The New Hampshire Primary is the synthesis of the volunteers in the headquarters of the campaign and the voters themselves. Through all of our travels, it was the people we met that made the experience unique. After a few days of being an intern on the campaign trail, another volunteer joined our ranks. Unlike the other college kids who choose the political process over class for a semester, he was a "real adult" with a job and family. I'll call him Jay and as it turns out, he is a self-employed management consultant who just finished a job and decided that the Marco Rubio campaign needed his support. I was surprised that someone could take time off for a month to help with the political system but happy that this was a priority in his life. Jay lives in Chicago proper with a spouse and kid in college and was renting out a place for the month of New Hampshire. The field organizers, our bosses, were appreciative for him to come and give his time, but I don't think they realized this wasn't to add to his resume or to land a higher job up the campaign which are some of the students ulterior motives, but just to help the best candidate win. He not only did his work, but used his expertise in organizing information systems to implement a more efficient system in recording call data. Jay is someone who I didn't expect at headquarters; someone who put down everything in his life, took a month away from his family for the name of politics. He cares about the result of the election and took time out of his busy schedule to make sure that happened.
While waiting at a townhall for Governor Chris Christie, we met a couple who was originally from Massachusetts and the United Kingdom but moved to New Hampshire for their work. They spoke highly of the New Hampshire nominating process as something they looked forward too each year being able to attend these personal events and hear from every candidate. I noted that they are retired and this event was at 9AM which makes attending these events more difficult for the working voter. The gentleman was involved in the Republican party of New Hampshire and complemented the party for their dedication to conservative views over time. He and his wife weren't worried about the prospect of Donald Trump hi-jacking the election as he believed that the town hall style of New Hampshire was going to take away the wind from the gusty and lofty sails of such a candidate who wasn't in line with many party views. The seemed enthused to be at the event, the first of the year for them, and couldn't wait to explore the other festivities.
--William Seabrook is a Senior Political Science and Economics major with Finance emphasis at St. Olaf College. He looks to work in politics upon graduation and is excited to see the details and logistics of the event planning as he has a first hand look while in New Hampshire.