1/12/2008

so it's been a few days so my memory is not perfect, but here's what happened election day (with photos, which are finally online).

We woke up late-ish due to being out late the night before. We had James's BMW, because he was out with his friends at the Hillary campaign. We found some coffee place with bagels on the main drag in Manchester and ate there then we walked around downtown a little, which was hopping with people and energy, and headed over to Obama HQ. They sent us to a precinct's volunteer base, which was an house under heavy renovation somewhere in the north of Manchester.

The volunteer staff guy was kind of a twerp, for lack of a better word. He was maybe 22 and was not exactly welcoming - there were these 40-year old upper middle class ladies and us, nobody said hello and thanks for coming, and he was ordering everybody around: "You WILL do this, you WILL do that," etc. The ladies were visibly pissed off. Our pals the Texas senate staffers, who we'd been hanging around with every night, later told us they experienced a similar thing at their precincts.

So we got our turfs, the areas where you walk around and talk to folks, and we headed out. Ward got one nearby so he went walking around alone, while Wilson and I got one in Manchester so we drove there. It was about 1 pm by now and most folks weren't home, we only managed to talk to a few folks and only one or two were Obama guys. One house had a ton of kid toys in the yard and an igloo built out of snow, so Wilson and I got photos in it.

Eventually we walked past a Planned Parenthood with Ron Paul folks outside holding anti-abortion posters and reading Bible verses. We decided to talk to them and the staff there, so Wilson engaged the protesters while I went in to say thanks and such to the staffers. There were some pink-shirted counter protesters inside and they were appreciative. Wilson had been in a civil debate with the Paulistas about the role of government and taxes and so on, and we pressed on. Soon after we met a guy with an Obama press pass on. He turned out to be a reporter for the Philadelphia City Paper, akin to the Washington City Paper. He walked around with us and we gave him a ride back to the precinct so he could get some photos.

However, when he arrived with us, the twerpy guy and the other staffers freaked out, they all clammed up and said he couldn't take photos. But we didn't care, so we dropped off our canvassing packets and got out of there quickly so they couldn't bitch us out. The reporter took some photos of us with the Obama signs outside and then we gave him a ride back downtown. Then we all returned to HQ, where we met a lady who had been in the Air Force. She was pretty cool and was only up for the day, so she hung out with us. We got a hold of the Texas folks and went for lunch downtown. People had been telling us all day we were going to win, and Obama was up in the polls, so we were feeling pretty good.

After lunch we went to the Radisson for some reason then walked around downtown. Wilson and I decided to try to head down to Nashua, about a 20 minute drive, where Obama's rally was taking place. It was supposed to be packed and was ticket only, but we figured we'd try. We had some misadventures getting there, we stopped at a polling place and then the wrong high school, but eventually made it to the right spot. It was completely mobbed, hundreds of people outside, lines around the building, and who knows how many people inside. We waited around a bit but decided to head back to Manchester to meet up with everybody at Milly's, where the Obama staff and volunteer folks were going to be.

Back on the interstate, we were on an exit ramp type thing and needed to get over to the main part. Wilson was driving and we drove over a median which was hard to see, no shiny strips or anything, and we basically went airborne, landing with a splash in some kind of puddle, so water went all over the car. We kept going, and the car seemed to drive ok but we obviously had a flat or something, and we took the next exit. There was a gas station right off the exit. We looked at the car and found that three of the four tires were popped. We asked the lady there where we should go and she suggested the Sunoco next door, so we rolled over. After calling a few tow shops at another gas station, to get a neutral opinion, they all said they use the Sunoco for flats, so that worked out well. Unfortunately it was too late to get the tires fixed, we'd have to wait til 7 am tomorrow. We called James to tell him of the disaster, since it was his BMW, and he hung up on us. Then he called back a few minutes later and gave us Bret's number, the guy we were staying with, and hung up. So Bret showed up fast enough and took us to Milly's, where Ward and the Texas crew were.

We watched the results roll in, with Hillary up immediately, and the energy in the room dissipated. Unfortunately no places in NH had pitchers, so we'd have to wade through the crowd and get six packs. They ran out of Miller Light and Bud Light soon enough. So we were pretty down and drank there for awhile, leaving sometime after they called it for Hillary. James showed up at some point and there was a bit of a standoff, James at one end of the room and us on the other. Then Wilson went to talk to him and I guess James left. Then we headed over to possibly Strange Brew and definitely JDs, it gets a little hazy at this point. I know at JDs we met up with our Hillary pals and some other folks bought us dinner, which was nice. The Hillary types wanted to debate and stuff, but I was having none of it, I was sick of political stuff. Ward got photos with Tim Russert. It was cool going to JDs at this point, since we'd been there something like 5 nights in a row, all the waitstaff recognized us and such.

Then eventually we went home, driven by the Hillary folks, and crashed. Wilson went down at 6 am to get the tires fix, and by noon we were on the road home. At least James has a good story for the next time Wilson messes with him.

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