12/04/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Phone Banking For Obama In Florida: Enthusiasm And Racism

In recent weeks, a calm certainty seems to have settled over most of the liberals I know. After the last two elections, I can't convince myself to be that confident. So on Sunday morning I was at the nearest Obama campaign phone bank, one of hundreds of people who were crowded around tables, packed onto couches and windowsills and strewn all over the floor to make calls for Barack Obama.

The woman who trained us assured our group that we'd only be doing get-out-the-vote calls -- contacting friendly voters in Florida to confirm their polling places. Everyone on our list had self-identified as a Democrat or Obama supporter, she said, so we shouldn't need to do much persuading. As it turned out, that wasn't exactly true. There were plenty of people who were passionate about voting for Obama, but some said exactly the sorts of things that strike fear into my bleeding heart.

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