“Do not depart from the script. Do not canvas alone. Only in pairs. And do not under any circumstances enter the house. It’s like one of those old horror movies: Do not go into the house. It’s quick and dirty. Make your pitch and get out.”
So says Tara Martin, one of the field organizers for the Obama campaign. She’s a short but energetic African-American woman whose bubbly good humor cannot quite hide her mission’s similarity to that of the Louis Gossett Jr. character in An Officer and a Gentleman: to whip the 200 or so lily-livered, latte-drinking New York liberals she sees in front of her into a crack squad of electoral marines, ready to parachute into a battleground state and go toe-to-toe with the Republican party faithful.
“I want you to look around you,” Martin says. “The people next to you: This is family. You’re not going to be talking to family. It’s been two years and these people are still undecided, you hearin’ me? Anywhere you want to go on vacation because you’ve heard it’s real nice? Those are not the places we are going be going. We’re not going to Santa Fe. We’re not going to be going to Aspen. These are not the spots we are heading....”