Meeting the People – 50 Days

18 September 2016 King Street is a pulsing artery of pedestrian traffic. It was Art Festival weekend in Alexandria. The weather, while still warm and humid, has turned comfortable and inviting. We had been pushing hard to get volunteers into shifts for this Weekend of Action and a good crowd turn up tonight for our “Pub Crawl Voter Registration”. We’re not drinking while doing voter registration but working the crowd wandering up and down King Street at pub o’clock and, after we’re done, we get a beer. Here are a couple of stories from the night: As my colleague was briefing …

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The Gentleman is Committed to Hillary – 51 Days

17 September 2016 It’s late in the day and I’d planned on writing about seeing Michelle Obama speak at George Mason University yesterday. But that will take actual writing and a bit more work than I can handle right now. We’re half-way through a Weekend of Action for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Goals are raised – ring more voters, knock on more doors, register more voters. So I’ve spent the day entering data and answering questions. In the gap between the last data from the door-knockers and the final round of voter registration cards to come back in I went …

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Australian. Volunteer. Fan. – 52 Days

16 September 2016 I’m less melancholy today but I still want to finish this story of how I went from politics, to baseball, and back to politics again, and back to baseball as a fan again. I have three favourite stories from the Sydney Olympics. One connected me to Australia. One took years to play out.  The last is just a quirk of fate. Sydney was a city on a high for those two weeks in September 2000. The weather was stunning. The sport spectacular. People were just happy. I went to the seven USA round-robin games plus the semi-finals, …

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Sixteen Years Ago – Melancholic Memories – 53 Days

I’m in a melancholic and nostalgic state of mind today. Sixteen years ago, on 15 September 2000, Cathy Freeman lit the Olympic flame in Sydney. I watched that Opening Ceremony at the Lord Raglan Hotel in the city’s Redfern neighbourhood. I was there with a fellow American; we had both moved to town recently. I was in Sydney as a student – the easiest, but most expensive, way I could get into the country. We enjoyed the night with the barflies and I drank way too much. Late that night I spoke, for the last time, to a man who …

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Sweltering for Democracy – 54 Days

I find weather to be a difficult thing to imagine accurately. I lived in Washington DC in the 1990s and know what summers are like here but in the cool short days of Sydney’s winter the battering heat of summer sounded great. Nearly all of the 41 days I’ve been here the temperature has been in the mid-to-high 30sC (mid-90s-low 100sF) with humidity averaging nearly 70%. The skies have been clear and the sun unrelenting. These are sweat-drenching conditions in which to conduct voter registration drives. I spent an hour in the sun in front of the new Aldi smelling …

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At the Coal Face for Hillary – 55 Days

Yesterday, while the organisers for Alexandria made their daily allotment of phone calls to recruit and schedule volunteers they fielded a lot of questions about, and good wishes for, Hillary Clinton’s health. This is both sweet and funny. To be a field organiser is to be as far removed from the nerve-centre of activity surrounding the candidate as you can be. Yet every single thing the campaign is doing is meant to make your job easier. For those of you watching from overseas, in particular, you would rightly think of US presidential campaigns in terms of the rallies and adverts, debates …

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How I Became a Den Mother for Hillary – 56 Days

I read something recently which suggested that it’s easier to do things 100% than less than 100%. The argument is that if you are 100% committed to being a writer, say, then you write every day. It’s a priority, not something you fit in around other things. When I came to the United States to help defeat Donald Trump and help elect Hillary Clinton I came with the idea of writing about it. There were two things I would give 100% to – the campaign and the writing. I have been writing but not sharing. Time to change that. With 56 …

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Why Donald Trump Has Scared Me Back to the US

Last month I wrote and published this piece in the Sydney Morning Herald I grew up in Ronald Reagan’s America and moved to Sydney 16 years ago. I have made regular short visits to the US, but none have been as long nor as important as the one I’ll embark on soon. President Donald Trump would be a dangerous disaster. His chances at success have been dismissed for months yet he is the Republican presidential candidate. I cannot sit idly assuming that Hillary Clinton will defeat him. It’s time for me to go and help. In 1992, I loved both Bill …

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Some Thoughts Before I Go

This originally appeared on my Facebook feed: Tomorrow at this time I will be crossing the Pacific en route to Los Angeles. I’ve done the laundry and made my bed – this is as it will be when I come home in 15 weeks. I’ll sleep in it tonight and then not again until either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump has been elected President. In either case I’m confident I will be glad, on that night, to fall asleep in this room, in this city, under the southern stars. I will be glad to be home. But I will be …

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