Politics, popcorn and slabs of meat

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Amid the roasting kettle corn, the slabs of pork and the trinket vendors of the Friday night Monrovia Family Festival is a political tug-of-war.

Competing tables manned by passionate volunteers lure passers-by into either the Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama camp.

As in the polls, the Hillary people seem to have the upper hand. But the Obama faithful are gearing up for an all-volunteer call up Sunday, 3 p.m., at the famous green “card shack” in Monrovia’s Library Park, at the corner of Myrtle and West Palm avenues.

“I call Hillary the Manchurian candidate,” counters the Obama ’08 publicity chairman, Ralph Walker, who hosts a local talk show on KGEM called “Beyond the Headlines.” “She crosses her t’s and dots her i’s, but that is not the real candidate. Barack Obama is more like ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.’

Walker says he has 35 verbal commitments. But this is Southern California, where the beach, the backyard pool and those tasty barbecue ribs at Jake’s take precedence. “We’re looking for anybody who wants to get involved. Some people like to go door-to-door and meet people, others work the phones. Some just donate,” he said.

This entry was posted in environment, land use, Pasadena by Steve Scauzillo. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve Scauzillo

I love journalism. I've been working in journalism for 32 years. I love communicating and now, that includes writing about environment, transportation and the foothill/Puente Hills communities of Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut and Diamond Bar. I write a couple of columns, one on fridays in Opinion and the other, The Green Way, in the main news section. Send me ideas for stories. Or comments. I was opinion page editor for 12 years so I enjoy a good opinion now and then.

7 thoughts on “Politics, popcorn and slabs of meat

  1. I’m not sure how you can say Hillary has the upper hand at the Monrovia Street Fair. I have been there almost every week for the last few months, and there has been an Obama table with 3 people at it every week, and there has only been a Hillary person there TWICE. And he didn’t have a table. There was an Edwards table this week (but no Hillary table). But Obama, by far, has the upper hand at the Monrovia Street Fair.

  2. Robin Boone, who sets up the table each Friday night, and Ralph Walker, ho brings the chairs and will Hollar for a Dollar!, are die hard campaigners whose energy made it a pleasure and made me feel important when I joined them one Friday evening. Supporters of the Manchurian Candidate just have not got the heart and people smarts that Obama has attracted with his straight talk based on principles and clear and pragmatic solutions. I will be back at THAT table!

  3. Yo Steve, thanks for telling folks about the Obama event tomorrow Sunday at Monrovia library card shack, good intel and an event worth attending.

    However, what do you mean “as in the polls, Hillary’s people seem to have the upper hand?”

    I’ve been sitting at the Obama table on and off for three weeks at the Monrovia street fair, and we’ve outpaced the one guy at Hillary’s table many times over. Sometimes people will go first to Hillary’s then to Obama’s table to check out the info or buy a bumper sticker, as they’re still sussing out the candidates, but by far people are more curious about Obama than Hillary.

    Why is it that people just don’t seem as curious or passionate about Hillary and yet the media constantly tries to crown her as the winning candidate by default, like it’s her birth right? Who are these people they’re polling anyway? I haven’t met them.

    I’ve been trying and trying to think and articulate why I and so many others like Sen. Obama so much and what my major problem with Hillary Clinton is… I’ve really struggled with this, as I think she’d be an okay president, far better than Bush anyway.

    But over the course of my time hanging out at that Obama table at the street fair, its hit me. Now I know why I don’t like her nearly as much as Obama or even Edwards.

    The reason is…exactly what I said. I think she’d be competent, she’d be okay. We’d skate through the next 8 years without attacking anyone blatantly and there’d be some incremental good done. But…THAT’S NOT WHAT WE NEED!!!

    Our next president must be a visionary. We need a leader in the truest sense of the word. It is not the time to be cautious or meek or reactionary about our next President.

    Instead of reversing 8 years of damage, I think Hillary Clinton would be too tempted to keep the status quo, keeping things like the patriot act and the overall “war on terror” humming along nicely if it made things as easy politically as it has for Bush.

    We don’t need another family dynasty playing the same political games our country has suffered from for seven years. That wouldn’t serve the country well. We need somebody to come in with an almighty bulldozer and overhaul the system.

    Our literal survival is as stake in this next election. We are facing ice caps that are melting, healthcare that’s a joke, a world that shows us no compassion and a lot of hate, corporations and foreign interests out of control in large part due to our own acts or lack thereof. We have a culture of greed and instant gratification driven only by profit even at the expense of our kids.

    I don’t honestly believe that Hillary Clinton has the sheer vision and courage to make the kind of major changes that need to happen. I see it on the faces I see week after week, in the conversations around “the water cooler” and on the internet boards.

    She doesn’t inspire action.

    Even if she logically sees what needs to be done, even if she can talk about it, she can’t inspire others to pull it off. I don’t believe she’ll unite the Congress much less the States. She is not taking on the right, she will drive them to act because despite good intentions that is what she does.

    I don’t believe she’ll overcome her lobbyist buddies to give us all equal and fair healthcare… she couldn’t do it before, why now?

    I DO believe that Barrack Obama could do those things, especially Obama. I sense a kind of fire in the air around him.

    People are exited, motivation is coming from areas inside people they didn’t know they had, people that have never engaged in politics, ever, including myself.

    He is almost singlehandedly creating an environment that makes voters feel inspired enough to throw down against the system, to finally, gloriously get involved with a broken system and fix it once and for all.

    Frankly, Hilary is old school politics and corporate interest in a pink suit. Where others have spoken out loudly against corruption, cronyism and the loss of our rights in the last seven years, she has gotten by, said just enough and no more, and I say that’s not enough.

    I want to be inspired, I want to be told that Americans can sacrifice with the best, take our knocks and handle the truth. I want the world to know Americans are reasonable and well reasoned people with heart and toughness to spare.

    Frankly, Hillary feels like my babysitter instead of my president.

    Obama understands the vibe of the 21st century where Hillary is still living in the 90′s. She cannot help but be a product of her husband’s times, as divisive as they were. I’m so weary of that…

    I cried when I heard Obama speak during Kerry’s convention, because he was so right, there are no blue or red states, we’re all The UNITED STATES.

    I don’t want the country I love to be known as an imperial empire, a dictatorial regime bringing democracy on the backs of missles and bullets.

    I don’t need another president that will rationalize and divide with statements like, “if you want to take on the right, I’m your girl.” or “I’ll get us out of Iraq…unless Al Qaeda is still there.”

    I’m sick of half speak. Listen close and you’ll see Obama isn’t doing that.

    I want the world to know the good people I know, the honesty I know. I want the sort of knowledge, class and courage that the best politicians in history have given this country. It’s time for another Abe Lincoln, another JFK, because only a leader of that caliber can harness the belief currently lying dormant in this country can pull us safely into the future.

    I never, ever want to be known as the generation that lost our freedoms to fear and lost our world to neglect and greed.

    The worst thing that can happen to the next presidential election is that its close. If its close, the RNC can use caging, intimidation and voter apathy to steal it yet again. If its Hillary, its gonna be close, and I’ll do what I can to help her too, but I feel it’ll be politics as usual, and I’ll be scared… as usual.

    I do, however, believe that Barrack Obama can inspire what needs to be done. He can not only inspire it, he can pull it off. He can bring a million people to the polls that have never even bothered to vote before.

    The Clintons had their chance, lets not live in the past, lets figure out what will make the future.

    Obama in ’08.

    You can start by showing up at Library Park’s cardshack tomorrow Sunday August 19, 3pm, in Monrovia, and also by reading Audacity of Hope in your spare time.

    The more you learn, the more you listen, the more you’ll see.

  4. Robin, Julia, Annabelle, Ralph and Lance are wonderful citizens telling you the TRUTH. These friends are from our community and are putting in their precious time and hard work to turn the page on politics as usual. I support their grassroots efforts and hope the local press will be more ethical in future posts about Sen. Obama and Monrovia’s happiest volunteers!

  5. This is a brillikant piece from from a genuine and legitimate heart and soul. It was really poured out from the bowls of a fresh soul that has seen disrepair,debauchery and greed taken the place of civil and our commitment to the welfare of each other. I applaud you all you guys doing this great work for your communities and America, even applaud you for wishing for a blessed future. Go Obama!

  6. Steve — do we need to report you to the shoddy journalism police or what?

    You describe the campaign activity at the Monrovia Family Festival as a “political tug-of-war.” You go on to say, “the Hillary people seem to have the upper hand.” After reading that statement I seriously question whether you have even been to the Monrovia Family Festival in the past few months.

    Obama has had a table at the Monrovia Family Festival since Friday June 29, 2007. A minimum of three volunteers have showed up every Friday night to man that table and spread Obama’s message of hope, change, and government powered by the people. To your point regarding Hillary’s “upper hand” in this so-called street fair tug of war — I wonder how you came to that conclusion? At the Monrovia Family Festival one Hillary supporter has showed up twice thus far. The first night his tabling partner was a no show and he sat alone in a chair holding a few Hillary stickers with his Hillary sign displayed from “underneath” his chair. Now there’s a metaphor for you Steve — the difference between the excited, inspired, enthusiastic, hopeful support generated by Obama’s message of change and the steady, stayed, scripted, conventional Washington experience Hillary has to offer. I mean no disrespect to the Hillary supporter at the Monrovia Family Festival. He is a very nice guy and I applaud everyone’s effort to get involved in the political process. I am simply taking issue with the blatant inaccuracy of your blog.

    Not only does Obama have a dedicated group of volunteers spreading the word at the Monrovia Family Festival every Friday night — you can also catch another crew of Obama volunteers at the Upland Street Fair on Thursday nights. The Upland group has a full on Obama booth which is regularly staffed by at least two to four volunteers. If you decide to blog about the Obama support at the Upland Street Fair, I hope you will get the facts before you put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard as the case may be.

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