8:30ish pm EST
Where: The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Debate Watch Party, Washington, D.C.
I just entered the debate watch party. The ballroom at the Washington convention center is huge, but it is less than half filled. They’ve placed bags of red, white, and blue hard candies and stress reliever toys shaped like the mascot at Monster.com. The guys behind me say that if you hear something you like, you’re supposed to eat the candy, and if not, you’re supposed to squeeze the toy. I squeeze the toy, but it doesn’t make any noise.
Wow! Tom Joyner! He will be hosting the debate listening party tonight. I used to listen to him every morning on my one-hour commute to work. But now I’m subbing it (NY subway, that is).
He says he’s been reminded several times that this is the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and so he must be nonpartisan as he hosts the CBCF Debate Watching Party.
Joyner: So if we can all agree to be nonpartisan, let me hear you say, “Yes We Can.”
Joyner relayed an incident with the R&B singer Joe. Joe is not registered to vote. He says he is for Obama, but as Joyner puts it Joe said “I think Obama’s got this thing.”
It’s sad, says Joyner. He’s 35 years old. He wasn’t joking or being sarcastic, he was sincere.
Joe: Can I vote online?
Joyner: No this is not dancing with the stars, Joe.
Joyner convinced Joe to vote.
Joe: When is it time to vote?
Joyner: Nov. 4
Joe: Oh, I’ll be in Japan.
Joyner: You can vote absentee.
Joe is not a bad person, says Joyner. He is sincere, just misinformed. “I’m not going to talk down to him. There are many people like Joe. There are people walking around with Obama T-shirts on not even registered to vote.”
That day Joyner registered 700 people to vote, and Joe was one of them.