Young or old, volunteers work hard after throwing their support behind candidates

NASHUA – To Linda Twom-bly, it isn’t Sen. McCain of Arizona, the Republican Party’s candidate for president. For her, it’s just John.

“I feel like I know him,” said the 65-year-old Nashua resident and grandmother of three. “I believe in John’s principals. I believe in his straight talk.”

Twombly has spent more than 1,000 hours calling potential voters from the McCain’s Nashua Victory Office on Daniel Webster Highway. Since July, when the office opened, she has spent an average of 12-hours a day, every day, surrounded by McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin posters and pictures she has taken of each of them, calling potential voters to learn who they support.

In fact, Twombly has made the most calls on behalf of McCain and Palin than anyone in the state, according to Dave MacLaughlin, a city alderman and co-chairman of the Nashua City Steering Committee for McCain.

She has won two competitions among New Hampshire volunteers to meet the candidates. She made 890 calls in a two-day period to earn the right to meet McCain in September and 1,352 calls in a three-day period to meet Palin last month.

Twombly has taken dozens of pictures during the campaign, including the handful of times she has met McCain and her one meeting with Palin. She has already finished one large scrapbook and has enough material for a second once the campaign is over.

It’s obvious Twombly cares deeply about the work she’s doing and how important it is to her that McCain wins the presidency. She said she’s “very passionate” about the campaign and volunteering in general.

Twombly said she has volunteered for many organizations, including her church and the YMCA of Greater Nashua.

Her work at the McCain call center is important, she said, “because I’m giving back to society something that was probably given to me at some point.

“If it makes a difference, my hours to get out the word and get out the vote, for me, it’s a 100 percent gain.”

The calls Twombly makes every day aren’t the ones that have raised the ire of many Democrats by claiming Illinois Sen. Barack Obama maintains close ties with former Weather Underground leader William Ayers.

Instead, she calls potential voters – Republican, Democrat or otherwise – to see for whom they’re planning to vote. She said the important thing is that they make their way to the polls.

“We need to get them to understand why it’s important for them to vote,” Twombly said.

For all that she agrees with McCain’s plans for the country, Twombly said she’s unsure and even scared of Obama’s plan. While the media were grilling McCain over his health records and sending teams of reporters to talk with Palin’s friends, enemies and peers in Alaska, they were ignoring Obama’s health records and not looking into exactly where he was born.

“John’s been straightforward,” Twombly said. “There’s a lot of unknowns in Obama’s campaign that I feel should be known and he’s been given a pass on.”

Twombly said she’s particularly concerned about Obama’s plan to tax dividends, capital gains and inheritances.

“That could be a big hit on our retirement,” she said. “That’s why it scares me.”

Obama’s charisma and oratorical skills have pulled the wool over millions of eyes, Twombly said.

“I think people have just been overwhelmed by him,” she said. “I think that has caught everyone in that spell. They’re not seeing the whole picture because he’s not telling the truth all the time.”