Archive for February, 2008

One More Weekend Texans

February 29, 2008

It occurred to me this morning that we have been going pretty much nonstop here in Texas for three weeks now. Every day has been filled with answering phones, greeting new volunteers, setting up events, training precinct captains and going to rallies. There have been countless house parties thrown, meet-ups held and connections made. And it’s all happened because of the awesome effort put forth by the staff and volunteers.

Campaigns are strange creatures. They can wear you out and lift you up at the same time. Everyone, from the candidate to the volunteers has this slightly dazed look about them. March 4th has become an event horizon, drawing in more and more resources yet giving not the slightest clue what lays beyond. The campaign is reaching a fevered pitch.

The staffers are working the phones at an almost frantic pace, getting a hold of every single precinct captain, making sure they are contacting every voter they possibly can. The volunteers are pouring in, making phone calls from the offices or heading out to knock on doors and work the polling sites. And having now seen a glimpse into the inner circle, I can say that they too are working nonstop to ensure a victory, actually 4 victories, in as many days.

Personally, this has been a life-changing experience. A little bit of my faith in humanity has been restored by the tremendous outpouring of support and the amazing coming together of so many different people behind a common cause. I have stood amongst 18,000 fellow citizens and cheered the language of unity, celebrated the audacity of hope, and prayed for change. I have spoke with so many people who had lost all faith in government only to have it restored by a notion that we are all Americans, that we are all in it together and that we can fix the problems facing our nation. And I have been reminded that even though times can get tough, that it can look as if there is no future, if we really believe in ourselves we can overcome anything.

I don’t know what happens from here, but I do hope that at least some of the goodwill that has sprung from this campaign and the surrounding social movement survives. As I stood in the Fort Worth Convention Center last night I took a moment to look around the entire place, to witness the people who had come together there and what I saw was awe-inspiring. Thousands of people standing and cheering, laughing and at times even crying, because they all want the same thing; a better America. What I experienced in that room was what our politics is supposed to be like. We are supposed to stand united in defense of our rights and in support of each other.

That’s why all this is so exciting, because it finally feels right. People are beginning to remember what it means to be proud of our democratic institutions, people want to vote, are going out and getting their friends and family excited about voting. This is the real deal people, and we better seize it with all our might and hang on to it before it slips away because our country can’t handle much more abuse and neglect. This is the moment, this is the time we as citizens speak in one voice and demand that our government work for us, that our politicians remember they are servants of the public, and that we all finally look each other in the eye and see ourselves looking back. Because we are one people, brothers and sisters, each with a stake in the survival of this nation. Our freedom from tyranny comes from our shared belief that the ideas enshrined in the Constitution are worth fighting, and even dying, for. We are only as free as we fight to be.

This isn’t about Senator Obama anymore. He is but the vehicle, we are the drivers. And I believe he understands that. We are demanding more from our government, and in return more will be demanded of us. This battle is only just beginning, but already the powers that be are gearing up for a fight. Know that the attacks will only grow more vicious, the lies more insane, but we cannot be dissuaded, we cannot be lead astray. Now is our time to lead this nation, to set it on the right course. And it’s going to mean staying active after November 4th, because the next president can’t do it alone. We have to put people in Congress who will support this movement, and we have to hold them accountable. We have to take it upon ourselves to get educated on the issues and then share that information with those around us. We have to be the true foundation of government, both providing and restraining it’s power. This is our duty as citizens, this is our birthright.

I implore you to get active this weekend. Cancel your plans and work for change. Go by your nearest field office and volunteer for door to door canvassing. If you live in a state not voting March 4th, please do some phone banking. We need everyone’s help right now. This is the weekend that can put it away, but it will only happen if every one of us does our part.

This is your campaign now. This is our campaign now.

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Super Secret 2.0

February 29, 2008

I want my own motorcade. That is a seriously cool way to travel. I got to drive the staff van again yesterday, and if I keep this up I am going to get spoiled. What a crazy, crazy world we live in.

The event in Fort Worth last night was pretty amazing. Over 11,000 people filled the convention center to see Senator Obama. But getting the event set up was quite frankly a fucking nightmare. I had shown up early to get pictures of the crowd was asked by one of the field organizers if I wanted to help train some of the volunteer staff before I had to leave for the motorcade event.

We gathered all the volunteers in the convention center to give them instructions. Each field organizer was in charge of a specific area, moving people to their seats, signing in future volunteers, etc. So we were all standing there starting to explain to the volunteers what needed to be done and suddenly, with out any warning the doors were opened and people started pouring in. Pandemonium ensued.

No one knew where the VIP crowd was to be seated. No one even seemed to know where the VIP check in was. The TSA personal screening people coming in had conflicting instructions. The staff was caught completely off gaurd and were scrambling to rally their volunteers. Signs directing people to various places weren’t hung yet. It was insane, just insane.

But thanks to the dedicated work of those amazing staffers, we managed to pull it together. Slowly but surely we got control of the situation. Eventually everything was running somewhat smooth. Somewhat.

I left the scene while it was still a little panicked for the motorcade, and when we got back to the convention center everyone was seated and ready to the the senator. The staffers saved the day. Who ever opened the doors early should be drawn and quartered.

In the end it was a great rally. And that’s what matters.

Super Secret Indeed

February 28, 2008

Well, I can now say I have driven in Senator Obama’s motorcade. My super secret mission yesterday was as a volunteer driver of a van containing some senior staffers. I can’t really go too in depth about the experience for security reasons, but damn it was exciting. Secret Service, police escorts, the works. I will definitely say I feel a hell of a lot better about Senator Obama’s safety now having met some of the dedicated individuals protecting him. They are all my heroes.

What a crazy world they all live in. Nothing happens without clearance from someone. Nothing moves until it is OKed by someone. Who that someone is I have no idea, but they have their shit together. Which is exactly as it should be, because the good senator’s safety is paramount.

But I do have to say that driving through rush hour traffic with a fleet of police cars stopping traffic and clearing a path is something out of this world. There were cops everywhere. And we just kept on rolling, never slowing down for a light, intersection or even a congested highway. The police worked magic in my opinion.

I even got to converse with some of the inner circle. They are all wonderful people who treated me very well. I won’t go into any of what we discussed, but I am damn glad all that brain power is our side. And, to add the cream to the cake of an awesome day, I got to shake Senator Obama’s hand and get a picture with him which I will be posting later. He is so nice and approachable in person. Even though there were a lot of hands to shake and pictures to take, he made each one of us feel special.

Wasn’t as tall as I thought he would be. But his smile is electric, and when he shook my hand, turned for the photo and put his free hand on my shoulder, I just about fan-girled out and squealed. Thank goodness I didn’t. I actually managed to say “Wonderful having you back in Texas Senator, we’re looking forward to your win March 4th.” It was the best I could think of at the moment, which was so quick and exciting I am just glad I remembered how to speak at all.

I get to go on another super secret mission today. Don’t know what yet, but it will no doubt be cool.

Super Secret Mission to Mars

February 27, 2008

I get to go on a super secret mission for the campaign today. Ok, so it’s not really super secret, and it’s more like a job then a mission, but it’s still pretty cool. I think. They haven’t actually told me what I will be doing today. Something about driving a car around to events with someone in it. Don’t even know if it will be someone who is, say, running for POTUS, but you never know.

And now you know about as much as I do concerning this super secret mission. I was told to wear a suit and tie. And I am no doubt getting thoroughly background checked by the Secret Service. I just hope there isn’t a body cavity search later.

And I really, really hope I don’t screech like a little girl if and when I see Senator Obama. I probably wouldn’t be the first person to do it, but I would rather try to hold on to my few remaining cool points for a little longer.

I should have a good story to tell tonight. So check back later and read all about a day on the campaign trail as viewed from the drivers seat.

Obama coming to Fort Worth! For Real!

February 25, 2008

Senator Barack Obama will be in Fort Worth at the Convention Center at 8 pm this Thursday. If you want to be guaranteed to get in, volunteer for the event.

From MyBO:

Hello all! Huge congrats to those that hit the 50 call mark yesterday! We had a huge day, but we still have a lot of work to do. First, though, the exciting news: Senator Obama in Fort Worth Fort Worth Convention Center 1201 Houston St. Fort Worth, TX 76102 Doors Open: 6pm Program Begins: 8pm We need volunteers for this event! We’ll be running sign-in, ushering people to seats, etc. If you can help, plan to be at the Convention Center around 5pm (I’ll have the exact time later). If you would like to volunteer, you must call or email me so I can put you on the early entrance list. Thanks guys! Dena Gleason Tarrant County Field Organizer 316.789.5194

dgleason@barackobama.com

Large Signs Need Homes

February 24, 2008

We need homes for 12 4 ft. x 8 ft. signs. These need to be in high visibility locations, with the consent of the property owner. We will be Google mapping the locations to ensure they go to the highest visibility places possible. So if you have a place, please come and get one while they last.

The East Side Office is located at 6322 Brentwood Stair Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76112. We have a new phone number: (817) 451-9008.

The North Side Office also has large signs. The North Side Office is located at 2511a Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, TX 76106. The office phone number is (817) 626-6008.

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Obama coming to Fort Worth!

February 24, 2008

The campaign has confirmed that Senator Obama will be giving a speech here in Tarrant County Thursday, February 28th. No time or location has been given yet. Me, I’m taking the whole day off. Hopefully we will be live blogging this event.

And while you sit there freaking out trying to find a way to skip work Thursday, go read this great post by anna. And check out her youtube video:

Open Your Home

February 24, 2008

Hey people, if you have an extra bed, we have volunteers coming who need them. From the email:

Have a spare bedroom? We need your help! We have volunteers coming in from
around the country to help us get out the vote! We need homes for these
volunteers from February 29th – March 5th. They will be hard at work all day
long, but we would love for them to have a home to sleep in at night.
Contact Lauren: lkelly@texobama.com

We have a staffer in our house now. They aren’t around much, they just need a place to crash. So be kind and give someone a space to rest.

I see Obama People

February 24, 2008

Had a great time at the Precinct Captain training and East Fort Worth campaign office open house yesterday. At least 20 people showed up for the training, including several who had not attended any training in the past. Anna gave a really good presentation on how the Precinct caucus’ will work. And the District 91 Field Organizer, Cisco, did his thing, rallying the troops to get out there and make as many connections as possible, either over the phone or door to door. As for the open house, there had to have been at least fifty people in the office at its peak, which made it very cozy. Pictures from the day are up at the Flickr account.

Precinct Captain Training:

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More below the fold….

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A moment of silence

February 23, 2008

Let us take a moment to honor a fallen hero:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s motorcade met tragedy Friday when one of these motorcycle escorts, a Dallas police officer, was killed as he failed to negotiate a curve and slammed into a concrete guardrail.

It happened about 9:15 a.m. as the motorcade was headed across the Houston Street Viaduct toward a rally in Oak Cliff.

Senior Cpl. Victor Lozada was one of more than 30 motorcycle officers whose job it was to hold traffic at intersections while the black SUVs and patrol cars of the motorcade rolled through Dallas.

As the caravan headed south across the viaduct, Cpl. Lozada rounded a curve during his leapfrog toward the front. He apparently was unable to manage the turn.

Cpl. Lozada’s motorcycle ran up onto a sidewalk lining the viaduct, its momentum forcing it against the concrete railing, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation. Then it slammed head-on into a concrete outcropping.

The 49-year-old catapulted dozens of feet forward along the roadway, the force of the crash knocking off his helmet.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cpl. Lozada’s family and friends.