October
19th 2008
Swing state election news and notes

Posted under: American history, local news

UPDATED BELOW

Well, I have some good news and some, well, annoying news to report:

  • Signs of the times update:  The yard sign battle in my neighborhood, which was once so lopsided, is now being won decisively by Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates.  The week after I wrote my original post, all sorts of Dem yard signs blossomed.  So, it looks like the Republican signs were just out there earlier–they haven’t increased in numbers, and the Dem signs have overtaken them.  (Of course, this was true in 2004 too–my neighborhood is where you’d expect to find the Dem signs–but one can live in “hope,” can’t one?
  • The stalkerish Obama campaign:  I was at a little get-together this weekend with friends.  One of my friends, “Jenny,” a big Obama booster, volunteer, and donor from the beginning (she’s got a yard sign and two window signs, m’kay?), complained about the stalkerish phone calls she’s been getting from the Obama campaign.  I was very surprised to hear of her irritation–as I said, she’s been a huge supporter of the campaign.  After repeatedly informing the caller that she can’t give any more money (she’s been unemployed for more than a year), saying that she is of course voting for him, and asking them to take her off their call list, she keeps getting calls.  Jenny informed one of the callers at one point last week that this is the kind of thing that really irritates people, and that if she, a committed Obama supporter is irritated by the obsessive phone calling, that she’s pretty certain this will turn off voters who are on the fence.  She reported that the last call she got from the campaign–after several others she had after having asked to be taken off the call list–she just screamed “NO, NO, and NO!” and slammed the phone down.  The other adults at the table nodded in sympathy.  I’ve seen a little of this too.  (Is this among the joys of living in a swing state?)  Ever since the other adult in my household requested a mail-in ballot, the Obama campaign has been calling our house to nag hir about it.  Hey, Obama campaign:  you’ve already got the votes of the people you’re nagging, like a creepy ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who just won’t let up.  Do they need to write it in their own blood on $100 dollar bills?  Lay off, already, at least on reliable Dem voters who have never missed voting Democratic in any election.  You raised $150 million last month, and you’re ahead in the polls–knock off the Glengarry Glen Ross act with people who are already on your side.
  • Joe (the Senator, not the plumber) is coming to Potterville:  In fact, this afternoon’s call from the Obama campaign was to wonder if the other adult in my household would like to go see Joe Biden, who is apparently coming to Potterville on Tuesday.  We’re pretty jaded around here–we got a visit from a sitting president four years ago.  I wasn’t terribly excited about it, but the military helicopter flyover was pretty cool.  Tuesday Monday will be a big day here in Potterville, since that night we’re also hosting one of the debates between our candidates for the U.S. Senate, Bob Schaffer (R) and Mark Udall (D). 

UPDATE 10/20/08:  Unbelieveable!  Obama is seven points up in Colorado in the latest polls, and the Obama campaign just called to ask me for $100 tonight.  Sorry–when I have $150 million, check back with me then.  I’m giving to Betsy Markey, our local congressional candidate.  Remeber kids, if you’re thinking of donating to a political candidate:  no good deed goes unpunished!

7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Swing state election news and notes”

  1. Indyanna on 19 Oct 2008 at 9:27 pm #

    This is one of the great things about being “off the grid,” phone-wise. No land line, or at least an obscure one only to get DSL with, and an apparently very discrete cell. I finally deleted that great call from last April inviting me to party with Famille Clinton at the Palestra right before the Pa. primary, and I haven’t heard from the Obamans. I do get the occasional request–the latest was from Chelsea herself–to help “retire the debt,” and feel somewhat glum that this can’t rise to the top of my very finite giving profile at this time of the year. I just opened my TIAA-Cref envelope and was gratified that they didn’t want me to send THEM some money at this point!

    I heard that Joe-the-Senator might not have a license, so I hope he isn’t at the controls of that chopper when it whistles in over the treetops at the Con-Agra Plant!

    Nice posting this weekend, Historiann. I got caught behind two busloads sojourning of foreign students at my convention MO-tel, and never got back to the ‘net!

  2. Indyanna on 19 Oct 2008 at 9:29 pm #

    p.s. This “swing-state” is reputedly getting Bluer by the minute, so maybe they’ve just taken down the whole contact operation: media, phone, the whole bit. I wouldn’t know.

  3. ortho stice on 20 Oct 2008 at 6:40 am #

    Historiann, Jenny’s complaints, remind me of “Slate’s presidential election soundboards”: http://www.slate.com/id/2202493/

  4. Historiann on 20 Oct 2008 at 9:14 am #

    Ortho, that’s a nice thought, but I don’t think that’s what’s going on. I think she needs to send the Obama campaign a “Cease and Desist” notice!

  5. Mother of ALL on 21 Oct 2008 at 7:18 am #

    Out here in the near Midwest, the same phone tactics seem to be happening. I personally made some calls on behalf of Obama and then was asked to make calls on an updated list. These were all people who were leaning one way or the other or undecided. I called very few of these people as I felt it was overkill. I told my contact person how I felt and she marginally agreed with me. I know I don’t like to be constantly asked the same question and have had too many calls from survey takers all season. I finally told one of them after 20 minutes of questions that if they didn’t know who I was for by then, they needed a new survey!

  6. Historiann on 21 Oct 2008 at 9:18 am #

    HA! Thanks for the news and notes from the midwest, Mother of ALL. As I suggested, “Glengarry Glen Ross” tactics are things I’d like to see deployed on congressional Republicans next year by the Obama white house, not against Democrats who are on his side already.

  7. Indyanna on 21 Oct 2008 at 11:26 am #

    A colleague’s mom lives in Reno and she went yesterday to a big noisy rally at Truckee Meadows Community College north of that town featuring Bill Clinton. So I guess the team continues to unify. It’s interesting to think that NV, CO, and NM are emerging as potentially blue mountain states, while AZ, UT, WY, and MT seem to be beyond reach (for obvious reasons in some cases). It would be interesting to some of us flatlanders and molehill dwellers to learn about what the big picture is.

    Things are pretty quiet here in Pennsyltucky. It was thought to be a battleground, but I guess is now going the way of New Jersey or something like that.

    On the ratcheting up of fealty and operational demands from the mother campaign, that seems to be the way most nonprofit models functioin, doesn’t it? I mean, you send some entity some money, and then hear from them for the next several millenia. It’s awkward, but I guess that’s the only way they can figure out how to operate.

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