Here's a tale from the front:
Two separate rallies, one for the Obama/Biden ticket and one for the Caribou Barbie/McCain ticket, were held in Anchorage, Alaska this week-end. While I found it heartening to hear that there are enough Obama supporters in Anchorage to warrant a rally, it is perhaps an even more telling barometer of the state of the presidential campaign overall that the Obama/Biden rally drew roughly a thousand people while the Barbie/McCain event had perhaps rented (a few hundred) too many chairs. As reported at Mudflats (a site specializing in Alaskan politics), "One would think that the Republican rally celebrating the hometown girl, in her very very red state would have drawn a huge crowd, and that the Obama rally would be a few brave intrepid souls with a couple signs shivering by the side of the road. One would be wrong."
According to the report, the Republican event was so sparsely attended that at one point attendees were asked to move to the front and center of the event so that a few camera angles might generate the illusion of a big crowd as opposed to a relatively empty convention hall. During the event, Caribou Barbie called in from the campaign trail to let everyone back in Alaska know how much she missed them and missed being in Alaska. After her kind words, the emcee, "reminded us about how much Alaska would 'get' if (Caribou Barbie) was the VP, and also reminded us that our enemies hate us because of our way of life, and our freedoms, and 'all they want to do is kill American soldiers'. Then he said the only thing the rally was missing was 'an effigy of Katie Couric.'"
In case you haven't heard, Katie Couric is a very mean reporter who had the gall to interview Caribou Barbie and ask Barbie some really annoying questions that Barbie was convinced were designed to make her look like a fool. Those nasty questions included questions about what sort of foreign policy experience she gained by being governor of a state from which one can actually see Russia, which Supreme Court decisions she objected to, what newspapers she reads, and what her thoughts are on the Wall Street bailout efforts.
In an interview with Fox News, Barbie said that she felt that Couric denied her an opportunity to attack Barack Obama. "In those Katie Couric interviews, I did feel that there were lot of things that she was missing in terms of an opportunity to ask what a VP candidate stands for, what the values are represented in our ticket. I wanted to talk about Barack Obama increasing taxes, which would lead to killing jobs. I wanted to talk about his proposal to increase government spending by another trillion dollars. Some of his comments that he's made about the war, that I think may, in my world, disqualify someone from consideration as the next commander in chief. Some of the comments that he has made about Afghanistan -- what we are doing there, supposedly just air raiding villages and killing civilians. That's reckless. I want to talk about things like that. So I guess I have to apologize for being a bit annoyed, but that's also an indication of being outside the Washington elite, outside of the media elite also. I just wanted to talk to Americans without the filter and let them know what we stand for."
So, Caribou Barbie wants to talk to us directly without the proverbial filter. That's nice, but would anybody listen? Barbie had the chance this week-end to speak directly to Alaskans in Anchorage, but apparently not very many people in her home state took the time to listen.