My wife and I have been very active over the last 18 months with our volunteer efforts here in Wisconsin. Beginning with the Wisconsin Recall elections followed up by this years Presidential election things have been happening non stop.
Frankly, I can't take as much credit as my wife can. And, frankly, she doesn't take as much credit as she should.
Together, though, we have knocked on hundreds of doors, registered dozens of voters, made hundreds of calls, donated hundreds of dollars, and even hosted our first debate party.
Mrs. ForestLake was recently 'promoted' within the OFA organization and is now on the list for super special event type stuff.
Follow me below the cheese curd to find out what she participated in tonight....
Obama held a conference call with his 30,000+ field volunteers. It was hosted by Mitch Stewart, the director of OFA.
When I realized that the president himself was actually going to be patched through I hurriedly tried to download the iPhone microphone app. It was still loading when the White House operator cut into the conference call. My app was still only halfway downloaded.....and by the time I had it loaded and figured out Obama had been talking for 20 second or so. But, I did manage to capture most all of his chat.
I spent the last 30 minutes transcribing it for everyone here to read. He is as charismatic off the cuff as he is on the stump.
…..Not just through this year but through my entire first term. Not to mention, In addition to being grateful I’m just unbelievably impressed because you guys helped build the greatest grass roots election in the history of the country…..
I speak for Joe Biden and Michelle, when we are all……
You registered hundreds of thousands of voters. Just take a couple of examples -Florida and North Carolina each registered over 300,000 new voters which is unbelievable. And, that didn’t just help us win an election - I mean you changed the nature of the electorate of those states moving forward. Everything you did from holding local team meeting to hosting debate watch parties to canvassing to voter registration all helped people get involved in their civic life for in some cases for some people for the first time. And this just made us a better country.
So I‘m so proud of what you guys did. And so proud of what you accomplished. This was a long hard fought race. It had a lot of ups and downs but you guys always kept your eye on the ball. You worked hard and you didn’t let the story of the day or week distract you. You didn’t waiver. You were an example of what we talk about when we say we’re all in this together.
And you also proved the naysayers wrong because a lot of people, frankly, were skeptical that we could duplicate what we did in 2008. And, with all the head winds that we had you guys exceeded it in many cases. You showed America that things don’t have to be like they have always been. And, on a personal note, you guys stuck by me through good days and bad days. Weeks were everybody said we couldn’t lose – weeks when they said we couldn’t win. After the first debate when everyone was sure this was a disaster. You just kept on going. You sacrificed time with friend and family. You probably didn’t get much sleep. All of which – not just made out victory possible – but changed the conversation in the country about who we are and how we need to move forward.
So, to all of you…. a lot of you I had a chance to meet on the campaign trail, some of whom I have never met – but, I am so proud of what you guys accomplished. And I will always be in awe and inspired by what you have done.
Now, so that is the good news. The bad news is our work can’t stop now. Because, as we learned in the first term in some ways an election is just the beginning – it’s not the end point. It is a means to a goal and that is to actually help families across the country. We have accomplished a lot like heath care reform to wall street reform but we’ve got a lot more to do. That is why I ran for a second term. And, that‘s why you guys worked so hard.
As we move forward there are going to be new wrinkles, new frustrations - we can’t predict them yet. But we are going to have some triumphs - some successes. But there are going to be some tough days ahead starting with some of these negotiations around the fiscal cliff that you guys have probably read about and making sure that our tax system is fair.
So we’re going to need you guys to stay active. We need you to stick with us and stay on this. I am pledging to do a better job - even than we did in the first term - in making sure you guys stay in involved and that you know exactly what we’re doing. That we’re giving you guys clear direction and talking points in terms of how we keep mobilizing across the country. How we can all stay involved with each other because we are just stronger when we are together.
And, this gives me a good opportunity just to say – obviously – I think I speak for the volunteers when I say how proud we are of Mitch, all the state directors, the incredible staff, most of whom are still under 30 it seems like. But, they worked so hard and poured their hearts into this thing. Mitch, I couldn’t be prouder of you. But, obviously, you were only as successful as our volunteers were willing to let us be successful. To all of our volunteers on the phone, I love you guys. I’m so proud of you. You should take a breath and just kinda look at what you’ve accomplished and what you have done. America is never going to be the same because of what you have done. It’s just a better placed because of your involvement.
Mitch is going to talk to you about how you can stay involved so don’t let up. I expect to keep seeing a bunch of you as I am traveling. One of my pledges for my second term is to get out of Washington more often because it’s just good for my soul. The more I get a chance to see you guys the better off I am. I’m proud of you guys and I love you.