The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Friday, July 28, 2006


There was a candidate forum last night, and in all modesty I must admit that I was great. I nailed it. We took an unbiased poll over drinks after the event, and two of my best friends, my campaign chair and my husband all agreed that I was terrific.

So I jump out of bed this a.m. and without even going downstairs to read the paper, I look at the website. NOTHING. OK, so the article will be in tomorrow. Full of vim and vigor, we decide to take the dogs to the track. My husband opens the paper. The article is there. And it is balanced. All the candidates got almost the same amount of ink, whether credible or not. All the candidates had a quote about the same length whether it was insightful or not. But the flavor of the evening was completely lost.

Now, all of us who are running have lots of observations about the coverage. "Was your announcement above the fold or below the fold?" "Did your press release make the first page of the Berkshire section or was it inside?" We look for nuance and hidden support/opposition/meaning in every word and placement. So one way you can look at the "fair and balanced" approach is that they're being nice to everyone.

But for those of us who did well, nothing in the article indicated that some candidates were more credible than others, some were more polished than others, some more animated (or too animated) than others. You had to be there. Or, maybe you virtually had to be there. I haven't talked to anyone who watched it on live PCTV. Will the broadcast give the flavor and the nuance or will it be some third version? I remember feeling as a Selectman that people who ONLY saw us on TV had a different opinion than people who were in the room.

The best barometers for me are the people who approach you after the forum and say "You have MY vote!" or "Where do I go to volunteer?" Bless you all. It really is one vote at a time.....

Sunday, July 16, 2006


This campaigning thing sure continues to defy description!

On the one hand, I had two INCREDIBLE things happen this week. Jesse Mermell, the Executive Director of the Mass Women's Political Caucus, came all the way from Boston to Pittsfield to join me for a press conference. We got good press and a good time was had by all. The only downer was that it wasn't on the steps of City Hall; rain rain go away. So we moved it to headquarters. A number of friends travelled a great distance to be there which was MOST wonderful.

Friday night we opened the North Adams office. SEVENTY people showed up from all sorts of was a smashing success, in large part due to Jeanne Driscoll's amazing organizational skills. Wonderful food and a great time was had by all.

Life being what it is, the same day that I'm getting great press and opening and campaign office and speaking (in my role as Elder Services staff member) at Congregation Beth Israel, I'm also being excoriated by the unhappiest resident of Williamstown. Now, everyone in Williamstown knows he's a most unhappy fella who takes his life's problems out on others. But the rest of Berkshire County MAY not know this, although they certainly do if they are the kind of person who reads the Letters to the Editor. He's been doing this for 20 years. He has yet to meet a person or cause he really likes in the long-term. He has dumped on the Youth Center, the 4th of July Parade, the Town Report, motherhood and apple pie.

But all of this goes with the territory.

And have I mentioned the "M" word? I am supposed to be dialing for dollars. I will do almost ANYTHING to put this task off. Even clean the bathroom. I have to begin to learn to suck it up and JUST DO IT! My campaign manager keeps asking me if I have a rich uncle fred who I can borrow tens of thousands from. Uncle Fred, are you listening?

Big week coming up including Jon Sussman's wedding. I'll use the occasion to get advice from former OH State Senator Priscilla Mead, aunt of the groom. But we have both been warned that going off into a corner during the reception and talking about politics is considered VERY declasse.....not to mention that I finally got the info to the printer for the rehearsal dinner for David and Jenny's wedding.

Life in the fast lane....oh, I guess I won't tell you about the woman who almost ended my life on Route 8 Friday night. She almost changed the face of politics in Berkshire County forever. You know who you are brown car!

Sunday, July 09, 2006


in campaigning, and there are bad days. Yesterday was a GOOD day! Four towns, four events and lots of nice people.

I started the day in Becket, and had the wonderful opportunity to meet Bob's wife Brenda and also watch my campaign manager, Joe Engwer, reconnect with people he hadn't seen in ten years or more. Especially when he saw one of his old teachers, that was AMAZING! Frankly, I could have stayed in Becket all day. Terrific people, great sense of community, and I promised I'd be part of a dunking contest next year if elected. Excellent pancakes from the volunteer firefighters.

Saw one of my opponents in Becket, none in Goshen, two in Adams, none in Florida. Anytime you see another candidate, your first reaction is "where has he/she BEEN and where is he/she GOING?" Everyone has a strategy of the communities where they think they can make an impact. The "primo" opportunity is a place where you know people who can take you around and introduce you. Not only do they have to know a lot of people, they can't be shy!

Now that I have literature, I can hand it out. I am also discovering that "If you've seen one woman, you've seen them all!" My female opponent had just sent out a big mailing and so half the people I met thought I was her. I told them I was cuter. Perhaps not true, but what does one say? Depending on the person you're meeting, you try to distinguish yourself from whoever they're mixing you up with in some gracious way.

And we're already out of BUTTONS! We've ALMOST given away 500....Bob left some under the seats at the Steeplecats game the other night. We gathered up as many as we can find for the fundraiser tonight and the replacements will be in this coming week. I know some people just take them for souvenirs. Other friends are DILIGENT about wearing them to the grocery store, etc. My friend Ellen says that it's always a way to start a conversation.

One trap that a candidate has to avoid falling into is believing that the people you and your supporters speak to represent the universe. People will say "Oh everyone I talk to is for you!" Well,'re wearing a "Ware for State Senate" button and they're for me and so they make a comment. The people who are supporting someone else don't come over!

But there are so many great people out there! And so many stories. At least three people I ran into will (hopefully) be positively affected by the new state health insurance program when it clicks into gear in the fall. Health care and education continue to be the issues that everyone is talking about. Both the fiscal implications and the policies.

Trying to kick back today after a long day yesterday. But not grueling...just energizing and lots of fun. AND IF YOU MISSED THE OLD FASHIONED FUDGE IN GOSHEN, I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU!!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006


So why the heck am I still up? I'm exhausted! I didn't drink coffee after 12 noon. This whole "pace yourself" thing is pretty difficult I must say...

So I'm sitting here reading other people's blogs and I sez to myself, "Self" I sez, "you haven't written in your blog in a very long time. Why is that?"

"Because I'm pacing myself" sez I. "I need to rest up for the Final Battle."

Fourth of July weekend was lots of fund MAINLY because daughter Betsy and her S.O. Andrew Fippinger (AKA "Fipp") were visiting from the West Coast. Who doesn't like driving to Albania at 11PM to meet a flight that was supposed to arrive at 7:30 PM.

The reason for the trip was so that Betsy could help me buy the MOG dress. (If you don't know who the MOG is, you don't have a kid getting married....) But we got to bed at 2:30 AM and had to be up at 9AM to go to church. We usually aren't that obsessive about church, but it was the first time Betsy had been home in six months, and the priest at our church had never met Fipp. So we all dragged ourselves out of bed and I made strawberry crepes as an inducement to get out of bed. (Maybe we should put the recipe on the campaign website....we already have Peter Marchetti's Italian Cookies and are just about to add "Margie Ware's Campaign Trail Mix." But I digress....

So we did church and then Bean and I booked it to Manchester, VT. PLEASE DO NOT TELL THE RESIDENTS OF SENATE DISTRICT ONE THAT I BOUGHT MY MOG DRESS OUT OF STATE. But one of the "learnings" of the trip was that when you pay women a liveable wage to make you a dress from scratch....GUESS WHAT!? IT AIN'T CHEAP! But I will look gorgeous and now I really DO have to win the election because I need to have places to wear this dress for many years to come. Deval, you better have one Kick Ass Inaugural Ball is all I can say. 'Cause I already have the dress....

Monday I took the day off from work for an attitude adjustment. I was starting to fall into negative thinking patterns, which was not good, especially since almost all the news coming my way has been good. So that's a clue that one needs to kick back. So I hung with Betsy, kissed some babies that belonged to friends of hers and made Margie Ware's Campaign Trail Mix (see above.) And a nice Chicken Marbella for dinner.

Up early (but not early enough it turned out) to get to the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade. It turns out it takes a LONG TIME to get from the Colonial Theatre to the Senior Center while you're schmoozing and handing out giveaways (pens that say "Margie Ware for Senate" and small bags of "Margie Ware's Campaign Trail Mix" -- see above.) Now I don't want to rat anyone out but the RULES are that candidates who are not elected officials are not supposed to march in the parade. They may campaign before the parade but not interfere with the ability of the viewers to enjoy the spectacle. Why do I know this? Because my campaign chair is the chair guessed it...the Pittsfield 4th of July Parade Committee. So I was a good doobie. As was Ben Downing. As was Matt Kinnaman. I don't believe John Z was there. If you don't see someone's name mentioned, that means that they were NOT good doobies....they "snuck in." And yes, Rinaldo, that means you too. But this is real inside baseball. No one but the other candidates and their "handlers" probably care. But I do have (along with my other good doobie colleauges)the advantage of moral superiority, which might stand me in good stead one of these days.

From the parade to the reading of the Declaration of Independence in the Chapin Rare Books Library on the Williams College campus, which is a family tradition and a wonderful way to celebrate the real meaning of Independence Day. I remember the first year I attended after being elected a Selectman. I had tears in my eyes at the end of the reading because I felt like I was part of a long line of individuals who were trying to preserve democracy.

Off to the airport to say goodbye to the kids much too soon. Yes, sorry, Betsy is six months older than Ben Downing. Back to town for a nap and then on to the Steeple Cats game in North Adams. I missed watching Deval throw out the first pitch at the Dukes game BUT THERE IS A LIMIT TO MY STAMINA! One opponent at the game. Good game. Fun to sit with the K Line group that annouces when there's a strikeout. But since it went 11 innings, I couldn't stay for the fireworks. As luck would have it, it started raining on our way home so the early departure was quite fortuitous.

And so to bed. Had I accomplished anything? Haven't a clue. Did I enjoy myself? Yes, actually. In large part because my wonderful friend Priscilla shepherded me down the parade route and my wonderful husband and friend Ellen Bernstein hung out with me at the game and the hotdogs were good and the Toomajians introduced me to the K Line group so life is good.

More than you wanted to know? Perhaps. But remember, it's MY blog, so I can write about whatever I want. Next time it will be a posting of substance. But we're saving some of the good stuff until next week.....