Thursday, February 21, 2008

Getting out the Obama voters in Wyoming

I made some phone calls the other night for the Obama campaign. A handful of volunteers were calling registered Democrats and independents in Sweetwater County. We urged them to get out to the county caucus March 8 at the Western Wyoming Community College campus in Green River. Nobody cussed me out, although I had a few hang up on me. I left a dozen messages on voice mail, wondering as I did so whether someone was on the other end looking at the caller ID screen and muttering that Barack Obama had a lot of nerve calling during dinner time. I talked high school basketball with a woman in Green River who said that she and her husband were 'leaning toward" supporting Obama. Problem was, they would be on the road with their daughter's high school b-ball team and couldn't be at the caucus.

I didn't find any determined Obama support with the people I spoke with. "Leaning toward" was about as good as it got. I did get a of couple registered Independents on the line who said they liked Obama but would not change their registration to Obama just to vote in the caucus. Wyoming lets you change your registration if you do it by the end of the day tomorrow (Feb. 22). During party primary elections in Wyoming you can walk into the polls and change your registration that day so you can either vote for a candidate you love or you can sabotage the opposing party's candidate(s).

I volunteered as a precinct captain for Obama. I'm charged with calling the Dems in my precinct and getting them out to the caucus in Cheyenne March 8. If I want, I can go door-to-door and see where they stand. I had a lot of interesting conversations in 2006 as I went door-to-door for Gary Trauner and Dave Freudenthal. A lot of people just didn't know who Trauner was, although more know the name this year. Gov. Freudenthal had a lot of name recognition which helped as he clinched the election by a wide margin over Republican opponent what's-his-name.

I'm sure I'll spend many more pleasant hours making calls and ringing doorbells this election year. It makes a difference. Your candidate doesn't always win, but it's the effort that counts. Do I want to tell my grandchildren I sat on my keister during the most important election of my lifetime?


jhwygirl said...

Your last paragraph resonates so true, Michael. I can't think of anything in all my voting years that was more rewarding that the hours I and thousands of others across this state undertook in an effort to vote Jon Tester into the Senate (unseating Conrad Burns).

As you said, you don't want to sit back and realize, years later, that you did nothing. You don't want to sit back years later a complain about something that you didn't try to change.

Plus - you can meet lots of great people along the way.

mpage225 said...

Mike, keep up the good work. I delivered 3 votes for Obama in Missouri and for the first time in a long time the person I voted for actually won. I will deliver at least 4 votes for the Dem nominee; and perhaps I can do a bit more. It is a very critical election.

By the way, remember in '76 going out to the Gainesville airport to see and laugh at Regan? If we had only known then. By the way, am I the only one who believes he is the most over rated president in history?

jhwygirl said...

Are you the only one?

Oh, hell no....


Michael Shay said...

I remember those days in Gainesville when Reagan came to town. He was building steam for the 1980 race, but wasn't yet Saint Reagan of the Shining City on the Hill. And Jimmy Carter was the peanut-farmer Governor of Georgia. Which of these presidents deserve sainthood? Take a quick look at Carter's legacy on behalf of peace and justice and you have your answer.

There is an effort to add Reagan's visage to Mount Rushmore. Jhwygirl, don't you think this would be a boon for tourism in Montana and Wyoming?

jhwygirl said...

Nah - we got enough places for shotgun practice already. So does Wyoming. No need to drive all the way to South Dakota to do that!