September 28, 2010

Obama's big get-out-the-vote-rally in Madison today is "a great experiment."

Says Chris Van Hollen, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:
The challenge at the moment is how to get out the vote in Wisconsin and other battleground states...

“We know that first-time voters are difficult to bring out in midterm elections, and this will be a test of the White House’s ability to motivate those voters,” he said. “And the message is simple: Even though Barack Obama’s name is not on the ballot, the future success of his agenda and his presidency is at stake.”
And Obama himself says:
"People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up"... The president told Democrats that making change happen is hard and "if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place."
What if they were serious and they're not happy with what he did with the power they helped him win? The strong progressive opinion is anti-Obama these days. Don't be thinking that Madison is some kind of hardcore Democratic Party stronghold. It's not. This is a town where, in 2000, people resisted that notion that they should voted for Al Gore so Bush wouldn't win. What difference did it make? That was the argument I heard. "Bore and Gush" — remember that? It was important to vote for Ralph Nader. I heard that again and again. The President has taken his lefty fans for granted.

But I assume there will be a big crowd today — if it's not too hard to get through security. I, myself, will attend and put up with getting searched. I don't get jazzed up about seeing anybody in person, not even the President of the United States — not since 1975. But I am very interested in seeing how the crowd looks, getting some pictures, and talking to the people.


The Drill SGT said...

should vote


should voted

Known Unknown said...

Slighlty OFF TOPIC:

This naming business has gone too far.


Anonymous said...

His economic policy is an experiment too and the country's tired of being his lab rats.

MadisonMan said...

Wouldn't it be easier to get excited to vote for a particular brand if you were excited -- in a positive sense -- about what that brand was doing?

That's the question for Chris van Hollen that the journalist interviewing him should have asked.

MadisonMan said...

This naming business has gone too far.

That poor woman. How can anyone take her seriously?

Known Unknown said...

"It was important to vote for Ralph Nader."

As if Nader was some kind of moderate choice.

Big Mike said...

If no one in Florida had voted for Ralph Nader, Al Gore would have been president on 9/11/2001.

Thank you Ralph!!!!!

Alex said...

Good to see Althouse doesn't buy into cults of personality since 1975.

The Drill SGT said...

Marijuana Brownie Sawyer on the other hand would have been much better

GMay said...

Cut him some slack Professor, he's back to the only thing he really knows - campaigning.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I guess her parents just named her after random objects on the coffee table. It could have been worse.

Crack Needles Sawyer

Trash Crumbs

Roach Mold

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And these people vote too.

We are so screwed.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Obama is always like two moves behind what he should have done. He needs to fix one thing to show that he can.

Instead he flits and dithers from one grandiose reform to the next. Now he is on school reform- why should anyone believe he can fix schools based on what he has done to economy, jobs, spending, and Obamacare?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I hope Obama spends as much time as possible firing up his leftist base in Madison. These aren't the people who will decide the November elections.

quilbill said...

She's "Mary Jane" to her friends.

Long Time Listener said...

I find the focus on first-time voters interesting. It sounds like they depend on first time voters to win. I assume the vast majority of first time voters are those who have recently become old enough to vote. Does this not imply that those with more life experience are less likely to vote for democrats? What does this say about your party? When you focus on appealing to, essentially, adolescents, do not be surprised if adults are turned off by your message.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Chris Van Hollen, far left lib, is a grad of Harvard's JF Kennedy School of Government. Do we really & truly need a school of government? It seems to me that may be part of our problem.

wv = swagic = when your Simple Wild Ass Guess [swag] is correct!

Big Mike said...

Anyone else old enough to remember Fritz Mondale versus Ronald Reagan?

In the closing week of the campaign Fritz did some serious campaigning in his home state of Minnesota. I realized then that if was frightened of losing Minnesota, then Reagan was going to win in a landslide. And so it was.

Fast forward to 2010. If Obama has to campaign for his followers in Wisconsin -- in Madison no less -- then things are worse for the Democrats than I had hoped.

Unknown said...

If you look at what the Demos are saying, they're using every line but one.

The one about the country being in a malaise.

Scott M said...

Do we really & truly need a school of government? It seems to me that may be part of our problem.

During the 2008 campaign, I heard a couple of guys on NPR talking about the dire need for a government service academy that would be on par with the military academies (West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs) and called for dollar-for-dollar fund matching.


The Dude said...

Marijuana K. Fumar.

WV: quatlat - paraquat and milk.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

I think what Obama doesn't seem to get is that many Republicans believe in weak central government because they actually perceive a danger to power being too centralized. They are not crazy paranoid-delusional bumpkins, to be pacified merely by being by example cool and unpossessed of emotional concern; nor do they cry and lose sleep at night over the Harvard-trained leaders of finance he thinks they idolize having an investment portfolio slightly smaller. Clear and great integrity alone could convince those who fear central government that a particular leader is worthy of more power. Those who would have the people allow them to take power unto themselves over the people have a higher responsibility to exercise it with integrity, or the people will wrest the loaned powers away from them.

A strong central government can be dangerous notwithstanding government is more accountable to the people than corporations are. Many conservatives are not against strong central government per se for no sane reason at all, but against strong central government because they very much fear it being corrupt. Caving into financial interests makes Obama seem Mussolini-like to liberals and yet won't endear him by compromise to many if not most conservatives, who will consider his marriage of corrupt-like behavior with a desire for strong central government rightly as strong evidence of the existence in liberalism and in him of what they feared so much it made them conservatives. Nobody wants a strong government that behaves as if corrupt, except the few elitists benefitting from the corrupt behavior (a small fraction of Republicans that also includes many Democrats), and even with them, it may be they say they want it more than they actually do. Would even a banana-farm-owner American prefer to live in a banana republic?

I'm Full of Soup said...

Scott M:

Their mindset is nuts. NPR is a great example - they would never in a hundred years think to ask themselves "why do we need a college curriculum in Public Policy?"

I'm Full of Soup said...

Marijuani Pepsi Sawyer- you have to be kidding me.

But Kudos to her to have survived her parents' idiocy and succeeded in the world.

Michael Haz said...

Let's look at this with some perspective.

Obama is in Madison to hold a "get out the vote" rally. Which votes does he want to get out? He carried the voting districts on and near the University campus with more than 80% of the vote.

Polling date must be indicating that neither Feingold nor Barrett has anywhere near that plurality, or this event wouldn't be happening. Neither Feingold nor Barrett can win their respective statewide races without a massive plurality in parts of Madison near the UW campus and in parts of Milwaukee County.

Barrett isn't doing well enough in Milwaukee County to win statewide, so the big rally is being held in Madison. Good luck, Barrett.

Feingold's polling has him far behind Johnson nearly everywhere in Wisconsin. And Obama's negatives are so high that Feingold will once again decline to appear with Obama at a rally to get out the vote for Feingold.

Good luck Dems,it's going to be a rough election for your candidates.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Do it for the King!

MadisonMan said...

I think what Obama doesn't seem to get is that many Republicans believe in weak central government

...until they are elected to power.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Mad man:

I don't know - I think the internet has really changed everything political. The voters have speedy access to info and so they are fed up with both parties' illusions of effective and efficent ginormous govt.

Beth said...

Obama and family were in NOLA a month back, and went out for po-boys at Parkview Bakery. Looking at the description of security where you are, I don't understand why it's so different. Here, they had about 45 minutes to "secure" the restaurant, which is a big, old rambling Victorian house with a bar up front, a bunch of tables on a veranda, and more tables inside a room where you also line up to order at a window.

Obama ordered at the window along with everyone else in line. When he was done, they asked for his name (!) and he said "Barack." Then they told him the total. He looked surprised and got some cash from one of his entourage. Hey buddy, you ordered sammiches. Pay up!

About 10 minutes later the expediter brayed, over the PA, "Barrrraaackk! Your order's ready!" and that was it. Nothing fancy.

That's how presidents should be treated.

Chennaul said...


I hope you capture something interesting-good luck on the hunt.

For some strange reason I am looking forward to whatever you get-could be big...

Chennaul said...

Michael Haz-

You're comment made me go back and look at this Daily Kos/PPP poll I had up.

Yikes they have Obama's approval rating in Wisconsin at 41%.

They break it down geographically and he is at 55% in Milwaukee and 54% in Southwest Wisconsin.

In Southeast Wisconsin excluding Milwaukee Obama's approval rating is down to


What the heck is going on there?

MadisonMan said...

AJ Lynch, I think there's a big difference in values between Republican voters and the people they elect.

If I could trust Republican office-holders to focus solely on small government issues, I'd vote for them. I think many many people would (more than actually do) But as soon as they get elected, so many of them decide to act as Moral Policemen. I so don't want that.

What this country needs is a Small Government Party, a Welfare is Great Party, a Save the Unborn Party, and a Defense Over All party. Among others. This two-party system is a country killer.

I'm Full of Soup said...

I suspect the difference is due to the advanced notice. It's been known for days that Obama is visiting UW square. The Po Boys restaurant was probably not announced or known far in advance.

Michael Haz said...

@madawaskan - This just in:

Johnson 52%, Feingold 44%.

Wisconsin voters favor repealing Obamacare by a 53% to 38% margin.

Link to article.

As for what's going on here, more Wisconsin voters than in many years past are tired of the high federal, state, county and municipal taxes that we are saddled with paying.

And Russ Feingold is seen by most voters and aloof and condescending.

Scott M said...

I think it bears repeating that people yelling about taxes are not yelling (for the most part) for a complete removal of all taxes on their income. The overwhelming majority of adults realize that some taxation is necessary for a functioning state. The anger I see most often is the type directed at the wholesale waste of taxpayer revenue. Government waste, and it's ugly step-sister overreach, are the prime movers when it comes to taxes.

Just my $.02

DaveW said...

I find the focus on first-time voters interesting.


Chennaul said...

Michael Haz-

Thanks for the link-I'm kind of a poll addict!

And Russ Feingold is seen by most voters as aloof and condescending.

Devastating, I don't know how a politician gets over something like that.

I saw in the news where some of his meetings back in Wisconsin about Obama Care didn't go too well-but I can't even remember the specifics.

[Heck Barbara Boxer held exactly-0.]

Was Feingold getting the "aloof" label even before that happened?

His drop from my perspective seems phenomenal-I always assumed he was immensely popular.

There are actually some rumors that *if* Feingold loses the Senate race he might take Obama on in the primary.

sunsong said...


If I could trust Republican office-holders to focus solely on small government issues, I'd vote for them. I think many many people would (more than actually do) But as soon as they get elected, so many of them decide to act as Moral Policemen. I so don't want that.


Michael Haz said...

@madawaskan - look at the map in this article about the Obama/Hillary primary vote two years ago.

And now Obama has to go to Madison to "buck up" his voting base???

Michael Haz said...

But as soon as they get elected, so many of them decide to act as Moral Policemen. I so don't want that.

What, exactly does that mean? And do you believe the opposite about democrats, that they will not act in the role of "moral policeman"?

William said...

Since Democrat voters cannot be racist, the only possible explanation is that they are lethargic.

Chennaul said...


In one voting ward next to the Library Mall where the president speaks Tuesday, Obama defeated fellow Democrat Clinton 87% to 12%. (Obama received 1,122 votes in Ward 45, Clinton 160.)

Ha! He's a rock star.

I followed the link to the Weekly Standard which links to some of the break down of that latest Fox Poll and this was pretty interesting:

Will one reason for your vote for senate be to express support for Barack Obama, to express opposition to Barack Obama, or will Barack Obama not be a factor in your vote for SENATE this year :

20% Your vote will be to express support for Barack Obama

37% Your vote will be to express opposition to Barack Obama

42% Barack Obama will not be a factor in your vote

1% Not sure

I think that explains why Russ has to wash his hair or somethin'.

Original Mike said...

...until they are elected to power.

Hence the Tea Party. How will it turn out in the end? Don't know.

lemondog said...

The anger I see most often is the type directed at the wholesale waste of taxpayer revenue. Government waste, and it's ugly step-sister overreach, are the prime movers when it comes to taxes.

Just my $.02

Just another endless nano-minute example of crap government throwing away taxpayer money on an extraneous project and then not knowing what happened to the money, all overseen by the state Supreme Court Chief Justice!!!

Multiply by trillions when thinking federal government.

Committee of Seventy Explains Family Court Debacle

Now, everything is on hold. The FBI is investigating. The court building could be moved to a new site, or built exactly as planned on JFK Plaza. Nobody knows. All that’s sure is that the state has already spent $12 million of your money on this debacle– and can’t account for where all that money went. We suggest checking the pipes and sewers leading from Castille’s gold-plated toilet.

Wish government officials were as prudent in spending taxes, as you in your well-spent $.02

Alex said...

Can anyone help me out? I've been trying to research whether George Washington had a cult of personality but so far I'm not getting any Google hits on that. Apparently the man really was humble in the face of a nation that elected him to President unanimously 2x.

Lem said...

Rush says Obama is having trouble getting students to attend the rally in Madison.

Anybody got pictures?

Original Mike said...

The rally isn't for hours yet.

"The entry gate, located at Park Street at the base of Bascom Hill, will open at 3:30 p.m. All who enter will undergo screening by metal detector. The program is expected to begin at 4:45 p.m., and will last several hours. "

I'm Full of Soup said...


Yes that's Philly for you - it can't be cleaned up IMO. Everything is a money grab to the Dem pols and the Republicans accept whatever table scraps they can get too.

MadisonMan said...

So it's going 'til after dark -- several hours after 4:45 (As IF it'll start on time).

Too bad I can't go. I think it would be good people-watching, although the last time I went to a political rally -- Kerry in 2004 (I think), I was mortified at the adulation given by grown adults who should know better. So maybe it's just as well that I'll miss it. But my reason is better than Feingold's. Kids' sporting event.

Original Mike said...

Did Feingold give a reason?

traditionalguy said...

It's the Train Man coming to town...if anybody can the Train Man can. Billions of Candy Dollars for Trains of our Imagination. That's what the Dems and the RINOs call effective government. Some body alert Sarah Palin that her anti-corruption skills are desperately needed in Wisconsin.

former law student said...

Why would Obama have to fire up the base? Probably the same reason McCain stayed conservative all through the Gen. El. campaign -- to make sure somebody turned out.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Orig Mike asked:
"Did Feingold give a reason?"

If Althouse posed that question, I bet she could get 200 comments.

lemondog said...

@ AJ Lynch, as a blogger I assume you are aware of the required license fee for blogger?

Bloggers Must Purchase Business License in Philly

Well that should help pay for the lost $12 million.

I'm Full of Soup said...


I am a pretty much a retired blogger. I did 176 posts a year for 3-4 years as a community service [heh].

Yes I heard about the blogger tax kerfuffle - but I left the city more than ten years ago for tax reasons.

FedkaTheConvict said...

Slightly OFF TOPIC:

This naming business has gone too far.


Her mother was/is a hippie so now we know the recipe for Hippie Punch.

She was actually featured on NBC; see the article here: Marijuana Pepsi will see you now

blake said...

Mad Man --

I agree that the Reps have acted like, well, Dems when in power. It'd be a good reason not to vote for them, if there were any hope of making the Dems back into small gov't types. (Not yet, anyway.)

But the moral policeman charge is weak. For every restriction on sex toy sales by the socons, you got a ban on incandescent bulbs--brought to you by the entirety of the Dem party (and probably some Reps, too).