Several hundred Bay Area Democrats chose to forego the start of the fifth game of the World Series this evening in favor of packing into a section of Oakland’s Jack London Square for a final get-out-the-vote rally with most of the Democratic slate of statewide candidates.
Cynthia Rapak, 62, of San Francisco, wore a Giants cap as a sign of her torn allegiances; she said she wanted Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown “to see that I’ll make the ultimate sacrifice.”
“The Giants might win tonight, but civic duty comes first – I always vote,” said the retired Oakland Unified School District teacher, noting she believes the campaign’s endgame bodes well for Brown. “Meg went 11 places, and Jerry is 72 and he went to 12. He talked about civic dialogue and she talked about managing; she doesn’t have a clue.”
She and the rest of the crowd heard from Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee for attorney general; Dave Jones, the Democratic nominee for insurance commissioner; John Chiang, the incumbent state controller; and Debra Bowen, the incumbent secretary of state before the top of the ticket began to take the stage: incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. By then it was the bottom of the fifth inning, but the cheering, sign-waving crowd no longer seemed to mind.
“You’re the key to sending me back to fight for the middle class, to fight for jobs … to fight against the special interests,” Boxer said, exhorting the crowd to get everyone they know to the polls tomorrow.
Then, backdropped by Port of Oakland cargo cranes and a Bay sunset, Brown took the podium and thanked the Democratic slate for “making this a real team victory. We’ll win tomorrow, we’ll win for you.”
He noted the crisply uniformed Oakland Military Institute students lining the back of the stage, and said the Democrats’ goal is to make sure all California students have the resources and opportunities they need to achieve solid educations.
“Victory brings even more challenges – in fact, the campaign is a piece of cake (compared) to fixing the budget,” he said. “I didn’t make this mess, but I sure want to fix it.”
Just as Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman has claimed in her ads, California was working well when she arrived her 30 years ago, he said – and he was governor at the time. “And you know what? It’s going to start working again for everybody.”
In a final jab at his opponent, he directed supporters seeking details of his platform to his campaign website. “Whitman’s plan is mostly pictures, but I have more respect for you,” he said.
And then, by partway through the top of the sixth inning, it was over.