Everywhere I go, I'm running into Washington state delegates. Gus is wearing a t-shirt and carrying a poster professing his love for President Obama, and he's telling everyone who'll listen why they should vote for Obama this fall. As the Occupy Wall Street parade went by, Gus talked with everyone—other delegates, looky-loos, people who were leaning Obama but unsure how or even if they should vote this November—and told them why he is so passionate.
Gus tailored his argument for each person he talked to. The swing voter was impressed to hear about how different Obama and Romney's immigration policies are. A local wanted to talk about economic policy. When I tell Gus that he's the most passionate delegate I've seen this summer, he shrugs. "It's my job," he says. "It's what I'm here to do." Gus plans on working as a volunteer for Obama in Ohio this fall, just like he did last year. Or he might go to Florida, if he thinks he's needed there, but he's pretty sure Ohio will be the most important state. ("If we don't win Ohio, we're not gonna win the election," he says. You can tell it pains him to say that.)
But mostly, he's just an incredibly friendly guy. He gives his cell phone number to anyone, promising them posters and buttons and information. He tells a local who's coming to the Seattle area this winter to look him up if he wants somebody to hang out with. What does he think of the protests? "I think most of these people don't realize Obama's on their side." He looks anxious, like he wants to talk with every single one of them.