Tuesday, October 14, 2008
my generation is talkin' to your generation
(The "You talkin' to me?' scene from Taxi Driver)
Zach Exley, an "original cast member" of MoveOn.org who I had the pleasure of meeting in 2003 at a Kerry Meetup in DC, has a must-read piece about the nature of Obama's ground game. It really is mind-blowing, and explains why even if McCain does well in tonight's debate, it won't be enough for him to turn it around in several swing states. A) Obama has votes in the bank, tens of thousands of them (right now he is leading in early voting in places like Georgia, for instance) B) He has more people more excited and ready to go to the mat for him than McCain.
The energy comes most strongly from Teens to Thirty-somethings--the age group that supports Obama the strongest. Not only are they organizing their campuses, co-workers, and neighborhoods, but they also using their powers of persuasion to go after their parents and grandparents who might otherwise be reluctant to vote for Obama. For example, swing state Sens. Klobuchar (MN), Casey (PA), and McCaskill (MO) all endorsed Obama in the primaries over their colleague Sen. Clinton at their children's urging.
This isn't something new for the general election, although it is much more intensive. For example, this Columbus Day Weekend, young Jews traveled (or should I say schlepped?) to Florida to convince their grandparents to support Obama. Sarah Silverman's now viral video was a bit dirty, but funny way to galvanize the effort.
Go to the site and watch the CNN and CBS stories on two young Jewish men who talked their grandparents (and some of their friends in the complex) into supporting Obama...sometimes, they had to resort to the "I'll marry a nice Jewish girl if do" card. The videos are hilarious, it is hard to believe there are some elderly people in Florida that really do seem to fit the stereotype. Another is a campaign from MoveOn.org parodying the anti-drugs ads to urge my generation to talk their parents out of voting for McCain.
While both use humor to accomplish the goal, this is the generation whose primary news program is the Daily Show and Colbert Report. The Obama-Biden effort however, is deadly serious about changing minds and it is scaring the crap out of young conservative activists.
Even my son has gotten into the act of trying to convince his parents (thanks to loyal reader Jamie):