One time I Baracked the Caucus


This is my favorite story to tell. And I decided to share it tonight because tonight, for the first time since moving back to my hometown in the conservative northwest corner of Iowa, I was brave enough to wear a Barack Obama shirt to the gym. This is huge. I try not to mix politics in with my job. I try to keep my politics to myself. I’ll share if people genuinely care but I don’t want to ruin relationships with people over voting decisions. Tonight, I needed inspiration to work on my volleyball serve and since I couldn’t find my Tebow jersey, my Obama shirt was the next best thing.

I got sucked in to the Obama campaign last time around. Curiosity made me go hear this little known politician when he stopped in Madison County at a park by a quaint covered bridge. I showed up cynical and eager to hear this man’s vision. Maybe 50-75 people were there. I won a door prize ($10 to the coffee house? Yes please!) I drew a llama on the gift certificate that said “Me llamo Obama” and he signed it. Bet he never agrees to that again.

Obama spoke to a crowd in the cafetorium of Winterset High School. I was on the stage behind him.

After hearing him speak, I wanted to help. I wanted to help in a quiet, backstage role. I wasn’t comfortable evangelizing people over the phone with the Obama gospel. I addressed postcards, I made coffee runs, I helped stuff envelopes and I worked the event when he came to speak again in Winterset.

The only person I tried to convince to caucus for Obama was my brother. I’m still not sure whether or not he was joking when he said he was going to caucus for Clinton. I asked him what it would take to caucus for Obama instead and he humorously replied, “Only Superman could talk me into caucusing for Obama.”

It was close to caucus time at this point and in an attempt to make the Madison County Obama campaign staffer laugh, I told her what he had said. She laughed and then paused. (Wait for this… it’s the best part…)


“We have Brandon making calls today. What’s your brother’s number?”

BRANDON! As in played Superman in the movies Brandon. Brandon Routh. Brandon.

His grandma lived next door to our church. True story.

And I gave her Nathan’s number and Superman called my brother and left the world’s most epic voicemail which my idiot brother accidentally deleted after listening to it once. If we still had the voicemail, I would send it to Ira Glass. I’m sure it would fit some theme for This American Life.

When Obama came back to Des Moines there were tons more people. I wondered if Superman had called all of them.

I don’t know much about campaigning. I don’t usually take part. But I will say that the Obama campaign had to capitalize on moments like that. The attention to detail and to genuinely getting to know people  still strikes me as a fantastic model for reaching out to a community. I wish churches functioned more like the Obama campaign of 4 years ago.

There. I talked politics and religion in the same blog. Obviously I have no limits.

About SaraBSutter

I serve as the pastor of United Presbyterian Church in Goldfield, Iowa. My husband Steve and I are excited to be in a friendly small town and look forward to the years ahead. In addition to nerdy church stuff, I love reading books, writing, good coffee, cats, and football.

2 responses »

  1. Politics are far more treacherous up here, Kim. Sometimes I miss the balanced politics of Des Moines. Totally bug Nathan about erasing that voicemail. I’m still annoyed that I never got to hear it.

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