Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

Living in Iowa, like most places, has it’s good points and it’s bad points.  I’m not completely sure which column to put the Iowa Caucuses under.  On the plus side, we do get to see a lot of the presidential candidates.  Then again, that can also be a bad point, depending on how many polling and campaigning calls you’ve answered in one day.  I’d estimate that the total on the day that I answered the phone the most was probably around 30, all of them were auto calls.  Because my folks are both registered Republicans, we sometimes get the same phone call up to 3 times (my brother is also a registered Republican and I think this is still his phone number for his registration).  I’ve been answering nearly all of these calls and I wanted to share with you some of the highlights so far.  So, for the 2012 Iowa Caucuses, here are my Republican Phone Call Awards*.

Best Live Volunteer:  By far and away, Newt Gingrich wins this one hands down.  Newt’s phone volunteer was absolutely lovely and nearly had me changing my party affiliation!  She spoke with my mom for several minutes and not once went into bashing the “other guys” simply asking that my mom take a look at his website to get some more information.  If other candiates had armies of volunteers like this lady this would be a lovely caucus!

Worst Live Volunteer(s): I fielded 2 calls from Rick Perry campaign workers and both of them were terrible.  Not polite, barely understandable, and when I asked a question, downright sanctimonious.  I’m not going to be voting for a guy with a name like an 80’s pop star anyway, but I have to tell you that if I had been thinking about it before those calls, I wouldn’t have been afterwards.  Both guys needed to be sent to a school for basic phone manners.

Best Recorded Message: Oddly, the animated Susan for the Romney campaign with her helpful tips about arriving early for the caucus and telling us where exactly we (the Republicans in the house) are going to caucus were the most positive of the recorded messages we received.   She was sort of like what you would expect the Butterball turkey hotline folks to sound like!

Worst Recorded Message:  Any of the calls with state senators or people who had to give their entire resume before starting on their spiel were pretty terrible. I’d swear that on one of these calls the guy ended his resume with “Eagle Scout”. Candidates, if you find the person giving you an endorsement has to remind everyone on the phone who the hell they are, then their endorsement probably isn’t going to mean all that much anyway.  Stick with the big names, ok?  Nearly all the candidates fell down in this category.

Most Tempted to Stay on the Line:  The auto calls that said, “Stay on the line for a live discussion with Michele Bachman,” because I actually would like to ask that woman a few questions, but I’m pretty sure I’d get hung-up on!

Most Confusing Call:  I answered an autocall from Dan Quayle which made it sound as though he was running for president.  I’m pretty sure he’s not, right?  If he was stumping for someone else, it sure didn’t make it through on that call!

Best Candidate Autocall: Rick Santorum.  He just sounds so spry compared to the others!  Clear, well spoken and didn’t sound so… angry.  Not sure that I want to vote for him but I would date him from those calls (ignoring the content of course!).

Worst Candidate Autocall:  Newt.  He was scarcely understandable.  I’m not sure if it was because of the quality of the recording or if he just normally sounds like crap or if he was drunk or something but get that man away from the phone stat!

Most Phone Calls Overall: Mitt wins this one hands-down.  At least half of all the calls were for Romney.

Least Phone Calls Overall: That Utah Governor dude.  I think he’s making a point.  Not sure what it is other than, “I don’t really want to be president.”

Now, for the record, I won’t be taking part in the Republican caucuses tomorrow night as I am a Democrat.  I could change my party affiliation for one night but I would really feel like a fraud doing that as I sincerely do not like any of the candidates that the Republican party has fielded this year.  I was hoping that both of the caucuses were going to be held in the same location so I could pop over and catch some of the hot Republican action for y’all (there’s a porn movie in that phrase somewhere), but alas I just found out today that they aren’t.  So, I will see if I can get my mom to snap a few photos of the process and I will be recording what goes down at the Democratic caucuses because, I’m sure, y’all are on the edge of your seats for that one:-)

*As decided by a registered Democrat.  Who answers the phone.  A lot.

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