Saturday, July 29, 2006

Canvassing Keene

There's not a huge amount to say about today's "Democratic Reunion" canvassing event in Keene except that it was good. ("Good" - now there's some razor-sharp writing for you. I guess the other thing to be said is I'm exhausted.)

I didn't think to count, but there were maybe 8-10 just regular people there plus a few people from campaigns - in particular Molly Kelly's state senate campaign and several staffers from the Hodes campaign. We were giving out the generic Democratic party doorhangers but were really focusing on literature for Hodes and Kelly (we were also distributing literature from Governor Lynch, but I think the prevailing feeling was that we didn't need to try too hard to sell him). I'm glad we were focusing on candidates rather than trying to sell the Democratic party in some generic way; it gave the day more purpose and was something that I anyway could do with more conviction than being like "look, there are six bullet points on this doorhanger! which one would you like to discuss?"

We went out in groups of 2 and 3, and were going to the homes of people identified as Democrats or leaning Democratic. In truth, we didn't end up talking to all that many people, late saturday morning being what it is. And hardly anyone seemed much like they were just leaning Democratic - maybe that was luck of the draw, or maybe it was a reflection of what's happening with independent voters in general (fingers crossed). Instead, almost everyone I talked to wanted to talk about how they wished they could get rid of Bush right now, how much they hated him. One little old lady said she wanted to "give him a kick in the fanny." Those criticisms of Bush provided the perfect entry to point out that Bass is a reliable vote pushing Bush's agenda, and that they could take a lot of power away from Bush by helping to take down the Republican majority in the House.

The only person I walked away from unsure of how they'd vote was a man who is clearly one of those people who takes suspicion of politicians as a point of pride, a sign that he's sharper and smarter and less easily fooled than most. I dutifully chuckled at his unbelievably stale jokes about how you know politicians are lying because their lips are moving, etc etc, and reiterated that Paul Hodes is a very good guy - this guy seemed like one of those oft-referred-to people who vote based on their gut reaction to a candidate rather than anything about the policies, so no point going there.

However, I came away from that interaction with one nice thing: I had not yet heard the nickname "Charlie Basstard."

It was miserably hot - one woman who initially said she didn't need any information on the candidates because she knew she was voting a straight Democratic ticket looked at my wiping sweat away to keep it out of my eyes and said she'd take the literature because I was out in this hot weather. It's not like I was on commission, but it was sweet nonetheless. At least my red red sunburn didn't develop its fully coloring until later, because I don't think it would've looked good against my pale pink shirt. As it is, I'm left with a square neckline imprinted on me. Lurvely.

There's no big point here. I recommend canvassing highly - it was great to see both volunteers and campaign staff out doing this, it was genuinely fun talking to people, I feel like maybe, maybe we could've at least laid the groundwork for making some kind of difference come November. What more could you want?

In other news, Republican corruption continues:

More sleaze from Doug Lamborn. Rick Renzi is named one of the most corrupt reps in Congress. John Hostettler cited w/ gun at airport. Conrad Burns calls firefighters lazy. J.D. Hayworth's supporter spews hatred.

Jim Talent thinks opponent should file on time, even during the weekend her compliance director dies tragically. Michael Steele compares stem cell research to the Holocaust.
John Doolittle's connections to Abramoff and Delay become problematic. People continue to say no to Richard Pombo.

Brian Bilbray a target of a criminal investigation. And Marilyn Musgrave is one of the 10 worst members of Congress.

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