Sunday, November 2, 2008

GOTV New Hampshire

Today I spent my Sunday up north in the much colder New Hampshire (I say that because I have been home 2 hours and still have the chills). I went up for a little door to door canvasing of Bedford New Hampshire.

Starting the day in Boston I checked in with a local Boston office that was being staffed at the time by 3 twenty something year old women. Two were working the phones and one was managing the office. I checked in with them and was given directions to the Manchester Office and sent on my way. I was invited to come back for some phone banking any time before the end of the election or to come for the election day results watching.

Upon arriving in New Hampshire I was greeted with 1000's of campaign signs. It was astonishing to see the numbers of signs for all the various candidate races. It was impossible to digest any of the signs because there were so many.

The Manchester office was a pretty happening building, in my 10 minutes in there, probably another 20 people cycled in and out of there. There were more phone banks (hopping with action) a greeter at the front door to move us to the correct location . There must have been 30-50 people inside this building working.

The canvassing coordinator gave us directions to a house in Bedford from which we would receive our assignments. I say we because I wound up meeting another recruiter with who I worked for the balance of the day.

The house in Bedord was a beautiful Victorian house that had about 10-15 cars parked in the drive or on the street. The volunteers inside had an an impressive factory like operation running where we were first briefed on the mechanics of canvassing then briefed on the candidates positions, then fed and sent on our meery way.

The canvassing part was actually a disappointment since many of the targeted voters were either not home or were election weary. The few enthusiastic supporters gave you a boost to continue on.

After finishing our assignment we were back at the Bedford house again greeted by enthusiastic, committed supporters who took ourresults and logged them in for follow up calls.

We were wrapped up by about 3:20 pm which was convenient because Bill Clinton and Jeanne Shaheen were speaking nearby in Manchester. Upon picking up my car back at the Manchester office (still hopping busy), I went to the rally where I was probably 3750th in line out of 3800 to get into a gym with a fire code capacity of 3725.

After getting shut out of the High School Gym for about a half hour we were being told we more than likely would not be able to get in. Just as I was about to leave, the fire marshall showed up and gave the go ahead. I got in just as Bill Clinton and Jeanne Shaheen were taking stage.

Jeanne gave a fairly typical stump speech, very short and to the point. She didn't stay too long figuring most of the crowd was there to see Bill. Bill gave an very passionate speech to elect Democarats in general. He was enthusiastic in his support of Barack Obama, but not neerly as enthusiastic as when he strolled down memory lane and talked about his administration. Bill loved talking about the 90's. (wasn't his theme song Don't Stop, Thinking about the 90's?).

It was great to see a former President fire up an already fired up crowd, but if I had to say what was the most impressive thing I saw during the day it would have been the commitment of the volunteers. In the 4 locations (Boston, Manchester, Bedford, and the rally) all of the volunteers and staff were very committed, very enthusiastic, and very focused.