Wanted to blog about this quickly this morning, because it seems to be breaking on the blogs, and it involves an actual friend of mine…
David LaMotte is a truly fine songwriter friend from the great city of Asheville, North Carolina. I was overhearing some audio from the Huffington Post this morning, and thought “that voice sounds familiar.”
It was. It was David’s.
Basically, he got a “push poll” call from the Clinton campaign. I’ll let him explain it:
“A guy named Ed called from Akron, Ohio, and when I asked what polling outfit he works for he said Garin-Hart-Yang, based in DC At first I was delighted to be polled, as I’ve been interested in the race and following the rest of the nation’s polls closely throughout the campaign.
The questions started out normal enough, but got progressively more ridiculous. Early in the conversation Ed asked my preference among the Democratic candidates and I told him I was an Obama supporter.
Then the questions turned to long Hillary-praising and Barack bashing policy statements with the response options being “Do you consider that a very strong, strong or weak or very weak reason to support her candidacy for president?” which is kind of an unanswerable question, and clearly not the point. At the end of the conversation they asked “Now based on everything we’ve discussed, who would you vote for?”
The questions were often based on statements that I wouldn’t agree with in the first place. It’s classic push polling as I’ve read about it, though never experienced it before. The questions are of the “Are you still beating your wife?” variety. No way to answer with any sense of veracity and integrity.
Toward the end of the conversation it occurred to me to record it on my old-school tape-based answering machine…”
You can read the entire transcript of the encounter –or, better still, listen to all the audio– here.
And here’s David’s own thoughts on the whole thing.
David’s a truly good guy. Son of a Presbyterian Minister, he’s not only a gifted songwriter, but also truly committed to the poor in many parts of the world. I am honored to call him and friend, and humored that he’s found himself in the midst of this developing blog story today.
But, wait!! There’s more.
Here’s where this story becomes surreal and dang funny. For you see, those of us who know David knowthat he has actually written a song about political spin!!
The song is called…yep, you guessed it…. “Spin.”
It’s on a CD of the same name, and you can get it at David’s website.
Here’s just a little of lyrics:
Six o’clock dinner, the family falls silent
Move over a little I can’t see the screen
The man in the box speaks in high definition
Turn it up loud so I won’t hear the screams
More about bad things the bad guys are doing
More about how I need what they sell
And right down the road they are building a prison
On the whole the economy’s doing quite well
Give me the update, tell me again
Show me the difference between us and them
Give it a number between one and ten
Give me the headline
Give me the spin
The moral I draw from this for the Clinton campaign, or any other:
Never try to “spin” a guy who’s already clear on what spin is.
(Or one who happens to have a tape recorder laying around…)