I live in Rogers Park, a multi-racial neighborhood on the Far North Side of Chicago. In the fall of 2000, I began getting telephone calls from Bill Clinton, asking me to vote for his friend Al Gore for president.
Clinton was only a year removed from his impeachment over the Monica Lewinsky scandal, so the Democratic Party didn’t want to put him on television, where everyone could see him endorsing Gore. So they targeted phone calls to heavily Democratic exchanges like RO-gers 4, LO-ngview 1, and EN-glewood 4.
The Democrats are now doing something similar with the not-universally-popular-even-in-Illinois Barack Obama. Obama recorded an endorsement of Gov. Pat Quinn, which will be aired on black radio stations and dialed to black telephones, on the assumption that swing voters in Rolling Meadows are listening to Eric & Kathy, not the Trey Da Choklit Jok Morning Jump-Off. (This it totally off the topic, but the fact that Eric Ferguson gets paid $1 million a year for making unfunny remarks in between songs by Nickelback and Lady Gaga just sums up everything that's wrong with both radio and income inequality in America.)
Here’s what Obama has to say about Quinn:
This is President Barack Obama calling on behalf of Pat Quinn. In all my experience, one lesson stands out: if you want change, you have to get involved. Today, across the country and here in Illinois our communities face serious threats. There’s a real push to force us back to the failed policies of the past. We can’t let them get away with it. We need to vote, and vote for Governor Pat Quinn.
I know Pat Quinn. Over the years, I’ve seen firsthand his courage to take on powerful interests, his character to do what’s right, and his commonsense that’s getting our state moving again. He’s fighting to create jobs, strengthen our schools, and protect our neighborhoods.
On Election Day, I’ve voting for my friend, Pat Quinn, and I hope you’ll join me. We can’t afford to stay home - because the best thing you can do for me in the White House is to vote to keep Pat Quinn Governor. Thank you.
The idea, of course, is to get voters who were excited about voting for Obama to vote for the much-less-exciting Quinn. In the neighborhoods Obama wants to reach, people only vote for one brand of candidate. The challenge is getting them into the store.
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