Re: More Canvassing Highlights

1

I think the steelworkers wuz hitting on you.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:28 PM
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2

Did you get a steelworkers for Obama t-shirt?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:29 PM
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3

Nah, the steelworker was just being friendly in a wistful kind of way. No t-shirts -- I asked, and they didn't have any in that office.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:31 PM
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4

Indeed, I am the Obama lady.

That is so fabulous.

My county has voted over 97,000 people as of the close of early voting yesterday (there were 175,000 registered voters at the start). Totally a pain in the ass, totally worth it.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:36 PM
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5

I just did some phoning and I'm awful. Maybe the fact that I hate telephones diminishes my potential. I'm not good at doorknocking either, which I've done some of.

The woman working with me was fantastic. She could draw people out and get them talking, and she could push Al Franken (who's a hard sell in Wobegon proper), and she could civilly disagree with people, and I think that I heard her change one or two minds. It was like watching a gymnast or a virtuoso musician.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:38 PM
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6

Don't talk to me about phone voice/personal appearance differentials. On the phone, I'm apparently sexy as fuck. In person, I look like a terrorist, and not a sexy one.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:04 PM
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7

6: So, say, what's your phone number again?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:06 PM
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8

Sexy terrorists.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:07 PM
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9

But you know me, sorta, and my sister-in-law knows him--spent her entire first frigging year of law school in his company, in fact. And my ex-roommate Ron knows him--spent his entire frigging high school in his company, in fact...


Posted by: gnoLeD darB | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:08 PM
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10

I have no idea if we're doing anything useful,

They always say on the news that the game "on the ground" is the most important one. You may not be able to perceive the difference you make, bug given enough of you, you make all the difference.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:10 PM
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11

I affirm that foolishmortal has a nice voice. I don't think he looks like a terrorist, though.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:21 PM
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12

You know me, and I know people who know people who know him!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:29 PM
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The woman working with me was fantastic. She could draw people out and get them talking, and she could push Al Franken (who's a hard sell in Wobegon proper), and she could civilly disagree with people, and I think that I heard her change one or two minds. It was like watching a gymnast or a virtuoso musician.

Yeah, some people have talent. I don't, and on the rare occasion when I did talk with a genuinely undecided voter, I didn't really know what to say. And there wasn't any code for "undecided" that I could punch in, that would ensure that this person gets a call later from someone more persuasive.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:31 PM
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14

I did some phone banking years ago for a gay-rights group in Oregon and got compliments from various lesbians on my smooth phone voice. I don't think there's much of a market, though, for phone-sex lines that involve dudes talking dirty to lesbians. The internet may prove me wrong.

I got my assignment today for Election Day. I have to be at a staging area at 5:45 in the fucking morning, go open a poll for the party, hand out lit to the morning rush, then go knock doors, then presumably hand out lit to the evening rush and close the poll. The anticipation of all that suffering brings up old religious feelings -- surely God will see how sincere I am and favor my candidate with His blessings, right?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:31 PM
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15

In 1969 I knew a guy who became one of Obama's teachers at Occidental.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:33 PM
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14: I'm just happy that the only thing I've signed up to do from here on out is stand at a polling place and wave and Obama sign. I really don't want to knock on doors anymore.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:39 PM
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16: Yeah, I haven't done anything all election, so I'm also looking at this as penance.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:41 PM
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7: There's no 1-900-INTELLIGENTNCONSIDERATE, or I'd be raking in the dough.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:56 PM
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Your loyal 8pus friend was at the Obama call center in my area. After the third "sorry, so-and-so is deceased," I started feeling like Bartleby the Scrivener.


Posted by: (O)CT(O)PUS | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:01 PM
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20

I hosted a brunch to bribe encourage people to canvass and recruited 8 people. The folks from DC were sent out to augment the numbers for offices in Virginia that needed more volunteers. We got to the central dispatch point and someone asked us if we were willing to travel and we said yes, thinking that meant Manassas instead of Arlington. No -- that meant Hampton, Virginia, 181 miles from DC. We split up into 2 cars -- the near car (destined for a more reasonable Ashburn for people that needed to get back early that included our own Tom and a friend of LB's) and the far car destined for Hampton (which included Matt F and me).

The Hampton car hit terrible traffic and we realized we weren't going to make it there until after a late hour it would be impolite to knock on doors so I called the DC Obama office and asked if there was another office along the way where we could stop. She directed us to the Richmond office and we called ahead and they reassured us that they needed volunteers. We finally rolled into Richmond and found that all of the walk packets have been completed at the main office so they sent us to another field office. We were sent to another and all of their packets were finished, too, and then sent to a third with the same result. They told us that not only did they have more volunteers than expected show up but people kept coming back and going out a second, third, and fourth time for more addresses so they got through far more packets than they'd expected with fewer volunteers. We consoled ourselves with a delicious dinner of fried catfish and shrimp with grits and cornbread at Croaker's Spot before the long drive home.

The Ashburn car was far more successful and rocked the canvassing. (And, oh irony, Ashburn didn't have enough volunteers today and had packets left over.)


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:39 PM
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21

One of the best lessons I ever learned about phonebanking and doorknocking is that you are spending much less time sounding annoying to any individual person than you are sounding annoying to yourself.

Sometimes it feels as though you are calling the same person forty times in an hour. This is not the case.

I volunteered to go where they needed people, esp. Spanish speakers, for No on 8. I have to be about forty minutes away from my house by 6:15 am on Tuesday. W00t gayz!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:40 PM
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22

Despite way too many mailings to me (yeah, guys, I'm on-board, hence the lots of money), the local operation seems to be fairly well-organized. They came looking for my Democratic-voting slacker roommate today. He was asleep, but I confirmed that he and I have plans to get coffee and hit the polling place at 7am. I wasn't even on their list, which, I hope, means I've been moved to the "well, duh, of course he's voting and for us" column of that spreadsheet.

Bonus points: rumors of free pizza!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:58 PM
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23

Jesus, slacker roommate just told me they came back a second time today. Fucking A!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:02 PM
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24

Yeah, well, none of you slackers has come knocking on my door.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:27 PM
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25

I did a couple of hours calling to Pennsylvania today. Most of the numbers were disconnected or wrong, and a lot of the others were answering machines of uncertain provenance. So I left a lot of messages for somebody, telling them what was hopefully an accurate polling place. The handful of folks I actually spoke to were all planning to vote for Obama, already knew where their polling place was, and had mostly likely been called already thank you very much. Not that they seemed annoyed, but I felt annoying. And it was during the Eagles game, turns out, so... But one woman explained, "I'm not voting for O-bama, I'm voting for New-bama, cuz he's going to be the new president," and I liked that.


Posted by: Marichiweu | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:42 PM
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26

Are you still doing Elizabeth*, LB? I was just outside of there at the high school on a less honorable mission much of Saturday (cheering offspring and various other soccer acquaintances at local championships). Election is hitting at an extremely busy time (and at work extremely busy *and* effed up ... turns out the ability to borrow money is good ... Who knew?) Right now at least trying to make morning shift out of Aspinwall office on E-Day. Work commitments till mid-evening tomorrow, but is there a mini-meet planned somewhere?

*The town in PA you perverts.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:01 PM
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27

I was hanging Obama signs on doorknobs,

Are you doing the big, nice sturdy ones with the personalized "Where You Vote" stuff on the back? It is nicely put together. (Is it the same one nationally?)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:07 PM
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26: is there a mini-meet planned somewhere?

Yes; 6:30 pm at 2 Red Lounge in East Liberty. I've volunteered for coordinating.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:22 PM
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29

That is, 6:30 until whenever.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:24 PM
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30

We're using the same long flyers in Montana. Fate has given me one good line here, when I run into people who don't want to vote our way. There's another guy on the ballot, and who can argue with "Ron Paul is the real maverick."

If we win here, it will be because of Paul. And our dogged GOTV, of course.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:37 PM
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31

Charley - Where in Big Sky Country are you canvassing?


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 6:39 AM
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26: Yup. I'm in the Elizabeth area through the election.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 6:53 AM
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33

33: I'm glad I'm not canvassing. The town of Walt is a real hell-hole.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 7:22 AM
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34

Did you tell him that Keyes is running (America's Principles Party, I think)? He may be a write-in in PA, but if you could get the guy to vote for Keyes that's a win.


Posted by: jim | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 7:31 AM
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They told us that not only did they have more volunteers than expected show up

This is happening to election workers - I mean poll workers and election judges, not partisan canvassers at polling sites - in my area. At poll worker training two weeks ago there were somewhere around 130 people for the evening session I attended; the largest I'd seen before was ~40. The vast majority of people were young and members of minorities. There are so many people who have signed up to work, in fact, that none of us emergency judges have assignments. Over 50% of my county has already voted and we're going to have, on average, 13 people staffing each polling place on Tuesday. Tons of people want to say they were there when, etc. The early voting location where I worked was on a college campus a few buildings away from their football stadium and Saturday was their homecoming game. We had the doors open to get some air and could hear the announcer in the distance exhorting people to go vote. College students were leaving the game to walk over to us, register, vote and go back for the second half. It was pretty wild.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 7:54 AM
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36

If you're working around Pittsburgh, could you do me a favor and suggest limits on the number of times you stop at the same house and call the same number. It is starting to get annoying.

Also, if you find yourself talking to somebody who thinks Nader is the Democratic nominee, that's probably not an ignorant voter who needs information.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 8:27 AM
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37

I'm not sure I understan why you're in PA. Isn't that state more or less in the bag?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 8:36 AM
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38

less in the bag than new york...


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 8:39 AM
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39

Brock, my sister, who has the same body type as myself and used to be a fine choral singer in her youth, will be available for a consideration after midnight, Pacific time to do the honours. Until then, just don't push your luck.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 8:44 AM
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40

The registration deadline in Massachusetts passed a while ago.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 8:44 AM
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41

Also, if you find yourself talking to somebody who thinks Nader is the Democratic nominee, that's probably not an ignorant voter who needs information.

Nader is the Democratic nominee?


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 8:49 AM
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42

39 is making me giggle anew every time I read it.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 8:52 AM
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43

"Nader is the Democratic nominee?" Why not? Or Bob Dole is the Republican nominee. I'm starting to look wistfully on the days when if the phone rang I was pretty sure it was somebody trying to get me to switch long-distance carriers.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 9:07 AM
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44

One of the excellent things about not having a land line at all is not getting any campaign calls.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 9:18 AM
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45

MH is having you on, and wants you to know in advance so you'll give up quicker. Yes, you.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 9:38 AM
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46

I have to say I'm not thrilled with my election day assignment. I'm going to be handing people No on 8 palm cards as they walk into the voting booth.

This strikes me as odd. The most effect this can have is reminding people who were going to Gobama and go home to vote all the way down the ballot. It's possible that there will be a few voters open to last-minute persuasion, and a few who have the Yes and No positions mixed up.

But it seems as though what we'll really need is a phone bank, canvass and poll check to identify people who haven't voted by the time they get home from work and who are at risk of staying in once the east coast starts bringing it home for Obama.

Still, one of my principles is that people who have volunteered a total of eight hours of their time for a campaign haven't earned much of a right to question the leadership. So I'm going to be out the door by 5:45 am tomorrow morning.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 9:44 AM
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47

Wongshore, think of it as reminding people who know that they support gay marriage that the magic word is "NO" rather than "YES". Since the specific wording of the description on the ballot is often confusing.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 9:51 AM
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48

46: "Just say NO to cranky fundies"


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 10:02 AM
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49

Heck, say NO to gay marriage if that's how you're feeling today.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 10:09 AM
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50

What, you aren't an Obama Mama? I think that has a nice ring, but Obama lady is nice too.

But LB, mentioning your pleasing phone voice without a sample is cruel, cruel I say. I mean feel free to be cruel, but, you know, that is cruel.

It is like saying "I heard the best joke!" and then saying "I can't remember it."


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 10:24 AM
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51

Nader is the Democratic nominee?

Really?! Then I'm voting Nader all the way.

And take some pity on the phone callers. Granted I interrupt them once I hear they are for Obama and say "I'm with you all the way, unless Nader is the democratic nominee" and if they are for McCain I interrupt and say "I am SO sorry you have to do this to earn a living," but I'm not rude to them. It will be over soon.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 10:27 AM
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52

Shoot, 51, me.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 10:28 AM
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53

I had to come home early and the Obama guy was right there. Unfortunately, I lack the acting ability to pretend that I think Nader is the nominee when I'm facing somebody wearing a t-shirt that says 'Obama'.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 1:29 PM
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9: Most of my x-degrees-of-Barry-O's are via my son. Kind of depressing, really, that a 12-yo is better connected than I am.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 5:27 PM
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Got to see the foreclosure crisis first hand.
20 some houses on one of our streets were boarded up.

Everybody was excited about voting tomorrow. We were handing out Obama stickers right and left.


Posted by: Adam | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 6:15 PM
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54: What do you expect, when you kidnap the children of celebrities and raise them on their own?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 6:38 PM
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