Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Great Day IN Scranton PA

I live near Scranton in a small town just north of the city. Two days ago I was there all day, canvassing and calling and meeting new friends from all over the country.

We canvassed west side, that is where Hillary's father is buried just a few yards from my father in law and his father and mother and my ex-mother in law's parents Honeybee and Pop.

We had all positive responses except for one Naderite and a lot of people not home. In fact one man who was a republican said he was counting on us to get her nominated because he was going to vote for her in November. He said "we need a woman in office".

I talked to a lot of great people on the phone and it was all over a great day.

But yesterday was even better. Join me on the other side and let me tell you how great it was.

Yesterday we knocked on just about 5000 doors just in Scranton. We sent out three shifts of canvassers.

I didn't get there until about 3. I drove to Steamtown Mall and used their underground parking. From there it is a three block walk to get to the old Ritz theater building where the campaign has two store front office spaces. In the front is the main office, phones etc... In the office farther back in the hall is where the walk packets are organized.

Today Obama will be in town and we will be sending some supports there to his event just to let them know this is still Hillary Country.

So I got to the office and immediately the guy at the desk asked me to man the reception desk so that he could pee. I was happy to do so and more or less got stuck there for the rest of the day. That was cool though because that gave him a chance to make calls and another guy to do canvassing. And I got to talk to everyone who came in and ask them how their day went.

It was great, everyone had such a positive experience. Everyone said the people they talked to were friendly and solidly behind Hillary.

There were a few bad experiences with visibility. There are always a few cars of young men who drive by and scream "she's a b*tch" or something similarly brilliant. I always tell people to brush that sort of thing off whether it is in person or on the phone. If you have done a lot of political organizing you know that there are people who will be rude and miserable. But when it is a sexist insult, well imagine if someone yelled out the window at some Obama supporters some sort of racist slur. It's painful when it gets so personal and so bigoted. Still you have to laugh it off and realize that hundreds of people drove past and saw your signs and they honked or they were happy to see you out there.

Politics are hard, I could tell you some stories about working for Rendell that would turn your stomach. You wouldn't believe how many people came in to my office and screamed at me that I was an For people who are new to it, they take some of this very personally. So take a few extra minutes to thank the people who are out there on the streets and making calls.

We had people from New Hampshire about 15 people who are staying through tuesday, MA, CT, NJ, NY, VA, DC, MD, Long Island... Maine. We have 14 people from TX (and several staff members) just in our office alone.

I met a woman from New Paltz NY which is where my sister lives. The woman also grew up in the next school district to where I went to school (decades ago) in upstate NY.. and we both love Opera...weird. = )

Late in the afternoon 4 African American women showed up and they went out canvassing and came back and made calls until almost 9. the cam in from NY. I was dying to ask them why Hillary and not Obama. But that is not the sort of thing you can ask without seeming like you are treating someone as a sociological oddity. But I was very glad to see them there. It broke a little of the sense of division I have been feeling.

There were a LOT of people from NH. I think after their surprise victory they were energized for Hillary in a way other states were not. One woman was telling me how down they all were on primary day in NH and how they went around trying to remain upbeat while door knocking. Then they went to the victory party afterward and while watching CNN they noticed she was up 3 percent. They kept sneaking looks at the TV to see when the numbers would switch. She said they were telling each other, "well some big Obama district will get counted and his numbers will go up". But all night it didn't happen and at the point CNN called NH for Hillary she said lots of people were crying and they were all hugging friends and strangers, so so happy that they had pulled it off.

I remember that night and how the spinners for Obama (calling themselves pundits and pretending to be neutral) were on TV saying that it might have been the "Bradley effect", basically accusing the people of NH of racism and ignoring the fact that so many thousands of new women voters went to the polls and voted for the first time. That was unfair and disrespectful of the people of NH, so many of whom went to the polls and voted for Obama.

So many of the out of town people will be here to celebrate with us on Tuesday if we win. One woman from CT said she was there to pay penance for her state. It will be great for her to be here if Hillary wins. I am excited for her, she was so disappointed when CT went for Obama.

I will go back in the morning and I will make more calls and do more canvassing. On Tuesday Hillary may win PA despite Obama's massive commercial buy and negative adds. She doesn't have to win big after being outspent 3 to 1 over the last month and the constant bombardment by the ridiculous and sexist press, accusing her of attacks and pretending Obama is above it all when clearly he is not. No she just has to win and she may very well. I am hoping for about 8 points.

OH, and I did not run in to NewHampster. I am starting to think he is a myth. I am going to start making up Paul Bunyan type tales about him if I don't meet him today.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A few days to go

It's primary time in PA. This is the first time in a long time that our vote has counted and I plan to make good use of tuesday. I will be voting for Hillary as will most people in PA. The out of state folks have shown up and things are cooking.
I talked to a woman at the Scranton office. She is here from TX and she told me she was spit at by some of the Obama folks. I think they most be from out of state too because I can not believe that the good people of PA, even Obamakidz are spitting on Clinton supporters.

Here is a video of Obama giving Clinton the finger. Nice, and he wants to be president?

Welcome to PA, NewHampster, Ulsterdem and friends. Let's get a drink later.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dear Senator Obama:

There are many reasons I am not voting for you. None of them is included in the patronizing elitist snob list that you have to your friends in San Francisco.

First of all I think Hillary Clinton is smarter, nicer, harder working, more experienced, more charactered and all around a much better candidate with better policy positions.

Secondly, damn right I am voting for her because she is a woman. She is an extraordinary woman and she also happens to be one of the best candidates we have had in a long long time. We need her in office because she is the person best capable of fixing the bush mess. One day you may be as smart and hardworking as Hillary, but you aren't yet.

Thirdly, you have accused people of racism way too many times. The Clinton's are not racists and neither are the people in PA who you think give a damn about the color of your skin. Stop demeaning people, everyone who doesn't love you is a low rent rube and bigot.

I hear your dog-whistle sexism loud and clear. Why Annie Oakley? And of course there is the blatant sexism such as calling all of Senator Clinton's experience overseas "tea with foreign dignitaries". You could never demean her that way if she were a man, you would not get away with it.

You are mean spirited. Why is your instinct always to make fun of and insult your political opponents? Why do you spend so much time in your appearances mocking Clinton and/or McCain? It's ugly. Criticize them on policy but stop mocking them and their supporters.

And then you are always selling yourself as some sort of savior. There is a reason people are referring to you as Obamamessiah these days. Your wife has said our souls are broken and we need you to fix us. But I do not want to vote for a Preacher in Chief.

BTW, the democratic party didn't have a problem with religion before you came along, we were not "hermetically sealed off from the faith community", as you stated, and we will not have an issue long after you have gone. We just happen to think that religion is a private matter, one which our elected leaders should respect and leave along. Sadly you do neither. I think you have a lot of nerve being condescending about other people's beliefs. You have a plank to take out of your eye first Senator.