Thursday, December 4, 2008

GOP Bright Spot For 2008 Was Indiana

In 2008 one of the nation’s longest GOP streaks for President was broken. Barack Obama was the first Democrat since LBJ in 1964 to win Indiana. So with Obama’s wave of change sweeping over our state the GOP must have taken a beating and lost the Governor’s race right?

Nope, not even close. Mitch Daniels won reelection by 18 points.

How big was the win for Governor Daniels? By the numbers it went like this:

With 1,563,873 votes Governor Daniels received more votes than any other Hoosier candidate for office…ever.

  • Daniels received 24% of the Democrat vote.
  • Daniels received 20% of the African American vote.
  • Daniels won the Independent vote by 18 points.
  • Daniels won EVERY age group including young voters (51%-42%).

A Republican Governor won reelection in a purple state in 2008 not by playing it safe but by being a leader.

How did he do it?

  • Daniels talked about “change” in 2003 before “change” was cool. When first elected, he inherited a dysfunctional state government, hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. Since taking office, he has had only balanced budgets, the biggest tax cut in state history, telecom reform, ethics reform, and millions of dollars have been paid back to schools and local governments. Indiana is now the only state in the nation to have a fully-funded ten-year transportation plan with no debt or tax increase.
  • Hoosiers made a connection with the governor’s steadfast leadership and work ethic. Voters recognized his constant focus on attracting a record number of new and diversified jobs, dramatically reducing homeowner’s property taxes, and the state’s immediate, organized and effective response to the severe weather/record floods in the summer of 2008.
  • Daniels was supported by a formidable coalition of both typical and atypical interest groups. Because of his approach, he received backing by union building trades as well as the Chamber of Commerce, the Manufacturer’s Association and the NFIB. The FOP and prominent veteran leaders were seen on TV ads pledging their support in their own non-partisan words. The International Association of Fire Fighters supported Daniels and Obama. African American leaders passed out Governor Daniels suggestion boxes to urban barbershops and hair salons. Fluent in Spanish, Daniels earned the support of traditionally Democrat Latino voters.
  • Job creation and tough line on fiscal responsibility. The Midwest is a sea of red ink as every state faces serious budget deficits…every state except one. Indiana.
  • Daniels kept it real. He has remained in touch and accessible to average Hoosiers through constant statewide travel. His view is always from the taxpayer’s perspective and that showed on Election Day. Voters came to appreciate his preference to travel the state on his Harley Davidson motorcycle and his insistence to stay overnight in Hoosier homes, not in hotels.

Governor Daniels is term limited and will exit office in 2012…hmmm what could he do in 2012?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lessons from the trenches of 2008.

2008’s electoral results are getting clearer as we close in on a final result in MN and GA. As President-elect Obama sorts out his administration and we all eat turkey sandwiches there are some great lessons to be learned from GOP campaigns of 2008.

In the coming weeks I will interview consultants, campaign staff and candidates to look at the tactics and where they made a difference. Before I start the interviews I want to hear from you on what questions you want answered.

Some of the questions I am considering asking are:

  • What campaign on the GOP side showed real innovation in fundraising?
  • What campaign on the GOP side had the most effective use of New Media?
  • What candidate on the GOP side best leveraged earned media to get traction?
  • What campaign on the GOP side showed the greatest comeback?
  • What campaign on the GOP side showed the best mobilization of grassroots supporters?
  • What campaign on the GOP side had the most effective GOTV organization?
  • What GOP media consultant showed the most appreciation for web video and integrated it into their mix?
  • What GOP pollster was the most accurate?
  • What GOP mail vendor had the most creative and effective designs? (yes, I am biased)
  • What GOP campaign showed the best ability to integrate it’s website into its’ over all campaign operation?
  • What GOP candidate has the biggest ideas for the future of our party (even if they lost)?
  • What GOP campaign showed the best use of its email list?
  • What GOP campaign was really good at the small stuff? (yard signs, bumper stickers, t-shirts, etc)

    I also have a sizeable list of people to interview, if you have some you would like to see, let me know.

    Email your suggested questions and interviewees to

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I am not moving to France...

Election Day has come and gone and my Political Party’s nominee for President has lost. I am disappointed but not disheartened. I am looking forward to the debate within the Republican Party to find our true core again.

A couple of things first, congratulations to President-elect Obama and his supporters. In 2000 and 2004 I was dismayed by the lack of respect and abundance of contempt that President Bush (and those of us that supported him) received from those that lost. Regardless of the deep and substantive differences I have with President-elect Obama it would be a mistake to not recognize how historic his election is. He is the first African-American President and represents the completion of another chapter in America’s troubled history on racial equality. His campaign shattered traditional models of volunteer mobilization, fundraising and technology use. All of which are good things for American democracy. I am sure that in the coming months I will have strong words for him in difference of policy but there will be plenty of time for that.

Next, leave Senator McCain alone. Enough of the arm chair quarterbacks and back seat drivers meaningless whining. In most polling I saw, we could not even get 30% of Americans to admit they were Republicans so it is no surprise that we could not get a majority of them to vote that way.

Time and time again I hear voters tell campaigns to “not tell them why the other guy is wrong, tell us what your guy will do!” Maybe we as Republicans should consider that question a bit before we start getting a worked up and wild-eyed. In 1996 we screamed and yelled about how unethical and corrupt President Clinton was. You can ask President Dole how well that worked.

Who are we and why should voters give us a chance again?

Are we fiscal conservatives or fans of big government solutions? Are we social conservatives, moderates or something in-between? Do we believe in free market solutions or tariff managed trade? Do we believe in being “safe” all the time or are we ok with balance of less security for more liberty? Do we believe in “exporting” the gift of democracy or letting others figure it out for themselves? Do we think that there is still some room in our country for people who were not born here but believe in the idea of America as much as we do? Are we helping the “poor” by not making them pay taxes?

I used to think I could articulate the “Republican” position on these pretty well but lately I am not so sure.

Even before McCain conceded I had emails and text messages from friends and journalists asking if Governor Palin would be our standard bearer for 2012. Whoa, let’s hold our horses a bit. We need to know where we are going before we pick a leader. The good news is we have some time on our hands to figure that out now that Democrats control both houses of Congress and the White House.

I have been proud to be a Republican in the past and am sure I will be in the future. Our party has a great history of shaping our nation’s policy and providing the great leaders to do it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

1/3 of US voters could vote BEFORE Nov. 4

My Way News - A third of electorate could vote before Nov. 4: "Early voting has been on the increase in recent years: In 2004, 22 percent of voters cast an early presidential ballot; in 2000, 16 percent voted early.
It's a trend that is fundamentally changing the home stretch of American political campaigns. October surprises? They'd better come in September if campaigns want to influence every vote. Get out the vote operations? They're already under way in some states."

Wow, even the media gets that early and absentee voting is the future of GOTV.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

GOP "boogeyman" used to scare poor voters

Michigan Messenger » Lose your house, lose your vote: "Vote suppression: Not an isolated effort
Carabelli is not the only Republican Party official to suggest the targeting of foreclosed voters. In Ohio, Doug Preisse, director of elections in Franklin County (around the city of Columbus) and the chair of the local GOP, told The Columbus Dispatch that he has not ruled out challenging voters before the election due to foreclosure-related address issues.

Hebert, the voting-rights lawyer, sees a connection between Priesse’s remarks and Carabelli’s plans.
“At a minimum what you are seeing is a fairly comprehensive effort by the Republican Party, a systematic broad-based effort to put up obstacles for people to vote,” he said. “Nobody is contending that these people are not legally registered to vote.

“When you are comprehensively challenging people to vote,” Hebert went on, “your goals are two-fold: One is you are trying to knock people out from casting ballots; the other is to create a slowdown that will discourage others,” who see a long line and realize they can’t afford to stay and wait.
Challenging all voters registered to foreclosed homes could disrupt some polling places, especially in the Detroit metropolitan area. According to the real estate Web site RealtyTrac, one in every 176 households in Wayne County, metropolitan Detroit, received a foreclosure filing during the month of July.

In Macomb County, the figure was one household in every 285, meaning that 1,834 homeowners received the bad news in just one month. The Macomb County foreclosure rate puts it in the top three percent of all U.S. counties in the number of distressed homeowners."

I have seen some biased and ridiculous articles in my time but this is just plain dumb. I am not speaking on behalf of the GOP or any of our state parties here.

It not suppression you moron, it is making sure that only eligible voters get to vote. Every year the Republican Party has reams of documented evidence that illegal ballots are cast from abandoned homes and or vacant lots.

Maybe a better question is why a city run completely by Democrats has such a high foreclosure rate? Maybe someone might want to ask why these, so called, community groups have to turn to incendiary tactics like some bogus story of voter intimidation? ACORN has a comment??? Give me a break, how many ACORN organizers have been charged with voter fraud this year? 5, 10, 20?

How many documented cases of GOP voter suppression are there? The silence is deafening...

But how many times do we have to prove that organizations like ACORN are taking advantage of disadvantaged voters before the press gets a clue?

Also, The Michigan Messenger is not a legitimate "news" source. It is run by the Center for Independent Media which is run by an Obama donor...go figure.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Be afraid of the campaign that does NOT brag about its ground game.

Obama Banks on the Ground Game - TIME: "The Obama campaign has placed an emphasis on expanding the electoral map. They say they will have staff in all 50 states, even if those states are not even remotely in play. In Texas, where McCain leads Obama by 11 percentage points, they already have 15 paid staff, which they insist is an investment for the future. 'We certainly don't think it's a waste of money to be there,' Hildebrand says, 'There's a potential House seat we could pick up there and there's a real shot at winning back the State Senate this fall. With redistricting coming up it's very important as to who controls the legislative body there.'

Obama may believe in investing in a mandate to govern — helping to expand Democrats in Congress and in local and municipal races — but that won't matter a whole lot if he fails to win the presidency. 'This 50-state strategy, I hope it's real,' says Bill Steiner, the RNC's director of strategy. 'But I actually think what it's for is to cover up some of their weakness in targeted states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. States that Democrats can't afford to lose. This is about quality versus quantity.'

Not surprisingly the Obama campaign takes issue with that assessment. Over Labor Day weekend, while waiting for Obama to finish an event, David Axelrod, the nominee's top strategist, noted their strategy is broader than McCain's, and therefore requires a lot more leg work, but has more potential pay off. 'We're going into November 4 with many different scenarios to get to 270 electoral votes,' he says, squinting at airplanes buzzing overhead, part of Cleveland's annual air show. 'I think their path is very, very narrow, as is their thinking.'"

They sure seem pretty confident. Thats ok. It will make it funnier when they lose.

At the RNC behind a dark curtain you can hear the sinister laugh of Michael Beach. He is hunched over reams of information from many states that says we will be just fine.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dungeons&Dragons and Pop-up Campers

I am not “normal” for a lot of reasons. One of my many quirks is people watching. I just can’t help it. When I see people I wonder about their voting and consumer habits. This is going to be a long post so bear with me.

A couple of weekends ago my family went camping in one of the many great state parks scattered across Indiana and Michigan. I could not help but noticing a couple of things…

  • These folks are not poor. Where are the tents? Everyone (but us of course) seems to have pop-up campers, pull behinds and 5th wheels. Does anyone even worry when it rains anymore?
  • Smoking. Holy cow, I know it is illegal in so many places that smokers feel like freedom fighters in the jungle. I would estimate at least half or more of the adults I observed were smokers.
  • NASCAR fans. I would say you were more likely to see a flag with a race car number on it than the stars and stripes attached to most of the campers.
  • Tattoos everywhere. Don’t want to make any stereo-types but I am just calling it as I see it.
  • Family activity abounds. There has been many a column, op-ed and whiny diatribe about the lack of real talking and family interaction seen in the press. Not at the campsite, fireside talks, throwing the football, fishing were all very common. No computers, Gameboys or blackberries in sight...except mine of course.

    Yesterday I was in
    Indianapolis and was fascinated to see all the attendees to the GenCon event going on this week. What is GenCon you ask? Well, obviously, you don’t play Dungeons & Dragons, World of Warcraft, Magic the Gathering or any of the many other popular fantasy games. So what did I see? Basically, as I said earlier, stereo-types exist for a reason.
  • 18-30 obese males. Not everyone was overweight but most of these guys have slain many dragons but not seen a gym.
  • Disposable income. If you are going to spend that much money on computer gaming equipment, miniature Orcs and comic books you are doing more than working part time at Best Buy.
  • Body odor. Ok, I know this may seem mean but if you walk around those tables you can not help but notice more than few guys who could use some of that Axe body spray (hint, hint, great target audience for the folks selling that stuff). Let’s face it, if you are spending 36 hours in front of your X Box 360 slaying the Flood you are not going to have time to shower.
  • Swords, leather armor, chain mail, fart joke t-shirts, kilts. This is a group of folks who are clearly not afraid to express themselves in what they wear.
  • What the heck is ESPN? I seriously doubt anyone in there has any idea the Olympics is on or that football season is around the corner.
  • Highly intelligent. Eavesdropping on some conversations and watching some of the games you can not help but realize that these guys are smart. Encyclopedic knowledge of Chaos Space Marines and World War II German armored vehicles may not look good on a resume but stupid people could not master that much info.

    So why would a political campaign care about these groups? Because voter participation and partisan ID is very low amongst both groups. We spend thousands of dollars trying to corner folks at home or get them to admit their party preference on the phone with mediocre results.

    Maybe we should stop trying to find them and just go meet them where they gather? Maybe we should spend less time in door-to-door canvass and more time working the booth at the arts and crafts festival or home improvement show? Maybe we should start treating events more like real campaign opportunities and less like troublesome interruptions to “real” campaign work.

    I am just sayin’…you should think about it.

***Personal note****

I played my fair share of D&D back in the day and still indulge in online gaming and the SciFi Channel so I hope my fellow geeks understand my observations are not critical, just honest.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

SHOCKING - Obama has more offices and staff than McCain!!! - Obama takes advantage in field offices: "In states where both campaigns have announced field offices that they’ve opened or plan to open, Obama has a definite advantage. In Ohio, Obama will have 18 offices open by the end of this week, while Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.) has eight. In Virginia, Obama has opened 20 while McCain has opened six.

In Missouri, Obama has plans for 30 offices while McCain is aiming to have 10, the Kansas City Star reported.
While Obama has 50 staffers already in the Show Me State with plans to hire 150 altogether, McCain had only a handful with hopes of hiring 50 workers."

This is news? Are you kidding me?

In 2004 we were often outnumbered 4 and 5 to 1 in most battle ground states when you compare offices and staff. In Minnesota alone when you add ACT,, Kerry Edwards and the state Democrats they had over 400 full time paid staff with over 20 offices. BC04, RNC Victory and State Party barely had 100 with only 5 offices.

My point is can anyone remember the last time a GOP POTUS Campaign had more offices or staff than a Democrat's?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Flashing Electronic Ink On Direct Mail Coming Soon

E Ink responsible for Esquire's flashing magazine cover - Engadget: "Nary a month after an E Ink exec asserted that e-newspapers would be going commercial by 2009, in flies word that a forthcoming issue of Esquire will likely be the poster child for the change. According to David Granger, Esquire's editor in chief, rags have generally 'looked the same for 150 years,' but all that will change when 100,000 copies of the September issue arrive on newsstands with a flashing electronic cover. The E Ink technology used will be exclusively available to Esquire until 2009, and the blinking 'The 21st Century Begins Now' text will sadly fade after the battery runs dry in 90 days. Still, there's at least some chance the issue will wind up in the Smithsonian, and an even bigger chance magazine racks everywhere will require Kanye-approved sunglasses to even look at in just a few years."

How long before our direct mail has flashing "Get-Out-The-Vote" and neon "donate now" messages?

H/T to Engadget.

Don't think you can buy this one at Dell.

Ego's Bentley laptop is gonna make you so cool, we swear - Engadget: "Ego's Bentley laptop is gonna make you so cool, we swear"

H/T to Engadget. Need a "high end luxury laptop"? How about the $20k Bentley custom leather bound laptop?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Myth that more African American turnout will flip the south for Obama

Campaign Myth 2: Thirty Percent Will Flip the South - Behind the Numbers: "Using the 2004 election as a baseline - this is the election against which final analysis will gauge Obama's ability to 'turn' states 'blue' - and exit poll estimates of the proportion and preferences of black voters, suggests black turnout would have to spike considerably higher - 50 percent or more - for Obama to win many of these states.

Taking Georgia as an example: George W. Bush beat John Kerry by 17 points in 2004, a massive margin, and better than his 12-point victory in 2000. Average GOP advantage: 425,796 votes. But add in 1996 (when Bob Dole beat Clinton by a single point) and 1992 (a narrow Clinton win), and the average drops to 216,218 votes, a much lower threshold. Using the CPS data further confounds the issue. The 2000 CPS estimate for black turnout in Georgia exceeds the total number of African American registered voters in the Georgia Secretary of State's database by more than 27,000.

Substituting the 2000-2004 average for the 1992-2004 average and using estimates of black voter turnout from the state government, shows that black turnout would have to go up by 81 percent to put Obama over the top; again assuming all else remained the same. Compared with 2004 alone, black turnout would have to about double (increase 96 percent) to give Obama the state's 15 Electoral College votes."

Very interesting read with hard facts on the ramifications of additional African American turnout.

Official: State fits Obama's game plan | | The Indianapolis Star

Official: State fits Obama's game plan The Indianapolis Star: "Indiana, Plouffe said, is a 'state people are surprised we are playing so hard in. We believe that Indiana is highly competitive. We think we've got a terrific organization there, and McCain is not on the air and doesn't have any organization to speak of.'
Plouffe said the decision to run TV ads in Indiana and 17 other states is 'not a head fake.'"


What if the "Indiana plan" was part of a fundraising scheme for Obama?

What if Obama and HRC had already raised 1.7 million dollars out of Indiana and wanted to raise another 5-6 million? Why not invest one to two million dollars into a great diversion like Indiana?

NOTHING will motivate donors more than a real, or at least perceived to be real, local campaign for President. I think that if you "invest" a couple million into Indiana, even though you have no shot to win, but still net 3-4 million you can spend in Ohio, Iowa, Virginia or Colorado.

Why not do it?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Good politics means sometimes you have to twist some arms...and break some legs.

So I have not been paying enough attention to the GOP race for AG here in Indiana lately. I knew their was a race and that I would be backing Jon Costas for two reasons:

1. He is from northern Indiana and being a big partisan from my part of our state I have to be with my people.
2. He is a former client and I would need a pretty good reason not to back someone I have help get elected in the past.

So what about Greg Zoeller? Greg is a great guy and would make a great AG but I can only choose one.

Now on to my subject. "arm twisting" and "strong arming"? Do we have a kerfuffle?

I know lots of friends and colleagues who are backing Zoeller and some are concerned about what the Governor's endorsement means and some supposed "heavy handed" activity by his surrogates. Let's all be grown ups for a bit.

Party discipline for Republicans has always been a fickle issue. We are all about it when we are getting our own way but cry foul when it goes against us. In all seriousness Indiana Republicans have been without any real party discipline for almost 20 years. Ask anyone over the age of 45 who has been active in GOP politics and it used to be a different political world we operated in. Anyone remember Keith Bulen? I mean come on guys. We used to draw blood on each other on a pretty regular basis.

In regards to the the Governor weighing anyone really surprised? He is the leader of the party. I would be the first one to admit as a former County Chairman that there were times when I wished he was more partisan and skipped all that talk about "bipartisan cooperation". I backed Mike Delph for his Senate bid in 2005 despite some somewhat mixed signals from the Governor's corner. I laid my cards down for my friend and never regretted it (a lot easier when they win). My point is that those of us that are actively involved with politics, despite what we say, often respect and admire political authority and those who use it. I genuinely believe that we want and expect strong leadership from the top of our party (I am a veteran of the Bush Cheney operation know what loyalty to the family means).

In less than a week our party will nominate one of two great guys and to go on to kick the crap out of the Democrats in the fall. So then those of us on the inside of party politics will need to go out for drink, yell a little, trade some stories and move on.

Monday, May 26, 2008

What if we actaully gave activists the yard signs, t-shirts and stickers they wanted?

Yard signs, t-shirts and stickers.

There are few subjects that will invoke more anger, frustration and crazy stories from veteran campaign staff than these mundane items.

Mundane? Yes. Simple? No.

Anyone who has ever had the privilege of working on any campaign of any size is familiar with the sanity-testing exercise of keeping donors, activists and volunteers happy. Undoubtedly, these supporters of our candidate want a visual representation of their support for our candidate. It used to be we could give them a "Smith for Congress" yard sign or a "Jones for Governor" bumper sticker and call it a day. Not anymore. Welcome to a micro targeted, coalition driven, Long Tail world of campaign collateral.

C'mon Chris I thought this would be a substantive discussion on REAL campaign logistics. Trust me, it is. Just hang with me for a few minutes.

We are starting to see more segmentation of campaign collateral as our supporters ID themselves as "Veterans for Smith", "Viva la Bush!", "Sportsman for Kennedy" or even "Asian American Pacific Islanders for Bloomberg". I am not making that last one up, I have a button to prove it.

Enter the The Long Tail. Recently I finished reading the The Long Tail by Chris Anderson and was blown away by such a simple but powerful concept. People want more choice in everything they do...including their politics.

Now add Threadless. Read a great article in Inc. Magazine on the success of Threadless and how it uses its user driven community that cuts out all the advertising and marketing and just prints the shirts customers actually want. Free lance designers upload their art, community members vote on their favorites and then that same community buys them by the truck load.

So what if a big campaign that had some online store component actually asked it's online supporters (specifically the small dollar donors) what they wanted? How many "Frat boys for McCain", "Dentists for Coleman" or "Pet owners for Mitch" would want a t-shirt, bumper sticker or yard sign?

Even better than having to give it away at Campaign HQ all the time what if supporters actually pay for their own stuff. Allow them to "actively" participate in the campaign and engage on their own terms under their own label.

Now that would be a cool idea.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Republicans voting in the IN Dem Primary prefer Clinton by 8 points.

From the excellent blog at the Washington Post ...

More "Sincere" Crossover - Behind the Numbers: "First, Clinton edged Obama in Indiana's open primary among self-identified Democrats, 52 to 48 percent. And removing all GOP-identifiers from the voter pool does not budge the overall result. Perhaps the focus on non-Democrats is misplaced.
But the topline numbers are so intriguing.
Republicans made up 10 percent of all Democratic voters in Indiana last night, their highest share of the electorate in any Democratic primary this year other than Mississippi. Not only did Clinton win Republicans in Indiana by eight percentage points, but about six in 10 of those who supported her in the primary said they would vote for McCain over Clinton in a hypothetical general election match-up. (Most Republicans voting for Obama said they would stick with him in the fall.)"

So who is using Twitter?

Twitter Traffic Explosion: Who’s behind it all?: "The gender and age breakdowns indicate that users skew young and male. These two charts are indexed to the U.S internet average, where “100” is the average.
Twitter users are 10% more likely to be male than the average internet user. This skew is nearly identical across all three Usage groups.
Twitter skews heavily towards the college/twenty-something crowd. Twitter attracts 18-24 year-olds at nearly twice the rate of an average U.S website.
Splitting age demographics based on usage intensity shows that heavy users tend to skew older than visitors who only hit the site once a month. This could indicate that while the younger segments are more exploratory, the 25-44 year old segments have found more value in Twitter and started to ramp up usage.
Twitter may be growing like crazy but it’s yet to go mainstream. Interestingly, Twitter’s strategy of letting developers re-purpose its data may help the service reach the tipping point by making Twitter’s value more accessible. Check back next week to see how these twitter based sites (like twitterlocal and summize) are building a loyal base."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Campaigns move on out of Indiana

South Bend Tribune: Campaign offices pack up: "'I'm not sure what I didn't do,' she said. 'I worked on the phones, I canvassed, I trained people how to work on the phone, I helped to manage the office, I did a lot of busy office work, and helped clean. Whatever they needed, I was here to do.'

She'll keep volunteering, too, working from her Mishawaka home to support Clinton in the states that have yet to vote, including West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon."

I wonder if she will vote for McCain now?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Da' Region gets some national props.

The District That May Decide Indiana - TIME: "The district, in the northwest part of the state, in theory should be Obama's. It's almost entirely in the Chicago media orbit (part of it is actually in the city's metro area) and it has been exposed to Obama's political career as long as any part of the country. It is disproportionately weighted to groups that support him, with 87% of the population urban and 18% of it African-American. The mayor of Gary, the largest city in the district, has endorsed Obama. And various parts of the local Democratic machine are turning it on for him. Clinton's local surrogates just complained that Gary high schools have been using tax dollars to bus voting-aged kids to the polling places for early voting field trips over the last few weeks."

Obama pushes me to vote early thru Facebook

Nice ad targeted to me as an IN resident reminding me of the process and when it ends.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Academics Question Conventional Political Wisdom

Campaigns and Elections' Politics Magazine: "In the revised edition of their book, Green and Gerber make use of data spanning 9 years and find a good deal of evidence to bolster their earlier findings, namely that outreach in the form of direct mail and robocalls for GOTV purposes are relatively ineffective. The data Green and Gerber rely on stretches back to 1998 and was gathered in controlled experiments in the field with actual campaigns.
Among their conclusions: 'Direct mail is expensive, and its capacity to mobilize voters is typically rather limited.' As for robocalls, Green and Gerber say they 'might help you to stretch your resources in ways that allow you to contact the maximum number of people, but don't expect to move them very much, if at all.'"

Personally, I think there is some truth to some of their findings (especially the part about literature drops being completely useless). I don't agree with all their findings but I think as political professionals we need to not be afraid of the questions. We need to constantly assess our efforts and ask ourselves what we think works and what we can actually prove works.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Top GOTV callers given credit by Obama

Nice touch by Obama to give his top callers credit by name on line. Better if they gave addresses too so we could make sure these folks do get any GOP mail or contact. They are obviously not "undecided" voters.

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In: "Top 10 Callers
1. Claudia Sutton4322 Calls
2. Tamar Lasky4145 Calls
3. Henry Krempel1392 Calls
4. Christopher Martin1211 Calls
5. Bill Wack1175 Calls
6. William & Doreen Baer921 Calls
7. Erik Christensen671 Calls
8. Thomas McGrath540 Calls
9. john smith525 Calls
10. Claudette Whyte523 Calls"

Great Candidate Training in Ohio

Good session at the Ohio GOP candidate training this weekend. The setup, prep and most important food were all top notch.

Candidate Training Seminar: 2008 Candidate Training Seminar: "Candidates and campaign staff listen to a breakout session on New Media campaign tactics at the Ohio Republican Party's 2008 Candidate Training Seminar on Saturday, April 19."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Stickers may not win votes but they may motivate supporters.

There is a constant and brutal debate among political hacks about signs, stickers, t-shirts and similar "chum" that campaign volunteers seem to consume. Most are in the very passionate camp of opposition to spending a dime on any collateral material. The line of thinking has always been "it does not win votes".

I have always wanted to side a little more with the crazy volunteers.

If we have a candidate that excites a base of supporters we should make it easier for them to take our message viral and that means showing outward signs of support. Which means sometimes...yes, sometimes it makes sense to buy that stuff. Which also means you can not buy the cheapest low quality t-shirts and thinnest smallest stickers out there. We have to make the collateral material worth the passion people put into it.

Worn, With Pride: Old Stickers Mean Status in the Obama Camp - "There are other, more prosaic reasons for holding on to those crumbly old stickers. It's not terribly easy to get your hands on an Obama sticker in the D.C. area -- not anymore, two-plus months after the Potomac primary.
'You have to go online and buy them,' says Democratic and gay activist Phil Pannell, 57, who has several coats with well-worn Obama campaign stickers on them. 'If you have a sticker you better hold on to it.' Also: 'If you see the rainbow stickers for the gay supporters, very difficult to find.'
The reality is, even though one could buy a batch of 50 Obama stickers from the campaign's online store -- and possibly experience a two- to three-week delay due to overwhelming demand, according to a Web site warning -- most people get their stickers the old-fashioned way, for free. And that means they've had to show up somewhere, say at a rally or a get-out-the-vote effort. And that means the sticker is worth way more than its face value. They had to work for it."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Only the Democrats...

The funny part is the RNC is further ahead and our program will work better and cost less.

Democrats are proud of knowing specific details like football schedules in competitive states? Gimme a break, Beach and the Political Department probably has a spreadsheet on weather and average rain fall already worked out. We are way ahead.

Marc Ambinder (April 18, 2008) - Atlas Project Close To Completion: "The Democrats have never done this before on a national scale – just ask any Kerry-Edwards ’04 state director whether they were handed detailed, integrated, fully updated campaign plans when they scrambled to put their coordinated campaigns together in 2004. Rosenthal will work with outside political groups like the Fund for America and America Votes; the company, he said, has built a firewall to prevent the party from learning about his side of the operation.
The project wrote atlases for 15 states – CO, VA, NH, IA, WI, MN, OH, PA, MI, MO, WV, FL, AZ, NM, and NV – they’ve stopped updating their Arizona database because they expect Sen. John McCain to win."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We must catch up.

Why Dems Rule the Web - TIME: "Republicans, who once were far ahead of Democrats in whizbang TV technology, let their party fall behind the nerd curve as Howard Dean and later John Kerry revolutionized and then exploited online fund-raising in 2004. Four years later, the Democrats have widened that gap, using the Internet not only to raise cash but also to organize canvassers and plot get-out-the-vote efforts. Republicans say the Democrats' Web advantage is due to not just greater enthusiasm but also smarter strategies. 'Everything Obama does is fundamentally about a people-powered democracy and a people-powered campaign,' says Mindy Finn, a Republican consultant who ran Mitt Romney's Internet operation. 'McCain's message is different.'"

Republicans will catch up eventually...hopefully sooner rather than later.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Haha - Voter Vault is better and it is free for users.

Clinton Aide’s Databank Venture Breaks Ground in Politicking - New York Times: "But, at the same time, Mr. Ickes is also wearing another hat. He is president of Catalist, a for-profit databank that has sold its voter files to the Obama and the Clinton presidential campaigns for their get-out-the-vote efforts. With his equity stake in the firm, Mr. Ickes stands to benefit financially no matter which candidate becomes the Democratic nominee.
In creating Catalist, Mr. Ickes, who was deputy chief of staff in the Clinton White House, has formed a rare entity on the political scene, a for-profit limited-liability corporation that allows wealthy Democratic donors to help progressive organizations and candidates by investing in the company. And if Catalist, which has data on 230 million Americans, is successful as a business, these donors-turned-investors stand to reap financial returns from using their money to help elect Democrats."

I can hear Chad Barth and Jon Black laughing back at the Building now.

Job Opportunity With Students for Life of America Field Agent Program

Job Description --You will start with a week of intense training to give you the skills you need to start and help lead pro-life groups on college campuses. Subsequently, you will travel your region for 11 weeks forming groups at college campuses by networking, motivating, and helping students host events.

SFLA will provide the training and resources you need to be successful. In addition, we will network you with other pro-life leaders from your region that will help you accomplish your goals. No other job will offer you the opportunity to travel the country to meet and work with pro-life college students while helping them develop into leaders that save the lives of the unborn.

Recent graduates or current students who are interested in taking a semester off are particularly suited for the job. Prior activism, leadership, or pro-life experience is encouraged. A car is required.

• All travel and transportation expenses
• Cell phone and communication expenses
• Housing expenses
• Earn $375 per week
• After beginning 6 groups earn an additional $500 per group started
• Bonuses up to $1000
• Other expenses: We will reimburse up to $200 per week for items you purchase specifically for SFL functions, such as fliers, food, beverages, etc.
• Job Referrals: Networking is key to gaining a job within the pro-life movement. If you perform your duties as a Field Agent well we will help you find another job upon completion of the field program. When openings occur in our office we give preference to our Field Agents.

How to ApplyEmail your resume to

Friday, April 11, 2008

When "Hope" meets the reality of urban politics.

Barack Obama may lose support in Philadelphia over 'street money' - Los Angeles Times: "Before the 2002 state elections, a reporter watched two practitioners of the street-money arts in action: Campbell and U.S. Rep. Robert A. Brady, a ward leader and chair of Philadelphia's Democratic committee.

Brady was sitting in his campaign office with two of his political lieutenants. He reached into a desk drawer at one point and pulled out a $50 bill -- street money. Brady tore it in two and gave each man a half. Then the men made a bet: Whoever pulled in the most Democratic votes that day from his precincts would get both halves."

Because belief in a candidate and their ideas are just not enough.

If this does not display the dark underside of the Democratic party's relationship with minority voters I don't know what does.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hold on, I am getting a call on my watch.

Van Der Led's WM2 cellphone is Slayer approved - Engadget: "Van Der Led's WM2 cellphone is Slayer approved
Posted Apr 9th 2008 7:47AM by Thomas Ricker
Filed under: Cellphones, Wearables

Can it be? Why... why yes, a watch with integrated cellphone we might (might!) actually wear. The Van Der Led WM2 is a quad-band GSM watch with itty bitty 1.3-inch, 260k color touchscreen display, stereo Bluetooth, up to 240-hours of standby or 300-minutes talk, and 1GB of storage for a few of your MP3 or MP4 files. Better yet, from a distance, those uber geeky keys on the numeric pad look just like the glittering wrist studs capable of mesmerizing Death Metal, she-groupies backstage. Yours for €300 (about $471 US Rubbles) starting Monday. Actual product pressed to flesh in the gallery below."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

SEIU Spends $700k...just in PA for Obama's Turnout

Obama gaining on Clinton in Pennsylvania - "The Illinois senator has also heavily benefited from the Service Employees International Union, which according to recently filed FEC reports has spent well over $700,000 on get-out-the-vote-efforts there. Watch more of Obama campaigning in Pennsylvania »"

Remember...Union dues are to take care of members and organize workers to lift themselves out of poverty.

Yeah, right.

It is to pay back the politicians who help them grow stronger and exercise more clout.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Could the Mayor of Detroit be helping the GOP?

Of course he is not doing it on purpose but Kwame may be helping us out.

"Michigan Liberal::: Could Kwame cost us a moment in history?: "And, since most everyone seems to think that winning Michigan is critical to winning the White House, it just has to be asked at what level do Kwame Kilpatrick's troubles threaten the fortunes for the guy who is the current front runner ... Barack Obama. I think maybe a successful GOTV operation need not have the mayor running the thing, but I don't know that'll be possible if the Detroit political machine is paralyzed over the mayor's scandals. But, the bit about state and national leaders not wanting to be seen with the mayor in public is very accurate."

This shows some real inside baseball of Dems on how important inner city African American voting is to their POTUS nominee.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Partisan Density Makes GOTV More Difficult For The GOP

New strategies for mobilizing Latinos NDN Blog: "In a major break from traditional get-out-the-vote strategy, the party did not rely solely on contacting voters at home, but took their efforts to the workplaces of Latinos. The party did not focus only on door-to-door outreach trying, to make contact at times people might be at home- instead they went to where they work. They went to Latino businesses, such as construction sites and restaurants, and talked to employees and customers. They posted information in the mercados and supermercados. They worked with employers to get information to and make contact with the employees.
Staff and volunteers placed 1,657 posters and distributed 8,963 brochures in all types of businesses that were Latino-owned or had a large Latino customer or client base, including taco shops, tienditas, beauty salons, and swap meets."

Democrats have a huge advantage in campaigns like this based on the frequent density of their voters. I don't know that I have ever heard of a precinct that is actually, baseline, 90% Republican yet it is very common in some cities to have multiple precincts that are over 90% Democratic.

Our challenge is to seek out GOP voters no matter where they are and contact them no matter how many barriers they put up.

Don't Wait For Election Day

South Bend Tribune: Ballot shortages a continuing problem: "For one, even the best-made plans have gone awry; officials in state after state have ordered more ballots, only to see turnouts exceed their most ambitious estimates.
Some states — California, for example — extended registration deadlines, in part to give would-be voters more time to sign up for the first Democratic presidential nomination race between a black man and a woman.
But some election officials say those extensions have necessitated a form of fortune telling when it comes to deciding how many ballots to order."

In Indiana we have
- 30 Days to vote absentee
- 14 Days to vote early

If you wait until election day you are making your own problems. Vote early.

P.S. Another helpful tip, if you vote early (and the campaign/party does a good job) you can avoid all those pesky Get-Out-The-Vote calls.

Why I Get Paid BEFORE Mail Goes Out

Cash-strapped Clinton fails to pay bills - Kenneth P. Vogel - "Some of Clinton’s biggest debts are to pollster and chief strategist Mark Penn, who’s owed $2.5 million; direct mail company MSHC Partners, which is owed $807,000; phone-banking firm Spoken Hub, which is waiting for $771,000; and ad maker Mandy Grunwald, who’s owed $467,000."

To all my clients out there who wonder why I require payment for mail up front.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The 30 And Under Vote Does Not Watch The News.

hat tip to Tech Republican

The Second Cup - Thursday, March 27 "Fully two-thirds of Web users under 30 say they use social networking sites, while fewer than 20 percent of older users do. MySpace and Facebook create a sense of connection to the candidates.

Between the two sites, Mr. Obama has about one million “friends,” Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, his rival for the Democratic nomination, has roughly 330,000, and Senator John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee, has more than 140,000. Four out of 10 young people have watched candidate speeches, interviews, commercials or debates online, according to Pew, substantially more than people 30 and older.

Fully two-thirds of Web users under 30 say they use social networking sites, while fewer than 20 percent of older users do. MySpace and Facebook create a sense of connection to the candidates. Between the two sites, Mr. Obama has about one million “friends,” Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, his rival for the Democratic nomination, has roughly 330,000, and Senator John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee, has more than 140,000.

Four out of 10 young people have watched candidate speeches, interviews, commercials or debates online, according to Pew, substantially more than people 30 and older."

If you are looking to talk to to anyone under 30 don't obsess about the evening news.

A little sneak peek for all you crackberry addicts.

BlackBerry 9000 in the wild - Engadget: "Today, Engadget answers the singular question on the mind of everyone out there who's sitting at a solid oak desk in a glass office wearing a suit as they read this: what's up with the next BlackBerry? The rumored BlackBerry 8xxx / 9000 series is getting a lot clearer today, and we're happy to report that RIM's cooking up a beauty to keep its legion of devotees loyal -- and maybe even win a few converts along the way. Head on over to Engadget Mobile for pictures and video of the little beast in action!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Build a bigger audience for your RSS feed

11 Ways to Find New RSS Subscribers for Your Blog: "11 Ways to Find New RSS Subscribers for Your Blog
RSS 102 comments This past two weeks I’ve been talking about how to make your RSS feed ‘Pop’ - to stand out from the crowd a little - however covering this topic has caused a few readers to ask RSS related questions that don’t necessarily relate to improving your feed but which are worth covering.
One of the questions I’ve been asked numerous times this week is:
How do I get People to Subscribe to my RSS feed?"

Great tips on building your audience for your blog.

I probably should actually take some of this guy's advice.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

$350 Million For Leftist Organizations To Take Over Our Government

One of the greatest myths in politics is that Republicans spend more on campaigns than Democrats. Don't get me wrong, we have some fabulous capitalists in our party who spend a lot of money but when you add up the totals...especially on the race for President, we usually get outspent.

In 2004 if you add up the campaigns, Party Committees and 3rd party groups expenditures the GOP got outspent by more than 120 million and that is just the money we can track.

The following is from CNSN News

"A coalition of liberal organizations announced plans Tuesday to move "the most expensive mobilization in history this election season.", Rock the Vote, Acorn, National Council of La Raza, Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund, and the AFL-CIO announced plans for a $350 million initiative for the 2008 elections at the Take Back America conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the liberal Campaign for America's Future."

The part that really honks me off about this is take a look at these partners in crime...

  • - started to deflect attention from perjury and sex scandal
  • Rock the Vote - MTV dabbles in politics
  • ACORN - subsidized by YOUR tax dollars whose mission of "community engagement" is really a Hugo Chavez-like socialist organization
  • Council of La Raza - largest Latino rights organization in the country, not a bad thing but is Democratic controlled White House part of that mission statement?
  • Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund - credit to this group that they are actually doing something akin to their actual mission statement
  • AFL CIO - yeah, kind of enough said there

The aim of these groups?

"Hogue said they would be highlighting Republicans' "wrong priorities" through paid advertisements and their field networks.Due to various tax statuses within the coalition, Hogue noted that "to the extent that we are legally able to coordinate, we will" on efforts targeting different demographics."

So am I surprised? Not really, but I am frustrated that these "not-for profit" organizations are nothing more than thinly veiled front organizations for the Democratic National Committee. Most of them take union dues or contributions from donors on one premise and then seem to spend it on another.

Does anyone think La Raza or ACORN goes to it's donors and says "We need to defeat Republicans at every level of government!" If they are then they are lying to the public by pretending to be "community organizations" if they are not saying that then they are lying to their donors.

Then the media will get a brain cramp and somehow not see these clowns for what they are - tax shelters for blatant partisan activity. is not easy being right.

Geeking out with Micromedia

I will be the first to admit I don't understand all of this but it sounds pretty cool. h/t to my man Jeremiah Owyang .

How Traditional Media Experiments with MicroMedia (Twitter, Kyte, Utterz): "How Traditional Media Experiments with MicroMedia (Twitter, Kyte, Utterz)
March 18th, 2008 Category: MicroMedia

I met Jemima Kiss (embed above), a technology journalist for the UK Guardian at the SXSW bloghaus. I asked her about her use of Micromedia, and most importantly if she’s using these tools to find breaking stories. I know a handful of reporters that are watching Twitter to see what folks are saying. Listen in to the

In the above audio embed, I also interviewed Joe Ruiz, of San Antonio’s KSAT news who is trying to figure out how Twitter can be used for his local TV Station."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Does it get more ironic than this?

White Men Will Likely Swing Democratic Race -- Political Wire: "In the fierce campaign between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, 'a battle dominated by questions of race and gender, white men have emerged as perhaps the single critical swing constituency,' according to the Washington Post."

Congratulations to my WASP brothers on the Democrat side, you are relevant! You are the root of all evil, responsible for all our nations problems and way too privileged (dripping with sarcasm) but HRC and Obama still want to talk to you anyway.

Angela Faulkner is powerful and famous.

South Bend Tribune: BUSINESS PEOPLE: "GRANGER -- Angela Faulkner, president of Granger based Faulkner Strategies, has been selected to sit on the board of the newly formed Indiana Women Business Owners PAC. Established in 2007, the IWBO PAC's goal is to support the economic development of women-owned businesses within the state.

The nonpartisan PAC committee will target and talk with state legislators about several initiatives, including the possible MBE/WBE designation of nonprofit organizations and affordable health care for small businesses."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Obama's team reinvents Democrat Field Operations

techPresident – Power to the Edge: Obama's California Field Operation from the Future

I have slobbered on Obama's Field Operation on my blog before...and yes I will do it again.

In 2004 and 2006 the GOP utilized a system we called the Extranet, in a nutshell it sucked and seemed to have been designed by desk warriors and not Field guys. I am sure all the intentions were great but there was little if any practical application for it. In 2004 BC04 ran laps around Kerry and his allies because we used MS Excel and concrete goals and results.

Obama's team is taking it to the next level with (I admit I have an account just to check out the functionality).

"The Obama campaign is distributed and bottom-up in a way that is the clearest example of what a post-broadcast, distributed and participatory democracy is going to look like. The evolution in campaign tactics happening right now closely parallels what's happening in the military, corporations, government and other large organizations. The dropping costs and increasing reliability and flexibility of information technology is having profound effects on how these organizations make things happen."

I read Wikinomics last year and it really caused me to ask myself -- why we do some of the things we do on campaigns the way we do? Usually it always comes back to control. We love to have it. Embracing a true decentralized campaign is tough for any experienced campaigner to accept but it is necessary to evolve and win.

Some of the organic stuff that Ron Paul, Obama and Huckabee have done this year is truly ground breaking. I look forward to seeing how Campaign 08 will change and progress from 04.

Thanks to Ruffini for getting my brain moving on this. I am going to digest this article on McCain's 10 regions and blog on it later.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dyngus Day...all the things you need to know.

So the Democratic primary is coming to Indiana. HRC and Obama will come to the Hoosier state and learn all about us.

Part of our proud primary tradition is Dyngus Day.


"Dyngus Day, celebrated the day after Easter, will be March 24. Although it has its roots in Polish religious history, Dyngus Day has evolved into a political holiday locally. Solidarity Day is a more recent holiday started in the black community on the same day to celebrate black heritage and promote political activism.

One of the most noted Dyngus Day visits occurred in 1968, when presidential candidate Robert Kennedy stumped through the city (you can already hear the Obama comparisons).The primary election schedules were different then, without all of the early primaries and caucuses. Indiana was viewed as a key state in the contest for delegates.Kennedy was involved in a close race with Eugene McCarthy, and favorite son Gov. Roger D. Branigan also was on the ballot. All three visited South Bend at some point during the campaign."

It has pretty much devolved into a political sausage/beer campaignapalooza. The highlight of the day will be when we all gather at the Westside Democratic and Civic Club for lunch. You pay $7 to get in and that entitles you to a plate of kraut, hard boiled egg, fresh sausage and a cold beverage of your choice.

Then the real fun starts.

By around 12:30PM the club chairman takes the stage and welcomes everyone (including the Republicans...even though they won't let you touch the microphone). Then he introduces the candidates one by one. Inevitably at least one of the local ones will be half smashed and will slur insults at the President and Republicans in general. Good times.

Because of the tradition the media will ALL be there. Tradition? Oh yeah, it was actually a religious holiday at one time.

"Dyngus Day or Wet Monday (Polish Śmigus-dyngus, Lany Poniedziałek, Polewanka or Oblewanka) is the name for Easter Monday in Poland. In the Czech Republic it is called Velikonoční pondělí or Pomlázka. Both countries practice a peculiar custom on this day.
In Poland, traditionally, early in the morning boys awake girls by pouring a bucket of water on their head and strike them about the legs with long thin twigs or switches made from
willow, birch or decorated tree branches (palmy wielkanocne); however, the earliest documented[citation needed] records of Dyngus Day in Poland are from the 15th century, almost half a millennium after Poland adopted Christianity."

If you are lucky you might still see a local Democrat chasing young girls with cold beer intent on, well something.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lazy voters, we will cater to you...

As I write this Barack Obama’s campaign is filing suit in Federal Court to hold polls open in Cuyahoga and Franklin Counties in Ohio.

Apparently it rained kind of hard in some areas of Ohio today and some people may have not made it.

I preface my rant with the fact that I think voting is vital and everyone should do it…once per election.

In Ohio you can cast a ballot up to 25 days prior to election day. On election day you have 12 hours to vote.

Every month people plan and schedule to pay their bills, attend worship services, buy groceries, pick up their kids and record their favorite TV shows. Don’t you think they could make a little time to plan on voting…even if it rains.

I personally have worked on campaigns in other places and countries where people travel for days to go vote. Countries where people wait in line under threat of violence for 6 or more hours to vote. Countries where people get killed on election day. And I am not just talking about Lake County Indiana.

It is completely stupid that we coddle some of our fellow Americans who need parental supervision and, apparently, a court order to go and play on the field of our American Democracy. It is shameful and insulting to the millions around the world who would risk their lives every day for just a taste of American democracy when we have some who were born here who don’t participate because they can not get it super sized or through a drive thru.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Obama's self organizing grassroots.

Campaigns will look more and more like this in the future. Less central control and more organic and self organizing.

Groundswell (Incorporating Charlene Li's Blog): Could the Social Network Create An Obama Win?: "There's lots of talk in politics about 'energizing the base.' is the base for Barack Obama. I still feel there's a flaw in this social network of Obama supporters -- I've seen no evidence that Obama is listening to anything they say. But terms of taking a base of supporters and turning them into a force to accomplish your goals, this may be the most powerful example there is."

I am going to be sick...

H/T to Ruffini.

Obama now over 1 million individual donors. Someone get me some Tums.

Patrick Ruffini :: Obama $70M?: "Remember this graphic? The one we used to power the crowdsourced spreadsheet?"

Sunday, March 2, 2008

How the sausage gets made.

A must read on modern campaign communications.

How the sausage gets made - John F. Harris - "The exchanges show the speed and ferocity with which operatives inside presidential campaigns argue even the slightest nuances of stories they believe could be damaging. They also show the hectic, on-the-fly judgments that journalists make as they try to abide by standards of fairness while pushing back against dubious spin.

Among a volley of staff members and surrogates for Obama’s campaign to call Mahtesian, the most combative was deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer.

Mahtesian, who has written about national politics for nearly two decades, said Sunday he was taken aback by Pfeiffer’s bellicose tone.

'Who are you? I've never heard of you. What's your background?' Pfeiffer demanded to know, Mahtesian recalled."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Purple states have a deep bench of grassroots

Being a targeted "battle ground" state has its advantages.

Grassroots grow deep in Ohio - Jeanne Cummings - "As the White House organized churches and gun owners, Democrats were steeped in the tools and tactics of organization by party nominee John F. Kerry’s campaign and the independent organization America Coming Together, which was fueled by millions donated by wealthy liberals such as George Soros. The Kerry camp and ACT produced historic Democratic turnout but still not enough to best the Bush-Cheney reelection machine.

In 2006, still smarting from the presidential campaign, Democrats were ready for payback. They mobilized to win statewide and federal races, moving out of the traditionally Democratic cities and organizing in the pro-Bush rural areas and Appalachia."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Where did the POTUS Campaigns spend their money?

Many Eyes: Spending

Click on the visualization to check out how much the campaigns spent on TV, mail, website, consultants, donuts, pizza and all the important things that make a campaign work.

How many people read Drudge instead of the NY Times?

Many Eyes: Comparison of Daily readership of NY Times and The Drudge Report

Just in case you were wondering how pathetic the New York times is. Times circulation is on the left (no pun intended) and Drudge's traffic is on the right.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Liberals in Michigan ID key to victory - turn out more felons.

Michigan Liberal: Michigan Politics Blog:: GOTV Design - If We're Serious.:

Funny liberal rant that has some nuggets of truth in it. Fairly decent description of Democrat demographic groups that would be useful for turnout. My personal favorite on prisoners is below.

You just can't make stuff like this up.

"1) Prisoners in local jails. Contrary to public belief, even convicted felons can vote in Michigan, as long as they are not currently incarcerated serving a sentence. Since half of all jail inmates are technically awaiting trial or sentencing, they are eligible to vote. The problem isn't a legal bar to obtaining absentee ballots for them, but the painstaking work needed to figure out which ones are registered to vote, and then to identify someone on the outside (likely to be a regular visitor to the prisoner) who can carry the application and get a signature on it. Another problem is the high rate of 'churn' - people are booked and released constantly, and many are only in jail for a few days or weeks. A third problem is the typical inmate's utter lack of political interest or knowledge. A fourth is their typical low level of literacy and inability to follow directions. The only 'plus' is that typical inmates - if they somehow manage to vote - are at least 80% Democratic in orientation, so there isn't much point in screening for partisan orientation. In the two months preceding the November election, at least 20,000 people will spend at least 7 days in jail in Michigan. If we could get 10% of them to vote - virtually none do so on their own - we'd be adding 2000 votes statewide."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hola! Vota por Obama!

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In Kevin Florida's Blog: Phone Bankers - Your Hard Work is Getting Notice!

Phone banking in Espanol.

Democrat GOTV software application in PA

Interesting article on a Dem congressional campaign's turnout program in 2006 in suburban Philadelphia. The tactics are not revolutionary or earth shattering but it is amazing in this day and age that don't have something like this as a standard for all their campaigns.

GOPers can complain all day about Voter Vault (and many do) but it is still much better than this system.

Clinton sends her 'stopper' to Texas / It's must-win there, because she trails Obama in delegates

Clinton sends her 'stopper' to Texas / It's must-win there, because she trails Obama in delegates:

Team Clinton seems to show quite the contrast to the Barack "Yes we something?" Obama. He talks about Hope and a vision for tomorrow while HRC brings in hitmen.

"The bespectacled Smith is considered a take-no-prisoners political operative whose dogged studies into opponents' backgrounds earned him the reputation as one of the nation's most feared opposition researchers.
'I've seen him walk into a room and the opposition candidate will literally start mumbling,' former Democratic strategist Clint Reilly once said of him. 'They're just terrified with his presence.'
Known as the 'Doctor Death' of political opposition research, he has led winning campaigns in recent years for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and state Attorney General Jerry Brown."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Just when you thought Linc Chafee could not be any worse...

Former GOP Senator to Endorse Obama - TIME

This is the big bag of feces we spent so much time trying to save in 2006?

So glad we worked so hard to make sure he survived his primary.

Ok so I am completely with the idea of a big tent GOP that includes moderates. But...sooner or later we need to start some sort of gut check on how big a piece of crap you have to be before we pitch you overboard. Being an incumbent should not be some sort of free pass on actually having to act like a Republican.

Monday, February 11, 2008

HRC thinks GOTV means Get On TeleVision.

You Can't Reap What You Didn't Sow - Craig Crawford's Trail Mix
This one just makes me laugh. Hillary Clinton poured her cash into TV and neglected her GOTV and now she is paying the price.

Who is giving to Presidential Campaigns in your neighborhood?

46614 zip code: -- Huffington Post

Everyone should have the right to know their neighbors political leanings...right? Of course, it is public info and thanks to this fun widget you can look them up by name, city or zip code. Have fun.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Thousands of voters' ballots tossed out.

Politics Thousands of voters' ballots tossed out Seattle Times Newspaper

Surely this is a Republican plot. Someone call Al Sharpton!

Things like this happen all the time except when it happens in the General Election... then all voters are miraculously smart and Repbublicans are so clever we can orchestrate it.

(Rolling my eyes)

I hate how ignorant the media can be.

Grass-roots organizing gives Obama an edge - Los Angeles Times

Grass-roots organizing gives Obama an edge - Los Angeles Times

Good story on how Obama's grassroots give him the edge.

"The costly effort began in the spring of 2007, in part to counter the organizational resources of unions and Democratic Party organizations that were largely committed to Obama's Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. The precinct-level operations were to employ theories of community organizing Obama practiced in Chicago before getting into electoral politics.

Last April, Obama's national field director, Cuauhtemoc "Temo" Figueroa, wrote an internal memo titled "Turning Enthusiasm into Organization," a blueprint for turning Obama's rock star popularity into a more professional and sustained operation.The purpose, Figueroa wrote, is to provide supporters with the tools to create "self-sufficient, interdependent teams that take responsibility for all aspects of a campaign within their congressional district."

Trained, empowered and then trusted their grassroots organizations. Very cool.

I would be willing to bet that one of the other strengths was NOT being an existing union or party organization. It probably gave them the freedom to try new things, ignore "traditional" methods and really innovate.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Don't walk into the light!

Inspiration vs. Substance - TIME

I would like a t-shirt with Obama's picture that says "Don't walk towards the light!"

I mean seriously. Even as a Republican you catch yourself listening with that glazed look and going, wow, he just said...absolutely nothing...but it sounded great.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Obama is the fantasy canidate that the Deaniac/anti-war left has been waiting for. Democracy in Action
In 2004 Howard Dean became the vehicle for a angry and frustrated anti-war left of the Democratic party that was ready to rock the establishment vote. Ultimately, even Dean's campaign manager Joe Trippi realized that the support for Dean was not really about Dean. He was just the vessel that this crowd chose to channel their support. He was bascially not strong enough, not polished enough and just too angry to carry their banner and he famously flamed out during a speech to supporters in Iowa in 2004.

So they swallowed thier disgust, held thier nose and backed John Kerry. They consoled themselves knowing that it was never about Kerry it was about opposition to Bush. They efforts and rhetoric often rang hollow as it was more about anger and rarely about support for Kerry. So they took their beating in 2004 and hoped for a better day and a better messanger.

He arrived at thier conventoin in 2004.

The smooth and optimistic Obama is the fantasy candidate they have longed for. He is liberal enough - number 1 according to National Journal in the US Senate. He is not part of the Washington establishment Democrats they loathe and believe have held their cause back. Most importantly he opposes the war and voted against it.

The endorsement by is that final line item on the check list and they are now ready to roar.

Will GOTV texting swamp some cell networks on Super Tuesday?

The Smart Mobbing of Super Tuesday Threat Level from
It will be fascinating to see if any campaigns will be really this aggressive in thier GOTV to younger voters. My guess is the compressed calandar has prevented most from putting together a really compreshensive GOTV organization in most states that would involve lots of this.

Having said that, maybe some organic self-organized groups within Obama's, Huck's or even Ron Paul's supporters will be able to put together something similar.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Google Earth 3D Electoral College

3D Electoral College -- Political Wire

Nothing like seeing the electoral college...from space!

Obama whacks Hillary in Health Care mail piece.

The Page - by Mark Halperin - TIME
Love to see them go after each other. We all knew Hillary wanted us all to experience Nationalized Health Care. But who would have thought that Obama could be, dare I say, somewhat moderate on the issue?

Republicans for Obama?

South Bend Tribune: A liberal Democrat and a gifted orator
Hard to imagine that we have voters that are this disillusioned in our party. My guess is that people who would say this are really disgruntled independent voters.

I am sure once people take a closer look beyond the glow they will find Obama to be what National Journal describes the #1 Liberal in the US Senate.

Republicans for Obama?

South Bend Tribune: A liberal Democrat and a gifted orator
Hard to imagine that we have voters that are this disillusioned in our party. My guess is that people who would say this are really disgruntled independent voters.

I am sure once people take a closer look beyond the glow they will find Obama to be what National Journal describes the #1 Liberal in the US Senate.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Obama is ranked as the #1 Liberal in the Senate.

The Page - by Mark Halperin - TIME

The TV and direct mail copy just write themselves. Makes you wonder what you have to do to get to the left of people like Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin and Barbara Boxer.

Sit down first then read this...

Obama's money - Ben Smith's Blog -

Obama raised 32 million dollars in January.

Take a second and absorb that...the guy raised a million bucks a day for a month.

If you are a Republican and that does not make you throw up in your mouth a little you are not paying attention.

Fight back at today!

Inside Bay Area - Berkeley gives Marines the boot

Inside Bay Area - Berkeley gives Marines the boot

I am beside myself with rage on this one. As a lot of you know, despite my hippie like hair now, I am a former Marine. It is one of the proudest affiliations I will ever have and am deeply proud of my service.

This story just blows my mind. These narrow minded morons are trying to eject a Marine Corps recruiting station from thier little communist haven of Berekly California. The part that really honks me off is that they single out the Corps as if they were Wal-Mart. The USMC is a part of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

I will give $100 TODAY to any Member of Congress from either party who files a bill to cut off ALL Federal funding to these idiots until they stop this unlawful and completely disrespectful activity.