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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Street Cornered

posted by on October 29 at 13:34 PM

So there’s a crazy black dude waving sign and some GOP flags at 4th and Pike in downtown Seattle…


Now I’m not saying he’s crazy because he’s a black Republican—although I strongly suspect he’s being paid to stand there (and, no, he wouldn’t talk to me)—but I do think you have to be a special kind of nuts or a special kind of desperate to be a black Republican. Or a gay Republican. I think he’s nuts because, if he’s sincere about his flag- and sign-waving, the man is wasting his time. McCain isn’t going to win Washington state and no amount of flag- and sign-waving—even by black dudes—is going to change that. A man walking by looked up at the the sign and flags and said, “Good luck with that, dude,” and laughed. I felt the same way.

Weird that I didn’t have the same reaction when I saw this woman a block away, waving an Obama sign at 4th and Pine…


Obama is going to win Washington state, which means, I suppose, that this woman is wasting her time too. But it was all high-fives and hollers of support from passersby for the nice Obama lady. No one told her that she was wasting her time. Which she is. “Can’t take anything for granted,” I heard her say to someone that stopped to chat. She’s right, of course. But still… both campaigns would probably prefer to have these folks out waving signs in swing states, not Washington state.

RSS icon Comments


And those people voting for Obama? Waste of time. He's already going to win.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 29, 2008 1:38 PM

But still… both campaigns would probably prefer to have these folks out waving signs in swing states, not Washington state.

I'm sure they would be, if not for the fact that they likely live in Washington.

Posted by Giffy | October 29, 2008 1:39 PM

What is the bottom flag of the three flags that guy is waving?

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 29, 2008 1:42 PM

If it weren't for people standing on downtown street corners waving signs I would never have known that the Seattle Police Department are all communists.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 29, 2008 1:45 PM

Yeah, seen that guy out there for at least a week... I've nicknamed him "The loneliest guy in Seattle".

Posted by unwelcomed | October 29, 2008 1:45 PM

Oddly enough, I got an e-mail from the Obama campaign yesterday that included this surprising news:

There's a volunteer shift in Washington with your name on it.

You live in a crucial battleground state that could decide the outcome of this election. And with one week to go, there's an urgent need for supporters like you to help get out the vote.

Maybe the Obama sign waver got the same letter I did and felt this was the best way to volunteer.

Posted by GrammarCop | October 29, 2008 1:47 PM

Those guys are constantly squatting on 4th in front of the Seattle's Best Coffee. They actually got mad at my wife when she took a cameraphone photo of them. They asked her, "Are you going to vote McCain now?" and they gave her lots of stink eyes when she said something along the lines of "I'd rather rip out my uterus."

Posted by Joe | October 29, 2008 1:47 PM

Gregoire needs more help than Obama.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 29, 2008 1:48 PM

Your vote is absolutely crucial, for Governor, Prop 1, and many others, just not for President.

Posted by Mike in Renton | October 29, 2008 1:51 PM

So... black guy waving sign with white Republican guy on it, crazy.

White woman waving sign with black Democrat guy on it, sane.


Posted by Judah | October 29, 2008 1:52 PM

I already voted. Good googly goo I'm tired of this already and I can't wait till it's over.

Posted by Vince | October 29, 2008 1:54 PM

You need to get off the Hill more often. That guy's been waving those flags for about a year.

Posted by Toe Tag | October 29, 2008 1:55 PM

What is it like living in an echo chamber, Stranger staff?

Who are YOU to say this man is a special kind of crazy? Oh that's right...

Posted by Bryan | October 29, 2008 1:56 PM

That totally reminds me:

About three weeks ago on my way to work in the financial district here in SF, I saw a woman setting up a McCain/Palin sidewalk kiosk of some sort. But here's the kicker - and call me fucked up for even making the association - the kiosk was made entirely of ironing boards. About four of them unfolded around the volunteer like a black jack dealer, lined with literature.

If I stretch, can think of at least 3 levels that works on, non of them flattering to the candidates (or myself, for making an absurd connection).

Posted by Dougsf | October 29, 2008 1:59 PM

Dan, have you already forgotten about the downticket races? Gregoire? Prop 8? Driving turnout in blue states for Obama or McCain is going to swing some other issues that you care about.

Posted by elenchos | October 29, 2008 2:03 PM

I know you guys don't vet the SLOG the same way you do The Stranger - but didn't I read a few weeks ago a posting about how unadvised it was to use people from other areas to doorbell? Wasn't there some ill-advised liberal air-drop of NE volunteers into the rural South? Wasn't it famously a boondoggle?

This has more to do with races down the ticket than it does the Presidential race. Mobilizing volunteers and rallying the Democrat voter has been cited by the Obama campaign as evidence of their support for the DNC. This came up when the DNC hit 'em up for some money a while back.

Being involved in what is going on around you is not a waste of time.

Posted by John Galt | October 29, 2008 2:06 PM

We need to create right-wing bingo and call it "Wingo"! Be on the lookout for phrases like "Echo chamber", "In the Tank" and "Redistribution of Wealth" and win!

Posted by AJ | October 29, 2008 2:12 PM

I pass that guy periodically, and I'm always disappointed when he doesn't look at me and thus misses my middle finger. Shame!

Posted by Nick | October 29, 2008 2:15 PM

He was at 5th and Seneca last week with another guy waving a Rossi sign. I asked them if they were having a going away party or just a 2 man rally, and the Rossi guy said "oh, it's just the two of-" and then I started laughing and he just looked at me like some destroyed puppy.

Posted by Bryce Beamish | October 29, 2008 2:20 PM

That's a big-ass set of flags... I give the guy kudos for that.

It's kinda like the display ships use to warn each other of approaching hurricanes and such. Hmmm...

Posted by Sleestak | October 29, 2008 2:27 PM

Judah @10: Why so contrary about this? Surely you can see that her position makes complete sense, while his is bizarre.

Since when has a white woman been oppressed by a black democrat?

Posted by Irena | October 29, 2008 2:28 PM

This week on NPR, they had a gay (sounding) black (confirmed) guy who was going door-to-door for McCain in Pennsylvania. His schtick was essentially, and in only a few more words: "I am a black man. I'm supporting McCain. On behalf of all black people, I am officially letting you off the white-guilt maybe-racist hook that's making you feel undecided or Bradleyish, and I'm asking you to support McCain openly too."

And it was working.

Posted by Christin | October 29, 2008 2:33 PM

This American Life, more specifically.

Posted by Christin | October 29, 2008 2:34 PM

When I came back from dorbelling for the Gov. in Tacoma I saw a few of these lonely McSane Sign wavers on I-5 Overpasses. I think as their campaign collapses that is a job they can send paid or volunteer help out to do. I can't imagine anyone could stomach doorbelling for McSane in West Wa north of Centrailia for very long. I really would not want to do live phone calls for them either.

Posted by wl | October 29, 2008 2:34 PM

Well, Dan, you're welcome to come down to Westlake Park this Saturday at noon and hand out paid round-trip plane tickets to fly us Obama sign-wavers to the battleground states of your choice where you think we'd do more good--or you can stick around and help us motivate far more than the 150-vote margin that got your girl Gregoire in office.

The choice is yours.

Posted by Andy Niable | October 29, 2008 2:51 PM

When I exited from Aurora to Denny Monday morning, I saw a guy holding this contraption. Didn't get a look at him, other than to give him a thumbs down.

Posted by Madashell | October 29, 2008 2:56 PM

Why do you call him crazy? Assuming he's being paid for this, he's not losing anything since WA, is surely Blue, so he's not going to have to suffer a Republican victory, while just making some money of the Republican campaign.

I'd say that's win-win!

Posted by Clog | October 29, 2008 2:57 PM

That guy has been around for years. Not as long as Pedro with the Seattle Police are Communists sign, but still, quite a while. He rotates flags every so often; generally some combination of POW-MIA, Israel, Don't Tread on Me, and U.S.

Posted by Don't you people ever go downtown? | October 29, 2008 3:06 PM

Because wash-IN-TON will vote for the wrong guy -- again -- it will -- again -- be closed off from Federal funds and favors.

Except for that guy.

McCain will lavishly reward That Guy -- for loyalty.

But there's still time, wash-IN-TON -- make the right your McCain.

Posted by John Bailo | October 29, 2008 3:06 PM

what's funny is that it's socialism that allows him to spend all day waving a mccain flag instead of working at a job!

Posted by max solomon | October 29, 2008 4:33 PM

@30 - he works for the White House?

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 29, 2008 4:58 PM

Waving signs is stupid no matter who does it. Voter contact is going to win this election.

Posted by pawtucket | October 29, 2008 5:28 PM

Good for the Obama sign-waving lady! There are so many people in our city who don't bother to vote and will not vote because they think "Obama has it all locked up". That's why Pat Robertson won our primary in 1988. You can't be too careful.

Posted by me | October 29, 2008 5:46 PM

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