- On Air Program Guide
- A Blue View
- Brain Talk
- Cellar Notes
- Choral Arts Classics
- The Environment in Focus
- Gil Sandler’s Baltimore Stories
- Humanities Connection
- Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast
- Midday with Dan Rodricks
- The Morning Economic Report
- Radio Kitchen
- The Signal
- Take Five
- Your Maryland
- Public Commentary
- War of 1812 Stories
Campaigning For Obama In Pennsylvania
You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.
August 24, 2012
Baltimore political organizer Larry Gibson says he has annexed much of southeastern Pennsylvania for Barack Obama. Since there is little for him to do in reliably Democratic Maryland, Gibson has been spending weekends in places like Harrisburg, the state capital, hoping to give the president winning visibility in one of the swing states.
Fraser Smith: Larry Gibson, master campaigner, has moved into four southern Pennsylvania counties this summer in search of votes for President Obama. With campaign placards declaring “Occupy the Vote, Re-Elect Obama,” Gibson finds himself surrounded by tourists – from Italy, Belgium and France.
Larry Gibson: “We’re kicking butt in Europe this morning,”
Smith: Undaunted, laughing at himself, he presses on with his mission.
Gibson: “I think just about all the pundits are pretty comfortable that if Obama carries Pennsylvania and Virginia he will carry the election.”
Smith: West of the state’s government complex, Zandra Shoffner takes Obama bumper stickers from Gibson and stops along Third Street to talk about the campaign. She hesitates before she says she’s for the president.
Zandra Shoffner: “He did the best he could do. He had a tough time.”
Smith: She acknowledges a little less enthusiasm this time around. This hesitation is one of the reasons Gibson is campaigning here in this mixed black and white neighborhood virtually in the shadow of the gleaming alabaster capitol building. Shoffner’s friend, Lavelle Sweet, explains the hesitation.
Lavelle Sweet: “We need to have jobs. All over the United States. People need jobs. That’s the main concern. Too many unemployed young people. Too many unemployed college students.”
Smith: On the east side of the street, Gibson is sliding an Obama sign into the front window of Oh-ke-chi Beauty Salon. One of the operators, Deb Cunningham, says she only hears one name in this campaign.
Deb Cunningham: “Obama, Obama, Obama. He ran into something that was already there. He’s just trying to clean it up. And we want him back.”
Smith: In the Mid-town Bookstore, Jackie Wilson, a member of Occupy Harrisburg, talks with a friend over coffee. She says she doesn’t expect anything good from the campaign.
Jackie Wilson: “How do I feel? I don’t pay much attention to it. I think they’re both liars so why pay attention?”
Smith: She quickly explains herself further.
Wilson: “Seventy five percent of both their ads are negative, and most of it isn’t true what they’re saying, you know.”
Smith: There’s little hope for improvement in the economy via politics, she says.
Wilson: “I’m with Occupy Harrisburg and we see people losing their homes and can’t get jobs or they’re making so little money they can’t afford rent. We see it every day.”
Smith: Occupy Harrisburg hasn’t taken a position on voting, she said. Like her colleagues in Baltimore, she doesn’t appreciate the borrowed us of “Occupy” as in Gibson’s “Occupy the Vote.”
Wilson: “Either party that gets in it’s still the banks that run our congress. Wall Street runs it and the corporations. There’s no getting around that. That’s the way it is. And that’s both parties.”
Smith: Lavelle Sweet, who was virtually crying out for jobs, says it’s discouraging to see political leaders spending so much time barking at each other.
Sweet: “Yeah well our country is hurting right now. Financially, and I just think we all need to pull together, Republicans and Democrats. The divide is hurting us. The division between the Republicans and Democrats. To get the job done you need everybody.
Smith: Gibson, determined to cover as much ground as possible, calls for more signs from his helpers.
I’m Fraser Smith reporting from Harrisburg for 88-one, WYPR.
You can reach the WYPR Newsroom at email@example.com.
IN FOCUS TODAY
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 5:05am
The Baltimore City Council approved Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s $2.4 billion operating...
Monday, June 17, 2013 - 6:35am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Scott Calvert of the Baltimore Sun talk about how the City Council is...
Friday, June 14, 2013 - 6:35am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and David Moon, political consultant and blogger at Maryland Juice talk...