( – promoted by Clark)

Updated to include this.

Yesterday, in conjunction with over 300 other cities, St. Louis’s MoveOn Council hosted a Bush-McCain Challenge table on the Delmar Loop.  I wasn’t sure what to expect (some people had expressed trepidation about the action being to “gimmicky”), but it turned out to be a really great event.  Volunteers and the public had a lot of fun with the challenge.  And people were really shocked when they heard things like “McCain received a zero percent rating from the league of conservation voters on his record last year”, or “McCain voted against a proposal to ban water boarding.”  I left wishing that we could do this event much more often.

(more below the fold)

Some of the more tangible measures of the events’ success:

We signed almost 20 people up to moveon.org’s email list in only 2 hours.  

About five of the people who volunteered said that they would be willing to be on the St. Louis MoveOn council, a group that meets a couple times a month to plan and host events.  

The public was very engaged.

We got some nice coverage from pubdef.net (see below).

Even though we didn’t get coverage from the mainstream media, we had an opportunity in our press calls and sending of releases to educate them about McCain, to keep planting (or maybe we’re at the watering stage) the seed that McCain‘s not quite the “maverick” he pretends to be.

I left wondering if we could get twenty people to sign up in only two hours, how many people could we get to sign up if we had a presence on the Loop five days a week?   The Loop is a place with pretty high traffic turnover, so I don’t think we’d see all the same people very often, even if we did the event over the course of months.   And how much of a difference would it make to be able to get hundreds of new people signed up for MoveOn’s lists?  

It feels like we’re at a place where we’re no longer swimming against the tide, and that the work we do pays pretty impressive dividends.  Hopefully, we can take advantage of this opportunity to make some permanent progress.

Also, I’d like to note that MoveOn.org makes it really easy to put on successful events.  If anyone in Springfield or Columbia is interested in helping to develop the councils in those areas, please contact me.  

Last but not least, here’s a nice video put together by pubdef.net; you can see their full coverage at http://www.pubdef.net/2008/05/…

cross-posted at dailykos.com and mydd