Kerry booth blown away at Earthfest

Election 2004 | Greater Boston | Access/Network
Yesterday on the Esplanade in Boston, the John Kerry table was blown away at the eleventh annual Earthfest (officially, the WBOS Festival for the Earth presented by Whole Foods). First the wind whipped us, in our un-strategic position facing the Charles River (the wind was really great for the Clean Power Now booth, the PAC formed to alleviate environmental concerns the Nantucket Sound Wind Farm). Then the permit police got us for good. Apparently we had a table without the benefit of a permit from WBOS; instead we had the benefit of a favor. So we did what I called strategic dispersal after two hours.

This was a bit ironic, given that the political muscle behind the first Earthfest ten years ago was none other than Senator John Kerry (according to a couple of people yesterday. I’m going to check the Globe microfilms).

What I did learn in those two hours (aside from a demonstration of the aerodynamic origins of the term “flyer”), is that people wanted the same thing I wanted when I go to the 60 Canal St. HQ: they wanted buttons. Sticker-buttons. Bumper-stickers. They wouldn’t take no for an answer; they wouldn’t even take my joke that “on Earth Day we don’t want to be seen as endorsing cars…” But we had enough to give out so that one could walk around the 100,000 plus Earthfest attendees and see plenty of lapel stickers all around.

One of the KerryCore groups had gotten some buttons & bumper stickers made out as well, but nobody that came to the table was interested in joining: “Nurses for Kerry”. Not that anybody was really aware of the KerryCore network fundraising, so I explained it to a few people.

As far as I knew, the other helpers there were all Kerry staff, or at least long-time volunteers. Ari, Eric, Gus, Mario, Carolyn– that’s who I remember. It would be nice if the website listed names, pictures, positions, etc to keep my memory fresh. Or even some special name tags for staff and experienced volunteers. I haven’t yet made it to to a Kerry Meetup, but I’ve been to a few few parties, and raised little money, but I still feel like an outsider. I could use a little training.

There were a few Bush supporters there, but I had no luck talking to them with the opening pitch “John Kerry for President!” My college friend Jamie, who I’ve gone to about every other Kerry event with, had much better luck when she took a walk around with a clipboard. She approached people and asked them whether they were registered, and then what their big issues were for the election. The Bush supporters: lower taxes for businesses, more security. This is why Jamie’s an MD and I am not. She listens to hear what’s ailing people.

I got into one argument– not with a Bush supporter, but with a woman who was most positively in the Kerry camp. She was sporting a shirt with with the President’s face and the text “the proper use of duct tape”, with duct tape over the President’s mouth. I did my GWB impersonation, which consists of repeating two sacred numbers in response to questions from the press conference. And then this woman says that she thinks that “Bush planned it. With the Saudis.” I told her she was nuts and no rational person believes that, as she walked away. One of the other volunteers, Gus, told me that it wasn’t worth my time to argue (maybe he didn’t want a scene?) I don’t mind conservatives having their own crazy worldview– “Bushworld” as Maureen Dowd called it in her column today. It just ticks me off when the wingnuts are from our party.

Around the time the table closed down, Jamie took off to finish her paper on solving the National health care policy, and I took off with some flyers, to hand out, but then caught up with my friends and grooved to the music…

With Susel, enjoying a break from the campaign trail, sitting on the dock of the Charles.

Susel and Ayana, with Edie Brickell on stage in the background. Los Lonely Boys, the next act, truly rocked.