On the heels of the Democratic National Convention, I kind of wanted to repost this blog entry from an old site that I used to keep. It was originally posted on November 1, 2008.
I have enjoyed the work that I’ve been doing for the Obama campaign. I’ve met some awesome people and it’s been so rewarding to see optimism in people again. I’m thrilled that there’s finally a politician in the U.S. that I respect enough to be willing to do this, at all. I’d become pretty cynical, but Obama inspires me — his speeches move me to tears sometimes and I think, more than any president that I can think of, he really wants to uplift people and to make the lives of Americans better.
The fact that I’ve been willing to volunteer for his campaign, to make phone calls for him every evening or to spend my Sunday afternoons in a campaign office answering questions and training door-to-door canvassers, speaks to that. I’ve always wanted to support a politician, I’ve just never found one before that I liked well enough.
Still, I grumbled last night when my field organizer contacted me and asked me to be on a last-minute conference call at 8:25pm. I thought, “Who the fuck has a conference call at 8:30 at night . . . on a Friday . . . on Halloween?”
Halloween is Jay’s favorite holiday, and this call came right in the middle of trick-or-treating, and we had friends over for a dinner party. But like a good trooper, at 8:20 I excused myself and went into the spare bedroom with my cell phone to dial into the conference call. I took about four pages of notes as some campaign manager with a New York accent delivered some final details about my team’s role for the election (just four days away). And then the campaign manager wrapped up by saying, “Thanks for your time, but don’t hang up.” The phone clicked and he was gone. Then the phone clicked again and another, younger, female voice came on and said, “Please hold for the Senator.”
And then, after one more click, the voice of Senator Barack Obama came onto the line.
Okay, so I’m sure that I was on the conference call in some kind of guest mode — so he wouldn’t have heard me screaming and crying and blubbering out to our dinner guests, “Oh my God, the next president is talking to me!” — but I was on the phone with him, all the same.
He said that he wanted to personally thank the Indiana volunteers for all the work we’ve done. He said that we somehow managed to turn a red state into a swing state, and then it became a swing state that looked like it could become a blue state. He said that because of this accomplishment, we should be very proud and that whether he or Senator McCain wins on Tuesday, we had already made history. He said the people in states like Indiana have empowered, honored, and humbled him with their support.
He probably talked for all of three minutes, but still. When I posted an item to my Before I Die list about how I’d like to campaign for a politician, I never imagined that by doing so, I might get to be on the telephone with the man who might become a president. This was awesome.