Tell the truth: have you hugged a Hillary Supporter today?
I never thought I'd spend so much of my adult life trying to woo Hillary Supporters to vote for John McCain. Why do I do it? Because I've done the math. There are 18-plus million Hillary Supporters out there (actually more if you count potential voters in caucus states). If John McCain can get 5 million of those votes -- something that seems achievable -- then, early on Nov. 5, he will be President-elect.
The Hillary Supporters for McCain are just that important. That's not saying some of them can't be irritating and even exasperating.
Clinton Supporters for McCain who are not irritating/exasperating include the organization at http://www.clintons4mccain.com/. This group has 1700 members, is growing rapidly, and attracts roughly 10,000 visitors daily to its site.
Right now Clintons for McCain is engaged in a major fund-raising effort for John McCain. It's asking Hillary Supporters to add 44 cents to their donations (e.g., 44 cents, $5.44, or $100.44) to signify that it comes from Hillary Supporters. I'm going to contribute at McCainNow.com, but don't be surprised if I add 44 cents.
Perhaps an even more important site is http://www.hsfjm.com/. The acronym stands for Hillary Supporters for John McCain. It's been up only since May 31. How many visitors does its site meter show? "Only" 3.3 million (to-die-for numbers for this blogger). It also says it has 35,000-plus signed in members.
Oh, and hsfjm has a McCain PAC. When you visit the site -- and please do -- you'll see a "green rain" (i.e., money) button. If this site is as good as its numbers indicate, it could raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Senator McCain. Note, other Hillary-for-McCain groups are working to organize 527 groups that would independently support McCain.)
On the Yahoo Groups, the ClintonDemsAgainstObama is fascinating. I'd guess about half the people there are fairly solid for McCain. A few of them support Ralph Nader. Another segment insists it will stay home on election day, even though they strongly dislike Obama.
To my criticism of that stand, Abbey (one of the moderators and a strong McCain supporter) said: "Look, Steve, these people really are Democrats, and McCain was not their first choice . . . or even their second choice. So, voting for a Republican is difficult for them." Point well made, Abbey.
Some of the people counseling others to stay home -- and just restrict their anti-Obama feelings to steam-blowing -- may not have honorable. Frankly, some of them appear to be Obama-bots who are helping spread the campaign's message of demoralization to Hillary Supporters. (They're not hard to spot.)
Here's what one stay-at-home-Sue (actually, Hope) said on the Against Obama site:"Many people will not vote for McCain. Get used to it."
Here's how "MentistheMagnificent," a frequent poster, replied:"Then, [Hope], you will be one of the people who will help elect NObama, and that is simply the way it is. Who will you vote for, Hope? If you are here because you don't want NObama as president, you MUST consider voting for McCain to keep him [Obama] out. As the past has already taught us more than once Nader doesn't have a shot in hell. Any vote cast for Nader is a wasted vote. This time is it way WAY too important to cast a vote simply to waste it."
Hope is not alone on the ClintonDemsAgainst Obama group-- and thankfully, neither is Mentis. But a day's worth of time spent looking at the various posts -- and they are getting several thousand every week! -- can be emotionally draining. I spend a lot of my time trying to pick out the Obama-bots, and it's not hard to do so. Occasionally, I'd like to contribute a mild criticism of Hillary, which would get me kicked out of the group.
I believe it's important that I spend time at these sites. A lot of the "work" is hand-holding for people who almost never (or just plain "never") vote for Republicans. Some of the people there -- including Abbey and Mentis -- are politically sophisticated and sharp debaters. However, other participants are "yaller dog" Democrats (would vote for a "yellow dog" before a Republican).
A few of them believe a miracle will occur in Denver, and Hillary will get the nomination. As I suggested earlier, some seem poised to spend the next four months complaining loudly -- and then playing golf from dawn-to-dusk on Election Day.
But the Hillary Supporters -- exasperating or otherwise -- are critical to John McCain's chances.
I hope McCain Supporters will back up the many (hundreds?) of sites where people are figuring out what they'll do on Election Day. I know exactly what I'd like them to do!
Have you hugged a Hillary Supporter today?