Sunday, December 21, 2003

Halley: "The same things Bush doesn't understand about terrorists' networks and cells, he doesn't understand about political networks. He thinks you squash them from the top down."

4:15:30 PM    comment []

Our neighbor had brain surgery. Cutting edge stuff, so to speak -- a device was implanted in his head to treat early-onset Parkinsons. Luna and I were out walking and I decided to ring his doorbell.

He answered, looking better than he has in years. "How's your brain?," I asked him. "Great," he said. He stood straight, moved easily. No tremors. No more drugs to make him feel slow and hazy. This morning he took his kid out for pancakes, the kind of vital, normal activity denied him before.

We talked for a while in the December sunshine under a Carolina blue sky. As Luna and I headed for home I turned and said, "Congratulations....Is that the right word? Mazel Tov?"

"It's like, Happy Birthday," he said.

4:04:35 PM    comment []

Getting it, almost: The Times runs a semi-clueful article about turning online organizing into offline action, but writer Elisabeth Rosenthal stumbles in saying the goal is to turn Web recruits into "a disciplined army of campaign workers, who stay in step and on message." 

Using the Web to organize offline activity is a critical part of the Dean strategy, and it's good to see the Times figuring this out, especially after the mag trivialized the story a couple of weeks ago. And Rosenthal is right that volunteer energy can't be randomly directed. But "in step and on message" is the language of traditional campaigns, and I don't think that's what makes this campaign tick. Dean volunteers have been on-task for months, writing letters and performing other jobs directed from campaign HQ, without giving up local initiative and creativity.

Meanwhile, a strong Frank Rich piece brings home to the mass audience many of the points about the Dean campaign we've been discussing in the blogosphere and in Baseline -- including the cluelessness of political pros as to what's going on.

10:04:58 AM    comment []

frograbbitmonkey: "It's a strange and wonderful feeling to be happy just where I am."

Something else for this fine Greensboro blogger to be happy about: she got into law school.

9:32:28 AM    comment []

When I was growing up, no year was complete without an idiosyncratically rhymed recap from my father. In today's newspaper column, I continue that tradition with a review of local and national news.

9:29:19 AM    comment []