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Camp Obama, Camp Clinton in Indiana

Camp Clinton: Tom Smith

Sunday, May 4... Though the weather was unseasonably cold and windy last night, Sen. Hillary Clinton heated up a crowd of about 7,000 people at a rally with a fiery populist appeal that centered on the price of gas, jobs, health care and her determination to fight for the people of Indiana. Speakers at the rally, which included Senator Evan Bayh and entertainers Ted Danson and Rob Reiner, stressed to voters that the path to the presidency "is going right through Indiana for the first time in 40 years."

Camp Obama: Jason Berry

Good morning Washington!

As I mentioned in my last blog, the local satellite office was bracing for a really big Saturday turnout of volunteers. The campaign rented a sprawling office in a strip mall. The night before I helped confirm volunteer shifts for local volunteers to knock on doors and bring the grass-roots message of Barack to the Hoosier State. The campaign--always wanting volunteers to be up on the issues, sent a senior foreign policy adviser to speak to whoever wanted to roll out of bed for an 8:45 a.m. briefing and Q& A session.

Camp Clinton: Tom Smith

Sunday, May 4... Though the weather was unseasonably cold and windy last night, Sen. Hillary Clinton heated up a crowd of about 7,000 people at a rally with a fiery populist appeal that centered on the price of gas, jobs, health care and her determination to fight for the people of Indiana. Speakers at the rally, which included Senator Evan Bayh and entertainers Ted Danson and Rob Reiner, stressed to voters that the path to the presidency "is going right through Indiana for the first time in 40 years."

The tough and wind-blown crowd of Hoosiers - some in shirt sleeves and shorts despite the cold temperature - responded with steady chants of "Hillary." Not even the star power of local hero John Mellencamp could diffuse the anticipation of the crowd that erupted when Clinton, the real star of the night, showed up at the wings of the stage as Mellencamp led the crowd in singing along to "This Is My Country."
The scene seemed almost surreal. When a raspy-voiced Clinton took the microphone, the crowd jumped and applauded with every single word. "Hold me accountable," she told the Indiana voters. As one voter screamed out, "We have your back, Hillary. We love you."

Last night, Clinton was the populist making clear she was prepared to challenge and fight the big oil companies, OPEC, predatory mortgage lenders, student loan companies, the Bush administration, and even her Democratic opponent. Mellencamp is clearly beloved in these parts, but Hillary Clinton invited 7,000 voters to get to know her last night and they embraced her.

Tom

Camp Obama: Jason Berry

Good morning Washington!

As I mentioned in my last blog, the local satellite office was bracing for a really big Saturday turnout of volunteers. The campaign rented a sprawling office in a strip mall. The night before I helped confirm volunteer shifts for local volunteers to knock on doors and bring the grass-roots message of Barack to the Hoosier State. The campaign--always wanting volunteers to be up on the issues, sent a senior foreign policy adviser to speak to whoever wanted to roll out of bed for an 8:45 a.m. briefing and Q& A session.

There was some doubt how many people would show, but when I got in at 9:15 a.m., there were about 60 folks intently listening to the adviser discuss issues ranging from global climate change to the war in Iraq. Some of the questions were foreign policy related, but many were comments about how they felt Barack would change not only our foreign policy, but return our dignity and honor in the eyes of the world.

Right after the discussion, everyone got up - all 60 folks, and started knocking on doors. With my experience canvassing, they asked me to train new volunteers in the art of door knocking. When asked if they had ever done this before -- 75 percent said no. I was touched by how many people from all age groups and races came to support Barack and never had volunteered for any political activity. I told them to talk from their heart about what made them get up early on a Saturday morning to knock on doors for a man they never met.

They told me how they ached for a change from not only the last eight years but the negativity of politics of the last 20 years. After training and getting these volunteers out the door, I thought I would have a break, but just then a bus carrying another 60 volunteers from Illinois came in in need of canvass training.

It went on like that all day - small groups from Carbondale IL, Cincinnati OH, a carload of seniors from Colorado, and three vans from St. Paul. Couple with the constant follow of locals coming in the front door - the refrain was always the same: "I just could not site home and not do something."

This sentiment kept the volunteers knocking on doors all day--roughly 100-150 each! As they trickled back into the office and tallied up their results they had big smiles on their faces. One older Native American woman from Oklahoma told me - "We're gonna win--because it isn't just about Barack--it's about us and we won't let them take the country away from us again!" --- Amen!

Well, back to the trenches!

Jason

By Marcia Davis  |  May 4, 2008; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  2008 Presidential Race  
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Comments

Did anybody ask Hillary about that dead horse she had been backing?

Posted by: LetthemdrinkCrownRoyal | May 4, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Sally Jenkins can write an article about the inhumanity of believing Clinton can actually win.
Hilary pulling out all the stops only to finish....2nd.

Posted by: Another Misguided Comparison | May 4, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

So exciting to hear the energy from both camps. That statement, "I just couldn't stay away," is so true. I never expected to go to Pennsylvania to canvass for Obama, but as the day approached I just HAD to go and do what I could. I'll never regret it and the great memories and I'm sure the same is true of our two bloggers who are doing so much more than I did. Volunteering and getting involved is always worth it win or lose. Go Dems!

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | May 4, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

So far the score is 1 Obama > 3 Clintons.

Posted by: geraldcubitt | May 4, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm a middle-aged woman who has seen a number of Presidential campaigns. The last one that aroused me was Kennedy. Every such campaign since has been just a passing interest to me--to vote and nothing more. Until Barack. He convinced me to get involved and I did. I door-knocked and telephone-banked in Maryland (my home state); went to Pennsylvania and did the same. Indiana I could not make but I telephone-banked at my own expense. And the most wonderful of all, I got my daughter (40-something) and my granddaughter (18!) involved. They are now on fire! about Barack and the political landscape. I even converted my husband from Republican to Democrat--and that was a hard sale but with me holding 'court' almost every week on the issues and purposes and our country, I got him! Being a Democrat means something to them now. And we're still on the move!

Posted by: Precious | May 4, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Many here in England have been following the Primaries closely as the results of your nominations and elections will affect the influence and standing of the US in the wider world. We hope that it will be for good and begin to move beyond the disaster and despair of past years. Many of us would also say that Barack Obama offers an opportunity to change the way in which we engage in politics in local, national and international spheres. We haven't given up on the American people! I would encourage every one of the volunteers to keep up their hope and energy, knowing that they have participated in a call to action which will make a difference - not only to getting out the vote, but also to the ways in which we think about our responsibilities and contribution to the political process. I wish you all well, and look forward to welcoming President Obama to London in the future!

Posted by: An observer from England | May 4, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The Obama people behave every bit like a cult, Oh, sorry, they are.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

the comment posted by a person too timid to attach a name ("The Obama people behave every bit like a cult.") shows the blind militance of persons willing to tear down any supporter of an opponent. As Obama said, "silly season." Please use this space for meaningful comments, not personal attacks from fanatics. Your immaturity seeps right through the anonymous comment.

Posted by: tony | May 4, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

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