Wednesday, November 08, 2006
San Francisco Election Night
District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly just survived one of the wilder re-election campaigns on San Francisco record.
An unholy alliance of right-wing plutocrats like Don Fisher and Dianne Feinstein, along with the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, the San Francisco Police Officers Association, and both daily newspapers spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and used hundreds of gallons of ink trying to sway 13,000 voters.
As the eventually victorious Daly was saying to a television interviewer, “Wow. They threw everything they had at us and we still somehow managed to win.”
Daly gave credit where it was due, to a huge groundswell of volunteers whose numbers kept doubling every time he looked around.
He seemed honestly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from so many people, many of them strangers.
Daly’s wife Sarah started off the speeches, and because of some combination of exhaustion, emotion, alcohol or rage over the vicious attacks on her husband, she started with, “I shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m going to give the fuck you speech.” And so she did. While not politically the smartest thing to do in the world, the usually sweet and demure Sarah began a chant of, “To the Golden Gate Restaurant Association who don’t want to pay their own workers a living wage, fuck you. To the San Francisco Police Officers’ Association who don’t even care about protecting the people they are paid to serve, fuck you.” And so it went, with the entire crowd joining in on the profane refrain.
After that performance, her husband with the fire-breathing reputation came onstage and sounded like a sweet, mild-mannered milquetoast. He gave a gracious speech and thanked his parents behind him who had flown in from somewhere for the last two weeks, along with his paid staff (“who were starting to worry about unemployment checks, to tell you the truth”) and he didn’t go on too long, partly because Sarah insisted everyone dance instead of speechify.
One of the great sights of the evening was Abdul, above, dancing about in sheer delirious happiness onstage. If you’ve ever watched Board of Supervisors meetings on Channel 26, Abdul is always the first speaker during public commentary and is as much a San Francisco institution as Frank Chiu.
This was easily the happiest election night party I have attended since the wild, spontaneous street party that erupted in the Castro District when Clinton briefly turned the page on the awful Reagan/Bush era.
There’s a sea change happening now in both local and national politics, and it’s happening not a moment too soon. However, just like the “Lord of the Rings” movies, the struggle has only just begun.