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I waited today for someone to do a diary about the specifics of the education plan that Barack laid out today in VA, and has brought up in previous speeches, including comparisons to the reactionary proposals of the McCain campaign.  

I waited in vain.

I decided not to write that diary.  Because it wouldn't get read anyway, except by a small contingent of readers who are interested in the issues.

Instead, I headed off into cyberspace and made comments about Barack's education plan at the websites of 15 newspapers I have bookmarked, and have "joined" as a person who is allowed to comment.  None of them are left of center blogs.  

This community is full of wonderfully prolific writers, and commentators.  I enjoy it here.  But when I talk to my co-workers, neighbors, relatives, and friends - none of them have ever heard of DailyKos.  Before last year - I hadn't heard of it either.  

My 69 year old retired cousin in Philly has, after much urging from me, volunteered to work one day a week at the Obama office in her neighborhood.  She is making phone calls there, correcting the records of wrong numbers, people who have moved, assisting in the GOTV effort.  This is the first time in her life she has ever volunteered for a political campaign.  She does not have cable TV.  She does get ABC, CBS and NBC where she watches the local and national news.  She watches (shudder) George S. on Sunday, or Meet the Press.  She does not have a computer.  She does not access the internet. She does read the Philadelphia Inquirer, and on the weekends reads the NY Times.  She actually reads letters to the editor.  She discusses the latest news with her Catholic church members, where she is very active.  

I talk to her every morning.  I fill her in on the latest news I've learned online, and give her a broader perspective on the issues.  She called me to ask me about the "lipstick on a pig remark".  It was being covered on her local news.  I explained that Obama was not referencing Sarah Palin, was talking about change versus more of the same, and added that McCain had used  the same term to describe Hillary's health care plan.  She didn't know that.  I continued with a few other nuggets about McCain's overall lack of support for policies affecting women, and his blatant sexism - that we all know about here, which havn't made it into the mainstream media.  I also gave her more info on Sarah Palin's stands on issues during her tenure in Alaska.  She's not getting much of that information at present. She is going to spread that information at her church.

BTW, though my cousin is African-American, she attends a very integrated church in the Mount Airy section of PA; her brother and his wife live in affluent Bucks county.  I talk to them too.  

We talked a bit about Ed Rendell, and she asked me where Obama has offices in other parts of PA.  She isn't a Rendell fan, but likes Bob Casey.  
I made a mental note to go back to posting comments to some local papers in Scranton and other areas of PA that I bookmarked during the primaries.

While we were on the phone, I had her write down some info that was discussed in a diary here last week, the number of bills Obama has sponsored or co-sponsored in the the Senate, and in Illinois.
She shared info about the phone calls she has made.  She has not talked to one person who is voting for McCain.  She has talked with both black and white Philadelphians. Granted her information is anecdotal,  but every vote counts.  

Okay.  So what am I asking you prolific pensters to do?

Adopt 3 newspapers; one small town paper, one medium market paper, and one more national one.  

Here are some links that will help you identify targets:

Adopt 3 TM blogs/comment sections - I've started commenting at ABC, and CBS,  not CNN or MSNBC.  I'm trying to get up enough nerve to comment at FOX  (not ready yet).

I've focused on PA because it is a state we need to win, and because I've lived there in the past. Since I live in NY, I'm not really concerned with  our local papers, though since the NY Post has just endorsed McCain, they may be hearing from me.

I also write to papers in Miami, around Hispanic/Latino issues. Florida is another key state, and younger, second and third generation Cubans are shifting towards Obama.

So I'm asking, imploring, begging you who read and write here - if you can't find time to go to a local office, or even if you are already out canvassing and volunteering,  use some of your brilliance,
wit, astute political insights - and direct them at the folks outside of here.  Take one hour, or one half hour, deprive yourself of that zingy riposte to a diary you dislike.  Ignore piling on  the 50th comment, or the 150th  remark to an obvious troll diary.  Use the time to address folks who read the Ashtabula Star-Beacon in Ohio, or the Richmond Times-Dispatch, in VA.  

Pick a message each week - or a new one each day.  Focus on getting that message out.  My message this week is education.  Next week I'm going to make comments about housing and foreclosures.  

We are Obama's foot soldiers, but we spend too much time preaching to the choir.  I love KO and Rachel - but their audience is us.  TPM, Politico, HuffPo, MyDD...the union workers on my campus had never heard of any of them.  I asked over 45 people this week.  They are secretaries, maintenance workers, grounds-keepers and other support staff.  

What newspaper do they read?  The Local Daily.  What TV News do they watch - the networks.  3 out of the 45 watch CNN from time to time, 5 see some FOX, and 2 have seen MSNBC.  

Interestingly many said they listen to a variety of talk shows on the radio.  There was a good diary here about us getting more active on that front as well.  

Okay - I've nagged and lectured long enough.  

I'll be back in a bit.  I've found an interesting opinion piece I want to comment on at the Pittsburgh Courier. ;)

And after you've gone off to fight for Obama - with keyboard, and not a sword, you can come back and write more lipstick diaries, or rants about fluctuating polls.  


Many thanks to Maorca for rescuing this by doing a sacrifice diary to draw attention.  FIST BUMP!!! And to all of you who helped get it up here :)

Please suggest papers in areas that you know could use attention in swing states! If you can - give us some links.

chocolate cliffs has pointed out that open left has links to newspapers in all the swing states:

Thanks to Inky99 who pointed out robertacker13's complete list of places to send Letters to the Editor

sherijr pointed out:

that if one is to join the mybo website- there are tools within your dashboard (profile) which allow and assist you with letters to the editor.  This is an outstanding tool, along with links to calling and canvassing- all within O's website.

Originally posted to Denise Oliver Velez on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:09 PM PDT.

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