January 2020 has been unusually balmy, with temperatures hovering close to 80° during the first week, so I decided that this was the year I would participate in Martin Luther King Day at the South Carolina State Capital. Naturally, I awoke the morning of January 20 to a temperature reading below freezing. But I decided I was tough, so I bundled up, grabbed my hat and gloves and headed downtown.
The kickoff event was a service at Zion Baptist Church and was attended by eight of the presidential hopefuls.
Not knowing I could have gone inside, I waited outside in the cold as a helicopter hovered overhead, and watched the crowd grow while police officers and bomb-sniffing dogs lingered nearby. There was a plethora of Sanders, Biden, Buttigieg, Warren, Sanders, and Steyer signs from people who had already decided who they were planning to vote for on the February 29th primary. A speaker was set up so we could hear the service, but the crowd was busily chatting away.
Around 10:00, the doors opened and the church emptied out. We were able to catch a brief look at the candidates as they headed up the street so they could lead the march to the State House. During that day, they played nice with each other and walked arm in arm.
I was near the back of the group with my Moms Demand Action group.
When we arrived at the State House, we were greeted by a crowd of thousands. There were plenty of speeches and musical interludes, and it was then that I learned that Tom Steyer was quite a dancer.
I am lucky to be now living in an early primary state, which gives me the opportunity to meet and listen to the presidential candidates. That is an opportunity which I did not have when I lived in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina or Georgia.
It was a grand day.