October 27, 2008

Vote Obama and Volunteer

Gregoire and Obama

[For those of you who don't know me, I work with Will. I sent this out as email to many of my friends last night and Will invited me to cross-post it here. A slightly earlier version can be found at my own blog.]

I'm voting for Obama, which is no secret to anyone who knows me. I agree with his policies and I'm impressed by the man. Over the last two years, he's run an excellent campaign, going from underdog to all-but certain victory. Clearly, he has executive ability.

Moreover, McCain is the wrong man for the job. I strongly disagree with his policies (essentially Bush's), his campaign is thrashing spastically, and he disqualified himself by picking that blithering idiot Palin as his VP.

I'm more worried about Christine Gregoire, who is running for re-election as Governor of Washington. She's uncomfortably close in the polls to Dino Rossi. The Building Industry Association of Washington and the Republican Governers' Association have dumped $7.5 million into Rossi's campaign in the last few weeks. You are known by your enemies, so she must be doing something right. Gregoire, alas, is a competent governor, but an indifferent campaigner.

Darcy Burner is running for Dave Reichert's Congress seat over on the Eastside. She too is polling uncomfortably close to her opponent. Burner is a strong candidate, a former Microsoft manager, and someone who's already made her mark. Her Responsible Plan to end the war in Iraq has been signed on to by dozens of Congressional candidates. Reichert has been a mediocre representative, ranking around 400th of the 435 Congress members in influence.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoon, I walked my precinct, talking to voters who've been identified as Leans Democratic. I'll try to get to some neighboring precincts over the next eight days.

What can you do?

First of all, vote! If you have an absentee ballot, turn it in as soon as possible. King County can only count so many votes per day; the sooner the absentee ballots are mailed in, the sooner the final tally. BTW, the first all-mail election in King County will be February 2009.

Second, spread the word. Talk to all your friends who are persuadable and get them to vote for Obama, Gregoire, and other good Democratic candidates.

Third, volunteer for the next eight days. The campaign will be glad to have you. Most of all, they want people to go door to door. They also need people to call voters. (I believe you can do this from your own home.) If you're not comfortable doing this—though, really, it's not that bad—they also need people to do data entry and other tasks.

Fourth, volunteer on Election Day. They need people to be poll watchers, to go door to door to get people out, and people to drive incapacitated voters to the polls.

Fifth, send money, if you can. Campaigning is hideously expensive. I'd love to see full public funding of elections, but that's not what we have to work with this year.

(If you're not a US citizen, don't despair. You can do #2, #3, and #4. Permanent residents can do #5 too.)

Go to the Washington State Democrats to sign up.

By George V. Reilly in Politics | Permalink  | 


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