“People tend to be very jealous of their time,” he notes. “What Obama is asking is not cost-less – it’s very different from ... nodding when FDR says something you like on the radio.”
The canvassing operation was put together by Organizing for America, the political organization that grew out of Obama’s grass-roots campaign and is now part of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
A mixed response
The group claims that there were more than 1,200 canvassing groups out nationwide this weekend. But many places saw fewer volunteers than expected.
In Guilford, Conn., only five volunteers arrived at Cathy Cassar’s white clapboard house on Saturday morning. She had hoped for at least 10 or 15, but the smaller turnout didn’t diminish her enthusiasm as she explained the day’s goals.
“We want to get people to support the budget, and [we are] also hoping we can get a lot of signatures so we can show the House and Senate how much support we have,” she said.
“We also want to get people really excited about taking part in government again – this is just a first step to make the community and public part of the whole political process,” she added.
After receiving maps of their territory, the Kenkares and other canvassers took to the streets. Their door-to-door operation got mixed results. Lots of people weren’t home. Others such as John and Barbara Wells are staunch Republicans who didn’t want to sign a pledge, although they did voice support for Obama’s goals.