The EFM Feature

I have to admit… I’ve been a little demoralized. My Romney yard sign got blown over in the harsh winds the night of the Florida vote, and it took all the energy I had to put it back up. The winds came again, and it’s currently lopsided outside my house.
But this afternoon, I found myself in downtown Columbia with several other people cold calling Tennessee voters. Yes, you read that right.
Now, for those who don’t know, I guard my phone number like a cocaine addict guards her stash. When I visit churches, my pen stops mid-air when the visitor card has a “phone” blank. When a department store clerk asks for my number before ringing me up, I politely refuse. And when I fill out most forms, I simply leave it blank.
So I appreciate privacy more than the typical person, and I loathe to interfere in other people’s personal time.
Yet, there I was: with a phone, a voters’ list, and a mission to cold call voters on a Saturday night.
I did all I could to procrastinate, but eventually I had to dial the numbers.
Mostly, things were fine – polite, but awkward. I did have a few wonderful conversations, talked to some Romney fans, and was hung up on more than that weird guy in my high school physics class.
Then, I called a woman who politely told me she’d already voted for Huckabee. (Early voting will steal a great number of former Fredheads’ votes.) But in the background, I hear a man yelling, “I’M NOT VOTING FOR MITT ROMNEY,” accompanied by several pejoratives.
I’d had it. About the fifth time someone hangs up on you, something within you hardens and you become more strident than it’s actually wise to be. Please forgive me, Romney campaign, for going off-script.
“Ma’am, will you ask your husband if he’s man enough to talk to me directly?”
He wasn’t. I heard yelling — he supported Sen. McCain.
So, I’m not sure what overcame me. Actually, I think I do. It was the same sense of urgency that caused me to accuse a sweet Pentecostal preacher today of voting for Hillary when he said he was voting for Huckabee. It’s the same passion that makes me blog at midnight on a Saturday night, and the same insane commitment that made me pick up that phone in the first place.
“Well, he’s welcome to vote for McCain if he wants to, but you tell him I think he’s scared of me.”
You know how you anonymity allows you to be meaner than you normally would be?
“I’m not scared of her,” I heard.
“It seems to me he can’t defend his own choice.”
Well, I was feeling pretty smug til the lady said, “Honey, why don’t you just talk to… what did you say your name was?
“Nancy French.”
“The author?”
“Yes, ma’am,” I said in a small voice. She’d read my book.
I was caught!
Anyway, if you want to do something, join the “Call at Home” program and volunteer Monday to call some last-minute voters. It will be uncomfortable, you’ll make mistakes, and you may even persuade someone to vote for Mitt.
In the morning, I’m going to go out to the yard, push my yard sign down into the cold ground, and do everything I can possibly do to get Gov. Romney elected.
And I promise — I’ll try not to trashtalk any McCainiacs or sweet Pentecostal preachers.
Sunday is always a good day for a fresh start.

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