Friday, October 31, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Friday, Oct. 31

Tonight I was having a very interesting and important discussion with Barbra in Elyria, OH when her husband John strolled into the room and shouted at me as he passed through, "If your for Obama, your a socialist. Get out of my house! You are not welcome here!" Barbra tried to use her little voice to shush him up, but he just kept ranting over her like a crazed maniac. As Barbra shooed me out the door I urged her not to vote out of fear.

As I stumbled down the street through the darkness this flood of pro-McCain interactions came over me, and I realized that in almost every conversation the word "fear" came from their mouths. They were afraid Obama was a terrorist, Muslim, not born in America, black, unpatriotic, communist, a socialist, ect. ect. ect. McCain's campaign has established itself as a fear factory by pumping big, dark, polluted lies about Obama to try and blind the American public. I wish these people could imagine for one second what America would be like with that dishonest fear factory for president.

From The Horse's Mouth: Thrusday, Oct. 30

"McCain has got experience, but in stealin' money, and I don't have any! This election is making history and I never thought I would live to see it. These past few months with Obama running for president have restored my pride in being American."

- David - 45 - Euclid, OH

Thursday, October 30, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Wednesday, Oct. 29

Joshua tried to slam the door in my face. He pulled the door open in anger and demanded I explain myself immediately. I fumbled over my words, trying to be kind, while explaining that I was not selling anything. Finally he exclaimed, "What could be so important that you need to interrupt me during Barack Obama's infomercial!" I took a quick sigh of relief and smiled and said, "I'm with Obama's campaign." He smiled and apologized and I handed him the literature and let him get back to his show.

At around 9:00pm I began heading to the pick up spot and a black car began following me down the street. I immediately pulled out my cell phone, found my mom's number, and kept my finger on the send button. The car pulled into the driveway before me and blocked my path. Joshua jumped out of the car with more apologies flowing from his mouth. He offered to canvas with me until I was done, and if that creeped me out he said he would just drive along behind me just to make sure I was safe. I told him I was finished canvassing for the night and thanked him for the offer. We got to chatting and it turns out he is a musician and one of his songs is going to be in Michael Moore's new film! After we said goodbye, sorry, and thank you one last time I resumed my trek to the van, and as I was walking I realized that I had been at his door two hours ago and he may have been looking for me all that time just to say sorry.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Tuesday, Oct. 28

"Obama was born in Kenya and then his mother flew him to Hawaii the day after and had a duplicate birth certificate made." Everett exclaimed furiously.

Already knowing the answer I calmly inquired, "Really? Where did you hear this?"

"On the radio." He shortly answered

"Did Rush Limbaugh have anything to do with this idea about Obama?" I said in jest.

He didn't think it was funny and asked me to leave.

From The Horse's Mouth: Monday, Oct. 27

Sick day. Sorry, no updates from Cleveland. Although, it is snowing here!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Sunday, Oct. 26

"I flew planes with John McCain during the war."

"Wow! Really? That is exciting. So do you plan to vote for your buddy John in the presidential election?"

"Um, no...we may have fought in the war together, but he would just make this economy crash even more then it already has if he got into the White House."

- War Veteran - Middleburg Heights, OH

Monday, October 27, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Saturday, Oct. 25

The life of a canvasser is not elegant, or glamorous. We battle the elements everyday from rain, snow, sleet, land-mines of dog poop, slamming doors, extremely awkward situations, and above all the American public. Sometimes these interactions are a joy, they remind me of what I am out here freezing my ass off fighting for, other times I am not so lucky. I still remember meeting Frank in Parma, OH. His crotchety old wife answered the door and invited me in. Normally I don't enter people's houses, but I could see Frank in his recliner from the door and figured it was not to far to freedom if something went wrong. As I rounded the corner of Frank's large cushy chair I noticed he was lacking pants! The only thing between Frank’s naked midsection and me was a restless, yapping, little lapdog. In Frank's drunken state he wanted to go on and on about politics with me, but I politely kept our chat short and raced out the door as fast as I could. This is just one of the many glamorous interactions I experience every night.

- Megan - 25 - canvasser in Ohio

Saturday, October 25, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Friday, Oct. 24

"Its too bad terrorists will be taking over this country. And no, I will not be voting for Barack Osama!"

- Nancy - 57 - Bedford, OH

From The Horse's Mouth: Thrusday, Oct. 23

"Whoever fills this next presidential seat is doing America a huge favor. It seems that the presidents go into the White House with dark hair and by the time they come out it has turned gray."
- Amber - 46

Friday, October 24, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Wednesday, Oct. 22

Old people seem to be the heros of this election. I met another oldie, but goody today named George. He is 97, and pushin' death, which he mentioned quite frequently in our conversation. In regards to the election he said,

"I'm not gonna be here much longer, and I am ready to go. I asked the Lord to do one thing, one last thing for me in this life...I asked him to keep me here to see Barack Obama get inaugurated into the White House. Once I see that, I will go peacefully."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Tuesday, Oct. 21

Walter's 85 year old body hobbled out of his house in Parma, OH, and cut me off immediatly when the word election left my lips by saying, "I don't pay attention to that stuff!"

Apparently he does though because when I asked him who he would vote for he said, "Oh, the colored guy...not that crooked guy who is just like George Bush."

Just to clearify I asked, "You mean McCain?"

He replied, "Yeah. And that lady from Canada...her hair looks like she got into a bar brawl."

From The Horse's Mouth: Monday, Oct. 20

"So what is the most important issue to you in this presidential election?" I inquired of a 54 year old man in Olmsted Falls, OH.

"Getting Bill Maher off the air!"

Monday, October 20, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Saturday, Oct. 18

I met Anthony in the Cleveland ghetto on Saturday. He flung the screen door open slamming it against the side of his dilapidated house. His long brown, wavy, unkempt hair swung from side to side in his green bandana as he lumbered toward me. He had a sturdy handshake and thick swollen fingers. He proved to be a very pleasant, but uninformed voter. After negotiating an agreement with him to vote for Obama I moved on to the next house.
The neighbor seemed to be vibrating from caffeine or crack consumption as he answered the door; his eyes bugging out of his head. I asked if he was Thomas, and luckily he said no. Thomas came to the door in a much calmer manner. He was about thirty-eight, wore black rimmed glasses, and I shook his paint splattered hand. He told me that he was leaning toward voting for McCain for no reason, so I enlightened him and he too agreed to vote for Obama. When I turned to leave Anthony was waiting on the sidewalk for me. Having the sneaking suspicion that I may have acquired a stalker for the day I approached him coldly. He said, "I just wanted to stick around till you were done talkin' to him because he is a convicted sex offender and there are three more on this street, so be careful." Turns out Anthony was more of a guardian angel.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Thrusday, Oct. 17

As my canvassing days wear on I am discovering some new lingo. We have coined a new verb "canvassed", or "to canvas something". This verb is used to describe things you receive from people you speak to at the door. So far I have "canvassed" a bottle of water, a baby flashlight, and a can of Pepsi. However, last nights canvassed prize was top of the line. Upon engaging a lovely couple from India in the typical political conversation I found it difficult to extract any straight answers. They avoided my questions by critiquing the American two party voting system, argued that their voting preference was private, and then they flat out admitted that they highly doubted this election would ever even take place. I assumed they were referring to the debacles of the past two elections, and assured them that would not happen again. It soon became clear that they were actually referring to some sort of governmental apocalyptic meltdown. The details of this impending disaster were not clear, but I'm sure I could figure it out if I read the book I canvassed from them titled 'The Ten Commandments - Twice Removed'.

Friday, October 17, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Thrusday, Oct. 16

Two young boys were playing with trucks in an apartment parking lot in Ohio. I asked where their mom was and they informed me she was not home so I told them I was for Obama. They yelped, jumped, and screamed his name with joy and enthusiasm.

Then the younger of the two admitted, "I don't even know how to spell his name."

By now the older boy was dancing around singing "Obama, Obama, Obama!" and he replied, "I do, you spell it O-B-A-M-B!"

They were still dancing and jumping around to Obama's name as I walked away...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Wednesday, Oct. 15

I marched up Alice’s driveway yesterday evening ready to enlighten her on Barack Obama's awesome policies. I bypassed the front door and headed for the open side door. Seeing as she was pushing 90 I knocked once and settled in to wait for her old tired bones to make it to the door. To my surprise a little head peaked around the corner almost immediately. She was a very frail thin woman wearing big googly old lady glasses and holding a tissue in front of her mouth and nose like a shield. She seamed hesitant so I attempted to lure her in with a smile, it worked and we began our political chat. Once I finished telling her all about Obama's economic plan and McCain's awful health care plan I couldn't help but ask if she were suffering from allergies on this warm, humid October night. She timidly replied no, and I could see tears welling up in her eyes as she shrank back into her big empty brick shell of a house. I apologized for prying, and inquired further. She admitted that today had been very difficult for her, and she was feeling depressed. Alice had called her doctor and she assured me they intended to prescribe something for her. She then explained from behind her tissue, "fall is always a very hard time for me because it brings back a lot of memories. You see I buried my daughter this time last year. I was not going to answer the door, but I thought you might be someone in my family." Heartbroken and void of words I apologized for bothering her and for her loss. Then, unable to turn away just yet, I reminded her that there is always tomorrow, I told her that sometimes laughter can be the best medicine, and asked her what her favorite show was. "Andy Griffith," she replied with a smile. I told her how this job gets really tough sometimes because people slam doors in my face and yell at me, and I think its ok to hide away in a sitcom every once in a while. I also promised her that tonight would be the best sunset of her life, and I encouraged her to come outside and enjoy the weather. She giggled and told me that the thin sliver of a moon was her favorite because it reminded her of a sleeping cat’s eye, I agreed and told her I liked it because it looked like the Cheshire Cat’s smile. I trust that she witnessed the sun and the moon last night, and in those vibrant pinks she felt closer to her daughter.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

From The Chinese Horse's Mouth: Tuesday, Oct. 14

One of my Chinese students wrote this in an e-mail to me today...

"During the four-year presidency, Bush pulls the U.S down, also the world economy down.THe money he spend on the war is much bigger than what he wants to spend on saving the market.Stupid. I hope Obama can win the election. "CHANGE" Change the States and change the world. I hope he can change the history of the USA."
- Maverick - age 21 - China

Monday, October 13, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Monday, Oct. 13

'Have you considered voting for Obama in the upcoming election?'

The older African American woman replied, "Is that the black dude?"

- compliments of Ted G. during his canvassing in North Carolina

Saturday, October 11, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Saturday, Oct. 11

"I'm a Democrat, I always have been, but I'm votin' for McCain."

'Really, why? What is keeping you from voting for Obama?'

"I am gonna be honest here...I'm not votin' for Obama because he is black."

'Wow, really. You are the first to say that.'

"Well, I'm probably just the first to admit it."

- Delores - age 72 -

Friday, October 10, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: Friday, Oct. 10

"Obama wants to kill our unborn children and give abortions out like candy. Jesus does not want us killing our babies! And what would happen to our population? There will be no people left!"
A rosary was strung from two hooks on her front door and a giant wooden cross was staked into her front lawn.

I replied, 'So you plan to vote for McCain then?'

She responded with a conflicted look on her face, "Well, I don't know because I can't afford a gallon of milk or health care these days."

I smiled from ear to ear and stated, 'You are right...I neither of us can afford John McCain.'
She is 100% pro-Obama now.

Monday, October 6, 2008

From The Horse's Mouth: true tales from real American voters

The air is chill, tensions are high, families are divided, and some friendships are being broken...yep, it is that fun-filled time of year again, election season. For the first time in my life I have jumped headfirst into politics by joining the league of canvassers that interrupt your dinner, wake your children, and rile up your dog while your watching the evening news. I took this job because I think our country is in trouble and after abandoning it for the past four years I figure I owe this land of mine a hand; however, I did not anticipate the fountain of humor, and entertainment that has sprung up from the Americans I meet every night. These people are amazing! They come out with some of the craziest, most honest statements ever to leave a person's lips, and I am going to give you guys a first hand look at these marvelous remarks! So starting tonight I am taking the American voice from the asses, and the elephants and giving it to the horses...the people of this country, the and me. So if you need some comic relief from the debates, mud-slinging, and trash-talking be sure to tune in every night for 'From The Horse's Mouth: true tales from real American voters'. Here are just a few gems of genius to get you started:

Monday, Oct. 6
"I have been a Republican all my life. It is appalling that a black man could even run for president!" the crumpled old woman exclaimed from the recliner that seamed to be swallowing her up.
'So you plan to vote for McCain then?' I unenthusiastically replied.
"Goodness no! I'm going to vote for the white half of Obama." she stated as if it were a fact.

Tuesday, Oct. 7
'So who do you plan to vote for in this election?' I asked.
"Me." he confidently replied.

Wednesday, Oct. 8
"I am going to vote for God!" the woman barked at me from inside her smelly den of a house.

Thursday, Oct. 9
I compassionately inquired, 'What is keeping you from voting for Obama?'
"Well...I don't want him bringin' 'his people' over here." the toothless Wal-Mart employee replied.
Attempting to hide my shock I stammered, 'Um, whom do you mean by 'his people'...he was raised on the south side of Chicago.'