Tuesday, October 21, 2008

From the Front Lines Part I

I have been working in a swing state the past couple weeks and will continue to reach out and mobilize union families to vote until the e-day. Mostly, Herman (a middle aged African-American colleague of mine) and I work together. He is a terrific guy and we've been having a lot of fun.
I thought folks might be interested to hear about good and bad moments from my door knocking experiences. When I have a few minutes I'll try to share some.

Location: Largely white middle class neighborhood.
Herman and I knock on a door. A woman answers, we ask to speak with the person listed on our sheet. "My sister is not home."
Herman asks if she knows who her sister will be supporting.
[awkwardly long pause]
"the black guy!"
Herman and I smile and chuckle a bit.
"Did i say something wrong? I just couldn't remember his name."
"No ma'am," Herman Says.
"It's Senator Obama," I say.
"That's right Bruhak Obama, I remember now."

At least she was voting BHO i suppose.


Location: Same neighborhood as above.

I knock on a door alone. The woman answers, and we begin to chat.
She hasn't decided yet. I ask what is on her mind.
She says: "I'll decide after the next few debates."
Uh oh, I hope she means after she watches them on TIVO.


At 10/21/2008 , Blogger Eli said...

Love it.

You can't knock on hundreds of doors without some funny experiences... In Cincy last weekend, I was talking to a 75-year-old white woman named Mary. She thinks she'll vote for McCain.

"Ya know, I don't like John McCain, but I just don't trust Obama."

"I see... Because of his youth?"

"No, it's not that." She hastens to add, "and not because he's black."

We talk for about ten minutes - which is a long time when you're canvassing. We also talk about abortion - also unusual. She's actually quite a pleasant person.

"Obama's going to win," she says. "The young people will come out. So will the blacks. And I don't blame them. I remember voting for Kennedy in '60, our first Catholic."


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