February 18, 2008

The day before the Wisconsin primary.

Will anyone be out and subject to influencing here in Madison on President's Day, in the snow?

If you are, you can go see Michelle Obama at the Overture Center at 3:15 p.m and Hillary Clinton herself at Monona Terrace at 8:30 p.m. The Clinton event is an entire "Solutions for America" rally, scheduled to begin at 6:30 and run until 10:00 p.m. I'm thinking that's a little late (and long) for the target audience of older, working people on a week night.

Will I show up for either event? Have I, in my entire life, ever gone to a political rally or to hear a politician speak? I can only think of one time: I walked through a Kerry rally that took place on the street here in 2004, mainly to get photographs for the blog (blogs!), but committing to sitting through a big speech in an auditorium doesn't appeal to me. It's hardly a way to learn anything you don't already know about the candidate. One might go to demonstrate support for the candidate. Michelle and Hillary Clinton need you as a visual props for the cameras. Or maybe you get a thrill from being in the same room with a big star. Or you want to feel a part of a surgingly emotional crowd.

That is, you have to care in a certain way to show up for a big indoor rally. Fortunately, you don't at all need to have that feeling to vote.

IN THE COMMENTS: Oh, why can't they get over it!
rhhardin said...
Ha! I read it as "Monica Terrace."...

Bissage said...
"Solutions for America" . . . is one of those the solution that removes fabric stains?...

23 comments:

rhhardin said...

Ha! I read it as ``Monica Terrace.''

This is why proofreading is so hard to do.

rhhardin said...

Back when I was in college, they had a Mock Convention every 4 years, floats were made, you joined state delegations, posters went up, students finally stayed up all night having successive votes, and they had some record or other of successfully predicting the result of the actual convention mocked.

You had the option of not participating, though you lost credit for one assembly of the eight required per semester, a way of getting an audience for invited speakers.

I looked at the prospect with horror, and took the additional assembly. Enthusiasm has to make some sense, otherwise what's the point?

Apparently not a common choice, though.

George said...

There is something to be said for seeing politicians up close, live, in the flesh.

I saw Jimmy Carter in '79. He was a tiny and ashen. Did not inspire much confidence....

Saw Reagan. Guy looked like a movie star.

Presence counts for something in presidents.

P. Rich said...

Althouse said: Hillary Clinton herself...

Revealing. But revealing what?

AllenS said...

Ann--

You were going to tell us this weekend why you support Obama. Is that project on hold?

titusisgay said...

Its 60 degrees in NYC today but rainy and ugly.

My sister said it is just awful in Wisconsin.

I have never attended a political rally. I wouldn't want to be surrounded by all those common people. I imagine bad breath, bad clothes, body odor, bad hair and people that are way too enthusiastic.

titusisgay said...

Seen as though the weather is so bad in Scony it would be a good day for a vlog.

Now punch it Marge.

Ann Althouse said...

AllenS: It's still the weekend. Monday's a holiday. I'm planning to do it today. Just wait a few hours. It's a huge project (unless I can knock it down to size).

Bissage said...

(1) “Solutions for America” . . . is one of those the solution that removes fabric stains?

(2) I would gladly go to a political rally if it were “Rotten Cabbage Night.”

(3) Sometimes I despair that I’ll not live long enough to see the end of the human backdrop. It’s too much reality for me to think there’s got to be some sort of assistant director type arranging the human set props according to gender, race, attractiveness, etc.

And you just know that the human backdrop is the real reason why the government wants us all to go out and buy wide-screen high def television sets.

Ron said...

"Solutions for America" sounds like one of those sales presentations they would give when they want to pitch condos in Florida!

MadisonMan said...

titus: Sconnie, not Scony.

Please change -- it's been bugging me and making me hungry for scones.

Pogo said...

Two years ago, while walking home I went through our local auditorium downtown because I heard Obama was there. Even then, people talked about his rockstar status.

But his speech was merely a bromide; nothing substantive at all. He seemed to both soothe and excite the large crowd, but at the time I thought this seemed more like a revival tent than a political speech.

One could have listened to Lincoln's speeches and learned something. Not so Obama. Like Hillary, he speaks to befog. His words obscure rather than illuminate. There is nothing more than style and the use of ritual Democrat-progressive words.

And you shall be healed.

titusisgay said...

Sorry Sconnie-didn't know it had an actual correct spelling.

My friends who were originally from Wisconsin but left to larger cities all refer to Wisconsin as "Sconnie"-in an endearing way.

We can make fun of it because we are from there but if anyone who isn't makes fun of it we go off.

When I first moved to Boston one kid from Boston asked me if Wisconsin was by Idaho.

Jim Howard said...

I went to a McGovern airport rally in Austin in 72. It was a disorganized mess. McGovern tried to speak from the steps of the airplane, but the crew was running the auxiliary power unit ( the small jet engine that provides ground power)which drowned out his entire speech. People were screaming at him to 'turn off the airplane!' but he seemed oblivious.

I found this fascinating. McGovern was himself a pilot, I was astounded that he didn't stick his head in the cockpit and tell them 'turn that off boys'. Had there been any advance work done at all this would not have happened.

This rally confirmed to me that McGovern was a good man, but a bumbler.

The only other Presidential campaign speeches I can recall attending was a Humphrey speech at the Dallas airport in the 60s, when I was in high school. I remember three things:

1) John Connelly (then Governer of Texas) was very charismatic.

2) HHH was the most optimistic, cheerful, and positive politician I've ever seen, before or since. I really liked him.

3) HHH was cheerful and optimistic about how many three letter agencies and new government spending programs he wanted to start. He wanted to out-FDR FDR. Even then I knew that the last thing we need is more three letter agencies.

rhhardin said...

Buckley wrote a HHH obit, and the incident he mentioned was getting somehow invited into the cockpit jumpseat while a 747 landed in London, and HHH also in first class found out he was in there, and invited himself in too.

HHH as cheerful but owing to that also a nuisance sometimes, was the mood I remember.

Ralph said...

One could have listened to Lincoln's speeches and learned something
That's what I liked about Gingrich at his best.

I saw Reagan drive jauntily away from United Way national HQ across the street from my old office. Sam Donaldson was next to me and visibly frustrated by the security precautions, but Reagan waved at us and everyone but Sam waved back.

Hundreds of us went to gawk at a sitting president when Bush did a whistlestop here in 92. It was all designed for the TV cameras. Bush gave a "speech" of pathetic sound bites; they invited several marching bands and didn't let them play. I bet he lost more votes than he won. If it hadn't been 200 yards from my house, I'd have been angry about my wasted energy.

Trooper York said...

The only presidential campaign event I attended was when Jimmy Carter came to Carroll Park in 1976and Tony Scotto and the ILA wanted everyone to attend. The only interesting thing that happened was that Daniel Patrick Moynihan was running for Senator and introduced Carter. He was drunk out of his face and gave a hilarious intro and fell down. Good times.

amba said...

Presence counts for something in presidents.

Well, maybe we could just call them "presents." (They show up.) Or "Presences." "Mr. Presence" . . .

Althouse said: Hillary Clinton herself...

Revealing. But revealing what?


"Revealing" that Obama "himself" is not coming but is sending his wife. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar (oh, why can't I get over it!).

Ann, do you think the snow will affect the turnout or are Wisconsonians (?) inured to it? Will they snowshoe or cross-country ski to the polls? Do they all have chains on their tires?

Ralph said...

If you don't get your manifesto out PDQ, you won't have much impact on the primary result, or do you care that much?

Middle Class Guy said...

I do not trust politicians who tout the solution for anything. I seem to remember one who claimed to have the solution. People loved him, eventhough he was short, ugly, and shrieked when he spoke. He got himself into office. I think he called it the final solution. The world was never the same after that.

Smilin' Jack said...

I'm planning to do it today. Just wait a few hours. It's a huge project (unless I can knock it down to size).

Shouldn't be that tough. Just frame it as your second chance to vote for Jimmy Carter.

PatCA said...

I agree with MiddleClassGuy. Kind of a chilling statement, even for the Bride of the Messiah.

I'm hoping it's more a Solution to the Saturday-NYT-Crossword Puzzle-ness that is Life.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

You should go! I wish I could go. And it's not bad timing, she's trying to target a demographic that might go for Obama and change their minds.