MANCHESTER, N.H. — Campaign volunteers took on the
characteristics of perseverant polar bears yesterday, braving the
frosty temperatures as they preached their candidates’
messages to anyone who would listen.
The heterogeneous mixture of volunteers — from students to
senior citizens — yelled, sang and flashed signs all in an
attempt to convince voters of whom they should vote for as the
polls opened early in the morning.
Tim Hallanhan, a Boston Transportation Department worker, drove
more than 50 miles to Manchester for the day with a group of fellow
employees to support Sen. John Kerry.
“He’s the strongest candidate in the presidential
field. It’s not even close,” Hallahan said.
The Boston contingent staked its claim on a busy street corner
on a main road from 9 a.m. until the polls closed at 7 p.m.
“I’ve been following (Kerry) for many years. He is
an awesome U.S. senator,” said John McCarthy, who said he
dislikes President Bush because the economy was getting worse and
there were too many poor Americans.
Although Rep. Dennis Kucinich did not appear in Manchester on
Monday, he did spend part of the day yesterday canvassing the city
with his campaign volunteers, including guitarist Tim Reynolds,
known for his collaborations with Dave Matthews.
“When I sit with Dennis it is like my body is getting high
… he’s got love inside him,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds, who appeared with Kucinich at the popular Merrimack
restaurant, said volunteering is necessary regardless of a lack of
political interest. “If you don’t get involved all you
can do is bitch. If I didn’t help and a Republican president
(won the election) I would be pissed,” he said.
The headquarters of Sen. Joe Lieberman were filled with activity
in the morning, as the candidate placed phone calls to potential
voters. Lieberman’s wife, mother, sister and a legion of
volunteers gathered around him while he spent 10 minutes on the
phone with one Manchester resident.
The Senator’s mother, Marsha, said she has been
campaigning in Manchester for a couple of weeks and even rented an
apartment. “I’ve been campaigning with senior citizens
and having a great time at it,” she said.
“What I love most is that (Lieberman) is a man of
integrity. He is the real deal. What you see is what you
get,” said Audrey Blondin, a campaign volunteer.
No more than a block from Lieberman headquarters, Princeton
University sophomore Christopher Lloyd was calling New Hampshire
residents advocating the candidacy of Sen. John Edwards
Lloyd said he was not an Edwards supporter until he heard the
Senator speak about “two separate America’s,” a
speech Edwards has delivered numerous times throughout the
“I woke up at 3 a.m. and delivered literature to peoples
houses, scoped out restaurants with the advance team, (visited)
polling places … whenever someone needs me I’m
there,” Lloyd said.
On the sidewalk outside Edwards’ office, New York resident
Beatrice Moritz urged passing cars to vote for Gen. Wesley Clark as
she held a “Clark 04 sign.” Even though the Edwards
supporters with a megaphone drowned Moritz out, she still felt she
was being useful.
“It’s a really crucial primary. Every body counts.
There’s so much at stake. I want to get Bush out of
office,” she said.