Monday, October 13, 2008

Canvassing for Obama in the Ozarks

I saw a video of the Red Team leaving a recent rally in OH. A Blue Team member had a camera and was asking the question, "do you think Barack Obama is a terrorist?" The answers I saw sent a chill to my very core. About the same time, I got an email from moveon.org asking if I would be willing to drive to swing state Missouri and volunteer in a campaign office. Their email stated, "you'll have a lot of fun and you might be sorry if you didn't go". Well I said, "YES I CAN". I posted that I had seats to share. (no takers with 24 hr notice).

Saturday morning I packed a bed roll and drove North on Ozark Hwy 65. Through Rosebud, and Bee Branch and north past St. Joe, Harrison, Branson and I turned left into Nixa, MO. The office was in a shopping mall and the greeting from other Blue Team members was exuberant. I met (most astonishingly) another couple from moveon.org and AR that made a similar 4 hour trek. There was a 78 yo doctor who was moved by BO's health plan. There was a social worker volunteering for the not so fortunate she sees on a daily basis. There was a Catholic who was canvassing to keep a woman's right to choose and I was paired with her.

I was shaking like a leaf heading up to the first door. Were they going to be as ferocious as what I saw in the video?

The first person who answered was a mother who said that she hadn't decided yet. She hadn't even seen any of the debates yet. She stated that her issue was health insurance and that everyone in her family had pre-existing conditions. I was able to relay the story of Barack's mother whose last two weeks in life were battling her insurance company that said her cancer was a preexisting condition and that they weren't going to pay. We might very well have won a vote with this mother!

Of course we encountered McCain supporters. For the most part they were polite and we were polite and moved on. It was obvious that more than a few were racist. I told one red male how far I had driven that morning and he came out on the porch to speak with us. He asked our views and said he agreed with us on all points. He just "had always voted republican". Maybe he'll give a secret vote for Obama?

Nixa is population 13,000. It is considered a Red county in Red part of the state. 40% of the people we spoke with were voting for Obama. 40% for McCain. 20% undecided. One would NOT find these same statistics in White County, AR. Missouri is swing state and canvassing works.

20 comments:

Becky said...

Thanks for your hard work! (I found this post from an e-mail from MoveOn.)

kookaburra said...

Yes, thank you. It's very brave to knock on strangers' doors! It's going to make a difference in this election, & you can be proud.

Virginia said...

I am stupefied to see comments here! Thank YOU for your thank yous. Those Moveon people sure are smart. I have no idea how they found this blog; as I didn't alert them... Can someone forward me the email?

Bernadette said...

I forwarded you the email I received from Moveon. Thank you for doing what you do. I live in a blue state but cheering you and everyone else from the sidelines.
God bless!

Mika said...

Hey Virginia,
I met you last Saturday in Nixa. What a great day, huh? Erik and I are going back this Saturday. It's cool MoveOn sent me this email and asked if I had met you. I also saw you on the HuffPo yesterday. If I catch you on I'll say hey. It's cool to be able to put a face to the post.
Mika

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog. It has inspired me and I very much hope it inspires others!

Anonymous said...

Great job -- thank you from another Arkansan! Keep up the good fight!

Will Norrid said...

hey...thanks for your hard work. As a Tennessean, I know about living in a red state as well. We are working via the Internet to sway votes for local Democrats and Senator Obama as well. Thanks for your commitment to our future.

Virginia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Virginia said...

The BIG THANKS goes to moveon.org. The synergy they create is profound.

The Sparkler said...

I think it is so awesome that you are pounding the pavement like that Miss V. I am working 70 hours right now but really want to find some time to volunteer. I am thinking about babysitting this Saturday evening for people who want to work at the phone bank here in Durham. I will be so proud of our country if we elect this fine candidate.

firebird said...

Virginia, people like you give us all hope! Thank you so much. (came here from the e-mail)

Anonymous said...

Virginia, Thank you for making the drive and volunteering. I live just a couple hours from Nixa, in Harrison, AR. I am a retired teacher, and a grandmother. I am so concerned about the state our country is in. If my health didn't prevent it, I would be seeing you in Nixa. Keep up the good work!!

Al-Ozarka said...

Virginia, you should warn me when you put posts like this one up at the Outpost!

Moveon.org? Yikes!

I try to keep my politics separate from my passion.

I guess its my contribution to the "Can't we all just get along?" movement.

LOL!

Virginia said...

Al, I put some thought into putting it here or not putting it here. I do have another blog on another topic. But in the end, up it went. My canvassing experience was an Ozark adventure and that is the theme. I doubt there will be more posts, b/c I certainly don't want it turn into a political blog. But there could be? I also took caution to speak only of my experience; if we don't have the same political view, I don't declare you my enemy.

You've been my number one blog reader since its inception.

Al-Ozarka said...

And proudly so!

See? You've had to enable comment moderation!

Virginia said...

After I read THAT post of yours, I gotta tell you, I cried and had diarrhea. I am obviously thin skinned, but the more I read and hear about angry Americans pitting us against one another the more my stomach knots up. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer," said some enemy of America I am sure. With that in mind I am trying to talk D into heading up your way this weekend and joining your event. If you'll still have me.

Al-Ozarka said...

"I am obviously thin skinned..."

Oh...I doubt that!

"Americans pitting us against one another..."

We were pretty united after 9/11...'til some of us started throwing temper-tantrums...calling our president a "Nazi"...calling me a "chickenhawk"...things like that.

I wish you could talk D into the drive! I'll bet we can go the entire afternoon and evening without even a mention of the scourge on America - politics. Unless, of course, it's politics that occurred during the war between the states or somethin'.

Brian Driscoll is an amazing performer! If y'all can make it to the show at Lunenburg, you wouldn't regret it!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for working for Obama - and by the way, I just rented a place in Mountain View so my body will finally be living where my heart has been for years.

And by the way, I noticed the only objection to a mention of your politics on a site about the beauty of the Ozarks was from someone who appears to be a Republican.

Al-Ozarka said...

"And by the way, I noticed the only objection to a mention of your politics on a site about the beauty of the Ozarks was from someone who appears to be a Republican."

Duh....huh?!?!?