Having an Obama mañana

Today I seem to be having an Obama mañana.

First, I run into Max, who tells me that on Saturday the campaign is going to try to knock on 50,000 doors in South Carolina. Every county is organized, hundreds of volunteers are ready in-state, and hundreds more are expected to come from elsewhere to help. Should be quite an impressive feat if they pull it off — and if any campaign can, it’s Obama’s.

Then I read this on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. It’s getting to where I’m as likely to run into the names of local folks I know in national publications as in The State. The theme of the story is that all politics is local — and in this case, "local" means Greenwood, S.C. Such local characters as Rep. Anne Parks and Obama spokesman Kevin Griffis are characters in the tale. Anyway, the piece is a good read if you can call it up. And if you can’t here’s an excerpt:

GREENWOOD, S.C. — When Barack Obama wants to get a campaign crowd really fired up, he tells the story of a whistle-stop a few months back in this out-of-the-way town.
    He was having a down day; the weather and his mood were both foul. And he had driven to Greenwood — "an hour and a half from anywhere" — to keep a promise to a state legislator. Just a handful of well-wishers were there to greet him.
    Suddenly, the Illinois senator heard a voice sing out from the back of the room: "Fired up! Ready to go!" It came from a tiny woman in a big-brimmed church hat. She repeated the chant. Before long, everybody joined in, and Mr. Obama himself was again feeling the spirit.
    "Here’s a lesson for you," he said while telling the Greenwood story at a rally in Carroll, Iowa, this month. "If you’re fired up and ready to go, we can change the world."
    But beyond Mr. Obama’s soapbox rhetoric about Greenwood is a more complicated story, of small-town politics, snubs and jealousies — and a reminder that even presidential campaigns can be very personal and very local. Mr. Obama’s appearance in Greenwood may have left him fired up, but it also left bruised feelings among local Democrats and left his campaign with a damage-control job that continues to this day…

Finally, I overhear somebody at another table at breakfast talking about Obama, and I find myself wondering if the guy is taking over South Carolina. But it’s just someone mentioning the candidate’s appearance at a couple of churches here in the Columbia Sunday, and I had already read about that.

9 thoughts on “Having an Obama mañana

  1. weldon VII

    So here we have a fellow, middle name HUSSEIN, whose staff can’t negotiate a visit to Greenwood without ticking off half the town, but he wants to negotiate with the world’s bad boys face to face.
    Am I the only one who smells danger?

  2. Daniel

    there is no danger here! If you were in his shoe, you would do the same thing as He did, regarding SC meetings….. So, gin up for electing Obama to the white house! don’t complain

  3. bud

    Sure there’s danger. With Obama (or any democrat) in the White House the GOP would be in danger of losing control of their corporate gravy train. And we can’t have that now can we?

  4. Karen McLeod

    Weldon, its pretty silly to put someone down over his name. I imagine if we checked history closely enough we could find a villain to match every name, even Weldon.

  5. weldon VII

    OK, dandy, I am the only one who smells danger. And that makes me the villain.
    Funny thing, I was just trying to point out that if you can’t negotiate a visit to Greenwood with members of your own party, keeping your promise to sit down with hostile leaders from places like Iran and South Korea might have disastrous results.
    But, no, no, I used the H word, and, apart from partisan claptrap, that’s all anybody noticed. I actually mentioned the kind of thing we’re not supposed to bring up any more because it supposedly indicates some sort of bias.
    So fine, to finish the war that brought a fiend named Hussein to justice, let’s elect a Hussein. That will be a fine piece of irony. And let’s make sure the news media everywhere ignore that middle name, so as few people as possible have a chance to foolishly liken Saddam to Obama when they vote. That will show how open-minded we are.
    Open like a sieve, that is, or a sewer pipe. Were Obama a Republican, the press would have joined the Democrats in beating his campaign to death with his middle name long ago.
    Yes, the arbiters of bias really are that partisan, and Democrats that desperate to return to the throne.
    But for the sake of irony, let’s just pretend they aren’t.
    And if a vice-presidential candidate whose middle name is Hitler appears on the ticket, let’s ignore that, too.
    Whatever the truth might be, let’s make sure it doesn’t get in the way of having an open mind.

  6. Wally Altman

    Weldon, no one’s saying that you don’t have the right to draw unfounded conclusions out of the air based solely on someone’s name. We’re just saying that it’s pointless and childish.

  7. Brad Warthen

    Actually, I’ve always thought of “Hussein” in a neutral way. I had associated it with King Hussein of Jordan for 20 years before I knew who Saddam was. It’s a very common name. It’s not like “Hitler” at all.

  8. weldon VII

    Well, Brad, I just checked my phone book, and there between Huskey and Husta, Hussein wasn’t.
    But mine is a Pee Dee phone book, so who knows? Maybe the Gamecock grotto is chock full of Husseins.
    I’m not going to drag this out, though. I just want everybody to do the macarena on my poor ol’ noggin while the pickin’ seems so easy.
    Should it turn out that erring on the side of caution wasn’t really pointless, childish, unfounded, drawn out of the air or a symptom of corporate greed, here’s hoping I’ll have the chance to say I told you so.
    The “well done” pun, however, was choice. Rare, even. Grade A. But it’s meat you should turn only once.


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