Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Campaiging for President Obama

I think that yesterday (Tuesday) might go alongside this day as a highlight so far of my trip to America. 

I had arranged a brief chat with Congressman Keith Ellison who represents Minneapolis and bit of the surrounding suburbs.  We met over at the Congressman's District Office which I got to by using the excellent Twin Cities 'Nice Ride' bike hire system (a bit like the Boris Bikes in London).  The system is cheap and efficient but I kept trying to ride the bike like my road bike at home and was confused when I didn't get quite the same level of responsiveness...

Anyway, I arrived safely enough - albeit somewhat cold from the biting wind there was yesterday.  (Yes, Mum I'm wearing my hat and gloves...).  An interesting chat with the Congressman about local and national political issues including the campaign against an amendment to outlaw gay marriage - more info here.  My time was about up when Keith asked me if I wanted to come with him to the campaign office (there is a very strict division between the 'official' office which is taxpayer funded and the campaign office which is a political operation). 

As you can imagine I jumped at this chance and was excited to experience a Congressional campaign in the full swing of trying to reach 750,000 constituents and persuade them to vote for the Congressman.  Better than that however, I was able to actually join some of the team on the phones canvassing constituents to try to persuade them to vote for both the Congressman and also President Obama. That's a pretty special moment! 

Again I thought I'd about exhausted my welcome when Keith and his Communications Director grabbed me and said, "we're going to record a campaign advert, do you want to come along?"...  We battled through city-centre rush-hour traffic and made it to the radio studio just in time to lay down two different versions of a campaign advert about the second of two proposed constitutional amendments - about voter registration and participation - more info here

And finally we went over to the local Fox affiliate TV station for the Congressman to do a live TV interview.  You can see the video of the TV interview here.  I was in the green room willing him on! 

A very unexpectedly fascinating day and I also gathered a load of info from Keith on Detroit (where he grew up) which I've put together with the stuff I saw when I was there the other week. 

I move on to Seattle tonight on the Amtrak.  It takes about 36 hours but it supposed to go through some of the most beautiful scenery - including Glacier National Park

1 comment:

  1. Loving the blog, A. Keep up the work on the Obama campaign and maybe give them some tips for those TV debates.