I live in New York State, in New York City, in Manhattan--among the blue bluer bluest geographic locations in the country. I'm voting for Obama, but I know that my vote is not going to tip this election.
So here's an idea for those of us living in safe blue territory: sometime in the next month, why not plan a quick trip to a swing state, and do a little volunteering for Obama-Biden?
Okay, I know that political volunteer work can be a little...dreary. Door to door canvassing, phone banking, leafleting and the like isn't glamorous. And even though I think most of us believe that the stakes in this election couldn't be higher, we're also probably reluctant to spend our dwindling budgets on a vacation that isn't, shall we say, personally restorative? And I don't think that makes you a Bad Liberal.
But you don't have to choose! So, here's some info on how to reach Obama field offices in Ohio, Indiana and Florida, along with an additional incentive for making the trip more fun.
Obama-Biden Regional Offices in Ohio
Incentive: Ice Cream.
Columbus is home to delicious handcrafted premium ice cream shops, of which there should be more of in this world. On my visit to Columbus this past June, I tried Jeni"s and Denise"s In my highly scientific investigation I taste tested Jeni's Salty Caramel against Denise's Salted Caramel. (I preferred Jeni's because it wasn't quite as sweet, but see what you think.) If I were to head back this month, I'd definitely order off of Jeni's seasonal flavor menu. Probably Butterscotch Black Brownie, although I would not be able to resist tasting the Olive Oil with Sea Salt Pepitas flavor. Some other Ohio ice cream ideas here, not all of them handcrafted premium, though.
Obama-Biden Regional Offices in Indiana
Incentive: Sex (or, celebrating the First Amendment, if you prefer).
The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction is housed at Indiana University's Bloomington Campus, which you can tour on weekdays. Turn off your cell phone as you don't want to receive a phone call from your mother while you're checking out the gallery which displays only a portion of the institute's collection of 7,000 sexually-themed art and artifacts, and pay attention when you're walking down the halls, which displays a few photos from the Institute's collection of more than 48,000. It's even fun to visit the library, which is likely the only one to maintain a complete collection of Adult Video News, and to maintain separate sections for erotic fiction, nudism, and sado-masochism.
Obama-Biden Regional Field Offices in Florida
Incentive: Air and Space.
I've long been intrigued by kiteboarding (for which you stand on a board and hang on to a kite that pulls you into the air), so if I were going to spend some time in the Sunshine State in the near future, a lesson would be at the top of my list. Maybe here, at the Kite House in Key West. And at a moment when our country has the opportunity to regain its pride, what better time to visit the Kennedy Space Center? I would totally sign up for the Lunch with an Astronaut program.
1) I know these are big states with lots to offer, so I'll add to this list if you tell me about your favorites, via comments here, or on my site.
2) I do realize that the incentives I'm suggesting are in the bluest parts of these swing states, so you might have to spend one day volunteering in more strategic areas politically, and then spend another day on fun. But hey, you'll have earned it.
3) Send your ideas for Nevada, North Carolina, Missouri, Virgina, so let me know your favorite incentive in those states here and I'll incorporate them into a future post.