Monday, September 22, 2008

Knock, Knock

You can see we were successful enough to earn our very own Obama lawn sign. I hope it lasts longer than our Kerry sign that disappeared the night after we put it up.

Today’s experience was truly multi-cultural. We talked to people in an apartment complex not far from our house who were currently listed as “undecided” in the Obama database. Some were young, some were old, some were Hispanic, some were African or African-American, some were from Middle Eastern countries, some looked just like us.

We quickly realized that we had a better shot at the door opening if it was my face they saw through the peephole.

We knocked on a total of 62 doors. A total of 16 doors were actually opened to us. I’m happy to say there was only one person in those 16 who said she was voting for McCain. I was tempted to say, “Why would any African-American person do that?” but instead I just said thank you and moved on.

At one point as a door was just about to close with “No hablo Ingles,” I said, “Una pregunta” and we started a conversation. The object of our visit was the elderly Hispanic woman who lived there. Her daughter stepped in between to tell us she hadn’t yet decided, but I looked over to see her mother mouthing “O-bam-a” behind her back.

We were invited in to sit down in the apartment of an 88-year-old woman, who said she was still studying the candidates. She complained about all the campaign promises that had been broken in her lifetime. I could tell she and her daughter were leaning toward Obama, but not yet ready to admit it. She said she might have trouble walking to the polling place a few blocks away because she had just started using a cane. I wrote down my name and phone number and offered to give her a ride, adding that I wouldn’t ask her who she was going to vote for.

At the end of our second hour, the smells of food cooking began to remind us that we had never eaten lunch. At that point it was almost a relief when no one answered the door.

We did manage to complete our assignment and deliver the results back to the house where we started. I claimed our yard sign and we headed home, hungry but proud of turning some undecided’s into votes for Obama.


Blogger Steve said...

Woo hoo! Good work! It amazes me that ANYONE is undecided at this point.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- I don't really thing they are undecided, but rather wary of sharing their choice with strangers. Some of these people come from cultures where people were persecuted for their political beliefs. Among our contacts yesterday, many were not born in this country.

11:01 AM  
Blogger media concepts said...

Your work is very commendable. I understand that, in the DC area, the focus is on VA. Likewise, here in CA, the campaign is concentrating on neighboring battleground state Nevada.

I have not done the door knocking or phone banking, but have been attending events (including one where I met my Congressional Rep.), blogging, writing letters, signing petitions, forwarding news stories to friends like mad, dispalying bumper stickers, etc. Hopefully those efforts are somewhat helpful too.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MC -- Every bit helps. I was encouraged today to read that Dems in VA are giving $$$ at record rates. It would be great to see this state finally make the shift from red to blue!

12:51 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Great job, Barbara! I'm really impressed and inspired by your work this weekend and the story of the 88-year-old woman just makes the whole thing real.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- It really made me feel good to see how seriously these people are taking their right to vote!

I'm fairly sure a ride to the polling place will result in a vote for Obama from 88-year-old Sarah.

1:39 PM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

Barb, you may or may not remember a post I did about a woman I had offended when she sent me an email asking for prayer.
Well, she sent me one last week explaining her heritage and patriotism and assumed that all true blue patriots would be voting for McCain.
I replied, listing all my qualifications for being a true Patriot as well and indicated that i was as yet undecided.
I HAVE decided that if this woman keeps spammin' me with requests for prayer and McCain votes, shwe deserves whatever offense she might get.
The only reason I am not a declared Obama man as of yet is that I can just see ther wheels coming off of his candidaqcy just yet. And while Bidens a pretty good guy i would rather he had shook things up a bit. Biden was a safe move.

I tell you what though....this guy McCain has no dynamics other than Miss Piggy....he's more boring than Bob Dole and Jimmy Carter put together.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Bulletholes -- Do I have to knock on your door again? I thought we had us a deal that you were voting for Obama. If you look at how these two candidates are conducting their campaigns and what they have to say about real issues, you will not hesitate to vote for Obama. Do I have to offer to come down there to TX and drive you to the polls? :)

4:28 PM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

I intend to remain as noncommittal as possible till the last minute....i just get thwe feeling one of these guys is going to really blow it and it just might be your man....after all they are both politicians.
I think i'll re-post my dick gregory thing....

5:37 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Bulletholes -- I have to hope you're wrong about a major screw-up on Obama's part.

I trust you will do the right thing in the end, whatever that means for you. Voting is a personal thing, after all.

I can still give you a hard time, though!

9:50 PM  
Blogger e said...

I got an ear full this weekend from an octogenarian friend who has lived a lot of history.

Staunchly democratic and involved in politics where we both live for the last thirty years, she feels frightened for this country and decries both the waning electorate and the tendency of people to base their votes on soundbites, among other things.

She also sees darker days ahead economically speaking and sees many of the deregulation policies and economic strategies of the last few years as patently flawed and downright stupid. She thinks Obama has the best mind for the job and that McCain and Palin are too indebted to lobbyists and special interests; Right-wing and socially draconian, they champion constitutional amendments and other policies that threaten to fundamentally anchor this country to the right...

An interesting perspective. Unfortunately, many of her age group are just as likely to vote republican...

If McCain and as Bulletholes calls her Ms. Piggy, get elected, this writer may decamp to the small Latin American country from whence she came!

10:43 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

e -- if by "waning electorate" your friend was referring to voter turnout, it's actually been rising, not waning. And this year, voter registration is breaking records, which again portends well for turnout. Unless you're a Republican official, in which case you're trying like made to "cage" likely Democratic voters (deny them the right to vote) through all kinds of shady and sometimes illegal means.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

E. -- I hope your elderly friend knocks on a few doors or at least expresses her views to her neighbors.

MC -- I agree. Even Virginia now shows Obama 3 points ahead of McCain. Was it perhaps those 62 doors we knocked on? (Just kidding!)

7:22 AM  

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