The night before the rally, we had a gathering of all the volunteers in the Mesilla Plaza to sort out what jobs we were to carry out the next day. It was apparent when we showed up there that the Obama campaign has no shortage of volunteers in Las Cruces. 84 people showed up to help out with the Joe Biden event [not including the 40 people from San Antonio/Central TX who showed up the morning of the event]. Being from the Anthony Office is like being on the D-List, meaning that we were the left over people to which no job was assigned. The Obama Staff decided to make us rejects into line workers. Basically what a Line worker does is collect contact info from the people who attend the rally. While everyone is all irritable and unpleasant in line, we have to coerce them to give us all their personal info and if we need to, bust out with song and dance when the crowd turns ugly.
The next morning, when we got to the rally we signed in and got our volunteer credentials [aka pieces of paper that mean nothing, but look great]. I had brought spray paint so that my Obama peeps could make some neat-o shirts out in the parking lot. Little did we know that once we left the venue the Secret Service started their bomb search, meaning that despite our credentials we were not allowed inside the venue until the doors opened for the general public [rendering us absolutely useless]. We couldn’t perform our line worker duties. Lots of Obama staff got locked out of the venue too . There was a big fight between the organizers of the event and the police guarding the entrance to the venue, the organizers were pissed that a lot of staff were not being allowed in despite their pretty pieces of paper. Finally after lots of discussion, a staffer got us into the venue.
Once inside I was even more useless, there was just too many volunteers and not enough actual work to be done. After spending a good 30 minutes dazed and confused I decided to fuck it and just go inside the event stage area and see if anyone inside needed help. I found that most of the volunteers inside were even more useless than I was, most of them were just standing around. At that point another volunteer told me that to forget about work and to just watch the rally. So I did.
[crowd forms outside the venue]
[more random people]
[line inside the venue aka line I was supposed to work]
[Dona Ana County commissioner aka teeniest little lady eva]
[Harry Teague, who happened to be super boring]
[Tom Udall’s wife]
[Senator Jeff Bingaman asking us if we had tried the $5 footlings from subway]
[Head NM field organizer, who gave a really nice speech]
[Bill Richardson: ‘Tis true, I look like Papa Chaos’]
[I really like this photo]
[Joe Biden: ‘Its a hot day. Milk was a bad choice…’]
[hugs and kisses]
It seemed like we waited forever in the sun, 3 hours to be exact. Listened through all the opening remarks and junk, and finally Joe Biden arrived. Don’t get me wrong Biden was brilliant but when I heard people rooting for McCain in the background it caught my interest. All throughout the rally we could hear random chants in the background for McCain. Was there McCain supporters lurking somewhere? Me and my friend [aka campaign detective sleuth] decided to go look for the action happening outside the venue. When we got outside we found a handful of McCain supporters with their signs and even more Pro-Lifers [about 20 or so] with their disgusting dead baby pictures. One sign read: “You cant be a catholic and support Obama” Now Im not a hardcore catholic [I grew up catholic, I guess I still kinda consider myself one but I would say if anything that Im a modern catholic; I don’t agree with what the Pope/Church says regarding various issues from abortion to gay rights and don’t think that it should disqualify me from the church] so I took offense to this bullshit. These people get under my skin because they think that they can speak for all of us as if we are some homogeneous group with singular thoughts. Anyways, me and my friend decided ‘hey lets go talk to the crazies’ I went up to the lady holding up the catholic sign and told her whilst holding my obama sign-
Chaos: Im a catholic and I support Obama.
Crazy catholic lady: Im sorry.
Chaos: Im not sorry Im a catholic and im definitely not sorry that I support Obama….. As catholics we stand up for social justice, for equality and for the poor [at least that’s what Ive been taught]…how can you support republicans who share none of these values with us?
Crazy catholic lady: Well the Pope, blah blah blah murder blah blah MURDER! The fight isn’t between us. We are both Catholics, our fight is with Obama and the Democratic party. Obama wants more abortions blah blah..he eats babies…blah
At about this time a staff worker for the Obama campaign took me and my friend away from the crazies. We hadn’t noticed that a photographer had been taking pictures of the ‘conflict’ and so the staffer told us they didn’t want us creating any bad press for the campaign.
Then it started to heat up. The McCain supporters got in our face. [All up in it.] So we decided we would grab our signs and yell in their face. We got in a huge circle with our signs and started chanting a shit load of cheers. We did the standard ‘yes we can’ and ‘si se puede’ and ‘O-BA-MA’ and the ‘fired up! Ready to go!’ chants. It was really fun and people got really into it. The McCain kids totally got served [ahaha] and were vastly outnumbered. The thing I noticed was that the Pro-Lifers and the McCain people were working in conjunction with each other. Anyways they were really unpleasant and we kicked their asses in seeing who could be the loudest.
All in all I’d say that part of the event after the rally, where I got to yell at McCain supporters was probably the best part of the whole damn day.