Schlepping for the Vote: Comedian Sarah Silverman Sends Jewish Grandchildren Descending on Florida
Across the country, young Jews are heeding comedian Sarah Silvermans call to have a political pep-talk with their grandparents in Florida. The message is: Dont let bubbe and zaideh vote McCain.
Silvermans video, below, urges the Jewish grandchildren of America to employ cruel threats no more visits to Gods Waiting Room unless nanna and papa vote Obama.
We caught up with one schlepper, Becky Gluskin, a 26-year-old PhD candidate from Manhattan. She shared how her weekend visit to 80-something-year-old grandma Helen in Lantana swayed one more vote to Obama.
What motivated you to make The Great Schlep?
I visit her at least once a year, so I had booked the flight a while ago. I kind of just assumed that she was going to vote for Obama she has been a Democrat for many years. But then seeing that Sarah Silverman video reminded me that I should probably just make sure. I wasnt going to threaten her with not visiting its a pretty awful threat. If it came to threats, the worst I could have done was maybe told her I wasnt going to eat all my food.
When did you broach the subject?
I brought it up right after playing Scrabble. I let her line up the word dizzy right near the triple-word score, and as soon as she put down zoo she was a lot happier and more receptive to any political talk. Usually we talk about food and family, not politics.
Who was Grandma planning to vote for?
She was a Hillary supporter, originally. She was really excited about a woman possibly being president. She told me she had waited all her life for that.
What concerns did she have about Obama?
She thought maybe he was kind of young. I think it was more disappointment on the Hillary side than anything against Obama. She was kind of apathetic. She wasnt going to vote.
How did she respond to your Obama pitch?
She wanted to know why I cared so much. I told her that things are getting pretty scary in the economy, and I thought that Obama was definitely more qualified for the job in terms of that. I thought that McCains nomination of Sarah Palin was a bit insulting and a little scary if his health is not 100%. She likes her [five] grandchildren. I dont know why, but she thinks we might know more, so she listens whenever we talk.
So is Grandma going to vote Obama?
Now I think shes going to get out there. I was trying to tell her that it was important, that if she didnt vote it was kind of like a vote for McCain. The fact that she sees that all her grandkids are pretty excited about Obama, I think shes kind of proud to support him. So yeah, shes gonna get on the little granny bus [in the retirement community] and go to the voting polls.
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