I live near Scranton in a small town just north of the city. Two days ago I was there all day, canvassing and calling and meeting new friends from all over the country.
We canvassed west side, that is where Hillary's father is buried just a few yards from my father in law and his father and mother and my ex-mother in law's parents Honeybee and Pop.
We had all positive responses except for one Naderite and a lot of people not home. In fact one man who was a republican said he was counting on us to get her nominated because he was going to vote for her in November. He said "we need a woman in office".
I talked to a lot of great people on the phone and it was all over a great day.
But yesterday was even better. Join me on the other side and let me tell you how great it was.
Yesterday we knocked on just about 5000 doors just in Scranton. We sent out three shifts of canvassers.
I didn't get there until about 3. I drove to Steamtown Mall and used their underground parking. From there it is a three block walk to get to the old Ritz theater building where the campaign has two store front office spaces. In the front is the main office, phones etc... In the office farther back in the hall is where the walk packets are organized.
Today Obama will be in town and we will be sending some supports there to his event just to let them know this is still Hillary Country.
So I got to the office and immediately the guy at the desk asked me to man the reception desk so that he could pee. I was happy to do so and more or less got stuck there for the rest of the day. That was cool though because that gave him a chance to make calls and another guy to do canvassing. And I got to talk to everyone who came in and ask them how their day went.
It was great, everyone had such a positive experience. Everyone said the people they talked to were friendly and solidly behind Hillary.
There were a few bad experiences with visibility. There are always a few cars of young men who drive by and scream "she's a b*tch" or something similarly brilliant. I always tell people to brush that sort of thing off whether it is in person or on the phone. If you have done a lot of political organizing you know that there are people who will be rude and miserable. But when it is a sexist insult, well imagine if someone yelled out the window at some Obama supporters some sort of racist slur. It's painful when it gets so personal and so bigoted. Still you have to laugh it off and realize that hundreds of people drove past and saw your signs and they honked or they were happy to see you out there.
Politics are hard, I could tell you some stories about working for Rendell that would turn your stomach. You wouldn't believe how many people came in to my office and screamed at me that I was an abortionist....lol. For people who are new to it, they take some of this very personally. So take a few extra minutes to thank the people who are out there on the streets and making calls.
We had people from New Hampshire about 15 people who are staying through tuesday, MA, CT, NJ, NY, VA, DC, MD, Long Island... Maine. We have 14 people from TX (and several staff members) just in our office alone.
I met a woman from New Paltz NY which is where my sister lives. The woman also grew up in the next school district to where I went to school (decades ago) in upstate NY.. and we both love Opera...weird. = )
Late in the afternoon 4 African American women showed up and they went out canvassing and came back and made calls until almost 9. the cam in from NY. I was dying to ask them why Hillary and not Obama. But that is not the sort of thing you can ask without seeming like you are treating someone as a sociological oddity. But I was very glad to see them there. It broke a little of the sense of division I have been feeling.
There were a LOT of people from NH. I think after their surprise victory they were energized for Hillary in a way other states were not. One woman was telling me how down they all were on primary day in NH and how they went around trying to remain upbeat while door knocking. Then they went to the victory party afterward and while watching CNN they noticed she was up 3 percent. They kept sneaking looks at the TV to see when the numbers would switch. She said they were telling each other, "well some big Obama district will get counted and his numbers will go up". But all night it didn't happen and at the point CNN called NH for Hillary she said lots of people were crying and they were all hugging friends and strangers, so so happy that they had pulled it off.
I remember that night and how the spinners for Obama (calling themselves pundits and pretending to be neutral) were on TV saying that it might have been the "Bradley effect", basically accusing the people of NH of racism and ignoring the fact that so many thousands of new women voters went to the polls and voted for the first time. That was unfair and disrespectful of the people of NH, so many of whom went to the polls and voted for Obama.
So many of the out of town people will be here to celebrate with us on Tuesday if we win. One woman from CT said she was there to pay penance for her state. It will be great for her to be here if Hillary wins. I am excited for her, she was so disappointed when CT went for Obama.
I will go back in the morning and I will make more calls and do more canvassing. On Tuesday Hillary may win PA despite Obama's massive commercial buy and negative adds. She doesn't have to win big after being outspent 3 to 1 over the last month and the constant bombardment by the ridiculous and sexist press, accusing her of attacks and pretending Obama is above it all when clearly he is not. No she just has to win and she may very well. I am hoping for about 8 points.
OH, and I did not run in to NewHampster. I am starting to think he is a myth. I am going to start making up Paul Bunyan type tales about him if I don't meet him today.