Sunday, October 5, 2008

Canvassing in Virginia

Yesterday I went to Virginia to canvass for Obama. I joined a group of other Spanish speakers at a Latinos for Obama rally with comedian George Lopez, who gave an impassioned and funny speech to motivate the crowd. Lopez is the son of Mexican immigrants, and his signature shtick is to make fun of himself and the idiosyncrasies of Latinos, which he worked to great effect in riffing on the discomfort that some feel with an African-American candidate. He said that he signed on to campaign for Obama after the candidate called him at home to ask for his help, and he joked that his grandmother answered the phone and said, "That black guy is on the phone for you. Tell him never not to call you here!" Lopez also said "For anyone who's worried about voting for a black guy, look, I'm darker than he is," (true) and "He says his dad was from Kenya, but I think he looks Dominican," (also true) and then gave a moving vision of what it will be like, after eight years of Bush, to wake up the day after the election with new hope for the country under President Obama.

Afterwards, we went canvassing door-to-door canvassing, using a list of Spanish-speaking voters supplied by the campaign. It was an interesting experience chatting with voters about the election. My brief anecdotal impression was that among less well-off Latinos, support for Obama was extremely strong, while it was more mixed among the more affluent. One woman we spoke to said that everyone she knew in her very middle middle-classs neighborhood of apartment blocks was for Obama.

Here are a couple shots from the rally, one of George Lopez and the other of a couple Latinas for Obama:

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