The Boiler Room
But, inside it looked different. As we came off our various buses, we were divided into activities - door to door, sign standout, or like here, telephoning.
Like most campaigns, we were given coffee, water, tonic and pizza. But, we had one additional incentive - the person who made the most calls in a shift would win a Mitt Romney bobblehead! While I was able to make a few hundred, the lady who won had made 430, and had driven up from Virginia to stay with her sister and work for the campaign. I DID get a Mitt Mobile keychain, though....
Also - GOP Reps. Brad Jones, Mary Rogeness, Bob Hargreaves (BEST on the phones!), Lou Evangelides, both Poiriers (Kevin and Betty), and Richard Ross were all there phoning and going door-to-door in the snow! National Committeeman Ron Kaufman was there, as indeed he has been everywhere with the campaign throughout.
One of the most interesting visitors was Congressman Tom Tancredo. While Porcupine was aware that he had endorsed Mitt, he was very surprised to see his trim demeanor at the Manchester HQ, and answering questions - here is is below with Porcupine's neighboring caller, Andrew (Andrew - the better 'posed' photo died in Porcupine's phone, so all I have is this candid; my apologies).
Porcupine was able to talk with the Congressman for a while, and told him he admired his campaign. Porcupine considered telling the Congressman that Central Mass Dad on Blue Mass Group had identified him as the Most Successful Candidate in the race (see BMG post HERE), but Porcupine was worried about being tossed into a snowback as a mole. Or being made to carry a McCain sign. Congressman Tancredo was there to do an endorsement along with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County Arizona, who had a few things to say on the subject of illegal immigration and his own Senator's failure to respond - not just this year, but for many years. Illegal immigration is a tremendously hot issue, so naturally, there was no word in the mainstream media about these endorsements.
What was the overall demeanour? Since Porcupine was calling 'undecided' voters, he frequently said that he was sorry to be another annoying political phone call, and that they must be getting hammered. Usually, they laughed and agreed, and Porcupine pointed out that was what they got for being first in the nation. Some were intrigued that Porcupine had worked on the State House staff while Mitt was Governor, and had some specific questions; primarily, Porcupine vouched for the fact that Mitt is a decent and intelligent man, and that if Government needs anything at all right now, it's a big infusion of 'smart'.
But one call was most memorable - a woman, aged 82, was very upset that all of the GOP candidates struck her as weak on the Second Amendment. Porcupine asked if she would not agree that the salvation of the right to bear arms would be the Supreme Court rather than legislation. She did agree, and Porcupine asked her if she knew that Judge Robert Bork had endorsed Mitt Romney, calling him the best choice to appoint strict constructionist Justices to the Court. She had NOT known that, and was very excited. "I'll tell my whole gun club!", she cried. And that is how the boiler room works - changing one mind at a time, and helping to win elections bit by bit.