January 7th- The night before the New Hampshire Primaries
I was hoping to write a longer blog to describe our wonderful dinner at Cliff and Donna Rice’s home, followed, by what I thought, was a very moving discussion in a Mennonite church in Pennsylvania. But tomorrow is the New Hampshire primary and we will be working from early morning following Maureen Mooney and Pam Colantuono who are organizing the Catholic and Evangelical votes for Senator McCain. We will be with Maureen in, what she hopes, will be a victory party for John McCain. The senator is ahead in the polls. We also plan to follow Sam Osherson whom we found on the Barak Obama campaign’s web site among the people of faith for Barak Obama. Sam is Jewish and see his support for Obama as a political act, rather than a religious one. If we can manage it we hope to follow Sam to the Obama’s victory party. The polls predict that Senator Obama will win the New Hampshire vote as well. A victory here in New Hampshire will bring the African American Senator closer to the nomination and will reshape the rest of the campaign. As you can see the schedule is indeed grueling and I hope to be able to catch my breath soon after the New Hampshire primaries and to write much longer and substantial blogs. The journey has been fascinating; the diversity of views on religion and faith is indeed impressive. So there are lots of tales to tell and ideas to communicate and explore. Those need to be (and will be) written under much calmer circumstances. We have a sort of a break for few days after the New Hampshire primaries and I will use those days to get up to speed.
But I cannot finish this short blog without telling a small anecdote:
We filmed tonight at the McCain headquarters in Manchester New Hampshire where Maureen, the Republican Party State representative, and a volunteer are among the hundreds that work the phones calling potential voters and offering help in getting them to their voting places.
In this beehive of activity I found one orthodox Jew who like the hundreds of volunteers has been working for days to energize the voters. My final question to him was how does his faith influence his vote? He seemed to be surprised: I am working for McCain to get him elected as a president you know, he told me with an ironic smile, not for the chief Rabbi. A clever view I thought and a very healthy one on where Religion end and the State begins. More thoughts about that later.
Though I am not sure I will be able to blog tomorrow we did manage to cut a short snippet from our wonderful dinner in Valparaiso Indiana and tomorrow we will put up another video blog.
Good night from Manchester, New Hampshire.