Megan, my fiancé, and I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina for the Democratic primary. There, we stayed with Noel Blaha, a friend from high school, Betsy Neidert, and their two Boston Terriers. Two friends from Chicago, Kylie Gregor Whitmire and Kayleen, both feisty teachers, joined us. We had an okay time…
The reader’s digest version picks up the action on Friday morning after we’ve arrived. The War and Peace version is here:
The whole enchilada!
Noel announces at 8:32am that Obama is going to be at a deli 2 miles away for a women’s roundtable at 9:00. Kylie, who claimed the night before that she needs a full hour to get ready, shoots out of bed, wakes up Kayleen, and we’re out the door in less than 15. We arrive on time only to find out that we won’t be allowed inside. Short of dressing in drag, I was pretty sure I couldn’t get in, but it was disappointing that the girls couldn’t get in either. We decided to wait in the cold to see if we could at least catch a glimpse of the next POTUS. Before long, Obama’s bus pulls up. We have to move to even be able to see him. As he exits the bus, I start some loud, “Fired up…ready to go!” chants. As if drawn by a magnet, Obama comes right to us.
I showed him my “We make history” sign, and he shook hands with Kylie and Kayleen. Arguably the highlight of the trip, and we’re only 12 hours in.
We’re so fired up on the ride back to Noel’s that we miss our turn…twice!
We arrive at the North Charleston office. The first duty is hanging the “we make history” sign. Hey, it worked in Iowa!
Kayleen, Kylie, myself and Meg
I worked the office with Meg’s cookies and the charm of Obama himself. After about an hour, it was time for a lunch break. We ate at Panera, and, as I was headed up for a free refill, I noticed the long line and said to the guy in front of me, “gosh, things really are slower down south!” He replied, “If you don’t like it, you can get the HELL out!” I do have a way with people!
This was the general attitude towards us in SC...
After lunch, we went door to door (canvassing) in a trailer park to remind people to get out and vote. It was an interesting neighborhood!
That's a mini-Escalade!
I also enjoyed announcing, “This looks like a Kayleen special!” at the most dilapidated of trailers. I’m surprised this never got annoying!
I was so pumped up after knocking on a particular door, that I tried to jump over a trash can...
I guess it's possible to get too fired up.
Back at Noel's, Meg enjoyed guitar hero.
Next, we played Sing Star, a karaoke video game. See for yourselves how fun/embarrassing this game is:
Don’t tell me we didn’t have a good time, Kayleen! I see you laughing back there!
I had an interesting way of getting my colleagues fired up and ready to go in the morning…
The morning of the primary highlighted just how different my Iowa trip was from this one. For instance, I was Jack Bauer in Iowa, doing whatever it takes to win (I even had to waterboard two potential Hillary caucus goers to get them to switch their allegiances). In SC, I had to deal with stuff like, “We can’t leave until I find my bobby pin!”
Soon, we found our way to the headquarters. We went out canvassing again; Kayleen found a bullet shell casing on the ground at the apartment complex. We kept working! I went up to a door, and the lady told me she couldn’t vote because she had to call a cab for work and had to leave shortly. I arranged a ride for her to the polls and made it so she could even be dropped off to work afterwards. I thought this was pretty neat.
Another round of canvassing found us in a pretty precarious situation. Remember the multi million dollar homes near the harbor? Well, this neighborhood was the exact opposite of that. We actually were so intimidated that we never even got out of the car. We left after seeing a very intimidating dog, which I think was some sort of pit bull/lion mix, wearing a chain reminiscent of Hercules from the old days of the WWF.
Back at the HQ, I also managed to knock over a mop bucket full of water while taking the trash out (talk about being committed to win). Mopping up the water was easy, but I needed a place to put the excess water. Luckily, the spill was right by the door, but how would I prop it open?
It was this type of do whatever it takes attitude that led to a 28 point win!
They put me on the phones for some last minute persuasion. I made about 70 calls and maybe talked to about 7 people. I swear people were deliberately disconnecting their phones to keep from having to speak to me. I finally got a hold of one voter who wanted to know what religion Obama was. I told him he was a Christian, and the man said that was enough for him, and that he would vote for him.
Another staged phone pic
At 7 o’clock when the polls closed, CNN projected Obama as the winner. I went back into the office to commence celebrations, but was told by to keep it kind of hush hush. I’m still not sure why.
Then, it was off to the victory party. South End Brewery was jam packed with supporters. I led a few “fired up…ready to go!” cheers, and we chanted and cheered as Obama gave his victory speech. I sent out a text that said, “Fulcher goes 2-0”, and my favorite response back was from Samir of the Iowa City office. He wrote, “Fulcher and Hope: 2. Hillary: 0”.
It was sad to leave behind another historic and great trip. A text from Michelle really brought my focus back, it read, “can you be in 22 states all in one day?”
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