Something Strange Coming Your Way

Real Clear Politics has Obama up by 11 in Pennsylvania as of 22 Oct 008 0300z. And yet Governor Rendell is nervous about Pennsylvania and is asking Obama to return.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has sent two separate memos to the Obama campaign in the past five days requesting that the Democratic Presidential candidate--as well as Hillary and Bill Clinton--return to campaign in Pennsylvania, Rendell told CNN's Gloria Borger.

Rendell said the McCain campaign is clearly making a push to win Pennsylvania, given the recent visits by the Arizona senator, his wife and his running mate. As a result, he wants Obama to appear in western Pennsylvania, Harrisburg and one more "large rally" in Philadelphia. Democrats generally worry that the race is significantly closer than what recent polls have suggested. According to Rendell, there is also worry among Democrats the McCain campaign has successfully raised the enthusiasm level among Republicans in the state.

"I don't want to be selfish," Rendell said. "But I'm still a little nervous, so I have asked Obama to come back. We understand he's got demands from 20 different states, but we'd like to see him here."

Obama's support appears to be weakest in the western part of the state, a region Pennsylvania Rep. Jack Murtha recently called 'racist,' and one where he badly lost to Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.

Yeah. The Democrats have done a real good job in PA what with Obama's "bitter clingers" remark and others. Still the polls have Obama up by 11, well outside the margin of error, so that PA should be a waste of time in ordinary circumstances. So maybe the circumstances are not ordinary.

It also looks like the Obama campaign is having money troubles in Philadelphia. Specifically street money troubles.

When the Philadelphia Democratic Party's faithful gathered for their pre-election fundraiser last night, conversation among many anxious ward leaders kept coming back to the same question: Would Barack Obama come up with street money?

In the April primary, the presidential candidate spurned the Philadelphia tradition of distributing cash to ward leaders for Election Day operations, saying his campaign doesn't "pay for votes or pay for turnout."

Street money, typically between $100 and $300 per voting division, is used to pay expenses such as meals and transportation and sometimes pay election workers for their day's work.

Many thought Obama had changed his mind and would provide street money for the general election, but ward leaders said last night that they still hadn't heard of a commitment from the campaign.

"Honestly, they'd be crazy not to do it," said Lou Agre, leader of the 21st Ward in Roxborough and Manayunk. "We're the ones who can get those last five, six hundred people [in a ward] who haven't voted, and that's a big difference for the campaign."

City Democratic chairman U.S. Rep. Bob Brady said he's confident the Obama campaign will come up with the money.

But several ward leaders said Brady had told them he'd gotten no commitment from the Obama campaign, and Gov. Rendell said he didn't know what to expect.

"Who knows?" Rendell said when asked by a reporter. "I've recommended and Bob's recommended it, but we have no word, no word."

You know, the Obama campaign does not sound like a campaign that is flush with votes or money. Despite what the press is telling you.

Maybe Obama was thinking that with his ACORNs in a row he didn't need the regular party machine. No money, no votes. One way or the other. Of course this could just be a negotiating tactic by Obama to drive the price down. And Rendell's moves could just be his way of driving the price up. This lack of honor among the thieves could be a serious problem for an Obama administration.

And one other point I want you to keep in mind:

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 10.21.08 at 11:23 PM










Comments

Okay, I give up. What's a "ward leader"? Is that the same as a community organizer/agitator? Is it a real elected position in the city's government? Or is it just some "racial code word" they use only in western Penn?

Oyster   ·  October 22, 2008 6:27 AM

Sometimes also called "Ward Captain". Basically, the usage as I understand it is that the parties divide voting precincts or districts or whatever into 'wards' where some party member is in charge of the Get-out-the-vote (GOTV) activities--picking up people to drive them to the polls, handing out the 'walking around money' (otherwise known as bribes) to the lucky, and so on. It's not a Western PA thing. It's more a Big City Political Machine Thing.

IIRC, During the Primaries, Obama's campaign told the locals in Philly to forget about the cash, which the campaign correctly understood not to matter in black neighborhoods in Philly, because face it, who were the people in those neighborhoods going to vote for? You didn't have to pay them to vote, as is usually the case.

I think they're thinking the same thing again. Whether that matters or not, I guess we'll see.

It does seem might curious to me that Rendell is saying things like this--I live in Philly. If he thinks there's a problem, I'd listen to him, if I were them. But I'm not so I hope they won't.

Eric Blair   ·  October 22, 2008 2:29 PM

Like most blue states, Pennsylvania is a red state with hugely blue cities.

To be strictly fair, all states are shades of purple, except maybe DC.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  October 22, 2008 3:30 PM

Lately I find myself muttering a lot "come and GET it." And it is NOT an invitation.

Portia   ·  October 22, 2008 3:54 PM

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