By Carem Bennett, New Hampshire State Co-Chair
Recently, our New Hampshire State Co-Chairs, Carem Bennett and Glenn Cordelli, spent the day staffing Senator Santorum when he spoke at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference. Here's Carem's account of that day!
48 hours before:
- Call with Shelley Ahlersmeyer (National Grassroots Director) to go over details of the event.
- Send email messages to NH PV co-chair Glenn Cordelli, and Deputy Grassroots Director Jenifer Lee (who lives in nearby Connecticut).
- Calls to PV volunteers to help staff conference booth.
- Despite snow storm, made quick trip to Staples to pick up PV business cards for myself and Glenn.
- Picked up snacks and drinks for the car trips between airport and conference location.
- Returned email messages from Glenn and Jenifer. Charity Kewish, our PV Chair from Maine, is also coming to the conference. Thankful to have so much help for the booth!
Day of Event:
4:50 AM – Alarm goes off, time to get up and prepare to be away for the day, school drop off, etc.
7:50 AM – Met Glenn - my family sees me off. The kids and the dog all sulk because they don’t get to come with me today.
8:00 AM – We drive over to the conference, check in on the Patriot Voices booth. Everything is set and ready to go! Picked up speaker’s credentials for the Senator and the PV staff. Mike Biundo, the 2012 campaign manager, is there and asks me to call him and let him know when we will be arriving with the Senator, so he can meet us.
9:00 AM – On the way to the airport to pick up Senator Santorum, Glenn and have a great conversation about politics and current issues. Upon arrival, Glenn pulls up to the curb at the terminal and I head in to meet the Senator.
10:10 AM – The Senator arrives and we start our drive to Nashua, New Hampshire where the conference will be held. In route, the Senator does a radio interview for EchoLight. I call Mike to let him know our ETA.
11:00 AM – We arrive and escort Senator to holding room. Mike is waiting for us at the door. I take pictures for Twitter.
11:30 AM – The Senator does interviews with local radio and press. I take more pictures for Twitter and Facebook. Glenn heads to the booth for a bit.
Noon – We escort Senator to conference lunch event. Senator Kelly Ayotte gives a speech, as does NH GOP Chair Jennifer Horn.
1:00 PM – The Senator goes back to holding room to prepare for his speech. I check messages, update Twitter. Jenifer heads over to set up for the supporter meet and greet.
1:40 PM – The Senator delivers his speech. I try to keep up on Twitter with quotes and pictures. I have never seen my Twitter account so active with retweets! BTW my handle: @carem_bennett
2:00 PM – After the speech, the Senator does a local television interview with WMUR and New England Cable News. I wonder how he has the strength to answer round after round of questions, most of them having something to do with 2016.
2:15 PM – A quick stop at the Patriot Voices booth where Senator Santorum shakes hands, greets staff and conf attendees. More photos! Our volunteer staff is thrilled to see him!
2:30 PM – We head to the supporter meet and greet. When we arrive, Mike asks me to introduce the Senator. Yikes – what should I say?
2:45 PM – Mike introduces me. I know the crowd would rather be hearing from the Senator instead of me, so I try to keep it short. I talk about why I became involved with Patriot Voices and the negative impact that Obamacare has had on me and my family because of my rare calcium disorder. I tell them that I’m not giving up – that I’ve decided there is something I can do. I may be one voice, but I am not alone. I joined PV to fight against these changes. I started in my small town. I started in my great state of NH. And I started with supporting a strong, authentic conservative voice – Senator Rick Santorum. I hope the introduction went over well.
2:50 PM – The Senator speaks with supporters, does Q & A and takes lots of photos. I notice that the battery on my phone is dying from all of the Twitter updates. I make a mental note to carry a phone charger for days like this.
3:15 PM – Another press interview for the Senator.
3:30 PM – We head back to the airport and the Senator makes more calls. He’s always working! He asks me about the calcium disorder I talked about in my introduction. I guess my introduction was okay after all!
4:00 PM – The Senator has a private meeting scheduled at the airport – I call to confirm his arrival.
4:45 PM – We arrive at the Boston airport and the Senator thanks Glenn for having such a comfortable and clean car! Handshakes all around! Glenn calls his wife to thank her for thinking of having the car detailed yesterday.
5:00 PM – We head back to conference in rush hour traffic. Glenn and I help Charity close up the PV booth for the day.
7:30 PM – My husband picks me up from conference site on the way back from karate classes for my daughters. I immediately plug my phone in and start Tweeting. My daughters are asking me about all the news trucks at the event, and what the Senator was like in person!
8:30 PM – Home again. My husband puts the kids to bed while I check my email messages.
10:00 PM – Finally, sleep time! It was a richly satisfying day. I feel like I made a difference today in my fight for patients like myself with rare diseases. I feel like I made a stand today against ObamaCare, in my small way. So thankful to have had the opportunity to spend a day with Senator Santorum and get a glimpse at what his work is like!