01 November 2008

Today I put my money where my mouth is

That is to say, today I put my feet on the street, knocked on doors and asked people to support my candidate. Sure, I've done harder things. Heck, I've asked people for money. Of course, those were very rich people. Now that I think about it, my life has taken some interesting turns.

But today I traveled to Charleston, Missouri, to canvas for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Missouri, of course, is an important swing state, and I'd sure like to see it go blue. I was partnered with a very pleasant, humorous, and rather cute man named Curtis from St. Louis. Well, St. Louis and Sikeston. He has homes in both places. I laughed and told him if he kept this up, he was going to look more like John McCain than Barack Obama. Curtis is about my age. I didn't ask him how old he was and I have noticed that black men seem to age exceptionally well, but I'm guessing anyway that he was mid- to late-40s. We walked and knocked on doors and as we walked we talked. Turns out Curtis is a first time voter. Never voted in an election before (can you believe that!). So this was also his first time beating the street for a candidate. I asked him what drove him to not only register, but to volunteer. He said, "I figure if I'm going to do something, I should do it all the way." True.

Curtis was funny. We laughed and had a good time. Almost everyone we talked to was excited about voting for Obama/Biden. We just told them how important it was to not get cocky, to make sure they went to the polls on Tuesday, and to take everyone they knew with them. The most common reaction we got was nodding heads. One younger fellow was in his front yard and I noticed he had a truck. I told him not to go to the polls until he had filled that truck bed up with voters. =)

We knocked on doors in public housing, single family homes, and apartment complexes next to industrial areas. The area we canvassed had mostly black voters, but about 1/3 of our list was white. Only two households told us that they weren't going to vote Democrat, one black and one white. The white lady was an issue voter and that issue was abortion. End of discussion. The other lady was married to a hard-core Republican. There wasn't much to talk about there. An older woman told us that she was "probably going to vote for one of them but didn't know which one and it probably didn't matter anyway--they were both the same." I told her, "if it doesn't matter to you which one you vote for, why don't you vote for Barack Obama as a favor to me." ;) She was the only voter I got that racist vibe from. The fact that she went out of her way to try to convince me that it wasn't because he was black probably made me suspect her. You can't win them all, I guess.

I had a very good time. I'd do it again. In fact, I just might. I could go down and work with Curtis again driving voters to the polls on Tuesday. As long as I get back in time to host my own party, it could all work out.

He gave me his phone number. Said he hoped to celebrate the victory with me or commiserate our loss. I can't decide if he was trying to pick me up or not. I'm kinda clueless that way. Although I bought a piece of this campaign, today I feel like I earned a piece of this campaign. When he wins, it will be doubly sweet.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome. Glad you had a good canvassing experience. I've only canvassed locally for a Congressional candidate, but it's fun when you get to engage the people you're talking to. Makes you feel like you actually DO have a role in this whole democracy thingie.

    P.S. I say give him a call. ;-)