I, POLLSTER: Phawker’s Hilariously Un-Scientific Pennsyltucky Primary Keystoned Cell Phone Poll

MEcropped2.jpgBY JONATHAN VALANIA A long time ago, in a Clinton campaign far, far away, James Carville famously declared that Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and Alabama in between. Aw, yeah: Pennsyltucky. We know thee well. It’s sort of like watching the Dukes Of Hazzard after smoking too much kielbasa. Like sweat socks with a Sunday suit. Like the Deer Hunter costumed by Wal-Mart. It’s the long dark Chicken Dance of the national soul. Lord help us all. Anyway, with the national press are already converging on the Keystone state to get some local color on their laptops, we feel an obligation to Sherpa them up to the mountaintop electoral bellwethers that only a local nature boy would know. Every day, or close to it, from now until April 22nd we will be calling up some unsuspecting Pennsyltuckian picked randomly out of the phone book and ask them point blank: Hillary or Obama?

Today we called into a house party for undecided voters, arranged by the Obama campaign, and hosted by Mattphonepoller.jpg and Kimberly Ahern of Dunmore, PA, just outside Scranton. Senator Christopher Dodd was the guest of honor and from the sound of things he closed the sale. At least that was the case with Carolyn Rose, a 41-year-old Clark Summit resident and insurance agency owner, who tells Phawker she is switching her party registration to vote for Senator Obama.

PHAWKER: So, you came here today ‘undecided,’ will you leave ‘undecided’?

CAROLYN ROSE: No, I have decided after hearing Senator Dodd speak that I will support Barack Obama. I have heard all the arguments about ‘experience,’ but the bottom line for me is ‘change.’ For the last 20 years I have been a registered Republican but I am switching parties. As the Senator pointed out, it will take crossover voters like me to put Obama over in the general election.

PHAWKER: Wow, so you are a lifelong Republican?

CAROLYN ROSE: Since I was 18.

PHAWKER: Do you feel like you have just stepped into the light?

CAROLYN: I do. I really do. I think Senator Obama can bring about the change we so badly need.

PHAWKER: Welcome aboard, be sure and tell all your little Republican friends. Thanks for your time, can you pass the phone to somebody else? […sound of phone being passed around] Hello? Who is this?

AMY FERGUSON: My name is Amy Ferguson, I am 35 and I live in Clark Summit…

PHAWKER: And what do you do for a living?

AMY FERGUSON: I’m an elementary school guidance counselor…

sock_puppet.jpgPHAWKER: That’s God’s work! I still remember my elementary school guidance counselor! She was a saint. Mrs. Metzger. She had this hand puppet named Do So and [private moment of pleasant childhood reverie] …sorry, getting back on topic. Have you made up your mind?

AMY FERGUSON: I have. I am definitely voting for Senator Obama. If it comes down to ‘experience’ vs. ‘judgement’ I go with ‘judgement’ and I trust Obama’s judgment. And I also think he is a unifier. Speaking as a lifelong democrat I have to say I think Hillary Clinton is a divisive candidate. And I think we have had enough of that and it is time for something new.



CNN: Sen. Hillary Clinton’s chief presidential campaign strategist is quitting his post amid criticism of his public relations firm’s contacts with the Colombian government over a pending free-trade deal,markpenn-cartoon-large.jpg Clinton’s campaign announced. Mark Penn and his political consulting firm will continue advise the New York senator’s Democratic presidential bid, but Penn will give up his job as chief strategist, campaign manager Maggie Williams said.

“After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the Clinton campaign,” Williams said.Penn is CEO of public relations giant Burston Marsteller and is president of Penn, Schoen and Berland, his political consulting firm. Friday, he acknowledged he had met with the Colombian ambassador to the United States earlier in the week in his role as Burston Marsteller’s chief to discuss the pending U.S.-Colombia trade pact, which Clinton has criticized on the campaign trail.

Penn called the meeting “an error in judgment that will not be repeated,” and apologized. That prompted Colombia’s government to fire the company Saturday, calling the remarks “a lack of respect to Colombians.” Clinton and top aides were sharply critical of rival Democrat Barack Obama in February when reports indicated that his top economic adviser had suggested to a Canadian official that Obama was not as supportive of changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement as the Illinois senator claimed to be on the campaign trail. MORE

RELATED: Rendell Calls For Mark Penn’s Head On A Platter
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