Name: Jeff Blodgett
Job title: Minnesota State Director
Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Based in: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Q1. What does a day at work look like to you?
I try hard to make every day count toward the goal of putting President Obama over the top in Minnesota. I start my day reading through all the reports from our organizers and leaders in the field. Those reports are full of information about what is happening on the ground and what we need to be doing to support the staff and this organization. I then read the news clips of the day. That prepares me for the senior staff meeting we hold every morning at 9:00 a.m. to review the day. And then the fun starts—because each day is different. I’ll have conversations with staff about field organizing, reaching out to diverse groups of voters, and media and communications. I try to have at least one meeting a day with an elected official or a prominent campaign supporter. I’m usually connecting with campaign headquarters in Chicago on one thing or another. I spend time every day promoting the campaign on Twitter (@OFA_MN) and Facebook (Facebook.com/ofa.mn). I also try (not always successfully) to get away to have a quick lunch or dinner at home with my family.
Q2. How did you first come to the campaign?
I’ve done a lot of grassroots campaigns in my career, including all of Paul Wellstone’s U.S. Senate races. I love the idea of combining community organizing with electoral politics. It is both the right way to do politics and to win your election. In 2008, when Barack Obama put together the largest grassroots campaign in U.S. history, I really wanted to be a part of it—and I became Minnesota’s state director in the general election. This time around, there is nowhere else I want to be other than doing my part again to see that the President has four more years to continue moving our country forward.
Q3. What's your favorite part of your job?
No question: It is working with all the young people involved in our campaign. We have a huge youth vote effort in Minnesota that includes tons of college and high school students. I get totally pumped up by the energy and enthusiasm of our young activists. It is so great to see so many young people getting involved in public life and taking control of their future.
Q4. What's the most unexpected part of your job?
After the incredible experience of the 2008 election, I was expecting some drop-off in enthusiasm and in the number of volunteers. I’ve been surprised to find almost the opposite. People are more committed and active than ever—probably because the stakes in this election are higher than they’ve ever been.
Q5. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
Although most of my staff give me strange looks when I tell them this, I am a cross-country skiing fanatic. There is no better lifelong sport to keep you in shape than Nordic skiing, and when you live in Minnesota, you have no choice but to get out and embrace winter. I offer free lessons to anyone who’s interested.