This has been an eventful start in the "getting out the vote" phase of the campaign. Man, while Grampy McSame and Caribou Barbie made a show in St. Paul we got a family of three and another woman to join the area Obama leader to plan how we would do our part for the next nine weeks to get the word out to our neighborhood and to get as many Obama/Biden supporters to come make the change in Washington we all need.
What was really special this time around is that unlike the primary where I went out alone to do it my sweetie is helping out with the data entry part of the effort and will be with me downtown in Dayton to help with the phone banks. Even our 13-year-old may help out (if she can get her head out of her books, which isn't a bad thing really). So on Monday night we planned to do a couple of hours canvassing around our neighborhood and then on Mondays call for a couple of hours.
Today (Saturday) we hit the pavement, or at least I hit the pavement because Brenda only had three hours of sleep Friday and worked 12 hours last night into Saturday morning. By the time I had to leave she was still seeing double due to lack of sleep on her part. No issues.
Two other folks came along with our field leader to hit the pavement getting out the vote. This is great! We got our folders, got our orders, and then we decided to either pair up or go solo. What in God's name made me go solo? This meant I was responsible for hitting the pavement, ringing the door bells, stating the case and (gasp) take the rejections from potential voters. Sauce for the goose I guess.
First house, wonderful for me! They were already hitting their next door neighbor to support Obama and I even went next door to give her material (even though she didn't have any material at all or was on our canvassing list). There were some houses with people not home, a couple who wouldn't open their doors, a few undecided, and a few homes where their kids are in college and already hitting the pavement for Obama/Biden.
But the story that will stick to me for the rest of my life came to the second to last house on the street I was on. I came up the driveway towards the front door and the door opened with a woman in her 40s talking to her sister on the other line from Tennessee.
This is how the conversation went:
"Hold up while I talk to this man at the door with an Obama button on. Give me a minute girl!"
"Hi, this is Eddy with the Obama/Biden campaign..."
"OH MY GOD!!! YES! GO OBAMA!! THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT GIRL! GOOD JOB MY DAWG! LET'S TURN OHIO AND TENNESSEE BLUE!!"
"We nee some volunteers," I said.
"Girl, you need to get on that!"
"You know we are busy, but I know we can do some data entry at home."
"That's a good start ma'am! I'll put you down on the list and have our rep talk with you later."
"Mama, I want to go door to door," said her 11 year old daughter.
"Girl, you too young to go by yourself," said her mom.
"That' right girl, you too young. You need someone to go with you if you want to help," said her aunt in Tennessee.
In the process I got a volunteer and a long distance Obama supporter helping me seal the deal with this family for their support during the campaign. You couldn't make this stuff up in a Hollywood script. You read stories here on Kos and other places, but to me...in Ohio...long distance?!
I did get a few "no thank you, I'm for the other guy" receptions, but I did get a couple of houses I spent 15 minutes talking about issues important to them (i.e.--house taxes, abortion, etc.).
They were not even on the list!!
By the time we are done and back to our starting point we laughed about our encounters; we planned for our next week in canvassing and the upcoming phone banking. I came away amazed that I even went canvassing on my own and I actually felt bad I didn't have enough time to go a bit longer on the streets I already had on my map and list. No bother. I'll be right back at it next Saturday with hopefully a few more stories to tell you (and my grand kids someday).
Till then, here's Land of Confusion by Genesis. I especially love the line near the end of the song:
I WON'T BE COMING HOME TONIGHT
MY GENERATION WILL PUT IT RIGHT
WE'RE NOT JUST MAKING PROMISES
THAT WE KNOW WE'LL NEVER KEEP