Knock, knock

Though a voter for twenty years, I have just now been front-door canvassed for the first time. Two sunny twenty-something campaigners for Barack Obama, but not from the campaign. (More about that in the minute.) I told them I would vote for him and took their flyer. They clearly had the Democratic Party voter register as they asked for me by name (and since I’m a registered Democrat.)

D.C.’s primary, held at the same time as Maryland’s and Virginia’s, promises to be important this year, even though it is a week after Super Tuesday. Getting a personal visit shows (1) the stakes are high and (2) personal politics can still work. It isn’t all on the Web.

The organization — perhaps that’s too formal a term; I’m not sure — is DC for Obama. The proffered flyer — clearly made on a color inkjet printer — is about half-and-half about how to vote and to get involved with DC for Obama. It ends: “Not authorized by any candidate or campaign committee. Labor donated.”

I’m not sure why all that made me happy enough to blog, but I’ll be interested to see if I get a visit from a pro-Clinton canvasser.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Your story of the canvassers working the neighborhood made me smile too. Politics is personal and voters can be still be swayed by the stranger knocking on their door or chatting for a moment over a coca cola. One of the strengths of Obama’s campaign in South Carolina was such “grassroots” efforts. That such things still happen makes me hopeful for our future as a liberal democracy, Thanks for sharing!

  2. If door to door, face to face, politics is your thing, I recommend Iowa every 4 years or so in the fall and winter! Iowa is of course a well kept secret with much to offer. But every four years it is invaded by young, idealistic, smart, articulate, committed, fantastic bright young staffers–from Dodd and Richardson to a small army for Edwards and Obama and a good showing for Clinton. I have no idea how all of the restructuring of caucus and primaries will go, but I hope, hope, hope that the door to door, face to face stuff is retained, somehow. It may not be possible, but I can’t emphasize enough what an impact having those staffers and candidates here made in terms of really knowing what was important to the folks and what they looked and felt like under heat (well, pressure), in the winter heat is not the word you look for when it comes to Iowa.

    Here’s hoping for some Tao of Democracy on the electoral front!
    Your old pal, Roger Butts in Davenport, Iowa

  3. I have decided to vote for Obama in order to vote against Clinton. I still worry about Jimmy Carter Syndrome with him, but he’s preferable to the alternative, in my opinion.

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