Sunday, February 3, 2008

Takin' It To the Streets

In the true spirit of grass-roots politics, Andy and I took to the streets on Saturday hoping to use our combined persuasive power to round up some votes for Obama. This was my first ever experience canvassing, and though I was a little nervous at the get-go, my excitement to be a part of the campaigning process soon outweighed those jittery tummy rumblings. As was the case in South Carolina, targeted areas for canvassing in Tuscaloosa were the African-American neighborhoods. We visited a predominately working class black neighborhood, hitting about 40 or so houses during the course of the afternoon. Even though a lot of folks weren't home, the people we did talk to were very receptive and positive about Obama and his message. At one of the last houses we visited, we met a woman who said she was on the fence between Hillary and Obama. It was our first real test. We had to convince her that Obama was clearly the better candidate. So we turned our sweet-talk on (mostly Andy), and I'm pretty confident that by the end of it she was at least teetering towards the Obama side of the fence. After all, how can you dispute the fact that Obama was the only candidate to open offices in Alabama? That alone sends a clear message to most people that he cares about our state.

Perhaps the best part of the afternoon was our run-in with 4 neighborhood kids, who stopped their Saturday afternoon bike-riding to help us knock on doors on their street. They were real interested in what we were doing of course. Who was this Obama guy? Could they have a poster to hang up in their room? And they were very helpful when it came to figuring out which door to knock on. He never comes to the front door, you gotta go to the garage. I heavily recommend canvassing with kids. They make it a lot easier on both parties.

Anyway, I know I have only canvassed once, but I would sure do it again if given the opportunity. I feel like it was a positive experience, and one that challenged me to do something I would have never thought I was capable of doing. I know it's cliche, but Obama has really put the power back in the hands of the people! And he's empowered ordinary people like me to help make a difference in our communities. And come Super Tuesday, we'll see the fruits of our labor. Obama will win Alabama!

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