A great little piece that is more about canvassing than Spitzer:
The text message forwarded from a friend of a friend had all the classic signs of a scam; ALL CAPS, asterisks, and a fantastical promise: $800 a day to gather signatures for Eliot Spitzer’s nascent campaign for Comptroller.
The day before, I had been let go from my job as an unpaid intern for a Queens councilmember. The truth is, I respected Spitzer. I had read Peter Elkind’s book about him and the powerful Wall Street cabal that brought him down. Alex Gibney’s documentary, Client Nine, was marvelous. Spitzer was someone who pissed off the wrong people and paid the price for going after unethical behavior.
Also, he was going to pay me $800 a day. I would have done it for a lot less. I hopped on the train and headed for the address given in the text message, a five-story pre-war residential building on West 12th Street.
Due to the high pay, I felt obligated to get at many signatures as I could. The West Village has many aging Jewish women and gay couples. These are my people. I realized the trick was to start with the most potent part to draw people in. “Hi, I’m with Eliot Spitzer for Comptroller of the City of New York. Would you like to sign our petition to put him on the ballot?” has a LOT of syllables. So I tried innumerable permutations of my pitch.
“Sign for Spitzer?”
“I’m with Eliot Spitzer. Sign our petition please?”
“Eliot Spitzer for office. Sign please?”
Then I started barking, “SPITZER! SIGN FOR SPITZER!” It worked. Many people stopped and signed. Others told me I was crazy.
“You must be kidding.”
“You’re joking right?”
“You must be joking.”
“I’d never vote for a hellion!”
I was also insulted with what seemed like 30 different Yiddish words. Who knew Yiddish could be so versatile?
It has a happy ending.
Via: election law blog
perhaps the canvasser has now been screwed by spitzer…
Heh, using “happy ending” in reference to Spitzer.
Was that intentional, Kay? LOL
Whoa, whoa. 800 dollars a day? WTF. I’d totally have taken a couple days off for that.
In California, it is one dollar per signature, and I have no idea what the typical number of signatures one can get in a day is.
Tone in DC
A loooong time ago I worked for a Maryland pol in a similar capacity (also for much less $$$, back in the days of Raygun).
That pol was Robin Ficker. Calling him a character is an understatement.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
It’s quite the humorous telling.
I thought there were at least 30 Yiddish words for malformed putz. Or portions that are both small and not very good. Or half-done dill pickles. Of course its versatile.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
I love how he realizes “I’m good at this!”
I’m really curious to see if he actually gets his $1600. I wouldn’t hold my breath.
I’m snickering at the goy who didn’t realize that 90 percent* of Yiddish is made up of insults.
(Percentage may be slightly exaggerated, but not by much.)
ETA: I am myself a goy (or, technically, a shiksa) but, still, this I knew about Yiddish.
It was always my impression that Yiddish is the best language in the world for cursing and swearing.
For what it’s worth:
Early in the 2004 campaign, long before John Kerry got the presidential nomination, I happened to get to meet Kerry and Spitzer briefly on separate occasions, a few weeks apart, both in informal, small-group settings (due to the connections of a boss at the time).
The contrast was really stark: Kerry spoke in platitudes and came across as a complete empty suit; absolutely nothing interesting about him. Spitzer came across, at least in a fairly brief encounter, as one of the most witty and engaging people I’ve met, and the things he said seemed to have multiple layers, so that I was left thinking about what he said for weeks afterward.
I think Spitzer’s conduct was disgraceful and he had to resign as Governor, not because I really care much about whether he’s faithful to his wife, but because he put himself in a position of massive conflict of interest and potential blackmail while he was attorney general, with jurisdction over the illegal business he was frequenting.
That said, I hope his current effort at rehabilitation works out, because I think he is a huge potential talent for our side, and I’d hate for that to go to waste. Dude has a big brain.
Ted & Hellen
Bluenoses gotta bluenose.
Basically, anyone who speaks it?
Or has ever had contact with it: Unfortunately, familiarity with Yiddish is one segment of my Jewish heritage that I’ve missed out on: my parents spoke it: but of course, only when they wanted to say something they didn’t want me to understand. PS: It worked….
Ted & Hellen
Totally agree except for the part about resignation.
He should have ridden it out.
I think he’s Jewish:
Or he’s gay, which is the other half of the “my people” construction.
It just cracks me up when I know more Yiddish than actual Jewish people. It’s an artifact of growing up in a neighborhood where we were the only Gentiles living on our block.
OK, this is a great line, especially when used in contrast to Sen. David Vitter (R-LA).
“I’d never vote for a hellion.” That’s HILARIOUS!
I’m psyched Spitzer’s running. We need more like him.
I once challenged a Yiddish speaker to come up with a word for a person that wasn’t pejorative. The only one she could think of was “bubule,” grandmother.
Elliot Spitzer, that old kibitzer…