After four weeks of hard campaigning, sleepless nights, hand-shaking seniors in Sunrise Lakes, Century Village and Tamarac – it came down to the debate in Tampa – and the polls that followed.
That weekend, I spent every day and night hanging flyers for Peter. The day before, Jesse Jackson spent the day flying with Peter to get-out-the-vote in various cities. That evening, I enjoyed dinner with Peter, Craig Kirby (Edwards’ Deputy Campaign Manager and Peter’s Campaign manager) and the Reverand. As the dinner came to an end, I was tasked with being Peter’s driver for the last night. We were to hit local diners from 10pm til 3am — where Peter would be hand-shaking with voters. The next day, I worked the senior communities in Tamarac — meeting most of the Broward County political candidates in from of the Senior Center — and spent the last three hours in one of the black neighborhoods of Broward — all to get out the vote. As the polls closed, I got a call from Jared Asch, Peter’s Fundraising Director telling me that we were doing great in all of the major cities. We had a victory party set up at Bahia Cabana Bar – and I had to clean up from the day of campaigning.
Showered, shaved and freshly dressed – and in the car, I get a call from my friend Lisa Lindsey at Visions for Working Families. She told me the opening numbers – and they were not good. All I could do is pray they would get better – 20 point spread – that couldn’t be right. But, by the end of the night, 25 points separated Betty from Peter – and Peter’s concession speech was one of the toughest experiences I ever had in politics.