So my friend Mel calls me six weeks ago and says, "Come on up to Arapahoe County and canvas with me!"
This is fun because we graduated from Sweet Home, Oregon, High School together in 1970 and have been on opposite sides of the political fence until 8 years ago (but always remained good buddies). Now we find ourselves pulling for the same guy. I was a little afraid that I'd get too emotional-you know, grab someone's shoulders and shake them and yell in their face "How could you be so stupid- obviously my guy's the right one to vote for!" But Mel said he'd watch me and pull me back if he saw me foaming at the mouth. So out we went.
WOW! I was actually able to have calm discussions with undecided voters - that was a revelation - so civilized. Making connections with total strangers, walking up to someone in their garage saying "Hi, are you Pete?" "Yeah." "Hi, I'm Lura Lee in the neighborhood with the campaign. We wanted to touch base with voters and see what you're thinking." And Pete talked to me (generally...).
The guidance we got for canvassing is to identify what issue is most important to that voter and start talking about that. Now it's generally the economy, of course, and since this crisis happened during a Republican administration, many people feel that it's time to change parties at the top. Also, we can tell voters why we favor our candidate - I've liked Obama from the beginning because of his opposition to the Iraqi conflict. My husband feels like Obama has the welfare of more of a broad spectrum of people at heart than does his opponent...Back to the street.
Mel took the even numbers from the walking packet that we got from the campaign and gave me the odd numbered houses. So who do you think gets the three houses of felons the first day out! The one who really freaked me out was this really big guy with really beautiful blue eyes and an adorable blonde toddler hanging onto his leg. "I can't vote," he said. "I lost that privilege. I hurt people."
O........kay.... I smiled tremulously and slowly backed away, looking for Mel ... and then I realized that I was being silly.
By the time you read this, whatever your affiliation, there will still be time to volunteer up to 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 - everything from door-to-door canvassing, like I have done in the Springs and Denver, to phone calling, to office work and other last minute tasks. I can't be more enthusiastic about recommending the experience, especially this year. To volunteer for the Obama campaign, call the office at 719-328-1517 or Amanda at 310-6122.