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

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