As promised, here is a behind-the-scenes look at life on the campaign trail. While I would love to take credit for the beautiful pictures, I can’t. In all of the rushing around, I left my camera at home. Again. Credit instead goes to Scott Jarvie.
aka “Super Tuesday” by those of us in the campaign
March 23, 2010
Wee hours of the morning – The alarm goes off. Jennifer hits the snooze button. A few times.
7:15 am – Jennifer should be on the road to Mike’s house for a volunteer appreciation pancake breakfast. Instead, she is simultaneously brushing her teeth, flat-ironing her hair, and looking for her keys.
7:30 am – Jennifer is on the road, along with about 50 gazillion other people. Who knew that 7:30 would be such a high traffic time?
8:00ish am – Jennifer has arrived at Mike’s house and is breaking dozens of eggs into a bowl. Dozens. Juice making, counter cleaning, pancake flipping, and butter melting are also in full swing. A New York Times reporter has blown into town (unexpectedly), and will be spending the day with the campaign. He is awe of our breakfast making abilities.
9:00ish am – Breakfast is served. Yummy!
9:30 am – While Mike heads to his living room for an interview, the rest of us switch back into high gear. On the agenda – prepare a luncheon for 250 people. We’re on it. You will notice in the picture that half of the sandwiches are ham and cheese (boring), and half are delicious looking chicken salad – with grapes. Jennifer anticipates lunchtime, when she will be able to eat one of those bad boys.
A small side note about my wardrobe choice. It’s not my fault. We were all instructed to wear our campaign shirts, and mine drowns me. Also, it was too cold for short sleeves, and I didn’t want to be lugging a coat around with me everywhere I went, so I wore long sleeves underneath it. In the wee hours of the morning, I didn’t think it looked *too* bad, but upon further reflection – Egads! What was I thinking?
10:30 am – The kitchen is clean, and Jennifer is on the road again – this time to a pre-caucus rally. On this particular day, there is a sign/set-up crew and a food crew. Jennifer is happy that she is on the food crew, because outside? Think Siberia. Only colder. Once at the event location, the crew springs back into action – making veggie trays, arranging cookie platters, and occasionally, sneaking one of those cookies. But just one. I promise. And as you’ll soon see, the cookie sneaking proved to be very fortuitous.
If nothing else in this entire campaign goes right, learning to make this veggie was worth it. It is beautiful! And so easy to prepare. Notice how all of the veggies blend melodiously together. There are no forced separations between the carrots and the olives. The celery isn’t made to feel like a second class citizen. There are parallels to be drawn here…
12:00 pm – It’s time for the rally to start. But wait – there is still a long line of people waiting to pick up their all-important t-shirts, flags, and buttons. Jennifer stands at the booth, passing them out as quickly as she can. Suddenly, she sees two very cute, very patriotic little faces. Jakob and Elisabeth have arrived, each sporting big smiles and “I Like Mike” buttons. The CNN film crew has also arrived. The rally can begin!
Waiting for the rally to begin – Can you spot Bitsy above and Jakob below?
12:45 pm – The very successful rally is over, and it is time for lunch! Unfortunately, Jennifer must man the booth to give out caucus and precinct information. She sees people happily munching veggies, cookies, and chicken salad sandwiches all around her. She is hungry.
1:15 pm – Jennifer is able to sneak away from the booth for a few milliseconds. She rushes over to the counter, only to find that the cookies and chicken salad sandwiches are gone. All gone. Oh, the humanity! She consoles herself with lots of carrots and olives, and a sad little ham and cheese sandwich. She misses the grapes.
1:30 pm – Jennifer is back on the road – this time to pre-caucus rally number two. With all of the dashing around she is doing, she suddenly feels an overwhelming urge to put way too many dashes in the previous sentences. But there is no time to go back and fix it, so she presses on ahead. More wind, more feeling sorry for sign crew, more buttons.
3:00 pm – Rally number two begins. Jennifer is facing an important delegate race back home, and is given permission to leave early to do more personal campaign work.
See that ginormous bunch of balloons? It used to be two separate bunches, but the wind – oh, the wind – turned it into a megabunch.
4:30 pm – HOME! Frantic phone calls and last minute strategizing take place. There has been a last minute entry into the delegate race, and Jennifer is worried.
5:45 pm – Jennifer has switched out of campaign wear and into her most patriotic, sparkly blue shirt. She and Sarah head out to put signs and brochures in a few caucus locations throughout the city. Caucus location A isn’t open yet. They race back home to let Todd know he will need to set that one up before joining them at their precinct.
6:30 pm – After trying three different buildings, Sarah and Jennifer arrive at the correct location. Because of the large attendance expected, they are in a gym. Which turns out to be a good thing. By the end of the evening 97 people have arrived, fired up and ready to vote.
7:00 pm – People are still signing in.
7:15 pm – People are still signing in. We begin anyway. They can listen.
7:30ish pm – The platform has been read, and it is time to select a precinct chair. Jennifer will not be running for chair, so she is able to relax and observe. Five people are nominated. The first person begins her speech, which clearly she has prepared very carefully. Her speech. It is carefully prepared. And memorized. Jennifer has not prepared a speech. She begins to worry. The next four nominees speak, and it is clear that they, too, have not prepared their speeches. Jennifer feels a little bit better. The first girl, Miss Prepared, wins.
??? pm – Vice chair. Speeches, voting, impatient people.
???? pm – Secretary and treasurer nominations begin. NO ONE is running for these two positions. One name is put forth for secretary. She is not happy, but will accept the nomination. All is well. And then…Jennifer is nominated for secretary as well. That? Was not part of the plan. Now there will be another long, drawn out vote. Unless…one person is willing to take the secretary position, and one person is willing to take the treasurer spot. Person number one refuses to be treasurer. Jennifer will do it. Anything to move the evening along.
????? pm – It is time for state delegate nominations. This is what Jennifer has been waiting for. Eleven people are nominated for three spots. Speeches are made. Sarah will be able to vote for the first time tonight. Jennifer makes sure to use that in her speech. After all, no one wants to be responsible for a first time voter seeing her mother lose. The strategy works – Jennifer is the top vote-getter. It may also have something to do with all of the phone calls, fliers, and shameless facebook begging Jennifer has been working on for the past week. Oh, and also the awesome, amazing friends and neighbors who have come to support her.
Time has lost all meaning. Voting for county delegate spots has begun. More speeches. More waiting. More results.
And finally, it is over!!! Jennifer bids farewell to a few friends, and is cornered by her first angry voter. For perhaps the first time in history, Jennifer is too tired to argue back. She simply smiles and nods, which is probably the wiser course of action, anyway. Jennifer makes a note to herself to be tired more often.
Sarah and Jennifer head out for a much anticipated dinner. But wait. All of the fine eating establishments are closed. They settle for shakes and burgers at the Arctic Circle drive through. Arctic Circle is really expensive. But the shakes are good. They head home. Jennifer misses her turn and has to drive into the next town due to road construction. Eventually, home is found. Jennifer rushes to her computer to see if there is any news. VERY positive caucus reports are coming in from all over the state. Jennifer is happy. And tired. So tired. But happy.
It has been a great campaign day.