Welcome to your Edwards Evening News! I just got back from a weekend volunteering for the Edwards campaign in New Hampshire, so tonight we have my special report from the Granite State. I'll tell you about door-to-door canvassing, making phone calls to voters, putting up a really large sign, and a visit to a house party for Elizabeth Edwards. All this, and the rest of the Edwards news, in tonight's EENR.
Manchester, New Hampshire City Hall
Road Trip to New Hampshire
This weekend, I finally got around to going up to New Hampshire to volunteer for the Edwards campaign. For the past couple of months, I have been meaning to do this, but I kept trying to plan it around an event. The trouble was, I would find out about the events three or four days ahead of time, and by then I would have other plans. Eventually, I had to just plan a trip to New Hampshire when it was convenient for me, and hope there would be an event I could go to. Everything worked out just fine, and on Sunday night I got to go to a great house party with Elizabeth Edwards!
On Saturday and Sunday, I spent most of each day canvassing neighborhoods in Manchester. I went out with other volunteers or Edwards staffers to knock on doors in specific neighborhoods assigned by the campaign. The plan was to try to talk to voters about their choices, answer any questions about Edwards, and at least leave some literature, whether or not they were home. I estimate that I personally knocked on about 150 doors over the weekend.
Front of campaign literature
Most people were not home, but of the voters I did get to talk to, almost all of them were undecided. Based on this experience, I would say that if anybody tries to suggest to you that a particular candidate has New Hampshire sewn up, they do not know what they're talking about. Most voters simply have not made a decision yet. Those voters I spoke with seem to be taking their responsibility as New Hampshire voters very seriously and still pondering the possibilities. Among the few voters I talked to who had made a decision, they seemed as likely to be supporting JRE as anyone else.
Manchester, New Hampshire is a very nice small town that presidential candidates just happen to spend a lot of time in. At first glance, it seems quite normal, but it does become a bit strange when you realize that almost everyone in town seems to have had some sort of contact with a presidential candidate.
For example, I found a great Mexican restaurant, Consuelo's Taqueria, which had the best burritos that I've had since I lived in California. I really miss getting good Mexican food, so I ate there twice. The people that work there are very friendly, and I had some great conversations with them, and in one of those conversations I found out that Bill Richardson just happened to have stopped in there and given a speech recently. Everyday happenings in Manchester, New Hampshire!
On Sunday morning, I had breakfast at the Merrimack Restaurant, which happened to be about the only thing open, but which is also a favorite campaign stop for candidates. They have the wall and the paper menu complete with caricatures of the current candidates to prove it.
I thought the party at the next table were just a bunch of tourists from New York until the camera crew arrived. They had mentioned Rudy Giuliani quite a bit and 9/11, but it took me a while to realize they were actually a group of firefighters who think Giuliani did a terrible job before and during 9/11 and they have formed a group opposing his nomination. I had seen their web site before, and I think I recognized one of the men at the table from this video. Everyday happenings in Manchester, I tell you.
On Sunday and Monday in particular, I spent quite a bit of time with a couple of the Edwards staffers, because I went out canvassing with them. One of them mentioned to me that campaigns always reflect the candidates, and I have to agree, because everybody that I've met on the Edwards staff is really nice. I enjoyed meeting them and talking about the campaign.
Sunday night I drove out to Hampton Falls near the coast to attend a house party for Elizabeth Edwards. Elizabeth was speaking at an old farmhouse that was built in 1753. I could tell it was really old as soon as I walked in. It had gorgeous wood paneling, fireplaces, and low ceilings throughout. Tracy, the owner of the house, told us it was built in 1753. I have not been in very many houses in this country that are older than the nation itself.