I arrived here in Watertown, NY about an hour ago. There is lots of energy as the campaign enters the final stretch.
Bob Adney, field director for Hoffman for Congress greeted me as I came in and immediately asked me to go to work at the phone bank.
Here in Watertown they have over 40 phone lines humming. Starting this evening, John Rich and Fred and Jeri Thompson will be holding a rally here. I will update you all as it happens.
While here I met a fellow named Robert Stacy McCain, you may have heard of him, and we discussed the situation here.
The consensus we reached is that a key part, ending Dede's campaign, has been accomplished. Putting Doug Hoffman in the House will be te finishing touch. The message we send to Pelosi, et al will be undeniable. The top Democrats may ignore it, but the "blue dogs" will be running scared.
For those of you who couldn't be here but want to help follow the information below and make some calls. EVERY CALL COUNTS. If you can only put in a little time or all day tonight and tomorrow, do what you can. We can win this.
Sign-Up: to make calls for Doug: Note after you sign up it will take about 15 minutes for the system to recognize you. They will send you an email letting you know you are good to make calls.
Update: This evenings event - Wow!
Fred Thompson is of course the key. He, probably more than anyone, brought this race to national attention. It is unfortunate that Fred Thompson did not become our President last year, but in his current role, he is showing just how valuable he remains to the conservative movement. Money quote: "The Vice President job is to attend funerals...which explains why he was here for the Owens campaign."
Interesting tidbit: It was Jeri Thompson who brought the Doug Hoffman - Dede Scozzafava race to Fred's attention. This is the one to watch. Jeri is every bit the ideological and intellectual match for her husband. She was gracious and gave me a quote to share with the readers of Redstate. "I heard Vice President Biden was here earlier today, I also understand that he revealed he was a lifeguard at one time. That surprised me. I didn't know you could swim with your mouth open."
Jon Rich gave a geat performance. Highlights:
"I'm not running for anything so I can say what the he** I want. Nancy Pelosi is like a witch flying around on her broom. Someone needs to drop a house on her."
This town is Fort Drum's area, home of the 10th Mountain Division. All of the speakers spoke at length about military issues, something dear to my heart.
The key speaker of course was Doug Hoffman himself. He is an unlikely candidate, unassuming, low key. His pitch is simple. He is an average person who wants to fix what is wrong in D.C.
Last night, after all the fun was over and everyone went their seperate ways I stopped at a convenience store for some snacks before back to my hotel to hit the hay. The employee at the convenience store commented on my rental car (a 2010 silver Ford Mustang convertible - I got upgraded for free) and we started talking about things. Turns out he is a National Guard soldier and was in Iraq in 04-05. We started talking about politics, and he referred to himself as a moderate, not really taking sides. I asked him if he was going to vote. He said he might. I made the case for Doug Hoffman and I used the following points of info -
Doug Hoffman is not a member of the "political class".
Doug Hoffman wants taxes lowered and less money spent.
Doug Hoffman is a veteran and storngly supports the military.
Those are conservative arguments, delivered to a moderate. Guess what? He told me he really wants to go and pull the lever for Doug Hoffman and assured me he would vote for Doug Hoffman today. As we go through the rest of this election and into 2010, what are you doing to influence your friends, family and neighbors to vote? You will be surprised as you find how easily many self-identfied moderates, independents and liberals are swayed by conservative arguments - as long as they are exposed to them.
Back to it now, will check back in about the campaign activity this morning and wil be at the Hoffman HQ this evening as results start coming in.
[Update 3] The Other McCain wrote a flattering piece about me, and I'll link it here Boots on the ground - one of the most interesting aspects of this trip has been interacting with bloggers and reporters also covering this race.
[Update 4] - Continued here: http://www.redstate.com/hooah_mac/2009/11/03/boots-on-ground-in-ny-23-part-2/