Article on the PUMA Conference

16 Aug

I’ve pulled a few quotes from a very interesting article about the three day PUMA conference in Washington and PUMA in general.   

I am now convinced the PUMA movement is morphing into something vastly more influential than I realized, all due to the hysteria of the left and right.

Some writers have sought to ridicule the meeting for a variety of perceived failures. On the contrary, the meeting was an extraordinary event and highly successful. 

First, the meeting was national. People came from across the United States. It’s not easy to create a national movement overnight. PUMA’s have accomplished something very challenging when they convince people from coast to coast to assemble in one place.

Second, the PUMA movement provided “cover” for the ultimately successful efforts to have Hillary Clinton’s name placed in nomination. PUMAs were even more successful than any Clinton supporter could have predicted.

Third, as in the case of most political meetings, much of the “content” was boring, organizational, and basic politics. Although David Shuster (sitting in on MSNBC’s Hardball) tried to suggest PUMA was a Republican “front,” I saw no evidence of that fact. The attendance was primarily, though not exclusively, composed of women who had hitherto been loyal Democrats.

Fourth, although hostile bloggers have criticized the TV presence of PUMA representatives, the PUMA media techniques are not a concern. The people involved are amateurs. They are not professional politicians and they are not professional media types. They are going to have rough edges. They are not going to be smooth and polished.

Fifth, the Democrats are taking “women” for granted because of some of the loonier planks of the Republican Party platform. But in an election where Democrats are likely to retain congress, Democratic women maybe much more inclined to stray to McCain when they know he will be hemmed in by a solidly Democratic congress. The women I saw at the PUMA conference are being discounted and underestimated, and they don’t like it.

I attended my first Democratic National Convention forty (40) years ago, in Chicago. I saw the chaos on the streets. Today, the Internet, cell phones, digital cameras, blogs and the paraphernalia of the i-pod generation have largely supplanted street protests. But people are more powerful in 2008 than they were in 1968. I have not seen anything since 1968 with the gathering storm potential of 2008.

I think the full article is worth reading. You can find it here.

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