Making calls to the battleground states reinforces my love of New York and New Yorkers. Cell phones in hand, people of all ages are giving their anytime minutes to speak to those in states still pastel-colored on maps we see on TV.
Between wrong numbers in Pennsylvania and being hung up on, we share frustrations and a few details about ourselves so as not to remain strangers. We're not guarded, which may be why it's always a surprise to reach someone, ask if we can count on their vote for Obama and be cut off with, "Hey, don't we still have a secret ballot?"
Canvassing in Jenkintown, I was told more than once, "We don't discuss politics in our family."
Openness. That's one reason I love New York. Passion. That's another.
Making calls from the couch next to me was a man well into his 80's, a cell phone at one ear, a hearing aid in the other. A 46-year-old man I reached in North Carolina, who described himself as "undecided," repeatedly referred to his age as if he's ready for life support. When I told him he's twenty years younger than I am, there was a stunned silence. Even before he said, "You don't sound it," I'd noticed how many people I'd called sounded old.
In New York, 46 isn't old. In many cases, neither is 80. Most New Yorkers stay in the game. Yet another reason to love it here.
And this month I love New York because we all know that even if Sarah Palin can win a beauty pageant, draw crowds and pull off a performance on "Saturday Night Live," she's not ready to be a primetime player in Washington.
I'm grateful to live in a blue state, particularly this one.