Walking through East Boston on the final leg of our homeward journey after phone banking for Scott Brown at Boston, MA GOP headquarters this morning, we caught the heart and mind of this affable young man with our newly acquired Scott Brown lawn sign. Eye contact. Ear-to-ear smiles. Species recognition. He pointed with pride to a Scott Brown sign on his back window. We got him to pose with our sign.
"I know more Democrats who are voting for this guy than Republicans," a caller is telling Howie Carr on WRKO 680 am this evening, even as Rothenberg reports the race is a toss-up. Although we adore Howie and link his column from time to time, we've never been a fan of talk radio and will probably never tune in again after the election. But, then, we never marched with signs to town halls and city halls before this spring when we caught Tea Party Fever. One thing led to another, we blogged about it, and here we are on the frontline of the fight for the heart and soul of the Shining City Upon a Hill.
The best thing about phone banks — The jury's still out on the usefulness of phone banks themselves (see below for talking points) — is the fellowship with wonderful folks of like mind you get to shmooze with. Tina from Southie, above, and ourselves could hardly stop talking about how bad things are and how much we owe Barack Obama — and a compliant media! — for awakening a sleeping nation. And don't get us started on the Gramscian march through the cultural institutions:
How can the mainstream media be intelligent and allow this to happen?
If you're not a gifted salesperson — our highest achievement along those lines was third prize for selling the most Girl Scout cookies in third grade — you find yourself listening with a third ear and picking up talking points and techniques from more skilled callers nearby, like retired Air Force guy Jim of Somerville, above left discussing the fine points of phone banking with Deputy Regional Coordinator for Boston Shawn Burke. But even smooth-talking Jim wasn't able to sell a majority of the folks at the other end of the line, grumpy at having received multiple calls from the campaign in the last few days. One told him, half jokingly, that if he received one more call from us, he was going to vote for the other side. Our working theory is that phone banking is in its last throes, a victim of more sophisticated social-networking opportunities for future campaigns. But just as we were starting to agree with our sis that phone banking does more harm than good, in comes Amy Kane in the comments to our previous post with this from a commenter at that lame Globe endorsement of Martha Coakley:
My family was going to go with Coakley, who for us, is a local candidate. We've received multiple calls from Scott Brown's campaign and not a thing from Coakley. We're swinging for Brown. It's time for a change of direction.
Way to go, phone bank volunteers!
It surely is nice to be appreciated. Phone banking itself may give way to something more finely tuned to the person at the other end of the line in the next election cycle, but there is no substitute for the on-the-ground fellowship of red staters bonding behind enemy lines in blue-state Taxachusetts. We are totally energized!
Update: Blog pal Dan Riehl links, and we pick up the home phone for a donation request from a Scott Brown call center in Minnesota. They wanted $50. Ask and ye shall receive. We didn't want to give our credit-card info over the phone so went to the Scott Brown for Senate web site and ended up giving $250. You give too.
Update II: Hub Politics links. Thanks, Matt!
Update III: Instalanche! "Plus: Jackpot: Brown raised a million dollars a day every day this week. 'The first-ever moneycarpetbomb?'”
Update IV: Ed Driscoll links: "That dovetails perfectly into what Erick Erickson calls 'The Story The Media Is Missing Because It Does Not Fit Their Narrative.'”
Update V: Linked at Eastboston.com: "History in the making?"
Update VI: Gateway Pundit links!