I met RMax Goodwin in the rain yesterday evening to turn over boxes containing equipment and material used during the Democrats' go-vote-please campaign that began in Lucas and Wayne counties Friday and continued through Tuesday. We had scuffled briefly at the close of business Tuesday about who would take custody of this stuff until RMax could collect it; I conceded.
He heads home to Los Angeles, most likely on Saturday, and I wish we could keep him --- but he's probably not the kind of guy to relish bucolia on a long-term basis. Headquartered in Creston --- Union County was the bridge between two-county and four-county chunks of his field organizing territory --- RMax was in constant motion for about three months, dashing from one end to the other organizing, delivering, cajoling, convincing and, in between, making thousands of phone calls and knocking doors himself. What a guy. We'll miss him.
I enjoyed the campaign, which really was the first I'd ever been actively involved in since university. That's one of the penalties of a career in which activism is actively discouraged in the interests of alleged objectivity. So it was fun and rewarding to work with party activists new and older.
A young guy named Ben, age 23, was the rock star among campaigners in Lucas County, knocking doors endlessly to gather data, encourage people to vote absentee or otherwise and purge lists of useless people (Republicans).
So Kylie asked him over the weekend about his impressions as the end of his labors neared for this term. Ben said he'd begun enthusiastic about politics and people; ended a little less enthusiastic about politics and considerably less enthusiastic about people.
That loss of enthusiasm about people had nothing to do with partisanship, but with people who announced that they just didn't plan to vote --- for anyone.
My friend Patrick, while on a Facebook rant Wednesday, had a few choice words about "fools" who vote straight party tickets. I'm one of those and will claim the title gladly in order to keep doing so. But the profound idiots, we'd both probably agree, are those who don't vote at all.
The only person during the entire campaign who really pissed me off was the chair of the state Democratic party. Actually, he managed to piss off many of the party faithful in the two counties I'm most familiar with during single short Sunday afternoon visits a couple of weeks ago. That's quite an accomplishment, but not a story intended for the general public.
I was happy that Dave Loebsack held onto his seat in our 2nd U.S. Congressional District. That means we'll see more of both Loebsack and his district representative, Monroe County's Dien Judge, during the next two years.
And content with state legislative outcomes --- Democrats continue to hold a narrow lead in the Senate. That near-even split in the state Legislature has proved to be productive, so maybe Iowa will be able to move forward a little while Republicans in D.C. pursue their only agenda --- making the Obama administration look bad.
It was good, too, to see hometown boy Chaz Allen, now of Newton, hold the Iowa Senate seat in District 15 for Democrats.
And now you'll have to excuse me while I go do some more searching. Somehow I've managed to misplace my Hillary button.