My Political Campagin – an Update

The lawn signs started popping up around town the third week of September. The Republicans starting grousing because they were operating under the belief that both sides agreed that no lawn signs would be up until October 1. The real agreement, I’m told, was “roughly six weeks” before the November 8 election. Either way, the Democrat signs showed up early.

Last week, the Republican signs were everywhere and the race was on. (My neighbor across the street put out her very first lawn sign in support of the Republican candidate for Town Clerk. Somehow I felt betrayed but Deb just looked at me and questioned why I imagined they’d be Democrats. I dunno.)

The candidates for First Selectmen have started sniping at each in the press, each making accusations of the other, each partly right, each partly sounding silly. Our candidate, Ken Flatto, is a terrific guy and I’d love to see him get back into for a third consecutive term. However, there are times I wish we had a mute button since he doesn’t use an internal editor for his comments. Some of these snipes don’t need to be prolonged.

As for me, I need to do minimal campaigning since I am running unopposed. Our district decided against lawn signs and is relying on walking the streets and a mailing to every home in the area. We kick off the formal walk next Saturday and will be accompanied by the top of the ticket which should be fun.

I’ve done district walks before, in support of that year’s slate. This time, I’m selling myself and I’m not sure how comfortable I am with this. A few weeks back at the last RTM meeting, I wound up giving the minutes to the Finance Committee meeting on the agenda items. For each item on the Call, I had to stand and walk to the mike, present a summary of what we heard, we asked and how we voted. Oddly, I was nervous and a touch hesitant. Anyone who’s seen me at a convention knows I can handle a crowd of hundreds and speak extemporaneously for an hour without breaking a sweat. But here, in an official capacity, I was genuinely nervous. Worse, going first meant I was basically doing the summary for every committee and filling in the public so it mattered how the information was presented. Fortunately, I was told after the event, that I did well and helped keep things moving.

On Thursday, I went and did some phone banking. In the past I’ve done this to help the ticket and last election ran the room one night a week. This time, though, I was pushing myself and the ticket. I generally dislike cold calling and I know how annoyed I can get when I receive such calls. Still, if the people have something on their mind or need a ride to the polls, this is one way to find out. We’re given a script to use and honestly, every year it’s written by people who never read them out loud so they sound scripted and stilted. This year, I ignored the script entirely and just started with, “Hi, I’m Bob Greenberger, running for RTM in our district. I’m just calling to introduce myself and see if you have any thoughts or concerns now that we’re in campaign season.” And we go from there.

I had two genuinely interesting conversations in the 100 minutes or so I made calls. I left a bunch of messages, got way too many “the number you have dialed is no longer in service” messages and got hung up on once.

And so my political life continues to evolve.

One comment

  • I don’t have to run for re-election to Town Meeting until next year.

    I remember the first time I spoke in front of Town Meeting. I was extremely nervous about it. But now, having been in Town Meeting for about four years, it’s much easier.

    Right now, we’re getting ready for the Special Town Meeting in November. The warrant has gone out, the Selectmen and Advisory Committee are holding lots of meetings, and I have had very little time to attend any of them. I’m relying on my fellow TMMs who lean in my political direction to bring up my issues, and then I’ll vote as I think my constituents want once the Meeting rolls around…