Monday, May 24, 2010

He's coming tomorrow

Tonight it was my task to pick up Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo (retired) of Uganda from Grace Cathedral up on Nob Hill in San Francisco. Parking is never easy up there, but tonight there were signs at every spot warning that parked cars would be towed at 6 am -- President Obama is coming to the nearby Fairmont Hotel tomorrow evening.

We drove to the African American Art and Culture Complex where the good bishop was to attend a reception organized by the California LGBT advocacy organization Equality California. Bishop Christopher bravely speaks his conviction that "God loves everybody." including gays and lesbians, in his country which is the grip of a panic about homosexuality stoked by U.S. fundamentalists. As we went in, we lingered for a few minutes at an exhibit by local photographers of pictures from President Obama's inauguration -- shots of "energy, emotion, and enthusiasm."


I slipped away to a coffee shop with wifi to continue some work. Next to me there was a father trying to persuade his somewhat fidgety son to eat some dinner. I overheard this dialogue:

"Do you know what the President's name is?"

Some squirming from the boy -- "Santa Claus?"

"That's close. It's Obama; he's coming tomorrow."

This Presidential visit to raise funds for Senator Barbara Boxer's re-election commands attention. It's not like anyone is going to get to see him; he'll be whipped past the inevitable protesters and into the hotel. Donors may get their glimpse, but mere citizens aren't likely to see him.

There's lots of political disappointment with Obama around here. San Francisco really is a bastion of progressive thinking. But still he's our rock star. We know he's coming.

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