Today in Gotchas

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 7 2011 11:09 AM

Today in Gotchas

Yesterday and today, the Occupy movement is focusings its efforts on D.C. Today, it rallies outside the offices of lobbying shops and companies on K Street. Verizon, GE, the American Bankers Association, Clark Lytle, Capital Tax Partners. Yesterday's action produced videos of Occupiers chasing down Republicans in the congressional offices, and twitpics of stuff like a special sign on Paul Ryan's office urging against visits from people without appointments. The video the movement is most proud of this: This one of Rep. Joe Walsh descending a staircase when a constituent was trying to grab him.

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Meanwhile, David Catanese points us to one of the day's big stories in the battle for the U.S. Senate. "Elizabeth Warren flubbed trivia about the beloved Boston Red Sox again at a Democratic forum at Stonehill College," he reports. He has video:

This is important, says Catanese, because Warren once dodged a Red Sox question by saying her husband was the baseball fan in the family. Is it important, though? The only reason candidates are getting these questions is that 2010 Senate candidate Martha Coakley didn't answer correctly when asked about the Red Sox. This misunderstands why Coakley fumbled. A week before the election, a Boston Globe reporter asked why she wasn't campaigning as hard as Scott Brown was -- why she was meeting with hacks instead. "As opposed to shaking hands outside of Fenway, in the cold?" snarked Coakley? This wasn't an insult to the Red Sox, who don't play at Fenway in winter. (Scott Brown was meeting people outside Bruins games.) It was an insult because Coakley derided the idea of meeting future constituents.

We can debate the merits of constituents and activists chasing down members of Congress outside of their offices, but the Tea Party did it too, to great effect. There's fantastic video of Tea Partiers tearing down members like Alcee Hastings and John Conyers over the details of Obamacare. I think their focus, or the Occupy focus, contrasts pretty well with the stuff the regular press corps embraces as gotcha material.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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