Piñata diplomacy: Sittin’ and hopin’ for change

“We’re going to wait a few minutes for stragglers.” My seat neighbour and I exchanged a few quips about the “fierce urgency” of the next five minutes.

At the first McGill for Obama meeting of the year, there was an overabundance of Clark Kent-style English teacher glasses. A full three quarters of the Obamanauts were wearing Converse sneakers, as far as I could tell from where I was sitting. I figured half of them were there for the $15 “Yes We Canada” t-shirts. Oh my God, Susie will die when she sees my display pic.

Probably much like the hosts of the meeting, I really expected there to be a hundred people in the room. It ended up being 30, more or less. Contrary to the famous Obama slogan, this was a strictly Sitting For Change meeting, a variation that operates perfectly as a metaphor for the depressed state of Obamania in the last few months of his campaign.

There was the middle-aged Obama voter registration official wearing a blue blazer with a tie-less open collar that screamed Wobama (short for “wannabe Obama”). His outfit brought back memories of my first grade lunch table, where I had such a massive crush on this girl Nicole that I would mimic her every move. I ate when she ate. I drank from my sippy cup when she drank from her sippy cup. I scratched my nose when she scratched hers. Obama fans: We really have to work on not being so easy to ridicule. Stop dressing like him.

The official, whose name I never cared to remember, drove all the way down from Toronto to give the single most boring presentation I have ever experienced. He droned on and on about the intricacies of voter registration laws in the several nearby battleground states. For anyone who thinks the Obama campaign is nothing but lofty rhetoric, check out McGill for Obama. The meeting was long on the trivial minutiae, but quite short on the punchy, idealistic slogans that really rev my Obamengine.

I wanted chants. I wanted sweeping vagaries. Shit, gimme a Frisbee, at least.

After daydreaming for a while about roasted corn, my ears piqued at the mention of Russia. Yes! Yes! That’s it, give me something to chew on. Georgia, missile defense, Dmitry Medvedev’s hot wife. Alas, it ended up they were talking about how prohibitively expensive it would be to send in a voter registration from Russia. I tuned out again, trying to see how many distinct words I could spell from the word “registration,” no plurals. Answer: 47.

It was time to leave when they started discussing the promising prospect of possible stamp donations. As I quietly exited, the last sentence I heard was the alarming possibility of the club being accused of “buying votes with stamps.”

Pigs will probably wear lipstick before I return to a McGill for Obama meeting. It’s not that he doesn’t have my vote, it’s that his campaign just does not excite me anymore. Obama lost my enthusiasm right around the time he changed his position on campaign finance and wiretapping. Change though it may be, it’s not the Change We Need. Here’s hoping he turns it around before it’s too late. Unfortunately for the Senator, hoping is an awfully passive activity.

Piñata diplomacy will appear every Monday. You can send Ricky your Obompliments and Obomplaints to pinatadiplomacy@mcgilldaily.com.