This spring during the Democratic primaries I decided that I would like to work on a Presidential campaign However I did not want to work for a Democrat. I’m an 18-year-old senior at Lisbon High School, and I have always considered myself a conservative. I become interested in politics at a very young age, but didn’t start to follow them seriously until the 2000 Republican primary. I liked Bush then, and I like him even more now.

Late in June of this year as I was looking at the Bush website, I found a place where volunteers could sign up to work for the campaign, so I signed up. About a week later right after the Fourth of July I got a call, from the Lewiston office to confirm that I was interested in working to re-elect the president. Later that week I went into the office and started making phone calls to undecided voters. I’ve never been very good on the phone and those first few calls were no exception. I quickly got used to it and now I think I’m great to talk to on the phone. This experience has really helped me with my people skills. I’ve also met so many great people doing this, most of them are quite a bit older than I am, but still they are great to talk to, and I always feel very comfortable in their presence. I have also been fortunate to have some great conversations with the people who I have called. I love hearing what Mainers have to say about the President and the future of this country. Most all of them expressed the same concerns that I have on the war on terror, and our domestic policies. We believe that President Bush is the right man for the job.

I’ll be perfectly honest that going and calling 100 people every Tuesday and Thursday is not always fun, in fact I never looked forward to doing it. But once I get in there and get going its not really that bad. As a result of working for this campaign I was put into positions where I had the opportunity to meet and talk with many of our local candidates, such as Jimmy Simones, Lois Snow-Mellow and Bob Berube. I also had the chance to talk to second district congressional candidate Brian Hamel, who is a brilliant man and whom I hope runs for political office again in the near future. When President Bush came up to Bangor in late September, because of my work for his campaign, I had V.I.P. tickets so I was able to get right up close to the podium As the President gave his speech I was no more than 15 ft from him. The crowd was going wild, chanting “four more years, four more years!!” The man has an unbelievable stage presence; he is a powerful speaker and is able to get a crowd into whatever it is he is speaking about. I believe that the president is very humbled when he is face to face with so many of his supporters; perhaps he is even more humbled by us than we are by him. As soon as he finished giving his speech he came down from the stage, and greeted his supporters. It was at this time that I took my hat off (I was wearing a cowboy hat) and said, “My hat’s off to you Mr. President.” He gave a little laugh, shook my hand, then grabbed the ticket out of my hand and signed it. To say the least I was thrilled.

As the campaign began to wind down, the mood in the Lewiston office became a bit tenser, especially seeing how the race was tightening up. On election night I along with about 30 others in the office made our final attempt of the campaign to get out the votes for the President. We called as many Bush supporters as possible making sure they had cast their ballot. After the polls in Maine closed some people began making phone calls to New Mexico where the polls had not yet closed to try to get out every vote possible I stayed at the headquarters until about 10:30 p.m. watching the returns come in. I think everyone in that office was feeling very confident that the President would be reelected and we were also very pleased to see Senate Minority leader Tom Daschle being defeated in his home state. I did not go to sleep on election night before it was official. Probably about one o’clock the morning after the election, I knew there was no possible way Kerry could win this race. My initial feeling about the President’s victory was a sense of pride. I was so proud of him, and I’m so happy for him and his family. In some ways this makes up for his father’s defeat in 1992, which I remember.

I feel confident about the future of this country. Right now the nation is divided and it will need time to heal, but I think George W. Bush is just the type of leader our country needs at this time in our history. Working for this campaign has been a great experience and I look forward to working for the others in the future. I could not have imagined that I would have taken away so much from this experience, and I’m very proud I can say that I helped George W.Bush win re-election.

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