A couple of weekends ago, the local office here in Nashua for the Obama campaign opened up and I attended an open house where I put my name on the volunteer list. You may recall, if you're a regular reader here (not that I've been posting on anything close to a regular basis for most of this year!), that I made up my mind to vote for Obama in the New Hampshire primary at the very last minute, but I made a strong committment at that moment and have not wavered from it..
I told the office staff that I preferred in-office work rather than going out to wave signs or pound the pavement in this election cycle, because I don't want a repeat of the peroneal tendonitis that I got in 2004 while canvassing for John Kerry. The field coordinator was happy to oblige, and last Wednesday I did my first evening of volunteer work on the phone bank. I did my second stint tonight.
New Hampshire is a battleground state, which went red in 2000 but very, very blue in 2004. Still, the latest polls put us in a statistical dead heat, and every electoral vote counts. People from around the region will be coming to New Hampshire to help, but I think it's very important that we get lots of true local volunteers working for the campaign. .
Tonight I made 60 calls in about 90 minutes. On most of them I got an answering machine. I was working from a list of mostly independent voters, so there were a couple of hang-ups, and a couple of "we're for the other guy", but a few more who told me that they intend to vote for Senator Obama. There was one "undecided" this week, who didn't like Obama but didn't particularly like Senator McCain either but didn't know any other candidates, so I helpfully mentioned the name Bob Barr to him -- figuring that if he votes Libertarian that's still one less vote for McCain.
Most calls are very brief. I did get one "talker" last week, who kept me on the line for about 10 minutes asking questions about specific issues and where to get information, which was far more interesting than most calls. I kept it very low key, and don't know if I convinced him, but I think I gave it a pretty good effort. Of course there is a suggested script, but we only follow it very loosely. Our goal is to get information and also to give information -- about the candidate and issues, but also about voter registration and absentee ballots. These calls are not soliciting contributions, but recruiting potential volunteers is a definite goal.
I hope to be able to put in at least one, if not two nights per week volunteering between now and the election, which by the way is now 75 days away. Next week might be the exception, as I'll be a bit busy with something big on the home front -- which I will blog about in few days.
I will be blogging occasionally about election issues, but I haven't decided whether I will do it here or open another blog for it.
1. Tom Franks08/22/2008 04:39:32 PM
Richard: I hope you continue blogging here on this. I understand that if you were going to have an ongoing politically oriented blog that you might want to separate it, but this is the kind of thing I like to see in the Domino blogsphere. I think it's much more interesting when folks write occasionally about faith, sights seen, and achieving children and family activities; it let's me know we actually are a community of people, and not just a bunch of stark raving tech-heads. :)
2. Jack Dausman08/27/2008 10:28:07 PM
Richard, good for you ! I think this election is too important for anyone to remain silent on their choice. Thank you.
3. David Vasta08/30/2008 01:13:24 AM
How can you answer questions about Obama policies when he says one thing and then puts another on his web site? Which TRUTH do you tell the caller, or do you give them what they want to hear?
Poor and broke? YES Comrade Obama will fix that!
Just checking in.....
4. Tomato Cain07/27/2012 11:05:56 AM
Just curious, but is this "Power of the Schwartz" in reference to the media network controlled by "The Boy-Scout" that traffics pro-Obama / anti-Palin, anti-Bush, anti-McCain, anti-Romney messages? He stunk up all of Eastern Europe, France and Britain and now he's carried his mission to the USA.