Archive for October 16, 2010

Just arrived at the Sean Bielat HQ in Newton from the Obama rally today several observations:

The Unions had a lot of sign holders out across the street, there was a small tea party presence there as well but not very significant from what I saw.

I was told on the record that the fire Marshall allowed 6600 in the main room, it was full, there is also an over flow room that hold about 2400, there were 800 people or so there plus another 200-500 outside. So figure maybe 8000. That means that president Barack Obama, Deval Patrick and Barney Frank were unable on a Saturday 3 weeks before an election to outdraw Sarah Palin on the Boston Common in April on a Wednesday. Democrats be afraid, be very afraid.

I am very interested in how many congressional candidates and state office holders in contested races choose to skip this rally.

Most of the people there once they found out I was a conservative and a tea party supporter clamed up and assumed I would be a dishonorable liar. I should have resented that more but I was more amazed than resentful. When I told them I predicted that we (Republicans) will take 3 seats including ma-10 they laughed at me….

…but they also insisted the tea party was strictly astroturf and that we were being financed. To that I say, if only, IF ONLY!

I did talk to several people in line (only one would go on camera, delightful woman) and they were mixed about how much help the visit would be. I actually think it will help Patrick a lot since it’s a 3 way race and in a 3 way race your base is the most important.

Ran into Michael Graham who was at the Comic Book convention (and Magic tourney) in the same building. The comic book & magic people drew about 2500 so the prez did 3 times better than them with a free event.

For the first time ever I forgot my press credential from the Scott Brown rally, and it hurt because the Secret Service turned me away from the press entrance because of it.

The defining moment of the day for me happened just after that. One of the guys from a comic store in Lowell figured this was a great chance to move some of the Obama hardcover Spiderman comics that he can’t move. Cover price is $30, Amazon sells it at $22, he offered it for $5 and out of a dozen managed to sell…..2.

This rally has absolutely convinced me that democrats in Massachusetts are in deeper trouble than I thought and the most fanatical ones of them are in even deeper denial.

I’ll update with photos as soon as I get a chance.

Update: Here is a slideshow from the event

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Also Stacy has some info on the rally

Update 2: Here is some video. The first is the spiderman video

The next one was while I was inside heading to the overflow room, I thought the line was for the president but it turned out it was for the Mayor of Quahog

In fairness of COURSE there were more people there to see the president and governer, his crew outnumbered the Magic the gathering tournament and the comic convention 3 to 1 (of course it was free to see the president).

Here was the overflow room, I got there at the end and you can see how many had flowed in:

The delightful lady who supported Deval and Obama was Natella Poladzade

If I was the president I’d take her to every rally he has.

Update 3: Via Fleming and hays Barney’s boyfriend heckles Sean Bielat at WGBH:

They ask an interesting question:

This brings an interesting element to the race when such a prominent “supporter” of Frank feels the need to try and pick a fight with the opposition. While Frank continues to promote his theory that, “According to our numbers we are up by more than 20 points no matter what we do.”, this type of action smells of desperation and fear. Not to mention, he clearly has no campaign staff to speak of, obviously, because the only person he could muster up to heckle his opponent was the antithesis of anonymous. We’ve got to give Barney a break, though, this is the first time in 30 years he’s had to campaign and he clearly doesn’t know how to go about it.

That’s a good question, I invite those who doubt my three seat prediction or my report on the trend in Massachusetts at Examiner.com to answer.

Update 4:
Quick FYI to the people who talked to me and gave their first names, I’ll be writing a longer examiner column about what you said during my road trip that I’m starting tonight, do not worry you will be heard.

Update 5: Instalanche welcome pundit readers. I have a little more video I’m about to add. Also $190 away for paying for a 3 state road trip with RS McCain to cover a few congressional races in NY and Pa (and maybe va) so if you can kick in to finish paying for the rental and gas that would be much appreciated.

Meanwhile here is the crowd moving forward

and more crowd shots:

And a “bad sign” for Deval

And the info about the 6600 allowed in:

Update 6: Chris Lackey claims I’m misrepresenting facts, since he claims that I’m acting dishonorably I demand satisfaction! I put a series of questions in comments for him to answer or to put up his own account of what he saw.

Update 7: Chris answered my questions in comments and I answered his in comments, and I figured out why he thought I was BS’ing. He was counting the number of people in the hall itself. The 6600 represents the number of supporters that the fire Marshall allowed in AFTER security and people on stage etc. So naturally he thought I was lowballing the number since he of course based his number on everyone while to me the number allowed in (indicating the number of supporters willing to show up) was the story. No wonder he thought I was lying. That should have occurred to me so I’m sorry I got so angry about it, but questioning my veracity or honor is a hot button thing with me.

Also apparently they held initial people in the overflow room (when Chris showed up) so naturally it was full then. I saw it after the main hall was full and they were putting people in there to see. Both of us were right but different perspective because of different times.

Update 8: Continued the discussion here and discovered that 3000 supporters were Bussed in ahead of time all over the state. As I recall this wasn’t done for the April 14th Rally with the Tea Party express and Sarah Palin. So I guess things are even worse then I thought if they had to bus people in to make sure they had numbers.

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Via Glenn I read this post at the foundry that ended with this line:

Facts matter, and we hope we’ve stated them clearly enough so that even Media Matters can’t deny them.

Earth to Heritage, there is no fact so damning that Media Matters can’t deny if it suits their agenda.

Stacy Teases him but I think the headline is really revealing.

Do the pollsemphasis mine back up the attacks on the Chamber of Commerce?

Not do the facts, not does the evidence, do the polls!

Remember in the days of Journolist (you know that scandal that the Morning Joe crew never asked Ezra about during his appearances on the show)
when the debate was about spin vs facts. It wasn’t a question of what was true, it was a question of if it would work.

I’m sure Ezra and pals have still have a listserv somewhere that this is discussed but the Journolist priority of how it spins never leaves. That’s because it wasn’t a function of Journolist…it is the function of the people in it.

One of the things that I’ve learned since I’ve gotten involved in this business is what the words “off the record” means.

People will tell you things “on background” or “without attribution” meaning that you can use them as long as it is attributed to “a source said” type of thing or as general background information.

“Off the record” is something more blunt. This means you accept information on the condition that you pledge your personal word and honor not to reveal it.

Now if you can get that information from another source that’s different but once you have agreed to “off the record” one’s personal honor and one is obliged to keep that word. That was David Brooks dilemma.

In such a situation he is ethically obliged not to talk (or as Stacy McCain says never burn a source) so I don’t fault him for that…

BUT it would be interesting to see what his columns about the president looked like after the fact. Did he seem less supportive? Did he give the words of the administration less credence and more doubt? One can’t come out and say “This guy is lying to your face and he told me so!” but you can change the direction of your coverage from admiration to skepticism without breaking your word.

One has an obligation to protect ones source but also to inform the public. Social schedule not withstanding if your priority is to be honorable, you have to find a way to do both.