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Audiology of Hope: Dogwhistle Econonomics 102

Our first installment began the task of decoding Barack Obama’s curious appeal to our right-of-center friends and relatives. (His point man on domestic policy is also the DLC’s Senior Economist — a deregulatin’, free tradin’, globalizin’, sharp-shootin’ son-of-a-centrist-gun from Waco Texas, Milton Academy, Yale’s Skull and Bones society and the Chicago school.)

The second member of Obama’s policy advisor triad is Harvard’s Jeffrey Liebman. Specialty: “pensions and poverty”, i.e., “entitlements”, i.e., “Social Security“.

Liebman’s reputation: centrist alarmist and moderate privatizer.

He has supported partial privatization of the government-run retirement system, an idea that’s anathema to many Democrats and bears a similarity to a proposal for personal investment accounts that Bush promoted, then dropped in 2005.

“Liebman has been to open to private accounts and most people in town would say he’s a moderate supporter of them,” said Michael Tanner, a Social Security expert at the Cato Institute

Continue reading

My Saturday for Hillary

ernestineI was getting nowhere with my local Democratic party club. Everytime I asked about campaign opportunities for Clinton, they sent me a notice about Obama. No thanks. I’m not joining that orgy unless I absolutely have to.

So, I signed up for some time at the Clinton headquarters in Trenton. It’s a bit out of my way and I got lost but I finally found the office across the street from the NJ government offices. It’s a three story townhouse with a warren of rooms and long hallways and it was stuffed to the gills with volunteers. In fact, I think they had to turn a couple people away. There just weren’t enough phones or places to put everyone, The main phone banking action was taking place on the third floor but since they’d run out of space, they put me and three other women in a downstairs conference room that we shared with a busy paid staffer with a bluetooth in his ear and a constant stream of calls from all over the state.

Three other women, M., K, and J and I spent the afternoon calling Princeton and the Trenton suburbs. One of the great things about volunteering is that you get to meet some nice, new people. One of the women implied that DailyKos had jumped the shark with the marathon Obamagasm. She doens’t go there anymore. It may turn out that Markos bet the farm on Obama winning and in the process, he is losing some of his audience. Oh, and she thought Markos was a jerk. Ok, she didn’t say jerk . She said something else. Apparently this was based on some personal interaction she had with him. I didn’t delve further. My interactions with Markos have been too brief to comment on his general demeanor. But, whatever. DailyKos has lost some luster and that’s kinda sad, considering my orange YK lanyard still swings from my rearview mirror. Oh, well.

We made a ton of calls. Everytime we got a positive call for Hillary, we shouted “Ding!”. (The bell was upstairs so we had to provide our own sound effects) I had a few negative calls at first but once I got in the zone, it turned out that the majority of the people I spoke to directly were going to vote for Hillary. There were only two out of about 100 calls I made who were definitely voting for Obama. There were a number of undecided voters as well who were cordial enough to not hang up. They sounded persuadable. In the late afternoon, there was space made upstairs, so I left the harried staffer some privacy and joined the throng in the attic.

Wanda sat next to me and she was very good at talking to undecided voters. Very warm, sincere and knowledgeable, she asked them what their concerns were and let them talk it out. I’m afraid I’m not nearly as smooth as Wanda. After about 9 pages of calls, I started getting a little phobic about the whole thing. The callers were by and large very nice on the phone but I was so afraid I’d get a nasty one that my anxiety level started to rise as time went on.

So, I took a little break and talked to some of the rest of the staff. They were very friendly and kept us well supplied with water, apples, cookies and all of the goldfish we could eat. The atmosphere is upbeat yet a little tense. They are confident that Tuesday will go well but it’s been a lot harder than any of them imagined and Obama is giving everyone fits.

The office was getting lots of calls for lawn signs. I swiped a stack of placards as I left. And even though there were plenty of volunteers in Trenton, the area around Hoboken is densely populated and it would have been nice if they had been able to distribute the people around the state. If there are any readers who want to see beautiful downtown Hoboken, here’s a perfect opportunity. 😉

All in all, a pretty good day. Tomorrow, I’m headed for the Bernardsville office which is closer to my home and on the way to the BFF’s house in NY where we will watch the Superbowl tomorrow night.

And what did YOU do today?

One last thing: My mom called me while I was phone banking. She and the rest of my family voted for Bush, both times. They completely bought the con, but I digress. Anyway, she said my *sister* was going to go to a Hillary event. The fam lives in PA. I have no idea when this event is but it sounds like she is enthusiastic. Even my mom is voting D this year. She likes Obama but wouldn’t mind Hillary sharing the ticket with him. So long as she’s on the top, I can live with it.

My calls today suggest that women are very motivated to vote for Clinton. I talked to women in their 90’s who acted like they couldn’t wait for Tuesday so they could cast their vote for the first viable woman candidate for president of their lives. And now, I have the first evidence that it isn’t just Democrats who might want to vote for her. Apparently, even former wingers are willing to re-register to pull that lever.

Happy Birthday, Devon!

Paint your chestBetcha you never thought you’d get an internet birthday card, didja?

Happy Birthday to the most creative, energetic kid I know with the most twisted sense of humor.   Go paint your chest!

Love, M

PS.  I’m going to visit Hillary’s campaign HQ in Trenton today.  Have fun in the City at the play.

GOSwatch: Best of the Great Orange Satan

A selection of incomparable wack & whimsy from the old wrack & ruin.  We couldn’t emulate it here if we tried.

Aliosman‘s Krugman and “BO” takes Paul Krugman to task — for offensive reference to Barack Obama as “BO”, i.e, “body odor”. (“BHO”, OTOH, raises the spectre of his middle name and all the attendant ethnic smears, IMHO.) What can we call Obama for short? I’ve offered a few helpful suggestions, FWIW.)

joegarcia suddenly discovers that ex-presidents accept speaking fees. Feel the outrage, in Clinton Racks Up $40 million for Yick-Yack.

FinneganOregon celebrates the big O, in It’s Okay to Fall In Love. (“when your newborn child gazes up at you for the first time” … you get the idea.)

Pols explains why we wouldn’t have a Super Bowl (and the Democratic Party would “cave in and collapse”) if we seated Florida’s delegates, in Would we allow rules change in middle of Super Bowl?.

az arrives speaking in tongues after years of lurking Obama Obama, Barack Obama’s obama … Obama?. The text is more and more of the same, but Recommended by some of GOS’s eminent presences.

luminata observes that President Obama would also be the first black G8 leader, in Obama Also First Black G8 Leader.

renska posts an Obama-free story of a campaign in crisis, keyed to the eternal question “Whaddya mean the blogosphere ain’t all that?“: Darcy Burner’s Campaign Consultant Disses Blogosphere?

The Termite intuits that Bill strategically behaved badly only to draw attention to Bill not behaving badly, thereby proactively defusing a rightwing narrative that Obama himself dare not speak: Bill Clinton knows EXACTLY what he’s doing.

evercompromised fantasizes about Obama in I will not grow up.: “If it doesn’t work out then I plan to cry and burn my old love letters. And God help me if I ever grow up.”

And last but hardly least, Johnny Pez (Trekkies for Obama) explains how GWB is responsible for the decline of the Star Trek franchise, and why Trekkies everywhere are once more “gathered together beneath the banner of Barack Obama”.