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View Diary: How Can I Be a Better Volunteer for the Obama Campaign? (48 comments)

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  •  Tips/Recs? (22+ / 0-)

    My dad once said, "son, what you know would fill a large book.  What you don't know fills all the libraries of the world".

    Kay Hagan for Senate!

    by nicweb on Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 05:27:05 PM PDT

    •  I used to mortally fear canvassing/phone banking (8+ / 0-)

      and now, those things are two of my favorite things to do on a volunteer campaign (especially face-to-face canvassing). The more you do it, the more comfortable you become with it. Practice makes better. And remember, you don't have to have stellar speaking skills to be a good canvasser; you just need to be friendly, be yourself, and say what you believe in.

      As Obama's Neighbor to Neighbor site demonstrates, it all starts with the people you already see everyday in your own neighborhood. People are generally more likely to trust someone "in their neck of the woods" than an outside canvasser from DC who doesn't know shit from shineola about your surroundings or what your neighbors are going through on a day-to-day basis.

      To answer your questions, 1) dress neatly but casually and comfortably--because you'll be doing a lot of door-to-door walking; and 2) use the script as a guide and a core to get you started, but feel free to add a personal touch (e.g. "My sister-in-law just got laid off, and she's very concered about the fact that she'll lose her healthcare"), or re-word the script in a way that remains true to the message but is more natural-sounding and not "forced".

      Hope this helps--and best of luck. :)

      Palin raised taxes as governor, supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it...and thinks the war in Iraq is "a task from God." - Joe Klein

      by boofdah on Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 05:32:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't stress about a 40-3 ratio. (6+ / 0-)

      That's really about par for the course, at least in the suburbia I was working in today.  The great thing is that the info you bring back to HQ is still valuable.  They will note that a contact still needs to be made and they will usually try a different time to improve the chances. Sometimes a campaign will have to knock on a door a dozen times before they make contact.

    •  I want to volunteer, also, but am terrified..... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blue Intrigue, mamamedusa, nicweb

      Your questions echo many of the concerns that I have about canvassing and phone banking.  I did some phone banking in 2004, and it was not a good experience.  

      I guess I took the nasty rejections too seriously and personally.  I'm not a pushy person, and being sworn at, insulted, and even threatened, really intimidated me.  There were a few pleasant conversations... a VERY few.  

      My admiration and respect for the Obama supporters who've knocked on doors, and taken that abuse face-to-face knows no bounds.  You are my heroes, big time!!!!

      I feel the same way you do.  I send in donations each month (small, but all I can afford); I talk with friends and family members, getting as many to register as I can, and I'll personally drive whomever I can to the polls on Election Day.  But, I know that's still not enough.  Every day I get closer to taking the plunge.  So, thanks for the push!

      I think your diary is what I've needed to get me over some of my fears.  Thank you. I'm now wolfing down all of the encouraging comments and suggestions. :-)

      (I think I can... I think I can... I think I can...)

      •  I'm with you, awcomeon.... (4+ / 0-)

        and today I finally took the plunge, went down to our Campaign for Change office and made 60 calls.  The first one was the toughest, of course.

        I was given a list of elderly, active voters who had no declared party affiliation.

        I live in a very traditional, very white part of the country where guns, hunting and snow machines are a big deal. I prepared myself to hear an earful...

        ....and I didn't have a single nasty conversation, not one.  A couple were short and quite terse, the rest quite pleasant, fun even.    

        Yes, I'll do it again.

        Then I'll work up to knocking on doors....

        •  Thanx so much for sharing that. I am amazed at (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Blue Intrigue, mamamedusa

          how many great ideas I've gotten on this one thread!  I guess that saying, "Ask and ye shall receive",  still applies on a daily basis.  'Cause I've sure been asking the Lord for some courage to do my part in getting Obama elected!

          You have no idea how much I appreciate you taking the time to tell me about your experiences today.  I feel my mojo coming back! Really!  (LOL)  

          Peace, friend.  

          •  My worst door-knocks haven't been that bad. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Blue Intrigue, awcomeon

            The worst I've gotten so far is an abrupt, "I'm a McCain man" with the door closed quickly.  This, in a small midwestern town with a lot of elderly conservative White people.

            Approaching with a smile and genuine attitude of community service goes a long way.  It helps to know that every door-knock, even the ones where someone basically tells me to go away, is productive.  Those closed doors are more information:  No one from the Obama campaign ever needs to spend any time on that voter again.  Good; that's useful data.  Move on to someone we might persuade.

            •  I never thought about even the rejections by (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Blue Intrigue

              McCain voters being positive information for the Obama campaign to use.  DEFINITELY makes a difference in the way I think about canvassing and phone banking now.

              Each comment has helped me learn more and more.  All have been valuable.  Yours is another excellent one.  Heartfelt thanks to every one of you!

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