A no-doubt unfair anecdote about the parsimony of the Obama campaign.

“She said, ‘We’re up against the machine and we just can’t hand anything out for free,’ ” Walsh said. “She was very nice . . . but I wasn’t getting anything.”

Here’s a free hint to the Bright Young Things working the Obama campaign: when a Girl Scout den mother calls looking for free stuff, the first words out of your mouth should be “Sure. What do you need?” Not… well, read:

Walsh said she called both campaigns and asked for free trinkets she could give the 7-year-olds to help them learn. If they did well, she explained, each Scout would earn her “Ms. President” patch. The tchotchkes would provide added incentive.

A representative for John McCain responded immediately, sending Walsh a box filled with stickers and signs.

The Barack Obama camp wasn’t quite so generous, Walsh said.

The troop leader said she called Obama’s Chicago campaign headquarters and explained why she needed the curios. Walsh said she was directed to Obama’s
Web site—where she could buy all the buttons and posters she wanted.

Happy ending, of course. The den mother, being a den mother (and thus wise in the ways of local political knife-fighting) called up the local whistleblower, the whistleblower made a call, and hey presto! A box of free stuff, complete with a nice signed note from Senator Obama{}, was hand-delivered to the Girl Scouts. Problem solved… but there’s a difference between managing away a problem, and not having one in the first place. Ed Morrissey’s (H/T, by the way) noting that this story’s compatible with the one about how the electoral map’s contracting for Obama: as he (and I) have pointed out, Obama’s ability to raise money has lately been overtaken by his ability to spend it, too.

:Shrug: All part of the expected mistakes of a politician undergoing what is essentially his first real race. Personally, I love watching my opponents undertake on-the-job training. Particularly when it’s this late in an election cycle.

Moe Lane

{}Don’t mess with the Scouts. Either branch. They’re everywhere, via their alumni they have access to the highest branches of government and the military, they’re a true grassroots organization with long experience in fund-raising and local politics, they’re telegenic as all get-out, and every politician in the country will clear his or her calendar for a five minute photo op with Scout Troop Home District kids, in the completely-justified fear of what will happen to them if they don’t. The Scouts are, in fact, bulletproof, and they know it.

{**}Who no doubt freaked a little when he heard about this, and who no doubt had a memo drafted saying to give out this stuff to Scouts in the future. There’s dumb, and then there’s dumb.