Student travels on Obama campaign


    The political trail is often a long and exhausting road that leads to victory or defeat. Supporters of a particular candidate or cause invest time to assist their favorite campaigns in any way possible. Some do this from the comfort of their own homes, while others experience the campaign trail hands-on. Last semester, a K-State student traveled the East Coast with Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
    Molly McGuire, sophomore in political science and speech, returned to K-State this month to continue college after taking a semester off to work on the campaign trail. McGuire spent five months in North Carolina during the general election season.
    “It was difficult being away,” she said. “I invested a lot of time with the primary season here in Manhattan and leaving meant I had to miss out on the general election activities.”
    This is not McGuire’s first experience with the political circuit.  McGuire said her involvement with the Kansas Democratic Party allowed her to work alongside field organizers in the state, who later invited her to North Carolina.
    “I got a call in July to go and I immediately said yes,” McGuire said. “Obama is the best choice for our country, so this was a prime time to get involved.”
    McGuire did whatever was needed during the general election to help lead Obama’s campaign to victory.
    “Our main focus was to get people out to the polls as much as possible to vote,” McGuire said. “This often involved canvassing and making phone calls.”
    Though McGuire is accustomed to working in a political atmosphere, she encountered a few bumps along the way. McGuire had to switch from an urban political setting to more rural surroundings.
    “Working in a rural environment made me more aware of how people perceive you and how to understand different points of view,” she said.
    McGuire’s diligent efforts and transitions paid off at the end of her travels.
    “Winning North Carolina was a long-shot, but we were ecstatic that the state went blue,” she said.
    Now that she is back on campus, McGuire continues to pursue a career in politics. She said she would like to continue to work on campaigns and possibly policy-making in the future.
    “If Obama runs again after his first term, I hope to work on his re-election campaign,” McGuire said. “But I am up for whatever opportunities might present themselves.”