Obama Didn’t Sleep Here

April 28, 2008

A Barack Obama campaign worker was our overnight guest Sunday, part of a volunteer-your-home program Suzame and I signed up for. Then she was off to Salem this morning, two big suitcases in tow — “all my stuff,” she said. “I go where they send me.” It’s been that way for nearly a year. She spent many months in both New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

A recurring theme of our all-too-brief conversations was her chronic lack of sleep, and our guest room bed seemed to be a big hit.

We were hoping for some juicy gossip. Instead we heard an insider’s view of the insurmountable demographic challenges Obama faced in rural Pennsylvania and some of the tricks the opposition used. Most importantly, we came away with an up-close look at the zeal and commitment of one Obama staffer. No surprise that she’s passionate — “I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid” — but seeing it was invigorating.

When we told her how we climbed over folding chairs at Obama’s first campaign stop in Portland in October to shake his hand, she said with a beaming smile, “That’s so cool!” She meant it.