I was a little rushed on Friday when the phone rang. I looked at the caller ID. “Private Caller,” it read. I went ahead and picked it up.
I heard lots of background noise and knew instantly the call was coming from a call center. Probably a marketing call, I thought, and probably one of those “consolidate your student loan” companies. Boy, they all want to land my business!
But alas, I was wrong, and I allowed the call to go on through its entirety, which was roughly eight minutes.
Who called, you ask? Why, Barack Obama’s St. Louis campaign, of course!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again! The political phone calls. I used to get irritated at those calls, because the national do-not-call list did not apply to them. This year, instead of being so…principled about that issue, I want to hear them out. I’m having a hard time deciding for whom I’m in favor.
The nice young lady who called me warned me that I better step it up with my decision, after all, the Missouri primaries are right around the corner, scheduled for Tuesday, February 5th.
She began her call to tell me a thing or two about Mr. Obama. She wanted to make a point out of letting me know that he is the only candidate who was opposed to the war in Iraq from the get-go, which told her that he had good judgment. (She made certain not to ask my opinion of this issue.)
After that, she proceeded with telling me about his history; about how having graduated magna cum laude from university, he could have easily gone after the big bucks with a big firm, but instead moved to Chicago to work as a community planner to help the disadvantaged.
Next the question came, “did you know that Barack Obama has written two books?” “I’m not surprised, but not exactly,” I answered. Perky campaigner continued, “The first book, “Dreams from my Father,” is about who raised him.” I smiled. They must have a lot to deal with around there concerning the entire hubbub about Obama’s upbringing. His natural father was from Kenya, and returned there when Obama was young, and then he had a stepfather – the one everyone is up in arms about because apparently the guy was Muslim. I almost said to Perky, “you guys have your hands full with that email flyin’ around, don’t you?” But I didn’t. Personally, I think its rubbish and I’m not worried about it.
The campaign calls are useful. I don’t mean to make such fun of them. It’s just this – I wasn’t born yesterday, folks. Handle the call in a manner in which you just want to inform me about your candidate. Let me know where he or she stands on the issues. Let me know about their record, of course. Tell me something I don’t know.
But, when a perky campaigner calls me, and conducts herself or himself in a manner in which they would if they’re trying to sell me something that’s too good to be true, then I’m immediately turned off, not to mention insulted.
This article is not a reflection about my feelings toward Mr. Obama. I don’t dislike him, but I’m not sure where I stand yet. I have much work to do before I’m completely sure about who I support.
And about the calls? Bring ’em on!