Something The Dog Said caught my attention this morning. The dog said "This Election is O.V.E.R." While I often take the opinions of children, talking animals and Hoosiers with a grain of salt (and a little less tequila), this dog is right. At four weeks out we are in "The Catbird Seat," a very comfortable and unfamiliar position for Democrats, especially ones who weren't around when Bill Clinton ran against Bob Dole.
But an electoral lock and a conservative rout are not enough. I want to win big, win HUGE, with a mandate from the electorate that leaves Alegre and the PUMAs demoralized and confused, and shatters the GOP into their various tribes. I want to run up the score, and I want to make it hurt, because this election may be the only real payback we're going to give them for eight years of awfulness, for lies and deceit and mismanagement.
This election is our referendum, so let's make the mandate irrefutable.
Frankly, there's not much analysis left to be done. Nate Silver's inestimably amazing poll analysis has consistently reported that Obama is not only winning, but winning big with more than 335 electoral votes. But if one looks over FiveThirtyEight carefully there's also the option of WINNING HUGE: an approximately one in three chance of winning a hallowed "375+" electoral vote total. That number is within our reach if Obama takes NC, MO, OH, IN, and VA.
Despite growing up a Hoosier, it's the last one, Virginia, that concerns me. You see, after Palin managed to rally the GOP base, I pledged that I would do something that goes against my nature: volunteer my time to the Obama campaign. And I have. I've been making calls for the Campaign from the Bethesda, Maryland campaign headquarters (that's just four blocks north of the Bethesda Metro if you're looking for it).
Maryland is blue country, Obama country. But right next door to us is Virginia. Virginia is a knee-jerk red state where they worry more about their taxes than their roads. But Virginia is also changing demographically. Northern Virginia has been changed by large immigrant populations, its success in courting high-tech businesses, and the influence of the DC Metro region in general. In the Virginia primary, Barack Obama received more votes than all of the Republican candidates combined. Northern Virginia isn't even purple, it's blue. And that gives us an edge.
The Bethesda campaign headquarters has been sending canvassers all over VA, and they're not the only office in Maryland or DC to do so. The Bethesda office alone sent 410 canvassers last week alone, maybe more! And for me the experience has been great. I was steeling myself against the chaos, and against crowds, things that make me nervous (and a nervous SPX is a very bad SPX). But the chaos is actually more complexity: everyone knows their part in the dance, and everyone is boogieing hard. And the crowds are more than friendly, they were welcoming. They even offered me a slice of pizza (a good way to make SPX not nervous).
My day there was spent making calls, trying to find more canvassers. I left the same message 30 times in an hour. And the time flew. You take breaks, people get together in the lunch room to bitch about McCain. Bonus points are given for answering any question, sardonically, "you betch'a!"
But that's not the best part. The best part is seeing all the people from all walks of life, all races and creeds, coming together to make this happen. Like this little guy here:
He's there in the Bethesda office taking pictures with his grandmother. I think she wants him to remember that this happened--that we all came together for Obama. I asked if I could take his picture, and she asked if she could get one of him with me. I could'a cried when she said "You know, he's the future." I got all choked up and couldn't say anything but "Yes ma'am, he is."
This guy stopped by last Saturday too:
He's Congressman Chris Van Hollen, MD-08; my congressman, and a damn good one. He stopped by to give us a pep talk, and told us how amazing the Obama Campaign machine is. He'd never seen anything like the energy he saw in that room.
Here he is again, sideways:
And here are Chris Van Hollen's
$700 Italian Loafers water-damaged, well-worn shoes that made me proud he's my congressman:
One of the office folks noticed me taking that picture, and brought Chris over to take a look. I was mortified, but told him I'm posting them on a blog anyway! Ha!
So that's the run and the rub of it. SPX is volunteering, with people, and liking it. I hope you do the same, or if you can't, toss a few more dollars to the Democrats. Support a local election, the DNC or the Obama campaign. It's all good; it's all about winning HUGE.
And now a few more pictures, just because they make me happy!
Lots of volunteers:
Teenagers volunteer too:
Lots to learn fast:
I don't know why these two are stuck off in this room, but they're working hard:
Teenagers will work for pizza:
Nice Jewish ladies at the front desk. They wanted to know where I got my Hebrew Obama button, I told them "From my Savta, my Jewish Grandmother-in-Law in Florida!"
Obligatory very pretty Obama volunteer:
Thanks for reading, but I'll thank you more if you volunteer or donate,
PS--I'm overly-proud that I finally learned to use Photobucket and got these blurry shots with my Blackberry!