Thursday, October 30, 2008

Political opposites share a wall

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 10:50 AM

By NADIA PFLAUM

p_mccain_vs_obama.jpg

Driving along State Line Road between 43rd Street and Shawnee Mission Parkway, you see almost as many Obama signs as Halloween pumpkins. That makes the one McCain-Palin sign stand out all the more. The next address over displays an Obama sign. What seems a little awkward, though, is that the two addresses are halves of the same duplex. It's one thing ro share a street with a bitter political rival. It's another to share a wall. Right?

Actually, says Bill Griffiths, owner of the McCain sign, it's not so bad. Then again, he's the landlord for the address next door. His renters, the three young women with the Obama sign out front, all graduated from Bishop Miege High School.

"I like them a lot," Griffiths says. "I won't have any problems with it [the Obama sign]. I used to be a waiter at the Capital Grille, and there, I was referred to as the staff Republican. I'm used to dealing with people whose views are contrary to my own. I used to joke that I was an affirmative-action hire in terms of my political beliefs."

Griffiths works at Sprint now. He says he used to be a pretty rabid Republican, but these days he's pretty moderate. "When McCain picked Palin, I told my wife that I was really happy. We'll either have our first black president our our first female vice president. Either is a good thing for the country."

So there won't be any furniture thrown through the duplex's common wall on Election Day. But things could get a little heated next door to Griffiths, where the Obama sign stands. "It's probably more awkward within our household," says Genevieve Schlake, who put up the Obama sign. One of her roommates is a staunch Republican. Roomie Molly Lindquist says she's undecided. Lindquist tries to stay in the middle as her roommates duke it out. "It's crazy," Lindquist says, laughing.

Just two of many households whose occupants will breathe sighs of relief on November 5 -- assuming there's a declared winner.

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