Thursday, January 3, 2008

More campaign news

For those of you who don't read my political blog, here is a bit of campaign news from a Concord perspective:

As anyone who lives in New Hampshire or watched my appearance on Keller's show knows, we get a lot of political mail up here during primary season. And the mailers seem to be randomly flailing at voters. There doesn't seem to be a cohesive strategy to the mailers except to perform the voter outreach.
Earlier this week, when I got home from work, there were five political mailers: One from Hillary Clinton's campaign, another from AFSCME PEOPLE supporting Clinton, and two from New Hampshire WOMEN VOTE!, "a project of EMILY's List," supporting Clinton, all addressed to my wife. Another 527, Alliance for A New America, sent a pro-John Edwards mailer to me, obviously targeting indie voters for the candidate in the state.
The Clinton campaign mailer continues with that theme a month thing I have been talking about for a while. "Ready to Deliver Change ..." and "Real Solutions for America's Greatest Challenges ..." There are four planks: Health Care, Economy, Foreign Policy, and Energy, touching on pretty basic themes Hillary has promoted although there is nothing about taking on the special interests or going after corporate greed, like her television ads. Interestingly, Hillary has also not, to my knowledge, sponsored any bills to create "green collar jobs" or troop withdrawal from Iraq. In fact, she has voted to give President Bush the ability to invade Iran if he wants. The flyer also contains lots of smiling, politically correct faces at campaign events [The veteran, a handful of seniors, the Yuppie mom embarrassingly smirking that she can't believe she is meeting Hillary, and the Latino family].
But one picture is really striking: In the lower right hand corner there is a dark-haired, slightly upper middle class mom-type with a young blond-haired girl on her lap [I'm assuming it is her daughter] with a transfixed look on her face. If you have ever lived on the edge, you know the look: It is one of slight desperation and deep concern but still hopeful that something can be done to fix your problems and those of the nation. It is one of those, "I was sold a bill of goods and it is not quite what I expected," looks. It is a visual theme that should be familiar to those who watch political campaigns because it is something Bill Clinton used quite effectively. My question though is this: What happens to that woman if Hillary is elected and then fails on all her promises like her husband did or gives us more bad legislation like her husband did? What happens this time, if she frits away another health care mandate with secret meetings and pharmaceutical stock manipulation like she did last time? And, how did she become worth close to $50 million, according to her 2005 disclosure forms, on a salary of about $133,000 annually and $4 million from book deals?
The AFSCME mailer talks about Hillary being "the clear choice" to fix health care noting that she is "Ready to be President from Day One," as if none of the other candidates are ready. On this mailer, unlike the previous AFSCME mailers or ads, there are no cheap shots against Barack Obama and no finger-pointing-blame at Edwards, which is a nice change to the positive for the union.
The two New Hampshire WOMEN VOTE! mailers are very similar, featuring [probably] two New Hampshire women who have endorsed Hillary. One, Amy Michaels, is a mom with two boys, who calls Hillary "determined to make things better" [A Google of variations of Amy Michaels, Hillary Clinton, and New Hampshire, yield no tangible results]. Inside, another theme: "Hillary Clinton: A Tested, Experienced Leader to Change America." The flyer rattles off a bunch of topics, including this one, which I found amusing "Corporate greed has eroded our middle class." Of course, this ignores the fact that husband Bill and the Democrats in Congress had a HUGE role in the economic crisis we are facing since it started back before Bush was selected by the Supreme Court. But beyond that, no real answers to anything. What is Hillary going to do? Tell us some specifics. Sorry, they aren't there. As well, the anti-corporate greed candidates are Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel, not Hillary. If EMILY's List is so concerned about corporate greed, why aren't they backing the anti-corporate candidates? Because they don't have the correct plumbing?
The second mailer seems to be geared towards the single, early- to mid-20s woman, with Kelly McCall on the front, dressed in a leather jacket with bangs that typically went out in the late 1990s [Note: No North Shore bug shield bangs which are still popular in some parts of Manch. A Google of Kelly McCall, Hillary Clinton, and New Hampshire, yielded some Blue New Hampshire posts about the mailers as well as a blog post by a guy in Florida talking about a woman who hand cycled 2,500 miles for the American Lung Association. The point of doing the Googling is to find out if these women are plants or if they actually live in New Hampshire]. Again, not a lot of substance as to what Hillary will do for the 20-something who might be barely struggling to live, possibly with a roommate, but still facing down the economic strife that many of us are looking at.

Question: Why is EMILY's List wasting its money on the mailers which tell the voters nothing about Hillary Clinton and give women no real reasons to vote for her other than the fact she is a woman?

Update: I was thinking about this on the drive to work this morning. I wonder if this group put the money up for the canvassers that the New Hampshire Citizens Alliance was advertising for. I talked about that issue over here: ["Interesting job offer ..."].

The Alliance for A New America has done a few mailers in the state with different themes. This latest one is about fighting special interests in Washington. It has a couple on the cover having a serious discussion [or argument, if you will] about the state of their finances. "New Hampshire families are losing out because specials interest money controls Washington." Well, umm, duh. Inside it states: "John Edwards has a plan to defeat the big corporations that have hijacked our government so they get rich at the expense of our families." Hmm, OK. Whattayagonna do? Tax relief for the middle class, quality health insurance, protect benefits, education opportunities and energy independence, it states. Later, on the back, there is a challenge: "Ask all the candidates what their plans are ..."
That's right: Ask them all. Get specific. I think you'll be surprised by the the lack of information you get.

Day before yesterday, I received another phone call from the Clinton campaign [603-289-4965]. Same old song and dance as before, only this time a bit of desperation in the voice of the woman making the call. I told her I wouldn't tell her who I was voting for, which caught this one off guard too. Note to the Clinton campaign: Please stop calling us!
Also, I received a robocall from Dennis Kucinich making his pitch to New Hampshire voters. I wondered what was going on with the call because when I first answered, there was a bit of silence and then a voice saying, "Democrat ... take three ..." and then Dennis spoke. Note to Dennis: You might want to have them edit your recording before sending out the robocalls. It will sound more professional.

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