12 April 2008

my favorite campaign day so far

today was my favorite day of the campaign so far, with only one of the reasons being that i finally got to see barack. he stood ten yards in front of me, in a high-school gymnasium in columbus, indiana, and spoke with the energy, enthusiasm, and interactive style that i hoped he would. he was prepared for and responded (like, didn’t try to dodge anything) to the most random of questions, asked by the most random mix of people. he was more wonderful in person than even on the t.v. and i hope that every person in the world finds a way to stand in a room when that man is speaking.

i’m also falling in love with indiana. i really really like it here. i do keep reminding myself that i’m especially fortunate to be spending the season of rebirth in my home state. winter (it’s greatest flaw) is dying off with each fresh breath of spring. the magnolias and pear blossoms brightening the already charming city of columbus were truly beautiful. and it smelled so sweet and lovely. we drove past rolling hills of green and purple (yes, fer reals), watched a dark pink sunset beneath the threatening thunder clouds hanging overhead. and the best part about it was that i got to spend the day with someone who, like me, recognizes the beauty in life.

the f.o. (field organizer) i work directly with (i’m kinda his bitch) is this amazing guy whose talent for handling any situation is pretty unparalleled, especially for someone so young. we worked together in texas, liked each others’ styles and are finding that we make a good team here in indiana, i think. he’s a pain in my ass (of epic proportion), but he recognizes “the” line and doesn’t cross me. and i know he’d go to bat for me in one second flat for probably anything i asked, as i would for him.

our team in evansville is really starting to mesh too. i had a great time tonight catching up with the other f.o.’s and the regional director, while we cut turf and put together the canvas packs. it was fun. i really like my group, a lot. it’s an interesting cast of characters unfolding at the office, a crew that includes many locals (whose generosity, dedication, warmth and damn good cooking! is keeping the office running), a few of us out-of-staters for the long-term, and those who come in on the weekends.

as great as it all is, being back on the campaign means i have no idea what’s going on in the real world. i really don’t. i haven't seen keith or dan for more than two weeks now and i even missed last week's "meet the press" (though i will certainly be back on track with tim russert tomorrow morning). i really do feel like i'm in an alternate universe, hundreds of miles from home. the two weeks i’ve been gone already feel like two months (missing a boy does not make the time go any faster…), and i have no idea what’s happening in the world, my city, the politics outside of our office, or the lives of those i love. if y’all are reading this, i hope you know i love you, miss you and think of you often. i’m just crazed, juggling a million different things in a state of mayhem i can’t quite get under control, and i’m sorry i’m not more in touch.

i’ve had about four hours of sleep since i woke up yesterday morning and am looking at only just another 6 or 7 tonight, before another crazy day (we have a rally and our canvas kick-off (perhaps in the rain) tomorrow and it will be a day of madness and lots of coffee. but it will be a great day, full of energy, excitement, and hopefully not too many raindrops…

08 April 2008

life inside headquarters

it's a marathon, not a sprint. a marathon, not a sprint. i have to keep reminding myself so i try harder to avoid my inclination to keep working so i can make it till the end. i mean, yesterday was essentially a 15 hour work day and the indiana primary is four weeks from today. oh boy...

it's because it's a lot of fun to be here, there's a lot of energy, the people of evansville who are volunteering for the campaign are wonderful, and there's a lot to be done. yeah, it's a lot of making calls, organizing volunteers, data entry, keeping the office in tip top shape (which, for me, includes regulating the recycling bins, digging trash out of the clearly labeled bins for plastic and aluminum and yelling at everyone who throws trash into them. i'm green, i can't help it, and i'm making sure everyone else is respectful of our conservation efforts :)). it's also a lot of canvassing, which, even though it doesn't sound all that glamorous, is one of my favorite campaign tasks. it's just a lot of fun, all the way around, even if it is as exhausting as anything.

oh and i got pulled over again today. no, i wasn't speeding or breaking any rules of the road - other than the fact that my darn tags are expired (STILL!). the police officer was incredibly nice and offered some suggestions to help me with my dilemma, and even wrote me a ticket to help me avoid getting towed if i got pulled over again (wasn't that so sweet of him?). as it turns out, indiana is similar to california in towing cars with expired registration. i also managed to make some headway with the california dmv by getting through to an obama supporter. yay!

so i fed ex'd (overnight for first am delivery) my registration renewal materials, along with an "obama '08" button directly to her attention at the dmv in sacramento. she said she'd process my paperwork as soon as she gets it and get it back to me as quickly as possible. either way, it's going to be at least five days to a week so please cross your fingers that i can avoid the police for a few more days...

07 April 2008

2,500 miles from home

i am officially back on the campaign trail and have set up camp in evansville, indiana, where the grassroots movement has been rocking for weeks. this is home for me. it's where i was born, where i spent the first several years of my life, and the place most of my family still calls home. it's great to be here, reconnecting with my roots, and working toward a greater america.

after a weekend of perhaps too much fun in chicago, i arrived at obama headquarters in evansville yesterday afternoon. i met the team, re-acquainted with my galveston group (those of us who made our way to indiana), and hit the ground running. it seems that we (we = team obama) have registered several thousand NEW voters, in evansville alone. in doing the data entry, i discovered dozens of new voters who were born in the 1930's, 40's and 50's, in addition to the youngsters who are only just old enough to participate.

my enthusiasm for obama has been jumping from the pages of my diary since i started this blog, but when i meet 70-year-old people who are inspired to participate in the american process for the first time in their lives, my own inspiration reaches new heights. seriously...

i was interviewed today by one of the local television stations (and will be on the news tonight - heh!) and the new voter registration was the topic of the day (because today is the deadline for hoosiers to register to vote). as it turns out, the clinton camp isn't even bothering with new voter registration, while team obama dropped off just under a thousand new forms this morning. i mean, really? to just accept the institutional vote without making an outreach effort? huh. i'm sure it has nothing to do with the absence of positive "strategy" in the clinton campaign.

speaking of the clinton campaign, i'm a wee out of the loop as i've been on the road for a week, but i did see that mark penn stepped down as that camp's chief strategist. i find it a little more than frustrating to watch the clinton campaign unraveling at the seams (as they have been since obama took iowa), while so many americans just sit back and ignore the obviously disastrous parallels between managing a campaign and managing a presidential administration. how can anyone honestly expect a candidate who cannot run a campaign to effectively run a country as complex as the united states of america? lemme make it simple, disastrous campaign = disastrous presidency...

and since i know you're all dying to know about my expired license plate tags, you should know that i officially dropped the ball. i didn't renew, i let it slip. oopsie. and the idiotic red tape (welcome to the california government) i'm climbing over, under, and around to resolve the mess is kinda unbelievable. fer reals...

and in case it isn't crystal clear, i'm having an absolute BLAST! in spite of the fact that i am missing (terribly) a boy who's fishing on the other side of the world.