I spent the weekend in Philadelphia as a tourist. Yet, as I visited the city’s great sights, with no regret I often thought of work and tomorrow’s Pennsylvania primary. Here’s why: The city that’s the birthplace of our nation is buzzing with enthusiasm for the Clinton-Obama showdown. And that was a great sight, too.
Everywhere I went, supporters of both senators were out in force. On Saturday, in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall, Hillary Clinton supporters gathered with signs that read “Honk for Hillary.” On the city’s famed South Street, near the crowd on line outside Jim’s Steaks, I saw Barack Obama supporters selling their candidate to young voters. And everywhere in between I saw people wearing Clinton or Obama pins, stickers & T-shirts.
As I walked down Market Street, I spotted a lot of Obama ads at bus stops. There seemed to be one at every corner. When I turned on the TV I saw several Obama ads, none for Hillary. He’s spending a lot more on advertising in Pennsylvania and it shows.
There’s also the changing voting demographic. I grew up about 40 miles north of Philadelphia, in Bucks County. The area was once a Republican stronghold. No more. It’s gone blue. For the first time in 30 years, Democrats outnumber Republicans. Thousands of voters have joined the Democratic Party to vote tomorrow.
Sure, the switch may be temporary. But people are getting involved...never a bad thing. If EVERY eligible voter hits the polls, that would really be something.
And, there’s another tactic at work – the phone calls. These past few days, my mom has done a lot of “chatting” with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and their supporters. “Somehow they got my phone number and they’re not shy about calling for my support,” she says, with a laugh. “The phone never stops ringing.”
Yes, this is democracy in action. And seeing it here made me wonder: Is this what our nation’s forefathers had in mind when they gathered in Philadelphia more than 200 years ago to debate and sign the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with