November 2nd, 2004

E-Day

Midnight: Just got home from the post-election “party.” We closed up shop in Shoreline at about 8:30 after the last of our poll watcher data came in. We had CNN on and the mood visably deteriorated as the results started to come in.

About 1/2 hour ago I was sitting next to one of the teenagers who came up to Everett with me to volunteer for a day. “What did we do wrong?” She asked. “We didn’t do anything wrong,” I said. “And neither did you. You were there and you worked really hard – I SAW you do it.”

But I wonder. I talked with her mom for a while at about 10pm. We both wondered if things wouldn’t have turned out differently if the party machinery wasn’t so fucked up. But now, I’m going to bed. I’m going to try, for now, to believe that I did all I could for this election. Washington is a Kerry state right now, and Patty Murray kept her seat. That’s what I worked on and for now, for the next 24 hours, it’s going to have to do.
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October 29th, 2004

Switch

Today I hung out with Pat. He’s ex-Boeing, laid off two years ago. He’s 62, an avid cross country skier, and he makes his own apple cider. He’s also an ex-Republican. Naturally, I asked him why.

To my surprise, it was abortion rights that made Pat switch.

“Men can’t have babies. Until they can have babies, they shouldn’t be make decisions about abortion. Also, some time back I attended a rally, some right wing organization, where they were on about abortion. I asked the guy if he was willing to pay to raise the little bastards – by that I mean the traditional definition of the term, a fatherless child – himself. Heavens, no, he said. So I said, wouldn’t it be better to let that soul have another shot at finding a host that wants it?”

I don’t know why I was suprised by this, but I was. It’s not everyday an old guy in a Dickey jumpsuit and aviator eyeglasses tells you why abortion rights matter. I kind of think he should be the new front man for Planned Parenthood ads.


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October 28th, 2004

Everyone is doing it

You know what’s cool? When you meet the volunteers. One of whom might very well include a transvestite in black and purple striped stockings. Or a 60ish schoolteacher who lets you have her salad because she can see you’re really hungry and you’ve been there since, well earlier than her, that’s for sure.

I’m running a phone bank in Shoreline on Election Day. If you’re not yet signed up to volunteer that day, I can use your help. Drop me a line.


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October 25th, 2004

Three Good Reasons to Vote Democratic

I pay 240 dollars a month for health insurance. This might not seem like a lot of money to you, but when you’re not working, it’s a good chunk of change. Not that I’m complaining about not working. I plan for it, it’s the nature of being a freelancer, plus it gives me time to volunteer for the Democrats.
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October 11th, 2004

It’s for you

I guess it should not have surprised me, but I don’t have kids. See, it turns out that young teenage girls LOVE to talk on the phone! This was especially handy on Friday afternoon when the three good sports I took to the campaign office learned they were going to spend the afternoon making phone calls.

Not only did they cruise through the list, lining up volunteers left and left (I can’t say left and right), but they did it with good humor, patience, and they didn’t want to go home. They were kind to the cranky, didn’t take the hang ups personally, and they worked really hard. I kept checking in on them to make sure they were okay and to see if they wanted to do something else, but nope, they even turned down the project involving markers.

Two 13s and a 12. They get a 10. Plus.


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October 5th, 2004

Bread and Circuses

1. Grandma on the phone, calling Seniors: “Oh honey, I KNOW, we all loved him as president. Things were so much better than.” I sat next to her for a while and watched her work. She was AWESOME. A thing that is true: YOU are the best person to activate your crowd. She’s a perfect illustration of that.

2. Woman I called while recruiting volunteers: “Just look at what happened in Rome. I mean, that’s what President Bush is doing. He’s giving us bread and circuses. This has GOT to stop.” Hallelujah, sister.

BTW, I can hook you up with an election day Get Out The Vote crew. Just drop me a line.


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October 4th, 2004

Two and One

I got two Republicans and a non voter. That’s right. I got them, they’re voting for Kerry this time around. I wanted to mention that in a big old public forum like this to remind you that the while election is a mere month away you can still bag a swing voter. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest campaign office. Or just start workin’ the crowd. You might think you don’t know any Republicans, but you do, you do. I might have only got three votes, but they’ll tell two friends…

We have to win. See, I’m not leaving if we don’t. I’ve decided to secede. And it is really going to piss of my downstairs neighbors when civil war starts on my front porch. Do it for them.


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September 28th, 2004

The Dirty Work

Face it. The phone calls are a drag. It’s telemarketing, plain and simple; it’s a politician you’re selling, not magazines or timeshares. And it sucks. It’s wearing and dull. And people are angry. They’ve been called 97 times by 97 different campaigns. They don’t want to talk about their politics to a stranger on the phone. And hell, why should they? As they reminded me repeatedly, it’s their right not to tell anyone how they’re voting. They are right. I can’t argue with them. Also, it turns out, duh, there’s a ton of policy I know f*ck all about.

The hardcore Republicans? Very nice to me. Really nice. Polite. The undecided voters? Totally inscrutable. I’d ask them what issues were important to them in the election and they didn’t know. Are they kidding with that? A bunch of people hung up on me. And I talked to one funny old coot who said this in a slow southern twang:

“I don’t like that Bush. We shouldn’t have gone in there.I fought in WWII. I was 19 years old when I enlisted and I don’t like how we went into Iraq. They’ve been fighting there since time began. And our Lord was there, Jesus was there and they were fighting then and they’re still fighting.” How do you respond to that?

The staffers do the dirty work too, it’s not just the volunteers. the staffer next to me cranked through her list of phone calls while I did mine. What a day. I’m whacked. I must have made a hundred phone calls.

I turned on the radio when I got in to the car. American Pie had just started and I sang along. When I got off the freeway, the huge orange moon was hanging low in the sky. I guess that’s the payoff. The orange moon and “this’ll be the day that I die.”


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September 23rd, 2004

I Have No Idea Where that Number Came From

From the “No, I am NOT blogging my time at the campaign office” files comes today’s clip:

“600,000 Democrats threatening to leave the country? How is that good for the campaign? We need to keep in mind that it’s not over yet. What’s with the defeatist attitude? We need to be saying we’re winning with Kerry and Edwards. It’s not over yet.”


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September 21st, 2004

You Said It, Sister!

From the “No, I am NOT blogging my time at the campaign office” files comes this tiny vignette. A 70ish lady, fully decked out in Kerry/Edwards regalia. Upon handing off her project of the morning, she said this to the staffer at my left:

“You know, I LOVE this country, but when I think about what our government has done in Iraq, I just get so damn angry! Don’t GET me started!”


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