Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Campaign volunteering

I spent my usual Tuesday morning two hours at the local Bill White campaign this morning. Last week, I made a record number of phone calls because no one would talk to me. This week, I got all kinds of chatty people--much more fun. A number of them answered immediately they were voting for White, and one said, "Well, it won't be Rick Perry." I had one man say gruffly yes, he'd made up his mind, and he wouldn't vote for Bill White. So I assumed that meant Perry. But some women, after having declared for White, wanted to tell me all about how they couldn't volunteer because they babysat their grandchildren or some other reason. I'm about to ask the office personnnel if there's some significance to the fact that all the people I call range in age from late 60s to early 90s. When they respond affirmatively to my offer of a yard sign, I almost know better than to ask if they can pick it up--we're not supposed to offer to deliver unless necessary. But a lot of these folks are old enough that if they want a yard sign , they need it delivered. One woman vascillated and kept coming back to the topic of a yard sign--seems she's a Democrat and her husband, a Republican. She wasn't sure how much trouble it would cause but seemed interested in finding out. Finally she said she guessed not. It would save several people a lot of trouble.It's also interesting to read the household statistics of the people I'm calling. Maybe it's a sign of the times, but a lot of grown children--I'm talking 40s and 50s here--seem to be living with their parents.
My goof for the day: a lot of the time you have to leave a message. I try to vary my message so it doesn't sound canned, but sometimes I lose my way in the middle of it. I usually try to end with, "Thank you and have a good day." One notable call I said, "Thank you, and leave a message." I'm sure the woman thought White had an idiot working on his campaign--hope I didn't swing her vote the other way.
I know the odds are long, but from the responses I got today I can't see how Perry is seven points ahead in the polls. Several people said to me that he's been in office too long, though I read hints tonight on Facebook that he has his eye on a national election in 2012 and that's why this election is important to him. Heaven help us!
I had lunch with the assistant dean of our library today and, of course, her attention was much focused on the shooting at UT-Austin. Seems the dean of our library was on the Austin campus for a meeting but called quickly to say she was safe. The dean of the UT Austin Library System is a friend of mine, and his wife emailed early to say he and his staff were safe. I was grateful, though I kept thinking what an administrative nightmare this would be for him. I expect to have lunch with his wife Saturday, so I'll catch up.
Jacob was here tonight but spent the evening glued to the TV, which was fine--I read, and we had a pleasant evening.

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