(8 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
You might have heard that this week Rep. John Murtha talked about the racism in his Western Pennsylvania district and that it would likely cost Obama about 4 percentage points in the election.
As fate would have it, Sean Quinn is in Western PA this week with his On the Road series and files a very interesting report. Here’s how it starts:
So a canvasser goes to a woman’s door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she’s planning to vote for. She isn’t sure, has to ask her husband who she’s voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, “We’re votin’ for the n***er!”
Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: “We’re voting for the n***er.”
In this economy, racism is officially a luxury. How is John McCain going to win if he can’t win those voters?
Pretty amazing story, isn’t it? The confluence of racism and sexism in that small interchange boggles my mind. I begin to wonder if any of us or anyone in the MSM really know what’s going on this time around.
The one thing we DO know, as I talked about in my last essay, is that the Obama campaign has put together a massive ground game in the battleground states that is nothing like anything this country has ever seen before. Here’s a bit about what Quinn reports they have accomplished in this area of the country.
In Washington County, a bellwether in this traditional swing state that John Kerry carried by a mere 552 votes out of over 96,000 cast, the Obama campaign’s mood is optimistic but very cautious. The campaign has registered over 4,000 new voters in this county…
As the campaign shifts into GOTV (get out the vote) mode, its universe of targeted voters begins to change. “We know who our voters are,” said Roth. “Now we just have to go get them to vote.” Asked if the racism resistance to Obama would inhibit volunteer effort here, “We had probably 200 people last night show up to our GOTV training in Washington, and it’s a complete 180 from the tough summer months.”
I have learned in my professional life as the director of a non-profit, that people who are drawn to this kind of work do so out of passion, not financial reward or other workplace benefits. If you can tap into that…you find a force to be reckoned with. That is what seems to be happening and is demonstrated by this story.
To accommodate the more spread out nature of the turf in west-central PA, over in the more rural upper half of Cambria County, Obama’s aggressive campaign has organized its volunteers to improvise with phonebank and canvass staging locations out of apartments and offices after-hours.
“Our first night about a month ago,” said volunteer Jim Sabella, “about four of us huddled around a one-bulb lamp to make calls.” The apartment the volunteers used for the phonebank hadn’t even had the electricity turned back on yet, and so they had to improvise. “We patched it through from the neighbors with an extension cord and just decided, we will do whatever it takes. Enough is enough, and we can’t take another four years like the last eight.” Now well-lit, the phone bank hosts several volunteers nearly every night of the week.
It seems to me that there are a wealth of resources out there from people who’ve had enough and are willing to do whatever it takes to be part of the change that needs to happen in this country. I just hope these folks keep at it after the election.