Going into the campaign headquarters was pretty boring; I showed up after 5 and was asked to wait in a little room in the back with phone cubicles for someone to talk to me.
After about 15 minutes, I ended up asking somebody if they forgot about me; they did. No worries though. The guy put me on phone duty, which after sitting and reading pamphlets I realized this could be agonizing. So I guess I wasn't a very good volunteer because I quit after about 10 calls and started talking to a kid next to me named Steven who flew in all the way from Texas to campaign for his idol. I wanted ask him more, but he was focused on making phone calls. Eventually, I got to talking with this kid, Jim, about the student camps that I kept hearing about around me. Turns out he was a leader of one of them. Later, I met him and Betty at the rally at the Mariott before Paul took the stage at 8 pm. Apparently, 250 students from the U.S. and four countries are staying in 7 camps across the state to campaign for Ron Paul. They have free transportation and lodging, and receive $15 per day for food while they go door to door encouraging people to caucus for Ron Paul.
I was met by warm, smiling faces as soon as I stepped through the door. No one appeared adverse to my avant garde filming.
By the time I arrived close to 6 pm, only the more hard-core campaigners remained placing phone calls to Iowa citizens and running errands.
The walls were covered with handmade McCain signs and memorabilia with messages of a bi-partisan war effort (and U.S. victory), hope, no surrender and of course, digs at Mitt Romney.
Talk in the office varied, but everyone focused on winning over hearts and minds over phone lines reading scripted messages and even ad libbing to convince Iowans leaning Republican to support and campaign for Senator McCain on January 3rd.
From my cubicle I kept hearing: "He's ready to lead on day one." A common message being used by many campaigns.
A volunteer from Houston who arrived at about the same time I did said she was tired of the partisan fights between the two major parties. She said she supports McCain becaus he can bring both parties together to work for the greater good of the country, not just for what benefits John McCain.
Senior Grassroots Campaign manager, Jay Heine said Senator McCain will make an appearance at the Headquarters on Wed. January 2.
Sculpture seen at the John McCain Headquarters in Urbandale Iowa 7 days before the Iowa Caucus. (Photo by Heather Turner) Wood engraving seen at the John McCain Headquarters in Urbandale, Iowa 7 days before the Iowa Caucus.