Anecdotes from Virginia
Yesterday my friend and I volunteered for the McCain campaign in Virginia. Here are a few short stories from my time out in the field and at the national headquarters making phone calls:
- Former RNC Chairman and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson, seen above, stopped by the national headquarters to thank all the volunteers for their time and to ask for their prayers.
- There was a line of people waiting to make phone calls when I first arrived to the office and again when I returned from knocking on doors. Virginians are working hard to get out the vote. (The above photo represents only a fraction of the volunteers present.)
- Most of my friends and family have followed this election closely from the very beginning, and until yesterday, I hadn’t spoken with anyone who was truly undecided. I was surprised to learn how many Virginia voters hadn’t made up their mind just two days before the election.
- I called one such undecided voter last night, simply by chance. This woman from rural Virginia told me that her husband was supporting McCain but that she was still unsure, then asked if I had time to answer a few questions. “Why are you supporting McCain? … Who is the better candidate to represent Christian families? … Which candidate supports Israel more? … Is it true that Barack Obama is a Muslim? … Who do you think has better instincts?” I think her questions were indicative of what many undecided voters have on their mind. She explained that she cares about the economy as much as the next person, but that she didn’t want economic concerns to mean that family values are pushed aside. She said Obama was a slick speaker, but that she thought he would say whatever one particular crowd wanted to hear. She talked about how important Israel is to America as an ally and how important Jewish heritage is to both Christians and Jews alike. At the end of our 15-minute conversation, she thanked me for my time and said she would definitely be voting for McCain.
- While going door-to-door in Alexandria, one Republican woman joked with me that she and her neighbor had canceled each other out. Not to be outdone, the Democratic neighbor said his dog had voted twice. (I laughed, but you and I know vote fraud is no laughing matter.)
- I met an elderly man walking down the street who told me that he had voted Republican his entire life and that he really admired McCain, but that he was voting for Obama. I was confused. He went on to explain that he had supported McCain in 2000, that he thought he was the best Republican suited for this year’s contest. He spoke very highly of McCain, noting the strength of his character and his good instincts. Still, he said he couldn’t vote for McCain and that he felt like a traitor. He’s voting for Obama, he explained, as a result of reading Obama’s books and being really impressed with his public speaking skills. I was stunned, because I’d expect this kind of rationale only from a young person.
- One friendly Republican woman was very happy to see us. She had a large McCain sign in each of the three large windows on the front of her house, and explained that her home had been vandalized with “O’s” written on the windows over the signs.
- One volunteer making phone calls was from Ireland and had come to America to simply to volunteer for McCain. Talk about dedication to a cause. The world is watching.
- Another volunteer, a middle-aged woman, said that she had voted “most of the time” in the past, but never gotten involved in anything political. She said there’s too much at stake this year, and that she is legitimately afraid of what will happen if the GOP loses. Her sentiments were echoed by others, too.
I’ll be at the national headquarters again tonight and volunteering at a Virginia polling place bright and early tomorrow morning, so check back for additional updates. You can also “follow” me on Twitter by visiting Twitter.com/KatieFavazza.