Friday, October 31, 2008

In Virginia, College Republicans can taste excitement – and victory

Andrew Kilberg '10 is the Vice President of the Princeton College Republicans. He is in Virginia this week with several members of the College Republicans campaigning for John McCain.

Three thousand. That's how many calls have been made over the past three days by the several Princeton College Republicans who have come down to volunteer for the McCain-Palin campaign in Northern Virginia. Targeting sporadic voters and potential volunteers, we've been working in call centers in Arlington and Sterling, Va. that are consistently packed to capacity. Talking to Virginia voters is fun and really rewarding – the other day I spoke to a man whose wife had a baby boy the day before.

"We get out of the hospital tomorrow," he said, "but I'd like to come in and help you all out as soon as I can." Now that's dedication. With rooms chock-full of people calling out and the front desk phones constantly ringing with people calling in to see how they can volunteer, I've had to put my finger in my ear many times. Working in the McCain-Palin Victory offices certainly has its perks beyond free food and coffee: Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell and Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) have come by to speak to the volunteers, and Roberta McCain (Sen. McCain's 96-year old mother) is coming by this evening.

When people find out we're from Princeton, they generally respond with an "Oh! That's cool!" and get right back to work. It doesn't matter where you're from, as long as you're good on the phone and can make the case for John McCain and Sarah Palin. In addition to making calls, I've been helping out the Republican National Committee's surrogates operation. The campaign has deployed tons of surrogates in swing states across the country on bus tours, and I've booked hotel rooms and looked up flights, among other things, for the surrogates.

The excitement here in Virginia is palpable, and Princeton CRs in Pennsylvania report the same level of excitement there. I had to wait in line for an hour on Tuesday to early vote – imagine what the lines will be like on Election Day! Everyone I've spoken to is cautiously optimistic of a McCain-Palin victory. With the national and swing-state polls inching back our way; with Joe the Plumber out on the campaign trail; and with the multitudes of volunteers pouring into RNC Victory Centers across the state, McCain-Palin supporters are feeling more and more confident that our ticket will be victorious on Tuesday.

Beware, Princeton Democrats. At this point in the 2004 election, John Kerry was up in the polls and predicted an electoral victory of 316 to 222 for Kerry. John McCain's a candidate who likes to be the underdog. His campaign was written off in the summer of 2007 – I know, I was there as a Policy intern. Now he is the Republican Party's candidate for President of the United States, and is nipping at the heels of Sen. Barack "Half-an-hour-variety-show" Obama (D-Ill.) When you're woken at 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning to ecstatic screams, know that that's me, running around campus celebrating a McCain-Palin victory. Huzzah.

-Andrew Kilberg '10


Anonymous said...

A few respectful doses of non-partisan thought for you, Mr. Kilberg:

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you could say Kerry was up in the polls at this point in 2004. For a list of poll results for the 2 months running up to the 2004 election see: