To most passers-by, the tens of thousands of people who jammed the sidewalks of Greenwich Village on Sunday were just the typical tank-top-clad revelers of a gay pride weekend.
But to Aaron Levine, a 19-year-old, clipboard-toting volunteer sent there by the Obama campaign, everyone was a potential get. A group of twenty-somethings huddled in the shade under a Starbucks awning trying to stay cool: “They’re perfect,” he said. The long line outside the Duplex, a nightclub with views of the parade route: “They have nothing else to do now but sign up. It’s great.”
Mr. Levine was one of hundreds of Obama field staff members and volunteers who fanned out at a dozen gay pride celebrations across the country over the weekend with a meticulous set of marching orders from the Chicago campaign headquarters: Get names, cellphone numbers, and e-mail and home addresses. But most important, get commitments to volunteer.