"The Talk"

The usual e-mail from political campaigns are all similar - some pseudo-personalized message from someone associated with the campaign, e.g. Biden or Gore - ending with a plea for a donation, in an amount that seems related to the size of your previous contribution. Or a call to join a phone bank or swing state canvas trip.

The latest e-mail from the Obama campaign takes a different approach. It appeals for supporters to convert family members.

If your family isn't already supporting Barack, it's time for you to have "The Talk."

With so many rumors and misperceptions out there, it's incredibly important that you sit down with parents or other family members. Tell them who Barack is, what he stands for, and why you're supporting him.

You may be the only person who can convince them.

But it can be difficult to bring up the subject, so here are a few tips:

  • Send an email. You can scroll down for some talking points, but feel free to add your personal touch.

  • Breaking the ice can be hard. Start by asking if they saw the debate on Tuesday and what they thought about it.

  • Have some information handy. We have one-page summaries of Barack's positions on various issues. Look for the issues you know are important to your family.

  • Share Barack's speech from the Democratic National Convention or Meet Barack, a video about who Barack Obama is, where he comes from, and what his values are.

For more resources, and to share your story about talking to family members, go to:


Earlier this year, as one national leader after another announced support for Barack, there was a common refrain -- they said their kids persuaded them that Barack was the right candidate to bring about real change.

Family members talking to one another about Barack is one of the ways this movement has grown so large. Even if your parents are already convinced, talk to your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Once it was parents who had to have the embarrassing "Talk" with their kids about the birds and the bees. Now the tables have turned, and it's the children who have to sit their parents down to broach politics.

Will it work? I suppose I'll find out Oct 17-19, when I head out to Las Vegas to canvas for Obama. Will those from my parents' generation want to hear from people of mine, or will it seem presumptuous? Why do I suspect I'll feel like I'm introducing a girlfriend to strict parents?