Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Grassroots Again

My involvement in the 2004 Presidential Campaign began with a small group of Dean supporters in Sept., 2003, when the Arizona office opened. There was a campaign manager, two phone lines and a bunch of volunteers to answer the phone and make packets of literature for a table at the State Fair. It is what Alexis de Tocqueville called "grassroots", true citizen efforts forming a group in order to create a change in our democaracy. That blossomed into a full campaign staff until it ended in February, 2004. I was sad and disillusioned, finally getting on the Kerry bandwagon in June, 2004.
The Dean campaign reactivated excitement about the political system for me, and many others who have sat on the sidelines for over 20 years. They taught me how to make calls to registered Democrats, get interest in Vote-by-mail, work in the polls, and generally do whatever it takes to get out the vote, including a scary task of posting campaign signs on busy streets. The metal rods of the signs are really hard to put into the dry Arizona clay and my daughter helped me pound them in with big rocks.
Fast forward to today, 13 days prior to November 2. I have often professed my hatred for George W. Bush. I intend, for the next 13 days, to do whatever it takes to get Kerry elected, and to get them the Arizona electoral votes. As the Kerry-Edwards campaign shifted its field staff to other states for the last big push, we are back to the grassroots actions again. Last week, I cheered and waved signs as a backdrop to the news analysis shows at ASU for the third debate. Next week it means lots of calls, getting voters out to vote, convincing undecideds, putting up signs and being the phone bank deputy manager (my husband offered to be the phone bank manager). I am so thrilled he is getting involved, at the very basic grassroots level, that I will even let him be the boss of me.
So, the Presidential campaign in Arizona has come full circle, back to the roots, to the people for which it stands. That feels great and we are more than ready to rumble.