Friday, November 30, 2007

Iowa: Edwards-Style

Well this day began like a typical day. I got out of bed around 5 a.m. to make sure I would be coherent for a long bus ride to the great state of Iowa. Before getting onto the charter bus, I did a quick interview giving basics of the experience for Channel 9. Pretty normal morning...

This trip to the great state of Iowa is anynthing but normal...The drive was fantastic in great weather. But you're not reading this for a run-down of the driving conditions--at least I hope not. So let's get to the good stuff.

The Edwards group (all four of us--four Freshman PPP majors and myself aka 'Momma Bear') were dropped off downtown Des Moines with nothing but a yahoo map, an idea of direction, and a dream in our hearts. We walked around downtown Iowa for a long time until we finally stumbled upon Edwards HQ. The moment we walked in, we were overwhelmed by Edwards stuff and the place was a buzz. A woman named Natalie was in charge of us. We were put to work within five mintutes. We were handed phone numbers, a short script, and a phone. We had walked in at 6 p.m. and apparently from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. is phone call time. Everyone in the office makes phone calls. Afterwards, they tally up how many people they got a hold of, how the conversation went, and the status of their amount of support for Edwards based on the questions asked/event information given.

Although the phone calls were important, and I dedicated a great deal of time to making them, I spent much of the time talking to many of the young people working the campaign. I wanted to find out why they've dedicated their time not only to the Iowa campaign, but to John Edwards. It was really exciting to hear their stories and to ask questions and keep my ears open about how information travels within the office itself. Everyone was exceptionally friendly and introduced themselves and were enthusiastic about our help. I even got to sit at a desk of one of the higher ups at the office so that I could make phone calls. I have a picture I'll post later...

I've actually begun seriously considering joining a campaign right after graduation. I think it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that would allow me to get hands-on experience in a campaign. It would also allow me to spend the other half of the year doing an internship or theatre-related job before finally deciding upon a grad school. After even just talking to the people in the campaign headquarters, I'm starting to really think these are the type of people I want to be around and learn from--even if only briefly.

We've got a packed day of forums with the Senator and debates with all the Democratic candidates and lots and lots of freezing cold snow tomorrow...WHAT AN ADVENTURE!

-Briana Hansen

Early Morning Busride

Iowa - Day 1

A lot of people say that college students don't care about politics. Watching forty students from Xavier University loading a bus at 5:45 am, I find that very hard to believe. Frost covers car windows and everyone's breath is clearly visible in the air. The sun has not yet begun to rise, but spirits are high as the students prepare for the nine hour bus ride that lies ahead.
After an exciting start, most sleep during the first leg of the trip. We stop every few hours to stretch our legs and/or grab a bite to eat. Political movies entertain as the day progresses - American President plays through Indiana. Thank you for Smoking and Primary Colors seem to shorten our drive through Illinois and Iowa.

Republicans and Democrats alike await the excitement that is to come. On the GOP side, Xavier students will be working for Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Ron Paul. Other students will work for Democratic candidates John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd.
We arrive at the hotel around 4:00pm central time (5:00 eastern) and settle into the Airport Hampton in Des Moines. After unloading our belongings and freshening up, everyone gathers in the lobby to depart to their respectful campaigns. However...due to the hostage situation in Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign headquarters, all of her Iowa headquarters and events were cancelled.

More to come in the next few days...

- Kevin

Thursday, November 29, 2007

For the Record

Hey all! I just wanted to let you all know I'll be working for the (handsome) candidate John Edwards this weekend. So Kevin will be with the Romney team and I'll be with the Edwards. Talk about different experiences...

We leave early early tomorrow morning. Let the games begin!


Monday, November 26, 2007

Back with a vengence!

Due to various extracurricular activities, both Kevin and myself have been neglecting this blog...but! Worry not, we're back with a vengeance.

And what exciting news we have to share with the blogging community. This Friday, we are headed to the great state of Iowa to work for different presidential primary candidates. Kevin will be working for the Mitt Romney team, while I--though still uncertain exactly who I'll be working for--will be balancing him by working for the lesser of evil Democrats.

Starting today, the two of us will keep you posted on the process leading up to Iowa. Once we're there, we will also be blogging regularly to talk about our campaign experiences.

As always, please feel free to respond and reply to our posts. We want this to be a sounding board for a larger political discussion (and we actually agree on that! imagine that! we agree on something!)