Clinton is at the Plumber’s Union on Market Street, while Obama’s is at the SEIU office. Both are easy to get to, and find.
However, those of us in the 12th Congressional District have two rather odd/interesting choices, as the district stretches from western SF all the way through San Mateo County. The end results were a bit interesting, mostly to Peninsula natives such as myself. So let’s run down the pros, cons and the wtfs? of each locale….because you really would rather be reading this than working on this sunny Friday, right?

Obama’s campaign is getting ready to rumble at the UFCW Union Hall in South San Francisco (not far from my old office, actually!).
Pros: Its in sunny downtown South City, and has easy access to a decent coffee place, a few ok bars, and many, many awesome taquerias (La Morena was always a favorite of mine). It’s sort of near CalTrain (but you have to cross the tracks and stuff) and there’s likely to be parking if you have to drive.
Cons: It’s in sunny downtown South City, and parking meters are enforced like their brethren in SF. If zillions of Obama-maniacs descend upon South City in their cars, parking might be a pain the arse. And if you’re taking BART to South City, good luck connecting with SamTrans and getting in line by 3pm. However, if you’re going in a group, designate someone to run out to the corner store for a soda, puzzles, or whatever to fill in the boring stretches of what is otherwise a fascinating experience. (No, really).
Clinton’s campaign chose a truly odd location – Crocker Middle School in Hillsborough, which as we all know is one of the wealthiest towns per capita in the United States. Heck they even have a replica of the White House amongst their many fine homes.
Hillsborough is so exclusive they have no business district, allow no buses in their borders, and the local John Law will pull you over if you are driving a domestic auto built before 2008. Crocker Middle School also got into some hot water back when I was in junior high for leading cheers as they got their asses kicked in basketball, etc about how rich they were, which was rather obnoxious.
Pros: It’s in Hillsborough. You can safely drive and park your car and not worry about it getting broken in to. You really don’t want to be walking to the caucus, since there are no sidewalks (and the aforementioned John Law will give you a hard time about it). The auditorium is big enough to accommodate lots of Hillary-ites, and afterwards, you can drive to downtown Burlingame afterwards and enjoy the fine shopping and dining said town offers. Oh and Ed Jew lives nearby too, you could go visit him and say “o hai!” while you’re there.
Cons: If you are taking public transit to the caucus, forget it – the closest you’ll get is El Camino in Burlingame. Plus, you’re going to a school named after one of the Robber Barons (Crocker? Get it?) which really is a bit much for a campaign that’s supposedly for “working people.” The biggest con, however, is that once you’re there, you’re stuck, isolated at some junior high, and if the proceedings take too long, you’re gonna be climbing the walls. Bring a snack, a flask, or a sudoku puzzle to keep you occupied as the complex rules and revotes take all day.
So there you have it. Some rather useless information for a sometimes interesting process that will probably get not a lot of press attention. And yet once these delegates are decided, they’ll be the ones that actually decide who the nominee is. Should be interesting to see what happens in the end. Enjoy!

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