Actor Tate Donovan's joined us in Iowa for the Gotta Vote bus tour. He's been campaigning for the president since 2007, a labor of love that once took him to Greenville, South Carolina, where he met a legendary figure in the Obama campaign.
He tells the story:
I was lucky enough to go with the Obama campaign to Greenville, South Carolina, where I met a woman by the name of Edith Childs.
Barack Obama was early on in the campaign, and he was behind in the polls, the plane was super late, he hadn't seen his kids in eight days, he was getting a cold.
So he gets up at 5, it's raining, his cold has gotten worse. He gets into a cramped van, opens up the New York Times, and on the cover is an article about him, how he's behind in the polls, not raising enough money. It was a lonely van ride, quiet.
He gets to this place and there's like 15 people there. He starts giving his spiel, and this woman, very quietly says, "fired up." And he's like, "All right." Someone says, "Fired up." And then she goes, "Ready to go."
"Fired up, fired up, ready to go, ready to go! "Fired up, fired up, ready to go, ready to go."
And he starts getting into it. He forgets his speech, he's like, "Fired up!" The whole place gets on their feet, he's high-fiving people, he's hugging Edith. He totally turned his whole mindset around, and they were just ready to go—and we left Greenville thrilled.
And President Obama says something which is so perfect: One person can change a room. One room can change a town. One town can change a state. And a state can change the country. And of course, the country can change the world, especially if you're the United States of America.
You often feel that it doesn't matter what you do, maybe you're not going to phone bank because you're kinda tired. But you know what? We gotta do it. The time is now. And you know, you're gonna feel so good.
Sometimes I'll watch Fox News, and I'll get so depressed. Here's how I cure it: I just go and phone bank for an hour. It's the best feeling in the world. I'm guaranteed to have some spectacular interaction with someone.
So I want to thank you for all the work you're doing and just tell you: just give a little more.