Campaign notes from Pennsylvania (2)…

More from our Ulsterman with the Dems in Pennsylvania…

Just tidying up a few loose ends before trying to get a few hours sleep, we are sleeping in the office again this evening which is an illustration of the work hours that are being put into this.

Tomorrow we have to go through our GOTV ‘universe’ twice! we will have phone banks running but the bulk of our volunteers will be sent out to knock doors and get people out to the polls, then working the line at polls, then after our poll closes – phoning western states.

This campaign way surpasses anything the democrats have ever organised before and I think has surpassed any Republicans GOTV campaign, but time will tell.

Today I was in two extreme areas, one a project with almost exclusively African American residents – an area of extreme disadvantage and then a more middle class (by our definition) predominantly white neighbourhood, in both the attitude towards Obama was hugely positve, not only were they positve to the volunteers but they were displaying not only campaign produced literature but home made stuff too.

On a similar note it has been impossible to keep Obama ‘chump’ (badges, pens, stickers etc) as everyone wants a piece. It reminds me of the line Barack used at the Al Smith dinner “contrary to popular belief – I was not born in a manger.”

I am so looking forward to a proper sleep, seems like an age since I was not exhausted, but I am excited about tomorrow though, everyone is pretty hyped and ready to get it done.

  • Alan

    Well done Dixville Notch !

  • Harry Flashman

    I very confidently predicted in April 1997 that no matter what the polls said and how much the media wet their knickers it was absurd to believe that that clear phoney Tony Blair could ever win the upcoming UK general election.

    The day before the vote I conceded he might just pull it off but it would be a close run thing and not the massive landslide everyone else was predicting. After the election I assured everyone who was still listening, well fair enough he fooled enough people but he’d never get re-elected.

    Just for the record I predicted a few months ago that Obama would never win the election, I’m now predicting he might just do it but it will be very close.

    Obama fans can take a line through my past form.

    But just for the record even if he does win he’ll never get a second term.

    Hello? Hello? Is anyone listening anymore?

  • Harry

    While you’e on a role would you mind predicting that Ireland wont qualify for the world cup in 2012.

    Cheers

  • Harry Flashman

    I’ll do even better than that Ted, they’ll never reach the semi-finals. Anyone else?

  • I called Labour in romp months before the 1997 election and annoyed socialists for months by putting the smack down on their “it will be very close/the Tories could pull it off again” crap. Although even I only thought a majority of just over 100 was on the cards…

    I’ve also basically been calling Obama in a romp since his brilliant post-Jeremiah Wright speech in March; it was what showed him to be The Zen Master, completely unflappable under pressure, which contrasting with McCain’s temper and this year’s structural advantage for Democrats, was going to make him unbeatable.

    So, either Harry or I will end up looking like a complete dick tomorrow morning.

  • 6countyprod

    If Obama wins, it will just be the Carteresque intro for the Palin Era.

    The Obama Bubble will crash and burn a lot sooner than most people think, and you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

  • Dewi

    “Hello? Hello? Is anyone listening anymore?”

    I’ll have my tenner in exotic Asian spices via the camel train from Samarakand Harry…..

    (codeword: Hell)

  • willis

    “If Obama wins, it will just be the Carteresque intro for the Palin Era.”

    Oh yes this Sarah Palin.

    According to Palin, what the Founders intended with the First Amendment was that political candidates for the most powerful offices in the country and Governors of states would be free to say whatever they want without being criticized in the newspapers. The First Amendment was meant to ensure that powerful political officials would not be “attacked” in the papers. It is even possible to imagine more breathaking ignorance from someone holding high office and running for even higher office?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/31/palin-criticism-threatens_n_139729.html

    That will be the end of your blogging then!

  • If Obama wins, it will just be the Carteresque intro for the Palin Era.

    That’s right, nothing bad can ever happen to the right… success is predestined. 🙄

    If the right really think Palin is an all conquering American everywoman, it just shows how detached from reality the right has become…

  • 6countyprod

    If Obama becomes president, we will see who is for free speech and against it. Just look at the way Joe the Plumber has been treated after asking The One a simple rhetorical question.

    I think the guy at American Thinker has Obama well pegged.

  • 6countyprod

    Oh ay, talking about Palin, looks like Alaska is the only US state that will avoid recession.

    Maybe it is time for those ‘halfwit Alaskans’, as DSD so elegantly calls them, to go independent.

    Who needs a bunch of snotty old US and European liberals who think they are better than everyone else, anyway?

  • willis

    “If Obama becomes president, we will see who is for free speech and against it. Just look at the way Joe the Plumber has been treated after asking The One a simple rhetorical question.”

    Oh the horror of his treatment!

    http://www.mlive.com/us-politics/index.ssf/2008/10/joe_the_plumber_pursued_for_re.html

    Move over, Sanjaya, and tell William Hung the news: Joe the Plumber is being pursued for a major record deal and could come out with a country album as early as Inauguration Day.

  • Harry Flashman

    “So, either Harry or I will end up looking like a complete dick tomorrow morning.”

    As I said to Greenflag earlier, none of us need be too ashamed if the vote goes against our predictions, it’s been a bloody interesting election and if nothing else comes out of it I hope we will see an end to all the “those stupid Americans, they know nothing about politics, not like us really intelligent people” nonsense. Win lose or draw this election has been a tribute to the strength and vibrancy of American democracy.

    I only wish we could see something similar on this side of the Atlantic.

    Dewi, tell me what you need and the PO Box you want me to send it to and it’ll be on its way, but it’s your look out if the goons in Customs and Excise find it first.

    (How come you’re not signed up yet and still reliant on “preview” codes?)

  • Driftwood
  • Dewi

    “How come you’re not signed up”

    I am but I think you have to sign up at every location you use…….

  • 6countyprod

    Doesn’t it just blow you away when Europeans want Americans to elect a non-white president for the USA, when they themselves would not even consider the idea for a European country. Logically, IF Obama is elected, Europe will be exposed as the last racist continent on earth.

    Here are five reasons why Obama would never be elected to high office in Europe.

  • willis

    Logically, IF Obama is elected, Europe will be exposed as the last racist continent on earth.

    Ah the old nut-job non sequitur!

    If allowing the child of immigrants to become President then surely France is leading the way?

    Has Australia elected a non-white Prime Minister yet? I realise their Head of State is a non-Australian so that must count for something.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Win lose or draw this election has been a tribute to the strength and vibrancy of American democracy.

    I don’t agree Harry, the total fuckup that is the administration of election procedure in the US is still a fuckup – and the Democrats won’t be any less afraid to exploit that than the Republicans have. Some people might get all starry eyed about American democracy, but it has no basis. I have a suspicion that Obama’s win is going to be convincing enough to avoid what happened to Bush, but I’ve absolutely no doubt that the Republicans will use any opportunity that presents itself to challenge the result.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Comrade Stalin: “I don’t agree Harry, the total fuckup that is the administration of election procedure in the US is still a fuckup – and the Democrats won’t be any less afraid to exploit that than the Republicans have.”

    Your problem is in your baseline assumption that the election procedure is a single, unified system. It isn’t. Elections are organized on the town / county level (parishes in the great state of Louisiana, with some oversight and guidance from the state. The states generally guard their prerogatives assiduously… and they should.

    Comrade Stalin: “I have a suspicion that Obama’s win is going to be convincing enough to avoid what happened to Bush, but I’ve absolutely no doubt that the Republicans will use any opportunity that presents itself to challenge the result. ”

    Yeah, the beret-wearing goons in Philly, the Obama staffers seeking to vote illegally in Ohio, the barring of poll watchers in Philly, the ACORN follies, the peculiar election traditions of Chicago, etc., that’s all of no import… just smoke and mirrors.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Your problem is in your baseline assumption that the election procedure is a single, unified system.

    I am well aware of that, and you would do well to try to understand my meaning without making assumptions.

    It isn’t. Elections are organized on the town / county level (parishes in the great state of Louisiana, with some oversight and guidance from the state. The states generally guard their prerogatives assiduously… and they should.

    I disagree. How can you have a national election without a national election standard ? And such a standard must already exist, otherwise what’s to stop the states from passing a law that bans polling for US Presidential election and appoints representatives to the electoral college instead ?

    Yeah, the beret-wearing goons in Philly, the Obama staffers seeking to vote illegally in Ohio, the barring of poll watchers in Philly, the ACORN follies, the peculiar election traditions of Chicago, etc., that’s all of no import… just smoke and mirrors.

    Would you like to point out where I implicitly or otherwise condoned any of this ?

    The Democrats are past masters at fiddling with the election process, and I’ve little doubt that Obama’s supporters have already been at it. The problem is not the Republicans, but the broken American democratic system, which both the Republicans and the Democrats have historically exploited to the hilt when it suited them.

    Like I said on another thread, Republicans dismissed the idea of sensible electoral reform while they had the chance to do something about it, and accused anyone who brought it up of still harbouring sour grapes over the fact that Bush won. They simply don’t have any right to complain in my mind. In any case, I think the known fraud allegations so far pale into insignificance coupled with the removal of thousands of people from the ballot papers in Florida in 2000 and the USSC intervention to stop the recount.

  • The states generally guard their prerogatives assiduously… and they should.

    Damn right. The last time the states failed to defend their right to organise elections as they saw fit, those damnyankees in the federal gubmint made them allow niggers the vote…

    While Harry is right that this election has shown the sheer vibrancy of American democracy and the robust civic mindedness of Americans of all hues and faiths, Stalin is also right that yet another election day shambles is an embarrassment. You just don’t hear these stories in Western Europe, Canada, Japan, Korea or Oz/NZ. It’s high time for a HAVA II Act that actually sets workable, reasonable, federal standards for federal elections.

  • Dewi

    Sammy – it’s a funny country – such a fabulous commitment to the logistics and democracy of campaigning but a terrible approach to the logistics of voting. Strange.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Sammy Morse: “Damn right. The last time the states failed to defend their right to organise elections as they saw fit, those damnyankees in the federal gubmint made them allow niggers the vote… ”

    Over the objections of an unhealthily large share of the Democratic Party, Sammy…

    Republicans, under Lincoln and Grant, freed the slaves in the 1860s from rural plantations. Democrats, under Johnson, used welfare and tenements to put them onto urban plantations.

  • Harry Flashman

    CS

    I fear you are mistaking democracy for voting, the system of voting may need improving but the vibrant debate among citizens and those seeking their approval for public office is truly admirable.

    In the UK we might have a well run voting system but can you remind me when we got the chance to elect the current prime minister or have a say on the Lisbon Treaty or indeed 95% of the legislation which controls our lives but which constitutes little more than rubber stamped EU directives?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I am afraid I do not share the general view of civic mindedness in American elections. That’s not to say Americans in general are not civic minded – they’re far more civic minded than people in the UK or Ireland. Any time I visit the US, irrespective of which coast I’m on, I notice the way local communities set up millions of little hobby groups, support circles, etc – it’s that whole activism thing. We don’t quite have that here.

    But when it comes to elections, the rules (such that they are) are out the window and it’s every man for himself, and you better make sure you have a good law firm on side. I find this whole idea of mechanical, or worse, electronic voting to be a pollution of democracy. I’ll believe that irrespective of who wins. Thankfully, some states are already throwing the stupid electronic machines out. My experience here is the opposite; at election counts here, with a few exceptions, people put their ambitions and manifesto to one side and concede when they’re beaten.

  • Comrade Stalin

    the vibrant debate among citizens and those seeking their approval for public office is truly admirable.

    I accept that I may be missing your drift, but I am not sure what you mean. John Edwards endured huge amounts of press over the cost of his haircut. Obama likewise over suggestions that he was a Muslim. Politicians get their past dug up, raked over, exposed and commented on. The politicians have traded vague words over equally vague policies.

    It’s a formidable thing to see a huge country like that going to the polls on one day, and it’s cool to see democracy at work. I think the Brits are better at it, though. Since this is Slugger, yes, Irish politics is utterly woeful in comparison.

  • latcheeco

    Comrade,
    “Brits are better at it” except for that whole House of Lords thingy.

  • Harry Flashman

    I note you seem to believe that Obama’s past was “raked over”, a massive complaint among the Republicans is that Obama’s past seemed to be a complete yawneroo for the media (no, no story there, no there neither, no not there, no story worth investigating, other than “hope” and “change”) whereas Sarah Palin’s teeenaged daughter’s boyfriend’s MySpace page got front page coverage.

    Further given that the media admitted that they totally ignored the Edwards affair story I have to say that the one element of US democracy which I feel hugely in need of reform is the appalling bias in the media. Is there seriously anyone out there, now that it’s all over and we can be honest, who won’t admit that the mainstream media were almost falling over themselves to support Obama?

    But that’s neither here nor there, my point is that this election was fought and fought hard, the ideas were debated ad nauseum by presidential candidates who had to battle for over a year through primaries and the election itself, getting out and meeting the electorate, arguing their case with vigour, taking the knocks and throwing them back. At the end of the day everyone was well versed in the issues and knew how they wanted to vote and did so; my guy lost but I fully respect the outcome.

    There is nothing comparable here in the UK where the election campaign is over in three weeks (if the new guy even bothers with an election) and doesn’t matter anyway because the power to govern has been taken away from the people and handed to unelected Eurocrats, courts and quangocracies.

    For all its imperfections the US system is a superb example of democracy and citizenship in action, I only wish we had similar here.