In the past six months, I've gone from determined couch-sitter to blogger to doorbell-ringer and today I took my first foray into phone-bank volunteering at the local McCain HQ. The last time I was there, Washington State McCain Chair Don Skillman had just come aboard, and we were shooting photos for the Moms4McCain feature in the upcoming AllYou magazine.
It was amazing to me how much progress has been made in a few weeks - signs and bumper stickers are now plentiful and there is a sense of anticipation that Big Things are happening. The staff have a whiteboard counting down the days until the election (77) and tracking the highest number of calls made in one day (if you're near Seattle, I encourage you to come to a phone bank event at the Bellevue office and see for yourself how high that number is!)
I was pleased to see the unforgettable Fredi Simpson, Washington chair for Women for McCain. (We met in the pouring rain at McCain's Climate Change Roundtable event this spring.) Fredi was, of course, already on the phone, wearing a big smile, a McCain button, and great shoes. She drove in from Eastern Washington with a carful of eager, snappily-dressed women, who 'dialed for votes' with local volunteers, about 20 in all. Don and other staff skillfully coached the troops on the phone system and supplied us repeatedly with water (that many women talking on the phone creates serious heat!).
Volunteers ranged from college students to grandmothers, hailed from Massachusetts, New Jersey, and all corners of Washington State. I spoke with lots of answering machines, and a few live people, whom I asked about their support for McCain, rightful Governor Dino Rossi, and Congressman Dave Reichert .
I highly recommend coming by the Victory Office on your lunch hour, after the kids go to bed, instead of Happy Hour - bring some snacks and say hello to the staff who are working hard to make sure we have great leadership for our 'Washington' and, as our nation's capital is known here, 'the other Washington.'