I got a surprising invite to go to the Debate Watch Party at Moe's Grill in Springfield on Wednesday night. I was curious to find out what it was all about and happily tagged along. Sentaor T let me know that he needed to stop by the Republican Volunteering team ahead of the party to finish up some calls which, could possibly run into an hour. I was not worried. Halloween is around the corner and most shops are well stocked with the goodies and decorations. I was planning to go over to the Halloween store in the same building and shop for the house. However, my curiosity got the better of me and I went upstairs to see what the volunteer work was all about. Right from the moment I stepped into the room, I felt transported to the campaign rooms you see in television programs, like The Boss, one of my favorite political shows that airs on Friday evenings.
Our lead coordinator Aaron handed over the instructions to Teddy to make the tele calls and surprisingly, handed me a sheet of paper and a phone to volunteer as well. I was taken aback. I was unsure if I could do this. We had to call respondents and ask them if they could take up a 45 second survey regarding the upcoming elections. I was quite excited and surprisingly, I did quite well, except that most of my calls went to the voice mails.
Once we were past that, we then headed over to Moe's Grill to watch the much anticipated Obama-Romney first election debate, over some free drinks and snacks. It was quite an event with all the Republican team getting get together for a noisy evening in the middle of the week. The debate itself was a debacle for Obama and if he had been with me at the Grill, he would have been booed out for his speech which amounted to nothing. He was unprepared, had his head down most of the time, almost looked cheesed off and overall put on a sad show. Coming from a President, it was quite shocking. Romney on the other hand seemed to have done his homework quite well and floored everyone with his crisp understanding of each issue and addressed it piece by piece with statistical information. I think he had also put in a lot of effort on his body language, tone and tenor which came out well. For a first round, he outdid the President and did a commendable job taking the bull by its horns.
Overall, it was an interesting evening which I shared with other volunteers and had a glimpse of campaign work, political interests and people's level of involvement in political affairs at the local level. After an incredibly long time, my graduation programs in International Relations and Political Science seem to have finally made sense.