Sunday, October 05, 2008

New Hampshire For Obama

(L to r) Reed Passafaro, Dave Levanto, Bonnie Levanto, Me, Nikko Mendoza
At the Obama coordinated campaign staging location
Manchester, N.H.
October 4, 2008

My parents came to Boston this past weekend to volunteer for Barack Obama. We drove to Manchester, New Hampshire on Saturday for a day canvassing there, walking door to door to identify Obama supporters and to persuade those still undecided.

Together with good friends Nikko Mendoza and Reed Passafaro, we piled into my Honda Accord, and traveled to two separate neighborhoods in Manchester. A couple of observations:

1) Finding a voter is good, but getting the yard sign commitment is a home run. Reed and my mother teamed up, and they worked out quite a system. Not only did they quickly identify Obama supporters, my mom would gently ask if the supporter wanted a yard sign.

2) There are still undecided voters in New Hampshire. Amazing to me, but they are still out there. I wonder sometimes what would get them to ultimately make up their minds. One voter I spoke to supported Hillary in the primary campaign and now only knows she will not vote for McCain.

3) The Obama campaign had a lot of snacks. Everything from donuts and muffins to rice cakes. It was an impressive spread. After canvassing, we stopped by a coffee hosted by Ethel Kennedy, where they had even more food.

4) Canvassing is tiring. My parents stayed at my apartment for the night after returning to Boston from New Hampshire. I could not stay awake past 10 p.m. Crazy!

5) Some canvassing acronyms we came up with to qualify houses before we went to their doors:
  • HPODS (pronounced H-Pods)= High probability of door slam. I actually had one door slam and one window slam on the canvass route. A classic HPODS house is one with a large fence and a "Beware of Dog" sign.
  • HPONOH (pronounced H-ponough)= High probability of no one home. A far more common classification, generally made if you saw no cars in a house's driveway.

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