60 days away from my hubby couldn't have been spent any better than how it was spent. I got to play with my siblings and hang out with my parents. And, it went by so fast because there are few people busier than those who are working on a campaign.
Reminder: I was working on the Mia Love for Congress Campaign. Click HERE for some other info I previously posted.
First funny thing about this campaign: my maiden name (Matheson) is the same last name as the guy running on the other side of the ticket. That was fun.
I've gotten lots of questions about what I actually did on the campaign. Well..being on the communications team I got to work with the communications director. A lot. And that position happened to be filled (very voluntarily) by my awesome dad. No one does communications better than him. I had to get used to calling him "Boyd" while working. So weird. I don't like calling him by his first name. He should always just be dad(dy). People on the campaign had a hard time using his name since most people choked on the last name, being the same as the opponent.
I did a lot of research/reading to see what was being said in the media about our candidate and her opponent. I wrote a lot including fundraising emails for people. That was really fun. I got to pretend I was other people (sometimes very important people!) and write emails that they would send out to their lists asking for donations to help in the Mia Love cause. It was pretty cool seeing my work signed by people who have huge influences on our country.
I also answered questionnaires and written interviews on behalf of the candidate. We had some good laughs making up answers to those. Some people want to know the funniest and most random things. For several weeks we spent most all of our time prepping for speeches and debates. Lots of research, looking up opponent votes and comments, and deciding what the best responses would be to various questions. Very intense.
Now some pictures and other stories:
I developed a fairly severe craving for Cheetos while on the campaign. I would often have to fight with my dad for the last bag of Cheetos at the campaign headquarters.
We always had to be prepared to meet the press and whatever questions might come up. Sometimes those press people were not very nice. They always want to be the ones to get the dirt first.
Sometimes I had to act as the escort..and sometimes it felt more like being a body guard.
We were often on the run and had to do lots of prepping and planning in the car.
Lots of television interviews for national news stations like CNN had to be filmed at studios like this one. It was cool being feet away from nationally broadcast productions.
Some people are so sweet and have such faith and hope for our country. This cute man came by to donate money to the campaign and all he wanted was to say hi to Mia. Lucky for him, she was there that day. This World War II veteran shed a few tears as he expressed his desire to help our country and wanted to badly to see it go in the right direction. We need more people like him in our country.
We attended many events involving important people all over the 4th District. This certain event was with the Salt Lake Chamber. This was part of the Keeping Americas Promises Tour. We have a responsibility to keep promises to the citizens of America including the opportunity to be successful in business, the promise of security to our seniors, and the promise of a bright future for our students. After the Salt Lake Chamber we went to a senior center and had a round table with college students, pictured below. It was a great day.
A huge part of campaigns is commercials. This campaign utilized more TV air time than most, at least in Utah. This campaign was the most expensive congressional campaign in the history of Utah. This particular commercial was with Governor Herbert. Those in the Utah Legislature were so supportive and willing to help with this campaign. I got to meet so many great people.
We had a Women's Business Forum with female business leaders in the area. This included The Sweet Tooth Fairy herself! (second from the right) It was very informative about how the acts of government are affecting small businesses and their personal entrepreneurial experiences.
Have you ever heard of a tele-town hall? It's a really cool system. The system calls thousands of people at the same time and they hear a message inviting them to stay on the line and ask questions of the candidate/whoever is on the line (in this case, Mia and Senator Hatch). We would have up to 3000 people on the phone at once and people screening questions to keep it organized. Only those who we select could speak and ask questions (you get some weirdos sometimes!) We typically could keep several hundred people on the call which is pretty impressive.
Eric Cantor is the House Majority Leader and came to help with a fundraiser. Some of these fundraisers cost $1000 a plate - talk about support! Cantor is on the left with Representative Jason Chaffetz on the right.
Thomas Wright (on the right) is the Chairman of the Republican Party in Utah. He is the funniest guy and so great.
Another tele-town hall with Mr. Governor.
We had some really fun times on the campaign, especially towards the end and the focus was on going out and meeting as many people we could. You can't see very well but Mia and Matt (campaign manager) were in the car probably trying to figure out where to go. But they were sitting there forever and finally realized we were laughing at them and taking pictures.
Speaker Boehner came to do another fundraiser. It was an interesting event with a great turnout. Most of the stories about this event I really can't put online without potentially getting in trouble...:) But it was great.
(Speaker Boehner ^)
One of my favorite times was meeting Keith Stubbs on his show. I love 101.5 The Eagle and especially his morning show. Such a fun morning.
Sometimes we would go out and get delicious BBQ from the local joint. They had one of those hot wing challenges. We watched someone almost die doing it. I am not a spicy food person and could not even imagine..a few people at the table ate just a tiny dab of the spicy sauce and just about died. We ate a lot of good food (lots of Pho!) over those 2 months I was there so it made up for a lot of meals we ended up skipping.
Mia voted early and stood in line for a few hours just like everyone else. Her family was there and it was a great event. Many people were very impressed that she came and stood in instead of expecting to go to the front like other candidates may have done. We need more people like that in America - we are too entitled!
Mia has the cutest family and a sweet husband that was so supportive of everything she did.
Election Day was unreal. Early, early morning that started with a workout and picking up Mia for an early interview. The rest of the day was spent at Honk-and-Waves, preparing for the evening, scheduling interviews, and making sure everything was ready to go at the hotel where they held all of the Republican Party election night events.
Everything we had worked on for several months (and many more for those involved in the campaign from the beginning) all came to a climax. I got to talk to all of the press that wanted interviews and things. Proud to say I have the cell phone number of most every major news caster in Utah, and they all wanted to text me and talk to me so bad! I was pretty popular that night.
Interview at KLS 5..
We could hardly go anywhere that evening without having someone stop Mia for an interview or comment on the evening.
I know he didn't win, but I am still proud of my picture with Mitt Romney...
My family came up for the event. I was really sad I didn't get to spend more time with them but the night didn't go quite as expected.
Probably not. :)
Love my family!
We didn't really eat much on election night. Actually, the whole day. I survived from 4am until 2am the next morning on a few granola bars, pretzel goldfish, and mostly Dr. Pepper and Pringles.
So not good for you but tasted so great that night.
Lots of important people came to stop by that evening including both Utah Senators, Hatch and Lee. Good men. Mike Lee's wife and daughter hung out with us for a while. So much fun talking to everyone about politics and random things no one would ever expect from that crowd.
If you follow politics, you know that this was one of the most nationally followed congressional races going on. So much time and money went into it from both sides. Trying to unseat a Congressman who has been in for 12 years is quite the challenge. The race was not officially called until several weeks later as the race was decided by only 760 votes. The third party candidate definitely made a difference in this race. The results didn't come out like we thought and it was a disappointing evening (for our race as well as the presidential), but the experience was still amazing.
I got to meet so many important, well known people, but my favorite part was working with those on the campaign that put their heart and soul into everyday. Matt (Campaign Manager) was always there to give me some good laughs. Often it was concerning one of us and usually not very nice but always in good fun and always funny. He is a great guy and was great to work with. Amelia works with the Republican Party and we had such great times at the events. We have a lot in common and were always thinking the same thing about people..or events..or what everyone else did. :) Mia (candidate) was wonderful to work for. She is a woman with passion and drive and even though the election didn't go as planned, she will do so much good for her family, her community, and this nation. We need more people like her in this country.
Most of all, I got to work with this great guy:
We started every morning driving to Salt Lake City at 6am, and him going to his full-time job while I worked on little projects for the campaign. Then we would head out and do whatever campaign duties we had for that day. We had so many good talks and I have learned so much from his wisdom and experience. We would fight over who had to pick what we had for lunch and who would drive while the other worked (or slept). Most days we were gone for 13+ hours and it wasn't uncommon to have a 16 hour day. There is no one (besides maybe Paul) I would rather spend that much time with or work with.
So grateful for these 2 months that gave me so much experience and great moments with my family and new friends.
And if you ever think your vote doesn't count or doesn't matter, just look back at this election. Every vote counts!