Claire Kim served as a SNAP Organizing Fellow on Ann McLane Kuster’s grassroots-powered campaign for New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District in 2010. Claire was an important member of the team that allowed a lifelong Democratic activist to beat out a Washington-backed conservative Democrat in the primary and came within 2% of upsetting former Congressman Charlie Bass despite Republicans having a banner year. During her time in the field, Claire has this update to share with SNAP:
Since joining Annie’s campaign, I have experienced the best kind of stress. Yes, this is somewhat of an oxymoron, but in any case, it is a true statement. There exists a rather unique, infinitely motivating and energizing source of stress that powers the ten of us field staffers on the campaign – for me, it is the fuel that wakes me up in the morning and makes me think over and over again during the day that I need to be utilizing every single second of every day to help Annie get elected. It causes me to feel a jittery sensation in my stomach at all times, a constant reminder that for once in my life, I am so rooted in a bigger reality than I could ever imagine. I am an organizer on a campaign that is relying on its field strategy to win an extraordinarily tight race in which field truly can make a difference.
It is the best feeling I have ever felt … to feel a sense of purpose in my daily activities, to feel like I have a significant role in the campaign, and above all, to truly understand and believe that every volunteer I am able to connect with can make a difference by reaching out to the individual voters who will carry our campaign past the primary.
Regardless of my frequent heart palpitations and moments of uncertainty and fear, these are a few of the many things that keep me going. The camaraderie between the field staff. The numeric goals I know I have to hit. The occasional (and always surprising) welcoming and engaging voter on the other end of a persuasion call. But most of all, it is the vision that we all share on this campaign: that electing this extremely competent, passionate, and relatable woman is a step to spurring tangible change in Washington.
This vision holds our campaign team together. It inspires us to work together, day in day out, despite our own frustrations and individual roles – it is the best kind of teamwork I have ever witnessed. Forget the cheesiness of using sports metaphors to define the dynamics of political work; I can confirm that the clichéd parallel exists for a reason.