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13 September 2008

Obama supporters: what are you waiting for? [More:]This week I sat down and wrote some letters to friends and family asking them to please donate to Obama's campaign and help end the fucking madness. Responses were great - almost everyone got right on it and sent in their checks.

This was encouraging BUT I found myself wondering why EVERYONE I wrote to was clearly willing to step up and do something but NO ONE had already done it themselves. In other words: I'm glad my little letter writing campaign yielded results, but why did all these people need my prompting?

So this is going out to YOU if you haven't yet donated, signed up to volunteer, registered to vote, all of the above, everything you yourself can possibly do to put Obama over the top. I am prompting you. This is your notice. There won't be another chance to do something.

If you've been bitching about Bush for 8 years, take action! What we do in the next 8 weeks will decide the race! NOW is the time to not just complain but have a positive IMPACT on things!


Yes yes yes! (And if I may piggyback on scarabic's excellent post for just one second: please, California voters, don't neglect to register/vote even if you think Obama's got it in the bag here... we still need a good turnout to VOTE NO ON PROP 8. Keep Marriage Equal!)
posted by scody 13 September | 01:08
Shit - it would help if I posted some info on where to donate, wouldn't it?

You can give online quickly and cleanly:

(warning - video on page)

Mail paper checks to:
"Obama for America" PO Box 802798 Chicago IL 60680

You can register,
request an absentee ballot,
or find your polling location here:

I was going to provide a URL on McCain's site so people could CTRL-click it over and over until it's open in 100 different identical tabs and then right click on a tab and select "refresh all" over and over. But that would be a dirty trick.
posted by scarabic 13 September | 01:17
You're absolutely right; I've been hanging back because times have been financially tight here, and I'm more used to offering volunteer time than cash. But this is the week when I realized I need to ante up, so I'm donating.

But I took your question literally, too - one thing I'm waiting for is to see Obama regain his mastery of the narrative of this election at this time period. He needs to be LOUD, louder than the media circus that has been parading around the GOP for the last couple of weeks. He needs to emphasize his message of centrist progress over partisan retreat and regression. He needs to beat the streets and have a clear, visible new message every day. He needs to reframe every attack. In some sense, I'm waiting for him to fight back.

PS: the guy quoted in this piece is one of my closest friends, and an academic modern American historian. I think he's right to keep the pressure on the campaign to continue the fight, and right to note that the Democratic party has historically failed at managing the narrative in order to win.

But back to the message: GIVE! Yes, please. If you're like me and don't have a lot of spare cash, GIVE ANYWAY. Even $5 will help. It's really true that no amount is too small, because in the aggregate, small amounts become big. Get a stake in this campaign. I thought 2004 was the most important election of our lifetimes - it wasn't. This one is. It's time to do what you can!
posted by Miko 13 September | 01:19
I'm out volunteering for the campaign at least once a week. I'll be canvasing from 11 - 4 this afternoon, doing a voter registration drive. I've got a sticker on my car, a sign in my lawn, a sign in the front window and a button on my shirt.

The current polls are scaring me a little but it's still too close to the conventions, if McCain is still strong in two weeks, then I'll be scared a lot.
posted by octothorpe 13 September | 07:16
Ok, you got me. I haven't given in a while and now I have again.
I don't know why people need prompting but they definitely do.
Maybe you hear something so much for a while and it becomes background noise, and then when someone you know tells you to act, it comes to the foreground again. Just a theory.
posted by rmless2 13 September | 09:52
Done. A long time ago. We also bought a yard sign from the Obama website. We're still waiting for it to ship. Husband is going to stick it on his truck.
posted by LoriFLA 13 September | 10:23
I signed up to make calls from home, but oddly it doesn't seem like they're doing Neighbor to Neighbor calls from NY yet (or maybe my registration is still broken, even though I talked to someone from the campaign on the phone). So I'm waiting for that.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 13 September | 10:37
You know, if this campaign does nothing else, I think it might actually get everyone, Democrat or Republican, actually active in politics on some level. That is a very good thing for this country. We might not agree on candidates, but people need to talk about issues, about platforms, about all of it.

The worst possible stance is apathy-hopefully this year we have very little of it.

posted by bunnyfire 13 September | 11:39
TPS - have you been back to your page? I ask because in my state, when you use that page and click "Make calls to neighbors," you automatically get a list of 25 voters in your neighborhood that you are responsible for calling (no one else gets the same list). I wonder if your information is populated online. I've never gotten an email about it, just had to click through the Maine for Obama webpage.
posted by Miko 13 September | 12:40
That's the thing I've been having problems with, Miko- for some reason, Yahoo Maps! doesn't recognize my home address (actually, I'm looking right now and I think it's finally working- I think what ended up happening was that the person who called me on the phone dummied in a nearby address the system would recognize). I must say, on the whole, that I'm not very impressed with the website- I'm not finding it very user-friendly or intuitive. I had to have my password reset the other day, and I can't figure out how to change it back to what I would want it to be. Also, I submitted a comment about the problem I was having with my account a week or two ago and got an e-mail that asked me to reply with my address- only problem? The only e-mail provided to reply to was a no-reply. Things like that really get on my nerves. If you're going to use an online system, it has to be flawless, and this hasn't been, in my experience.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 13 September | 14:14
Now I've tried to make a few calls (to contact people who have expressed an interest in being involved in the campaign)- both people I've tried have not been home. There's no script provided for what they want you to say if you either reach someone else in the household or to leave a message- and if not providing an answering maching script means they don't want you to leave messages, then why is it an option on the list of actions completed? Again, it's this sort of stuff that drives me crazy (it actually begins to get into what I do for a living, which is why it makes me crazy to see it done poorly), all the various ways you can keep your volunteers confused. I did calls from home for Hillary, and the system was not this complicated; it seemed at that time that all the things I needed were provided when I needed it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 13 September | 14:36
After this first round of calls, the campaign is definitely going to be hearing from me with suggestions on how to improve this process- there are holes EVERYWHERE.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 13 September | 14:39
Done. Thanks, my roommate and I were just having this same discussion. I'm also thinking of trekking out to some needed state, perhaps Michigan, and doing some voter registration.
posted by Hellbient 13 September | 15:11
I think it might actually get everyone, Democrat or Republican, actually active in politics on some level.

Perhaps everyone Democrat or Republican, but that is far from everyone who is eligible to vote. Many people have deep problems with both McCain and Obama, and they again must deal with the old lesser-of-two-evils conundrum. The bullshit coming from both sides is already too deep for many to want to wallow.
posted by Ardiril 13 September | 16:45
I'm on it - I've given 100 dollars to Obama so far, and today went to volunteer for canvassing and phone banking in my neighborhood and neighboring towns.

posted by Lipstick Thespian 13 September | 19:09
I spend four hours tramping around in the rain today making sure that people were registered to vote and making sure that they were coming out on Nov 4. I hope that it's worth it.
posted by octothorpe 13 September | 21:40
Women Against Sarah Palin blog || Babby Moose! OMG!