On the Obama Campaign Trail

I interviewed my brother Jonah on the phone. We played a bit of phone tag but he called me back as soon as he could. He’s 22 years old and has been working for Obama for about a year. He attends college in Tampa, but lately the majority of his time has not been spent at school. Right now, he’s majoring in the election. “Almost everyone works because they want to work for the man that is the embodiment of change that our country needs,” he said. “The way he delivered his speech [during the 2004 election] and what he said in his speech enthused the crowd in a way I could have never imagined. When he announced he was going to run for the presidency, I immediately joined the campaign group in Tampa, a city that is always indicative of which way the vitally important state of Florida will go,” he said. My brother’s job is to respond to, clarify and correct any allegations about the candidate that are untrue or misleading. He said he had his hands full. “The number of false accusations we have to answer is eye-opening,” he said. He finds himself continually responding to charges of Presidential Nominee Sen. Barack Obama’s background, such as his interactions with radical Reverend Wright. Obama’s father was a Kenyan Muslim, and many voters are under the impression that Obama is Muslim because of this fact. Others assume Obama is Muslim because of the Arabic origins of his name. People publicly accuse Obama of being unpatriotic because he has not put his hand over his heart during various national anthems. Some even think that he was sworn into the U.S. Senate using the Koran, said my brother. These are all issues that my brother told me he has to constantly answer in Florida. He said that the campaign replies simply by telling the truth. The campaign has responded to issues related to Obama’s relationship with the Reverend by stating that Obama is an individual with his own views. “Wright is just his pastor, not his mentor. Just because he goes to the church does not mean that he believes in everything [Rev. Wright] says,” he said. The campaign prints out handouts and pamphlets in Florida that list the facts about Obama, including his political views as well as background and values. The campaign members like my brother take it upon themselves to interact with the people and inform them of the facts. A brief list of his other responsibilities include canvassing, organizing rallies, assigning volunteers to projects, helping to register voters and working with their voter database in Florida in order to find areas to target.