Jane Pauley, one-time co-host of NBC's Today and Dateline NBC programs, is actively campaigning for Barack Obama. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote of one such appearance in Portage, Indiana that attracted only eight people. That event also featured Steve Skvara, the retired steelworker who in August of last year tearfully asked Democratic presidential candidates at a debate, "What's wrong with America? And what will you do to change it?"
It's only fair that I follow up by reporting that Pauley's current efforts are being met with much more enthusiasm. Maybe it's because she's now campaigning at Democratic headquarters and that's a more welcoming venue than the previously utilized union hall, difficult as it is to distinguish between the two. Perhaps the advance planning, blamed for her earlier poor turnout, was improved. Possibly it's because she lost Skvara, even though his admirers include MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who last year asked Skvara, "Well, can I pay tribute—can I pay tribute to you, sir?"
Whatever the reason, Pauley is pulling in much larger crowds. As reported Thursday by the Anderson, IN Herald Bulletin:
Appearing before a crowd of about 40 area Democrats, Indiana-born broadcast journalist Jane Pauley opened her speech at Democratic Headquarters in Anderson Thursday afternoon by alluding to her own hopes for the upcoming presidential election.
“I’m looking forward to a life into the blue, if you get my meaning,” she said with a smirk as the crowd clapped and hollered in agreement. The remark about political sides was also a reference to Pauley’s 2004 autobiography, titled “Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue.”
Pauley made a brief appearance at the local Democratic headquarters to stump for presidential candidate Barack Obama and criticize presidential candidate John McCain’s claims that he is a maverick and a reformer.
“The original ‘Maverick’ was a gambler,” she said, referring to the TV series starring James Garner. “In these uncertain times, can we afford to gamble on a pair of mavericks?”
Focusing on foreign policy, Pauley said the United States had alienated allies and emboldened enemies during the past eight to 10 years. Recently though, she said, respect for America is rising.
She named three reasons for the change in opinion. “Barack. Hussein. Obama,” she shouted.
Pauley must not be aware that using Obama's middle name is, according to no less an authority than Michelle Obama, "the fear bomb."
Regardless, Pauley's campaigning is obviously attracting increasing crowds. Little wonder she's smirking. Keep it up, Jane. You might hit an audience of 100 by election day.