The two women, who seemed a little taken aback, promised to think about it and politely suggested that the visitors have a look around the store. The field operatives didn’t need much encouragement. Mr. Patricof bought cookies and pumpkin butter. Ms. Nemazee bought coffee. Ms. Duke bought soaps, and Mr. Nemazee, seeing that Ms. Gilman had her eye on a canvas bag, took out a wad of cash and said, “You like the bag? Get the bag.”
After some polite protest, she got the bag.
The bundlers drove back to the Clinton storefront for phone bank duties. Sitting down one next to the other under a crate paper sign that read “Hillary’s All Stars,” they accepted call lists and bottles of water from Ms. Gilman.
“I feel like I’m in kindergarten,” said Ms. Nemazee sportingly.
“I need more names than these,” barked Mr. Patricof. “I’ll get through these in minutes.”
Mr. Nemazee seemed to be the most natural cold-caller. He managed to engage several voters, even those not necessarily supporting Mrs. Clinton, in conversations that played on his personal relationships with the candidates and sometimes ended with him announcing, to no one in particular, “Leaning Clinton.”
Mr. Patricof, leaning back with his legs folded in the chair, cupped the phone’s receiver and called, “Hollie. Hollie. Where’s the list of locations?”
Ms. Patricof commiserated with one of the campaign’s young volunteers about her outing on Ridgewood Street. “It was mixed—there was a lot of Edwards,” she said. She didn’t seem to have much luck on the phones either. “Everybody hangs up on me,” she said.
Ms. Duke, sitting next to a wicker basket full of granola bars and fruit, kept saying she was “calling from Hillary headquarters” but seemed to be leaving a lot of messages.
After about 20 minutes of calls, Ms. Gilman bounded out of her office papered with maps of Iowa and informed the guests that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would be in nearby Marshalltown that night to give a speech. Would they like to go?
“She’s a close friend of mine,” said Ms. Duke. “I’d be glad to go.”
As Mr. Nemazee looked for the cell phone number of former Iowa governor and Clinton backer Tom Vilsack to let him know they were coming to Marshalltown. Mr. Patricof looked for coffee.
Ms. Gilman bopped over to the kitchen and poured some Folgers Crystals into the coffee machine. When asked what she thought of her special group of volunteers, she started saying, “Their actual care and dedication has been amazing to me,” but her answer was interrupted by Mr. Patricof calling, “Hollie, Hollie, Hollie. What’s the number here? She wants a ride.”
After providing the woman on the phone the correct number to call for a ride to the caucus, Mr. Patricof walked proudly over to the kitchen and declared “I got one. Converted. We’re picking her up. Well, not me.”
Then, looking at the first drips of coffee dropping into the coffee pot, he turned back towards Ms. Gilman’s office and said, “I thought you said you already had the coffee.”