The year 2019 is well underway, and we’re enjoying some major unseasonably warm weather. Among other unseasonable events, the 2020 Presidential Campaign seems to have kicked off way, way early, bleeding into the mid-terms in what feels like a never-ending political season.
As such, Elizabeth Warren decided to drop by the Thunderbowl banquet hall in Council Bluffs to start her campaign. The venue held only 150 people and was clearly incapable of hosting the 300+ people who showed up. The Massachusetts Senator certainly had name recognition among the crowd, though most people who dropped by seemed more curious than committed to a candidate. Some left early after seeing that they wouldn’t be able to get inside, while those of us who stayed got a surprise when Warren herself dropped by half an hour early to greet the overflow crowd. She said a few words and then was immediately mobbed by spectators wanting selfies on her way inside (I almost got one myself). She gave a brief stump speech and held a brief Q&A, with questions selected via names from a hat. She then stuck around for more selfies afterward.
It seems like yesterday I was hobnobbing with candidates like this, mingling with the merch vendors hawking buttons and standing in lines of people waiting to see candidates. I enjoyed hearing what Warren had to say, though she’s farther to the left than most any candidate I’ve heard before and stands opposite of me on nearly every issue. It’ll be interesting to see which candidate throws his (or her) hat into the rig next.
The gorgeous weather continued into Saturday, and to celebrate the twelfth day of Christmas, the city of Omaha set off the fireworks it had intended to set off on New Year’s Eve (but postponed due to high winds). We walked through the Gene Leahy Mall with the kids, which was lovely still with its Christmas lights lit. We met up with Kate and her girls and let the kids play a bit on the slides. Then we took a brief walk on the (still) frozen ice as we waited for the fireworks to start.
The show was supposed to happen at 14th and Farnam, but the fireworks were actually set off from behind the buildings in Heartland of America Park, obscuring our view from the east end of the mall (as if the organizers pulled the world’s biggest “psyche!”) Once the show started, we had to rush with a thousand other people just to see them. Fortunately, we got a fairly good view from tenth street. We let the traffic clear itself out as the kids played together, and then Vivian and I headed home to enjoy some jalapeño poppers (courtesy of Vivian) after putting the kids to bed.
On Sunday night, we took the kids to play at the playground of First Presbyterian Church in advance of their Family Movie Night. They got a good dose of playing outdoors despite the weather turning a bit more seasonable, but it made our dinner of chili hot dogs even more welcoming once we were done outside. Then Hannah and Aaron got to join several of their little friends on the floor and watch Ferdinand before calling it a night.
Then on Monday, Alabama got to lose spectacularly to Clemson in the college football national championship. I watched the game with my dad and Jonathan, taking advantage of a free trial with Sling to watch on ESPN via my dad’s laptop (connected to the TV via HDMI, which worked great). It’s one of the two football games I usually watch each year, though Hannah doesn’t pick a winner for this one. We’ll see if Alabama and Clemson meet again next year for yet another re-match.