November 10th, 2008 Richard
This is an email, I sent to my family the day after the election, describing the experience that Maureen (my wife) and I had election day …
Yesterday, Maureen and I took off work at noon to work for the Obama campaign, going to the doors of people who had said they were going to vote for Obama and asking if they’d voted. If they hadn’t we would ask if they needed a ride and/or encourage them etc. Maureen lambasted this poor young guy who was working on his truck, who said he didn’t think he had time. She went on about, how important it was for his generation etc., and finally shamed him into saying he’d vote.
Maureen also called and canvased on other days too, plus, I found out that, apparently, we (meaning Maureen) were one of those, who, through a number of 10-25 dollar donations, every time Barak Obama sent an email asking for money, ended up donating a tidy sum.
The thing that is so interesting and powerful here, is that neither of us has ever done anything like this for supporting a campaign. The other interesting thing is that it appears to me that there were lots and lots of other people like us across the country. Before going door to door yesterday, they gave us a packet with the address of each person, a map of Rolla showing locations, and a page where we noted, if the person was voting, if we contacted them, or left a note on their door (which included a printed thing we hung on their door, specialized to the point that it even gave the location where they vote, and voting times etc), then we bring it back and all this was fed into a data base. But the thing is, this is happening everywhere in the United States, where virtually every person who had said they were voting for Obama was contacted by one of a massive Army of inspired volunteers making sure they voted.
The thing that I started realizing is that somehow “that one” created a phenomenal machine, running on the power of people not getting paid anything (and, in fact, the same people who are donating money themselves). This whole infrastructure didn’t rely on traditional Democratic operatives/organizations, rather he built the whole thing himself.
Some time ago, I heard a reporter talking about what Obama’s answer was when the reporter questioned his experience. Obama said – watch how I run my campaign.
I’m saying, if there is anyone who can get the US out of the mess we’re in, he’s the one. If he can run the country, the way he ran this campaign, happy days are here again.
Last night, when we watched his acceptance speech, Maureen and I both sat there blubbering like babies.
Surely one of the higlights of my life.