Last night, to begin his Fox News television program conversation with Charles Krauthammer about where the presidential nominees stand with four days to go, Sean Hannity quoted from “In Shift, Romney Campaign Approaches Pennsylvania with a New Urgency,” an article from the November 1, 2012 New York Times.
“There is a tangible sense — seen in Romney yard signs on the expansive lawns of homes in the well-heeled suburbs, and heard in the excited voices of Republican mothers who make phone calls to voters in their spare time — that the race is tilting toward Mr. Romney,” the article stated.
That was all I needed to hear. At Nails’ suggestion, I decided to accept the invitation I received earlier in the day to join fellow Republicans at Mitt Romney’s Ohio campaign headquarters and use my excited Republican voice to call some Columbus voters in my spare time this morning.
It was easy to spot 1335 Dublin Road because there was a plethora of cars adorned with Romney & Ryan bumper stickers in the parking lot. When a patriotically dressed man met me at the door and walked me over to a room filled with tables of friendly people talking on telephones, I knew I was going to have a great time. This was an environment where I could proudly show off my Republican elephant pin.
I sat down at a table and met Lucy, Mary and Rick, a longtime Republican volunteer who not only has been calling voters since February, but also had the opportunity to meet Mr. Romney during a recent Columbus visit. Rick showed me how the Grandstream Networks telephone system with a survey application worked, he gave me a script to follow, and we dialed the first randomly generated telephone number together. After I told the voter how important it was for him to vote in such a close election, I asked him whether he was planning to vote early, by mail or in person on Election Day. Since he responded he’d be voting in person, I asked whether he’d be voting early in the day, during the day, or in the evening. I thanked him, hung up, and completed the survey portion of the call by punching the appropriate buttons on the phone. With each call, my voice got more excited. This was fun!
Shortly after 10:00, Senator Rob Portman arrived with a camera crew from PBS, a team of handlers, and a mysterious-looking white box. Senator Portman told us how appreciative he was of our efforts, and how, thanks to people like us, over 2.5 million telephone calls and a equally impressive number of door-to-door visits had been made in Ohio on behalf of Mr. Romney’s campaign to date. He also mentioned that Ohio Republicans had made two times more telephone calls and 20 times more door-to-door visits during this campaign than in 2008.
Before he was interviewed for PBS, Senator Portman made a few calls to voters himself. Guess who he sat next to?
Since I’m not one to talk politics, I engaged Senator Portman in conversation about The Golden Lamb, the Lebanon, Ohio hotel that is owned by Senator Portman’s family. Mr. Romney just visited the Golden Lamb with Senator Portman on October 13.
Since 1803, The Golden Lamb has hosted presidents and prominent guests like Charles Dickens, Samuel Clemens, James Whitcomb Riley, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. I’ve been going there since I was a little girl, staying in some of the 18 historic guest rooms that are named for a famous guest of the inn and developing a taste for watermelon pickles, corn relish and egg salad that were on the vintage version of the inn’s signature relish tray. I’ve also admired the Shaker furniture with which Senator Portman’s grandparents, Robert and Virginia Jones, decorated the Golden Lamb.
Before I had a chance to ask Senator Portman about Wisdom’s Paradise: The Forgotten Shakers of Union Village, the 2004 book that he wrote with Cheryl Bauer about the 19th century Shaker community in Warren County, Ohio, it was time for him to be interviewed by PBS, and for me to make some more calls. Rick showed me this picture he had thoughtfully taken of this fun conversation taking place.
Leaving the campaign headquarters, I picked up a few “Women for Mitt” bumper stickers and my tickets to the Victory Rally with Mitt and Ann Romney, the GOP Team and The Marshall Tucker Band on Monday, November 5 at Landmark Aviation, 4130 E. 5th Ave. in Columbus. The event begins at 6:00 pm; doors open at 4:00 pm.
This afternoon, I received a telephone call from Mr. Romney’s Ohio campaign headquarters, asking whether I was planning to vote early, by mail or in person on Election Day. After I answered the caller’s questions, we laughed and talked about the fun time we’d both had there today. It appears that a crew from CNN arrived soon after I left….