February 10, 2008


Obama basic training: Volunteers told to share personal conversion stories with voters - not policy views (John Hill, January 21, 2008, Sacramento Bee)

In a storefront on Q Street in Sacramento, Kim Mack told a crowd that spilled out onto the sidewalk how she came to back Barack Obama.

With a son serving in the Iraq war, which she opposed, Mack was looking for a like-minded presidential candidate. She was impressed by the Illinois senator's books.

But the clincher came on March 17, when she met the Democratic contender face to face. She describes how he lit up the room with his wide smile, shook her hand and thanked her for volunteering.

"He looked at me, and the look in his eyes was worth 1,000 words," said Mack, now a regional field organizer. Obama hugged her and whispered something in her ear – she was so thrilled she doesn't remember what it was. [...]

She told the volunteers that potential voters would no doubt confront them with policy questions. Mack's direction: Don't go there. [...]

"Values are not just concepts, they're feelings," [Marshall Ganz, a one-time labor organizer for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers] said.

The appeal to pure emotion is the quintessence of the politics of the female party. But the entire electorate isn't this labile and while they focus on the sweetness of the nothings that the Senator whispers in their ears, the rest of us can't help noting the nothingness.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 10, 2008 7:02 AM

They want the next FDR, the JFK. They thought they had it with Clinton, but he failed them. They are still looking.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 10, 2008 10:12 AM

Regarding how one reacts to infra-rational, non-verbal appeals to emotion:

We should experience an alert, a sense of danger, very much like being close to a snake we don't know is venomous or not, or a firearm we don't know to be loaded or not.

This might be a old-time Catholic thing. The Father of Lies whispers things we don't remember to tempt us to do what we know we should not. Failure to test feelings against knowledge and reason is an act of spiritual recklessness.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 10, 2008 11:23 AM

There better be enough of "the rest of us."

Posted by: Twn at February 10, 2008 1:19 PM