Saturday, June 21, 2008

First week in Manchester

I arrived in Manchester last Sunday around 6pm, after a long trip from Paris to Montreal, then Montreal to Boston, and finally Boston to Manchester. The hotel I was staying at was the most depressing hotel I've stayed at, and it didn't help that all night, the tv networks were doing tributes to Tim Russert. 

I started worrying about how I would get to work the next day, where I would be sleeping the next night, and what work was going to be like. And to make matters worse, smoke started coming out of the power converter I was using for my laptop, so I needed to take care of that the next day too. But mostly, I was disappointed by what I'd seen of Manchester, and missed London, and someone I'd left behind. 

My first week at work has been tiring. We pull 12 hour days, eat lunch in the office, make call after call to potential voters and have two staff meetings a day. I was in field the first 4 days, and started helping someone in the communications department yesterday. I'm getting accustomed to making persuasion calls to voters to ask them whether they're familiar with our candidate and whether they plan on voting for her against her opponent. I've been hung up on more than once, have been told one person would rather have his teeth pulled out than voting for the candidate, and told by quite a few people they're not interested before they even hear who I'm working for. 

I met the governor at the office on Wednesday, and she is very nice, and surprised that I'd come all the way from France. I met the current governor at a fundraiser last night, and someone told him I'd come from France as well, so he asked why I'd chosen New Hampshire. My answer wasn't the most eloquent, so he must have left wondering why I'd been hired as an intern. 

 I stayed with a staff member and his roommates for three nights, two blocks from work. It was a nice experience. They're very nice guys, and B. tried to further my political education, which was great. He also introduced me to a Celtics game, which I'd never seen, and I witnessed the victory of the local team against the Lakers, which made this state extremely proud. 

 On Thursday, I moved from B.'s couch to a room in the house of supporters of the Democratic Party who are big Obama backers. They've been volunteering in primary elections for years, and the husband, Terry, is a politics junkie, who, because he's been so involved in presidential campaigns, has many interesting stories to tell. He was an early Obama supporter who housed many Obama staffers before the primary here in Manchester, and whose house was one of the Obama headquarters for weeks or months. He was also a reporter a few years back and interviewed Reagan and Carter while they were campaigning in the state. They're incredibly generous and friendly people who do so much for the party that they probably deserve a dinner organized in their honor by the New Hampshire Democratic Party (which I'll refer to from now on as NHDP). 

 In other more trivial news, I've had my first Big Gulp, and was intimidated by the size of the one I had (32 oz), but I'm going to be brave and attempt to drink the double gulp next time (64 oz). Emily, Blake's assistant, suggested I try Slurpees too. Other culinary discoveries: Chipotle, which I'd heard about but had never been to. Their veggie burrito was a little too big, especially after a slice of chocolate cake that was left over at the Portsmouth fundraiser. I've only had a salad once since I got here, and feel that I really need to get back into my usual diet of salad for lunch and salad for dinner if I don't want to gain 100 lbs by the end of my stay. I'll start posting pictures as soon as I figure out how to upload them to iPhoto because stupid me forgot my cable. Anne

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heloise tranvouez said...
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