Well, I did it.
I officially did research for my manuscript! And it was quite exciting, let me tell you!
Since the heroine, Kate, is a professional political operative, I thought it might be useful to get some insight on what it takes to be a PPO. So I decided to attend an event sponsored by the National Women's Political Caucus of CA
. It was titled Campaign Matters: A Political Skills Training Course
. They try to encourage/support women to run for elected positions by training them and their staffers on effective methods of running a successful campaign. It sounded pretty cool, and since it was sponsored by Lifetime Television for Women
, it sounded legit (too legit to quit!)
Let me first say that Coronado is on the very southern tip of San Diego, and is quite a picturesque beach resort town. There is also a big Naval presence there, so as I drove slowly through the town, I looked quite avidly for signs of any muscular Navy SEALs who may have been jogging/working out/training with no shirts on. You know...with all those gleaming pecs...wearing only the skimpiest of shorts...but no such luck. :(
I was loving it. The coastal fog chilled the morning air and shrouded the gunmetal grey ocean waters. I was really enjoying the scenery when I happened upon my destination. After parking and wandering around aimlessly for a few minutes, I followed a trail of women heading towards a particular ballroom. I signed in, got my materials and sat down. There was a full continental breakfast and these cute little bottles of Evian water, so I grabbed an Evian and some food and sat my butt down. Eventually, the room began to fill up. The people at my table began to introduce themselves. Their first questions to each other are "Are you running for office?" and "What is your political experience?".
Everyone had a little spiel going...
"I am the Executive Politcal Director for this organization..."
"I did some graphics for this candidate and they loved it!!!"
"I did some field work for Kerry..."
Stuff like that. When it came to my turn, I kind of froze. No, I was not running for political office. I hadn't really thought ahead to what I would say. I mean would it be weird if I revealed my true purpose?
My true purpose:
I am interested in the political process (I minored in Poli Sigh in college), but actually I'm here to do research for a book...
That would sound kind of stalkerish, wouldn't it? They'd probably think I was a secret spy or something????
What Was On The Tip Of My Tongue
Hellz yeah I was a campaign manager! I ran this guy's election campaign like a well-oiled machine! His name was Giovanni Mauro and I had artfully put up signs all over the place with the following tag that really resonated with people---"Giovanni Mauro, the candidate of tomorrow...TODAY!" He won too. By a landslide. Yeah, he was a much loved high school class president...
What I Actually Said
Uh...Cuz I'm interested...
The first two speakers were pretty cool, they talked about campaign fundraising and crafting the campaign message. Maybe I'll post some of the cool stuff I learned about, but for now I'll concentrate on what happened today. Because I did minor in Poli Sigh in college and I have always been interested in politics, i snidely considered myself somewhat an expert on the general political process. It also helps to watch The West Wing on DVD over and over and over and over...
So then it was really cool because the first chick who was talking...and she referred to this other political group, called Emily's List
. I wanted to jump up and shout:
I KNOW WHAT EMILY'S LIST IS!!! EARLY MONEY IS LIKE YEAST!!! I KNOW IT BECAUSE I SAW IT ON THE WEST WING! SUPERSTAR!!!
and do a cheerleading pose like Mary-Katherine Gallagher in SNL. But of course, I didn't. :P
So then!! This guy in a suit seats himself next to me. He seems to be a little overdressed, but it turns out that he is the third speaker. His name is Dan Rosenberg...remember his name, if you will...I have a little beef with Mr. Rosenberg.
So remember that cute little bottle of Evian water that I'd taken? I was saving it for later and kept it on the table next to my folder. We all go to lunch, and when I come back...I see that my cute little bottle of Evian water has shifted to Dan's slice of the table! I think nothing of it at the time, but then...when he comes back from lunch he grabs my beloved little bottle and says, "Oh can I have this? Oh thanks." and then opens and drinks from it before I can say anything!! Man, I know I can be anal retentive about things, but that guy was soooo rude.
Then there was a lull...it turns out that DAN ROSENBERG ran for Congress unsuccessfully. Someone at my table asks what happened during his campaign, why he didn't win, etc.
"Because he is a wanker water bottle stealer, that's why he didn't win!" I would have said if I had the nerve to say something. Or if I was drunk. Unfortunately, I was neither.
Okay enough the ranting. But overall it was a very fruitful day in a very beautiful location. I'll write more about it later. :)