Tufts U. Students Go Door-to-door For Obama

This story was written by Marc Raifman, Tufts Daily
With the presidential primaries fast approaching, several Tufts University students supporting Democratic hopeful Barack Obama made their voices heard at a number of events on Sunday.

After a well-attended breakfast rally in Sophia Gordon Hall, five students took a trip to Obama's field office in Derry, N.H. The day's mission was to brave the weather by going door-to-door trying to convince undecided voters to support Obama in the New Hampshire primary, scheduled for Jan. 8.

"They give you a clipboard and addresses of people who are undecided," said senior Samantha Goldman, a member of Tufts Students for Barack Obama. "It's really fun."

One memorable meeting along the way was with the local high school's principal, who was torn between Obama and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

The principal was particularly interested in having the Tufts campaigners return to New Hampshire and speak to his students about the issues before the primary. Goldman said there is a good chance that she and the others will do just that.

Group member Dan Scarvalone, also a senior, said that he enjoyed engaging the people he met on issues such as health care and education.

Obama argues for universal health care and a merit-based pay system that gives bonuses to teachers whose students perform better, and Scarvalone was happy to advocate for these positions.

He said that while the Democratic candidates share many goals, Obama is most likely to follow through on them.

"He's honest and he's open and he'll tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear," he said.

Not everyone that the group met shared this view. This was especially the case when they knocked on the door of a Republican.

"I met a Republican [supporting] Ron Paul; that was interesting," Scarvalone said. "I met a guy who told me to f--k off; that was interesting."

The students left New Hampshire at around 5 p.m. Sunday night in order to make it back to Boston for Obama's fundraiser and rally, the "Massachusetts Countdown to Change." The event was held in Boston's Castle at Park Plaza.
© 2007 Tufts Daily via U-WIRE