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      So, back in the 80s, when I was young, green and wet behind the years, one of the great thinkers about how to help poor people was a guy named Hernando DeSoto. (Great name, aces on parents!) DeSoto, who was mostly concerned with Latin and South America had one big idea: the reason that poor people were fucked is they didn’t have clear ownership of what they […]
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Sunday: Live from Scranton

In the Democrats for McCain Office in Scranton

In the Democrats for McCain Office in Scranton

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, let me just say that my navigator has 2 different addresses for N.Main Ave. in Scranton and neither one was the one I needed.

I am at Democrats for McCain Headquarters in downtown Scranton and this place is buzzing. There are a LOT of people in this little office. We are waiting for the canvassers to return. Harriet Christian is trying to catch McCain at the airport. She and her bus posse tried to get into his rally here in Scranton earlier this afternoon but were turned away by the fire marshall. The place was overflowing.

The canvassers tell me that direct contacts are going very well but that phone banking is more difficult. Well, phone banking always sucks. It’s hard to know what to say and it’s even harder to not take it personally when someone hangs up on you.

Harriet Christian takes a break

Harriet Christian takes a break

I recognize a lot of the volunteers here from Denver. They are the die hard PUMAs who were determined that the DNC were not going to get the best of them. But the manager of this office, Carol, made her decision when Hillary suspended her campaign. Carol realized that she had to make a decision between Obama and McCain so she took a good look at the resumes of both candidates and found Obama’s lacking. She was concerned that Obama had only 142 days on the job before he decided to run for president. Carol knows that country is going to go through a very rocky period of time in the next four years and she was very concerned that Obama’s lack of experience and thin knowledge base would make it difficult for him to know how to mobilize the mechanisms of government for the benefit of the country. As a Pennsylvanian from the Scranton area, she was offended by Obama’s remarks regarding bitter small towners who cling to God and guns. Obama hasn’t reached out to the working class and the sexism really got under Carol’s skin. She decided in McCain’s favor. Then, this former Hillary supporter approached the McCain campaign and convinced them to open an office for Democrats for McCain because she felt this area of Pennsylvania would be receptive to McCain’s message.

Carol, Hillary campaigner, feminist, McCain Supporter

Carol, Hillary campaigner, feminist, McCain Supporter

The message that appeals to Carol has a lot to do with the local economy. This is coal country and the past decade of outsourcing has devastated local industry. She likes McCain’s message on clean coal and believes that McCain will work across the aisle to help opportunity come back to the Scranton area. She’s also concerned that Obama is making promises regarding healthcare that he can not fulfill. She doesn’t know what Obama believes. She can’t pin him down and this worries her. Carol feels she knows McCain, his character and she has confidence and trust in his ability to lead. So, Carol is a believer. She’s probably a little more conservative than the typical PUMA but she believes that the loss of Hillary in this race is a tragic loss for the country.

Harriet and Betty Jean are back from the airport. They were turned down at the rally for McCain because there wasn’t room. So they high tailed it to the airport with their signs in the hope they could see him. They saw McCain’s car drive onto the tarmac and were despondent when the car headed away from them. Then, the car abruptly turned around and John McCain leapt out of the car and he ran over to the group with a huge smile on his face. Cindy and Joe Lieberman quickly followed. Betty Jean said McCain was quicker than the Secret Service who had to run to keep up with him. McCain thanked them enthusiastically and hugged Betty Jean. It made her day.

[UPDATE by Katiebird]

Riverdaughter sent me this link to an Australian publication that’s covering the election.  The 6th photo is from the Democrats for McCain office.