On today's American Morning, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta covered the weekend canvass sponsored by the Democratic Party's Organizing for America. Volunteers collected signatures of support for Barack Obama and his agenda. Acosta's voice over, interspersed with statements from others, began:
Don't tell them the race is over. Once volunteers for the Obama campaign...a vast grassroots network of supporters is back on the trail. Reactivated. This time, to sell the president's agenda. Michael Lafemina was one of hundreds of volunteers who went door-to-door from New York...to California on behalf of something called Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic Party run by remnants of the Obama campaign.
So in a matter of seconds, Acosta's supposed vast grassroots network was reduced to only hundreds of people. Initial reports in other media suggest the response to Obama's personal call to arms was less than overwhelming.
According to the Christian Science Monitor:
The group (Organizing for America) claims that there were more than 1,200 canvassing groups out nationwide this weekend. But many places saw fewer volunteers than expected.
The Washington Post reported on North Carolina activity:
Randall Stagner staged an event Saturday in his home in Raleigh, N.C. For the former campaign volunteer, it started with a call from Organizing for America. He tapped into the 2008 Obama Web site and sent an e-mail in hopes of rustling up some interest.
He received 300 replies.
"I was overwhelmed. There was a lot of pent-up desire to go and do things," said Stagner, 49, a retired Army special operations colonel. He identified 10 people across the state willing to organize a canvass. In all, he expects 30 events.
All that pent-up desire translated to fewer than a dozen folks willing to organize?
The Salt Lake Tribune noted that canvassers there included a 14- and 15-year old girl:
After 90 minutes, Flanigan and Nelson had collected only 15 signatures. Most people did not answer their doors.
"They could very well have phobias about people with clip boards," Nelson quipped.
Or maybe they didn't have the inclination to explain to high school kids why they're not tripping over themselves supporting The One.
A piece in The Nation described efforts in Ft. Green, Brooklyn. Author Ari Berman writes:
There are few places in the country where Obama's support is stronger than in Ft. Greene--a vibrant, multi-ethnic, racially and socio-economically mixed neighborhood with tree-lined streets, old brownstones and a spacious park in the middle. On a sunny afternoon, about two dozen OFA volunteers gathered on the edge of the park, across from a farmer's market selling Apple Cider and fresh pies.
Working together, three of the volunteers managed to garner 26 signatures in an hour. This, in true blue Obama Country.
Rather than collecting signatures, Obamatons should have gone door-to-door apologizing for their complicity in putting Barry in the White House, an assignment so obviously and painfully above his pay grade.
All of this isn't to deny that Obama does have a vast network cheering him on. He does. It's called CNN.