Skip to comments.Young, politically active -- and in support of Bush
Posted on 07/18/2004 10:20:23 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Flagstaff-area couple John and Jessica Skiba live hectic lives. John works as a lawyer at Aspey, Watkins and Diesel, and Jessica is raising a 3-year-old, a 2-year-old and two premature twins. But John, 29, and Jessica, 28, have added a new responsibility: campaign volunteers for President Bush.
On July 3, the entire family joined the Bush-Cheney campaign's entry in the Flagstaff Independence Day parade. Clad in campaign T-shirts, John pushed the carriage with the twins (Samantha and Sophie, about 4 months old) and Jessica moved through the crowd. She passed out Bush-Cheney stickers.
"Is it OK if I give them stickers?" Jessica asked the mother of two boys who wanted them to add to their collection of candy and parade freebies. The mother said it was fine. "I have to ask. I don't want to create any problems."
She then moved on to a group of three women, who collectively moved back from the stickers. "No, not a chance," said one woman, who declined to give her name. "I'm voting for Kerry."
The parade represented just one of a handful of events and activities where the Skibas have campaigned. Jessica helped operate the Bush-Cheney booth at the Coconino County Fair. She and her husband traveled to Tuba City to register voters.
Starting this weekend, with the opening of the Republican campaign headquarters on Humphreys Street, the Skibas will increase the amount of time they dedicate to the campaign weekly through November.
All the while they are both juggling parenthood and their daily lives along with this kind of grassroots effort.
"We want to do what we can to support President Bush," Jessica said.
The couple, who lives in Bellemont, represents two of the approximately 20,000 grassroots volunteers in Arizona who have given their time to help Bush get re-elected, according to state campaign representative Blanca Esparza.
It's part of a change in campaign strategy adopted by the GOP after the 2000 election brought the closest race in presidential history. The Republicans have adopted a long-held Democratic practice of grassroots activism and door-to-door campaigning.
"Usually, the Republicans turn to TV ads, mass mailings and paid phone solicitors, but they're finding that voters are increasingly immune to these," said Harriet Young, the Democratic Party chair for Coconino County and a political watcher. "Now, they have to do what the Democrats have always done, and that's visit neighbor to neighbor."
The grassroots and the GOP have not been linked in this way before. Looking to the Internet, political gatherings known as "meet-ups" and potluck dinners, the Republican Party is not just about $1,000-a-plate dinners at the Biltmore anymore.
At www.georgewbush.com, the site encourages people to sign up and volunteer for the campaign, urging a personal involvement with ethnic-specific coalitions and groups such as "W is for Women," a consortium of female Bush supporters.
TAKING A STAND
Living near a city dominated by Democrats and liberal-leaning politics, the Skibas are taking a stand for the incumbent president.
"This election is vitally important in determining the direction we want to go," John said, speaking about the country. He said he supports Bush because "he's very confident and he's optimistic."
Jessica feels that she has brought a dynamic to the local grassroots campaign because of her age, which allows her to connect to a younger generation of people. Many of the grassroots Bush campaigners are older, a mix of 50-somethings and retirees.
The Skibas sought out and joined the local Republican Party. The conservative couple met at Brigham Young University, on a blind date, and John refined his conservative views while attending law school in Las Vegas.
"When I went to law school in Vegas, for the first time I had my views challenged," said John, who noted that he came from the mostly conservative state of Utah. "But I stayed involved" in conservative politics.
And he and his wife face the challenge of espousing conservative values in a place where Democrats hold the voting majority and many liberals are not shy about sharing their viewpoints.
"The opposition to the president in this area seems very vocal," John said. " I just try to share my opinions with people in the office and in church on the president. Things are heated, and that just underscores the importance of the issues."
He added, "I don't shy away from that."
The Skibas join dozens of others locally who have stepped into politics for the GOP. They join vocal Flagstaff Republican ralliers such as LaVelle McCoy and Paul Ingram in party efforts.
For the couple, it's a hotly contested election that needs their support.
"Really, I think it's important for both parties to get their bases out to vote," John said. "I read a recent poll that showed 80 percent of voters said there's no way they can be swayed to vote for the other side. It's very divided, and we think it's important to get the people who support the president to vote."
I would never back away from someone giving me democrat literature. I would accept and then throw it in the trash.
BUMP for later
Better yet, tear it up right in front of their face! Saying "GO BUSH!"
My college-aged daughter is a staunch Republican, 100% behind Bush-Cheney - as are many of her friends. The tide is turning. I hope it turns quickly enough.
Oh no. Tell them you are open to listening to what Kerry has to say. Waste their handouts, keep them talking on site or the phone, skew their polls. Use their money wisely and cause confusion:')
String em along and in the end dash their hopes!
"gosh I just cant vote for kerry now after talking to you"
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
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BTW, We reached a milestone, This is the 100th Xer ping. Thank you to everybody on this list for keeping things interesting, Here is to the next 100....
Yes, And really cause confusion by asking them "Without telling me why I shouldn't vote for Bush, Please tell me why I should specifically vote for Kerry"
Time to do the legwork, folks.
Ping. We were just discussing this...
Yes, we were. Thanks!
The nation is, indeed, seeing the graduation of the "Reagan Kids" into adulthood.
Good to see, and I think Flagstaff leans dem too.
I've got a friend who had a democratic activist show up at his house on election day 2002. She wanted to be sure he voted and that he voted for Mondale and the rest of the Democrat slate. Now this guy had already voted (straight Republican), but he figured that if he let her go she'd just be out causing trouble by lining up votes for Democrats. So he started stringing her along. He wanted to know why he should vote as she asked or, for that matter, why he should bother voting at all. He kept her busy for almost two hours before she gave up and moved on.
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