Sunday, November 01, 2020

Election Day Minus Two

Let’s play catch-up, since I have been missing for a day.  It’s hard to keep track of the time because all the last few days seem the same.  Three days ago when I accidentally met Sasha, the field director for Pam Keith, it just felt right to be working for the Congressional campaign instead of the big picture.  The Presidential campaign  is like most big picture operations, everyone is vying for position.  This is no longer what I dream about when deciding what is the best use of my time. Besides, Pam is the real deal.  If I had wanted to be a candidate, which I did not, I would have been like Pam:  sincere, committed with endless energy, and centered.  She knows exactly who she is.  Enough about the candidate, this is about me—as is usually the case.

Anyway, when I met Sasha, it felt absolutely right.  They are a small understaffed campaign where the determination far outweighs the experience.  Two days ago we were supposed to meet with the owner of a Haitian restaurant, and then walk through the neighborhood with literature.  Kind of "meet the candidate and get excited" stuff.  When the owner did not show up we decided to walk around the neighborhood.  There were a few Biden signs but mostly people were not at home.  Suddenly, (wow where did that come from),  Mary Hanley was standing beside me in our Philadelphia office and it was 1976— no phones and no computers. The Udall campaign was always out of money.  But, we were in Philly with lots of press people looking for us to produce an event. After lengthy discussion and Tully screaming we were idiots (there was a lot of that), we decided to give all the media a subway ticket and we would visit a neighborhood where the tenants were forewarned to be excited about the candidate. It would all culminate at a rally.  Our rallies usually looked like the pandemic with about 25 people,  It was the middle of summer and would have been fine except we took the wrong subway,  arrived in the wrong neighborhood, where no one had ever heard of Morris K. Udall. In addition, because it was the wrong  neighborhood, the advance guy was not there, and there was no rally.   We had no idea where we were.

Not to be defeated, Mary and I “sprung” into action.  One of us stayed with Mo, and Shirley Chisholm, while the other ran in front knocking on doors to announce Mo’s imminent arrival.  It was hot and everyone was tired.  We knew o one would be  willing to get back on the subway. Then like a Christmas Miracle (too much Hallmark Channel), we happened on an outdoor church service.  Mo was instructed by one of us to get up on the stage, thank everyone for coming and do his charming campaign pitch.  As we were bemoaning the disaster we spotted a church bus close to the rally site.  I gingerly approached the bus driver and told him that the Reverend suggested he take all of us back to the hotel, and then return for the Congregation. They are probably still laughing about it today— we are.

Yesterday, i went to several black churches to pass out literature.  Turns out because there is a second pandemic wave, church services have been cancelled.  Today, I am going to Walmart to pass out literature.  Walmart is never cancelled!  Tomorrow the polls are closed, no idea why, and Tuesday I'll be at the polls in Jupiter.  We remain hopeful and committed.   Later in the day I’m zooming with my Emerson polling friends to get some numbers, which we know are never right.  But at least for the next few days, I will think we are about to make America Kind Again.  We're just sayin'....Iris

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