Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Knocking on doors for Obama

So, Sunday afternoon, clipboard and voter list in hand, I spent 3 hours sweating for Barack. I canvassed my neighborhood, when possible engaging neighbors - the ones riding the fence mostly - about why I am supporting Barack Obama for President.

It's become my Sunday afternoon ritual. I, and whoever else signs up or just decides to come, meet my town's field organizer at the local public library branch parking lot. There, Sean, a twenty-something very likable guy from Georgia, gives us our marching orders. The past weeks, it's been voter registration. Today it's time to start persuading.

Canvasing always requires a little extra activation energy for me. It rubs slightly against the grain of this middle-aged, vaguely misanthropic dude. But if I can't look the people in the eye whose houses I drive, walk or bike by every day, and tell them why they can no longer vote against their own best interests, I would frankly be ashamed of myself.

And aside from dehydration (note: don't donate a pint of blood on the day you plan to traipse around for 3 hours in the hottest part of the afternoon), it went pretty well.

Most poignant moment: the teacher who was ga-ga for and can't get over Hillary. We talked for 10-15 minutes. I showed her the blow-by-blow comparison of Obama and McCain's tax plans (get it here). She still wouldn't commit. Her husband and father sat in the living room watching the Dolphins lose and pretended that I wasn't there.

Most surreal moment: the 30-something couple who engaged me (they knew I lived in the neighborhood) and who were staunch McCain supporters and two-time (twice!) Bush/Cheney voters. He thanked me for getting out and supporting my candidate, shook my hand and said "We're still neighbors, right?' to which I replied, "Heck, we're always Americans, and this is what it's supposed to be about." Yeah, corny, I know, but heartfelt (and don't forget I was a little short of blood).

Best moment: Jeff (not his real name), a former truck driver who got a major insurance settlement after a nasty accident. He started his own lawn service business - just him - I always wave to him when I come home from work, since he's often out trimming one of the other neighbor's yards. Nice guy, into NASCAR and his church. Jeff is on the fence. We talked for a long time, and I just passionately spilled my guts about what I find so alarming about the bankrupt GOP economic, social and foreign policy (well, the abridged version). Maybe, just maybe, I nudged him a little closer to making the right decision on November 4.

That's how we have to win this state. One door at a time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that's democracy at its finest