So Senator Obama is telling us this campaign is about us, right? So what do we do? We rally an unprecedented 24,000 in NYC. On ten days notice!
But if you live in New York and you weren’t anywhere in the vicinity of Greenwich Village last Thursday night, chances are you have no idea what went down there.
“Obama appearance No Story.” So reads the subject line in an mail from a friend in New York this morning, who reported no coverage of the event in the dailies or local news stations. (In all fairness, the NYT wrote up the event on “The Caucus” election page, Newsday did a short blurb as did The Post, and local tv had some footage.)
But I’m a former New Yorker; in fact, I am a graduate of NYU, and back in the day any crowd of 24,000 in Washington Square would have led Eyewitness News at 11, won a splash photo on Page 1 of the New York Daily News, and been all over the Today Show the next morning. Just to give you some semblance of reality: 24,000 in a downtown Manhattan neighborhood park is more than 1/3 the total capacity of Shea Stadium. In fact, a crowd that size would just about fill up the San Francisco Giant’s ballpark.
Folks across America are hearing the Senator and they are showing up: The Springfield 15,000, The Iowa 10,000, The Oakland 12,000. The Austin 20,000.
But the media is all about those poll numbers, Senator. I’m beginning to think Obama supporters just never go home, let alone answer the telephone. They’re too busy traveling from rally to rally, state to state, hosting house-parties, walking for change. God knows, they’re always too busy text messaging to answer a land line anyway.
I’d have to say judging from the turnout whenever or wherever across the country Senator Obama shows up, that so far he’s done a pretty good job of waking America up. The way I see it, most of our newspapers, radio shows and tv news stations just aren’t fired up yet. They sure ain’t ready to go.
Most of us will concede that no candidate has won the presidency in recent history without being first anointed by the corporate elite. And we’re well aware that in today’s America the average citizen feels about as powerless as a young child tossing rocks at invading Israeli bulldozers and tanks.
Assuredly, we have our grievances … and as the Senator says, we’re “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Right now, we have to cede them the polls. Nobody would listen anyway if we talked about how Angus Reid himself called the biggest secret in polling the “no response” rate.” Or if we questioned the reliability and authenticity of automated polling systems or called into question the conflict of interest that appears to exist relative to most polls and their corporate sponsors.
They just keep predicting all the hoopla will burn out pretty soon, as polls continue to coronate Clinton and turn a blind eye to any and all references to her questionable ethical practices and all that lobbyist money rolling in. Just yesterday, I heard Bill put a stop to an article due to be published in GQ discussing in-fighting in the campaign. Apparently, all he had to say is he just won’t talk with them anymore if they printed it.
Does anybody in the Obama campaign have that kind of clout? No, but we sure do try harder.
Roll up your sleeves and get ready to duke this one out. The real battle between Clinton and Obama is not being waged in the headlines of the nation’s tabloids, on the Fox Noise Machine or even on Keith Olberman. No, the Obama campaign is taking this thing out onto the streets of your neighborhood. You are going to have to open that front door and step outside.
We’re not talking states here, we’re not even talking Congressional Districts anymore. In fact, this campaign is honed down to pre-Precinct level. In ‘08, the race for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States is happening right in your front yard.
This is David v. Goliath; it’s The Little Engine that Could; it’s a real life rendition of The Heroes, an unfolding story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
So put your Obama sign out. If you don’t have one, make one. Let’s create a 21st century version of ‘the peace sign.’ Start tipping your thumb and index finger together and flashing the big “O.”