I have many memories from all the campaigns I’ve worked upon through the years. The ups and the downs…the successes and failures(fortunately many more successes). One that stands out for me as we head into this Election Eve comes from 2004.
I had taken time off from work in DC to go back home to central Ohio and help my friends that were running the Ohio Bush campaign. As you’ll recall, things were tense the night before. Polls were all over the place and all we could do was our best as we headed into election day.
Check the voter lists. Get out the vote. Work our tails off.
As Monday night turned into Election morning we held our final statewide conference call with the 88 county campaign managers. The state campaign manager went through the checklist for things to get done on election day, but he knew he didn’t need to. The team Ohio put together to win the Buckeye state for President Bush was second to none. They knew what they were doing…but they were exhausted. All that could be said were words written much more eloquently by a guy named William Shakespeare. Now this may seem cheesy to those of you reading this now, but at the time it was exactly what we needed to hear. And in my opinion, reading this speech aloud to everyone on the phone that night is what drove the final nail in the coffin and won the Buckeye state for the President.
So for those fighting the good fight, remember these words as you wake up at 4am Tuesday morning to go canvas one last swing precinct, remember them as you struggle to finish calling one last GOTV list, remember them late Tuesday night when you can turn to your friend, raise your glass and say, “we did it”.
For the youtube challenged:
This day is called the Feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a-tiptoe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall see this day and live t’old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian”:
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars
And say “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.”
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day. (IV, iii)