1000 Doors for Obama — 1 month, 1000 doors, $5000

Surrogates Aplenty: The Wire, Sopranos, and Ashley Judd
October 31, 2008, 6:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So this last week has been a whirlwind of surrogate appearances.  Although initially I was planning on spending most days knocking doors, last week I was almost exclusively in charge of organizing and planning a couple of surrogate events on Duke’s campus.  Let me just first say, these appearances are absolutely insane.  We typically find out about an appearance by a surrogate no more than 48 hours before they are scheduled to be there, and have to create an event, organize whatever we need for the event, and then somehow drum up a crowd so it doesn’t look really sad when 10 people show up for a famous surrogate.  As the pictures will show, we got more and more daft at accomplishing these tasks as the week went along…

So on Monday we had Deirdre Lovejoy, Jamie Hector, and Chad Coleman, or, as my Baltimore cohorts and Wire enthusiasts probably know them, State Attorney Rhonda Pearlman, West Baltimore Drug Lord Marlo Stanfield, and Street Thug turned Boxing Coach Cutty from the Cut!  Our plan for the day was to set them up around a table on the main quad and accost anyone nearby to come meet the cast and listen to what they had to say.  But the weather had other ideas in mind, and it was a on-and-off drizzly, and damn cold afternoon.  So needless to say, our passerby travel was severely limited by the fact that most students had no interest in standing around in the cold…  Which was fine for us Wire fans like me, because it became basically a meet and greet event, with no real stump speech or anything, and we could just talk to the cast openly about anything we wanted.  Deidre (Attorney Pearlman) was super nice and fun, and loved the flyer I made for their appearance so much that she made me autograph it (sweet).  Jamie (Marlo) was pretty cool, and talked not just about his appearances on the Wire, but also his recent role on Heroes.  He even gave a subtle hint about another co-cast member on both the Wire and Hero, Bubbles, who we may not have seen the last of on Heroes.  Cutty from the Cut was really intense and pretty much exactly like he is in the Wire, listening intently and intelligently to anything anyone was saying.  Cool event, not many people, but I was psyched to meet the cast, so that was sweet.  CUTTY from the CUT!

Then on Tuesday, Edie Falco, who plays Carmela Soprano on the Sopranos, came to campus.  We drew up a slightly larger crowd on Tuesday for her event – maybe an indication that the Sopranos is more of a hit than the Wire…  Her appearance was a bit more structured – she actually gave a speech to the waiting crowd before then mingling with the group and encouraging people to go volunteer and vote.  

Wednesday obviously was Obama-day, which you can read about right below this post.  

Thursday was our biggest and most successful surrogate appearance.  We had Representative David Price (NC-04), Joe Biden’s sister Valerie Biden-Owens, and actress/activist Ashley Judd.  I’ll let you guess who was the big crowd generator.  It also probably helped that the Obama campaign itself sent out a message to all of North Carolina about the Biden/Judd tour, which was going all over the state yesterday and today.  So sensing that we would probably have a much bigger deal than our two low-key appearances, we needed to step things up for this one.  So we moved the appearance to the Plaza, scrounged around OSAF for a podium and PA system (thanks OSAF!) and put up a bunch of posters and flyers and really grew the crowd.  The news showed up, and the crowds showed up, and (finally, a little late) Biden-Owens and Judd showed up.  David Price gave a good stump speech, but I’ve seen him like 3 times in the last couple weeks, so it was nothing new.  He’s a good speaker and got people fired up, so thats always good.  Biden-Owens, however, seemed to have the wrong speech in her little binder.  She talked a lot about family, and work, and her father, and other issues that would be more well-served in a general community address or perhaps a speech at a retirement home, but certainly not a college-audience speech.  Luckily, Judd then took the stage, and, even though it only took her about 30 seconds to take a dig at Duke basketball (she’s a big Kentucky fan), the rest of her speech was fantastic.  She talked movingly about how she came to support Obama.  She talked about her experience at Invesco Field at the DNC and how she wept with her grandmother at the enormity of the situation.  She talked about her passion for justice and activism and equality, and the work that she’s done with her group with AIDS prevention.  And she even let us know that she’s planning on taking the GRE next weekend and going back to graduate school!  She was a truly inspiring speaker, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well-spoken she was and how insightful into the importance of the election she was.  The crowd was huge, taking up the majority of the width of the Plaza, and everyone was really happy with the event.

Ok, so now its time to get to work.  As a bonus, I took two posters I made, printed them out on 40 or so 8.5×11 sheets of paper, and patched them together into two huge posters on campus… Check ’em out: 


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