Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
On our last day, Marc and I woke up reasonably early (which was relatively late compared to when we had been waking up!) to pack our things and head to the coast! We said our goodbyes to our wonderful host family, and then set off to pick up Zach in Kingston again. With the help of his GPS once again, we headed to Newburyport, Massachusetts to see the ocean and get some lunch. We wound up along a port, which was pretty cute, but I had kind of been expecting beaches. Oh well, the water would have been far too cold to wade in. After Marc and I got a picture, the three of us headed back up towards the “downtown” of the city to try to find something local for lunch. It started raining, which I thought was pretty in tune with my preconceptions of Massachusetts. We stopped a woman who told us that Angela’s Café was fabulous, so we headed in that direction. I got fish and chips, which I thought was really good – I’m glad I got seafood while I was up there! After we finished up, we walked through the town for a few minutes, and then headed back to Kingston to say our goodbyes to Zach. From there, it was off to Salem to pick up Clarissa and to the airport in Manchester. Our flights were amazingly all on time again and we all got our luggage in KC. I can safely say that I’ve never been so happy to be back in Kansas again!
Unfortunately, I’m updating this a little bit late, because, as expected, yesterday was beyond insane. We started out doing visibility on the highway corner bright and early in the morning, which was fun, because we teamed up with this amazing supporter who’s a big volunteer in the area. We’d worked with Fran several times before, but her energy at 7:30 in the morning on a highway corner was really infectious. She’s just wonderful because she’s so earnest and believes so strongly in Obama’s ability to really fix our nation. After a while, we headed to the Dunkin again to coffee up for the day and drove over to our HQ.
The higher ups in the campaign decided to shake things up for the day, which we weren’t all that happy about. We were just handing out door hangers, reminding people to get out and vote, which was pretty much ridiculous. I went out with Chelsea, the wonderful high schooler who had offered us her house to base our operations out of for the first few days we were in New Hampshire. She is so fabulous – she had skipped school for the day to help out Barack, even though she couldn’t even vote. She and I hit a bunch of houses around the area that she lived, which went well until the melting snow caused a little accident. Because it was so unusually warm for the area, all the snow that had fallen was melting into ice and mud. Lots and lots of mud. Thus, as I was heading back down a hill from one of the houses, I took two nasty falls down one little lane and wound up absolutely covered in mud and grass. Chelsea and I decided that I was too gross to walk up to houses and talk to people and it was just about time for lunch, so we headed back to HQ to sort out the mess of getting me new pants.
It was good that we got to the bar early, because it started to fill up fast! All sorts of people came in that had worked on the Obama campaign. Lots of college aged kids, but a lot of older people too. We chatted with a kid from New Mexico, which was pretty fun, as well as talking to several other kids from around the New Hampshire area. Unfortunately, as the results started to pour in right after 8, Hilary started to pull more and more ahead as the night went on. Every time the difference between Hilary and Obama would lessen, a huge cheer would go up through the crowd – it was pretty amazing to be a part of. When Hilary was finally given the check mark, everyone booed – I shared their sentiments. It was awesome watching Barack speak though – his speech was incredibly eloquent for a second place finish, especially compared to Hilary’s speech. The whole bar chanted “Yes we can!” after Barack finished – so cool.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Today started out with more visibility again – this time it was much warmer and a little humid, so it wasn’t unbearable to stand outside for an hour. We got a lot of honks and thumbs up and I only had one guy point a finger to his head and pretend to pull the trigger. Such is the like of a campaign worker… We stopped by the Dunkin’ again, which was hilarious, because they remembered us from the last time we were in. Good news, because we’ll be in there tomorrow too. Visibility is getting pretty important, with a lot of people saying that they won’t make their decision until the day of. That statement still seems ridiculous to me, because I just don’t know how a person in their right mind could do that, but oh well.
This afternoon, I went out with the state representative again. Somehow, the two of us wind up assigned to shanty town, New England every time, so I wasn’t about to go tromping off by myself anyways, so I guess it wasn’t all bad. At one point, we wound up way far back in this lake village with strange houses, some from corrugated steel, some pink trailers with seven sliding glass doors on the front. We did happen upon a little island on a lake, however, which was pretty cute. The word island was stretching it, but it was a peninsula, as it was surrounded by water on about 3.5 sides.
Tonight involved Marc and I getting sent to the Derry office to do door hangers, which was ridiculous for any and all reasons you could ever think of. We wound up in a trailer park outside of Derry with no one to direct us where to go. At that point of the night, I hated pretty much everyone that I had talked to within the past five days. Thus, we finally decided to screw it and headed home (Streets and Trips is a lifesaver…). All I’m focused on right now is getting through the next 24 hours…
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
As a brief precursory note, I am typing this entry as Marc and I drive between houses here after the debates, simply to preserve my time at home for sleep!
Today has been a good day – although darling Marc woke up late and we made a quick wrong turn on the way to the office again, we did make it to the office in time to grab a canvassing packet. Off Marc and I went to a nearby town to walk door to door, talking to voters. Even though we were supposed to have a “short packet,” it took us about three hours to get through. I was exhausted, but I really did have a much better time than sitting in the office calling. All sorts of things happened, like Marc trying to send me alone to a house whose driveway housed a hearse CONTAINING A COFFIN. Needless to say, I didn’t make a single call alone after seeing that! We got Marc a picture with the grave of Josiah Bartlett, the second signature on the declaration of independence and the man whom the president on the West Wing was named after. Marc just had to stop so we could get a photo op with the grave (memorial stone?).
After a quick lunch break at Lindy’s country store again, the other canvassers were sent off and I worked for a while making signs for publicity. After a while, a state representative stopped by wanting to canvas who needed a getaway driver – I volunteered on the condition that I would not be leaving the car, so I wouldn’t wear myself out like I did this morning. She handed me the keys to “the only ghettomobile in White Hampshire” which was this awesome Buick with mirrors that were a different colour than the car. We headed off to this lake area that had the state’s narrowest roads (I learned that sometimes a three point turn sometimes has to be a seven, eight, or nine point turn… think Austin Powers stuck in the hallway…). After about two hours of that, we finally called it quits at dark. (The photo is of the last glimpse of sun over one of the littler lakes) Around here, there are no street lights, and on a night without a moon, there’s not a light in sight. As we headed back into town, we did see many of the houses with a single candle light in each window – so pretty.
Tonight, we were able to recuperate with food from volunteers and by watching the debates at the house of a supporter. (The photo is of me with Orack Barama, their Obama Penguin) The amazing thing we are seeing here is how much we are treated like family by these people we’ve known for two days. Now granted, we are spending 12-15 hour days with everyone, but it really has been wonderful to experience. We ate pizza tonight and sat around and really recuperated from the day by watching the candidates debate tonight at the house. It was really the best time I had had since I arrived here. I cannot wait for the town hall event tomorrow at a local high school. We’ll be staffing the event (who knows what that means though) and we’ll definitely get to see the Senator speak at the event – so cool.
This morning started out with not the brightest idea we’ve ever had: campaign exposure on the side of the road on a New Hampshire morning. It was unbelievably cold, but it was really wonderful to see so many people honking, waving, and giving us thumbs up. I felt like the reception was amazing, which was a nice change of pace. It was so cold that I couldn’t feel my hands after about five minutes, but I figured out quickly how to keep moving and stay in the sun so I stayed a bit warmer. After about 30 minutes, we packed it in an visited one of the about one hundred Dunkin’ Donuts that is around this area (they’re everywhere – it’s amazing!) for some hot coffee.
We moved shop to another location this morning to better coordinate with volunteers that are from the community. We have people making phone calls and canvassing, which is wonderful to see. From what I can tell, the kids that went out door to door today had an awesome experience, just talking to voters and getting a better feel for the voter sentiment towards our candidate.
Marc and I grabbed two of the other interns this evening once they were finished canvassing and we headed out to Exeter, a town close by to where we were, for some actual dinner. We wound up at a Asian restaurant because one of the girls wanted us to bring her back some edmame. The dinner was delicious and we definitely had some left over for later, which is fantastic. We got to call it an early night, so I’ll keep this short so that I can maybe get in a full night’s sleep – keep your fingers crossed for me!