I saw a lot of tweets last night from people who were desperate for Hillary’s campaign to do something before it was too late and get voters to ask for a recount in WI, MI, PA. I don’t know how many people urged me to demand a recount in PA. And I would be glad to except that I live in Allegheny County and Hillary won Allegheny County rather decisively. It wasn’t a California blowout but there is no question that the tech savvy, educated, diverse population that Pittsburgh is now attracting gave her a substantial win.
That doesn’t mean I’m happy that she lost PA or that we couldn’t have eked out more votes in the Pittsburgh area. But PA mirrors the country as a whole. We have two “coastal” areas, some large college towns and then a sea of red in between where time runs backwards, science is ridiculed and people are glued to Fox News. That’s going to get you a whole lotta Trump voters. They didn’t like Hillary. It doesn’t matter that many of us did. They didn’t and there wasn’t anything you could say or any evidence you could point to in order to change their minds.
It didn’t matter that she was the target of a 22 year smear campaign specifically designed to make her look shifty and Unlikeable.
It didn’t matter that the media wrote more negative stories about her, more than any other candidate.
It doesn’t matter if Comey doomed her campaign 11 days out from the election.
You could dissect all of the reasons why Hillary was treated badly, unfairly and her reputation smeared. People who react emotionally to news are very difficult to reason with. They can’t overcome the visceral reaction they’ve been conditioned to have.
That’s not to say we in PA couldn’t have pushed her over the edge with GOTV activities. My house was used as a staging location for the last 4 weeks of the campaign. We called in as many volunteers as we could. But it’s a large territory where I live. We knocked on as many doors as we could. I walked many streets, some of them on curvy roads without a sidewalk at dusk looking for addresses, one house behind the planned parenthood canvasser. I don’t see well after dark but I was knocking on doors in the dark until I couldn’t see the house numbers anymore and it made me feel guilty that I couldn’t do anymore.
The last weekend, we had volunteers from all over Pittsburgh canvassing from my house. We had volunteers from NY and CA. It got so busy that we had trouble keeping the turfs organized and my downstairs toilet overflowed and while I was assigning canvassers and answering calls from my organizers and training volunteers, I was mopping up the bathroom floor.
In one way or another, I had phone banked, registered voters and canvassed since July. Almost every weekend I was out there doing something.
So, all I have to ask of the people who are frantic for a recount is, what did YOU do for this most consequential election of our lifetimes?
I was afraid that the Democrats had used fear once too often in 2006, 2008, 2012 to motivate constituents.
Maybe they cried wolf once too often. Maybe Democratic voters thought she was just so obviously better that voters would see the light at the end of the campaign. Maybe they thought they could be passive or cynical and go along with their friends condemning Hillary for being too much something or not enough something else.
That was the complacency that we were trying to overcome in our GOTV efforts and we could have used your help.
So she lost PA, MI and WI. It’s not like we didn’t try to tell you PA was going to be close. You all knew. And if the Clinton campaign is not pulling out all of the stops now to get recounts it’s because they know that there’s probably no point. Where they lost, they lost decisively. It’s where they won but not in a blowout like here in Allegheny County, where an extra 200 canvassers might have made the difference.
We all need to save ourselves now.
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