Thursday, August 14, 2008

As the Day Approaches ...

I took this shot from the Obama Campaign HQ in Denver on Tuesday evening. The view looks peaceful but I can assure you, the scene behind me was not. People are dog tired and overworked. I innocently asked one staffer if they had any Obama buttons left - something to ID me when I knock on doors. She just looked at me and started laughing in this strange maniacal manner. It was kinda scary. She just kept laughing until a few tears came. She walked away, still laughing. This is what sleep deprivation does when met with naive questions.

I spent part of my evening going door-to-door asking people who they might vote for in November and if they would like to sign up to receive mail-in ballots. I have not rang stranger-doorbells since I was a wee Camp Fire Girl, asking if folks wanted to buy P-Nuttles or Almond Rocha. Of course, I was much cuter then and greeted with less skepticism. People were mostly nice though there was one dog who humped my leg right outta the yard - that was a close one.

With my task completed earlier than planned, I found a bleary-eyed (they are ALL that way) campaign staffer named Will Bowling and asked what else they needed. "How do you feel about phone banking?" He then handed me somebody's cell phone (someone from North Carolina, evidently) and a list of phone numbers. He sent me off into the buzzing room full of people on phones - some sitting at desks and tables, some on the floor - all very, very focused.

I found enough space on a dirty corner couch and started dialing. What an education! Amazingly, every person I spoke to was gracious - not one rude person. I did get one guy who just wanted to talk and kept me on the phone by declaring his indecision. I finally had to cut him off when he began giving his opinions on cars, air quality, women and bread.

Another woman, after answering my questions politely, ("Who are you going to vote for? Are you going to the convention? What issues matter most to you? Do you want me to sign you up to receive a mail-in ballot?") said, "So, now comes the part where you ask me for a donation, right?"

She caught me off guard. I then threw her for a loop when I said, "Um, no. Not today!"

I talked to a bunch of folks who were undecided, especially Hillary supporters who are still clinging to a dream that Hillary herself has let go of. This I do not understand and this is why the Dems always end up shooting themselves in the foot during a race. From what I can tell, Hillary is doing her best to mesh her flock with Obama's but there are many, many stragglers. I hope they come around before November or will be up Shit Creek ... again.

The words of Eddie Izzard, who I recently saw perform, keep ringing in my ears:
"Okay, people now PLEASE don't fuck it up this time, eh? Vote the right way and then, drive to Florida and vote again, okay? PLEASE!"

Amen to that.


Kath said...

Nice! You just reminded me of one more thing to add to my Vacay To-Do List.

GOTV for Obama!

ClizBiz said...

Hey, I'm here to help.

fyrchk said...

Well, I'm glad you don't have to ask them for donations. I guess I'm doing enough of that for both of us. :)

Go Obama!

ClizBiz said...

Yay, Fyrchk! Bring home the bacon!

Maria said...

Yes...asking for money is not all that fun. I spent a summer in college going door to door raising $$ for an environment group. Mind you this was right after the bubble burst when no one had money. And they would fire you if you didn't make quota. For the most part people would at least listen and offer the occasional glass of lemonade. Watch out for the dogs though - a coworker ran into the street to escape from being bitten and got hit by a car

ClizBiz said...

OMG! That sounds like the type of character-building hospital-bill inducing experience that I'd like to avoid.

Mark Dowdy said...

Thanks for doing the good work, Heather.

One question: how old were the Hillary holdouts?

I ask because I have a theory that most of the PUMA crowd are baby boomers who can't stand the thought of someone younger than themselves becoming president -- hence all the cracks about the naivete of Obama's supporters.

Anyway, good luck w/the canvassing. Go Obama!

ClizBiz said...

Hmmm - there might be something to your theory, Mark. I'm putting in some more hours this week so I'll keep an eye out. The folks I remember were, in fact, older.