Jan Roller Vlog Mutual Interview from the DNC

On Wednesday night at the Convention, there was some time to kill after the Roll Call Vote and before Bill Clinton’s big speech. I wandered over to the Ohio delegation and found an old family friend.

Jan Roller is delegate from Cleveland and one of Ohio’s leading Democratic Women. She seemed like perfect person for an interview about what’s happening in Ohio. As we all know, they’re a battleground state. Ohio also has some striking similarities to North Carolina. Ohio has three major metropolitan areas and lots of rural land. For the most part statewide democratic victories rely on strong turnout from a relatively small number of the state’s 88 counties, especially those with a heavy African-American population. Sound familiar?

Jan told me about what’s happening in Ohio to organize a democratic victory, how Democratic women are organizing, how work is being done across urban-suburban-rural divides , and why she hopes an Obama presidency will positively impact American race relations.

Jan asked me about the role that race is playing in the election in North Carolina, what I enjoyed about the convention, and how tough the race is going to be in North Carolina.

Here’s part 1:

The Beauty of Barack Obama's Speech

The political pundits, press, pols and critics who claim that Barack Obama's speech was great because he made all the right points, gave policy specifics and came out swinging at John McCain while at the same time praising his service to our country, have completely missed on their analysis. They paid too much attention to the words and not enough attention to the promise these words hold for America.

The beauty of Barack Obama's speech is found not only in the promises made, but the promise kept. All along Barack Obama has promised a new kind of politics. He has promised the politics of Hope. On Thursday, August 28, 2008, Barack Obama delivered on that promise.

That’s the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.

That’s the promise we need to keep.

Yes, that promise of a new kind of politics was delivered in the form of words, but I saw those words translated in the eyes of the men and women who heard them. I saw that promise delivered as tears of joy streamed down the faces of young and old, black and white, male and female, gay and straight - faces that came to Denver from every corner of this country.

I felt that promise as I watched some reach for the heaven's opening themselves up, reaching for joy and hope and goodness - those feelings and qualities we find when we take care of one another.

Eight is enough

I'm intrigued by large families. In having raised only two kids, I know I've missed something. My parents raised three children. My brother and his wife, four. Sarah Palin, five. Leslie Fields, six.

For the Befuddled

Given the rise of the Childfree and One Child Only movements and my nearly weekly public encounters, I feel moved to post a reply—a moral, biblical, and political defense of the larger family, or at least some insights for those who are genuinely befuddled or even fearful. I can do this because I understand the concern and befuddlement. It took ten years of marriage before I ventured nervously into motherhood. Before that, high on education and world travel, I scanned the sidewalks and the public horizon searching for news and interest, visually bleeping over mothers with baby backpacks pushing strollers. Either I did not see mothers with children at all, or, if I did, I would count the children out of curiosity; as the numbers climbed, my estimation of the mothers usually sank. I had an impressive list of prejudices and stereotypes, many of which I now see on the Childfree websites.


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