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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Schwarzenegger to back McCain - The Associated Press -

Schwarzenegger to back McCain - The Associated Press -
I think the Arnold would beat the crap out of Chuck Norris. If we could add a cage match between those two to the convention in the fall it would really boost ratings.

Just throwing it out there Jeff...keep it in mind.

Because sign waving wins elections!

This little fun item comes from the Obama campaign. I hope these folks are running GOTV for the Democrats in the fall.

"Visibility Events in the last 2 days to Get Out The Vote, short shifts (Organizing)
We'll gather at busy locations during commute times on Monday Feb. 4th and ELECTION DAY, Tuesday, Feb. 5th, holding large Obama signs and encourage Get Out the Vote! Sign up for the following Visibility shifts:6:30am-9am11:30am-1:30pm4pm-6:30pm"

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

mud_bowl.gif (image)

mud_bowl.gif (image)

Easily more fun to watch than 3 MSM reporters fighting over who can say how inspiring Barack Obama is within a 3 minute news segment.

Heading for a Delegate Donnybrook? - TIME

Heading for a Delegate Donnybrook? - TIME

Now this would be "Must-see-TV"!

Daily Kingfish:: LA-06: Louisiana AFL-CIO Endorses Cazayoux!

Daily Kingfish:: LA-06: Louisiana AFL-CIO Endorses Cazayoux!

Only in Louisiana can someone with that many vowels in their last name run for congress. I know, I know I am sure the good people of Louisiana can pronounce it just fine.

7.2 Questions from QCI

My buddy Grant Young has a great new blog out of Iowa called Questions, Comments and Insults , inspired by Sen. McCain. He has a feature called 7.2 Questions which he did not ask me to take but being a political person I really don't need to be asked for my opinion...I am happy to provide it whether you want it or not. Here goes...

1. Tell us your daily routine… what’s the play by play?
Hit snooze too many times.
Check the crackberry.
Rush to get kids to the bus stop by 7:15 AM.
Figure out a way to work Chick-fil-a into my drive to the office despite it being completely out of the way.
Get to work.
Sort thru email
Return calls.
post on my blog.
Figure out where everyone in my office is getting for lunch and choose option that involves me not having to leave the office.
try to keep up with my RSS feed.
Facebook, Twitter, blah, blah.
Go home.
Beat my kids in most Wii sports games.
Put kids to bed.
Check the DVR and see what cool shows from History, Military and Sci Fi Channels I have recorded.
Crack the laptop open.
Make some kettle corn
return more email.
post on my blog.
go to bed.

2. What’s the most rewarding part of your gig?
Working with people who actually deserve to be elected.

3. Give a big prediction – ala Chris Mathew’s “Tell me something I don’t know.”
The Giants will upset the Patriots.

4. What are you listing to right now? What’s in your mp3 or CD player right now?
POD, System of a down, Dropkick Murphys

5. What’s your favorite hangout (bar, restaurant, etc.)? What do you recommend I get when I’m there?
Yesterdays in Granger. Buffalo chicken lips.

6. What’s the last ball game you went to?
Colts and Bears preseason. We need to either move football season or elections so I can pay attention to both.

7. If you were not in this current gig or career, what would you be doing?
Teaching HS government class.

7.2 What’s with? (it’s 0.2 of a question, kind of dumb, but its easier than asking 72 questions in honor of my football number)
Undecided voters in October of a Presidential year? I mean really are you ignorant on purpose or what? What else could you possibly need to know by October.

Wikinomics » Blog Archive » And to think I thought I was a Democrat….

Wikinomics » Blog Archive » And to think I thought I was a Democrat….

Obviously not my words.

Fun and mindless exercise to find out which candidate I agree with on issues. Troubling thing is what the results were. I may lose some sleep.

Excel 2003 - Training - Microsoft Office Online

Excel 2003 - Training - Microsoft Office Online
Want to work on a Republican Presidential campaign in 2008? Better brush up on your Microsoft Excel will need them.

Acrimony in G.O.P. on Eve of Primary - New York Times

Acrimony in G.O.P. on Eve of Primary - New York Times

Tonight's results are going to be VERY interesting.

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Event | Get Out The Vote Canvassing Extraganza

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In Event Get Out The Vote Canvassing Extraganza

Love the self-organizing capabilities of Obama's supporters. Their passion is admirable.

If people referred to Howard Dean's people as Deaniacs and Ron Paul's as Paultards what name are we going to bestow on Obama's zealous young followers?


In Churches, Salons, Get Out The Vote , From South Carolina Churches To Barbershops, Goal Is To Get Out The Vote - CBS News

In Churches, Salons, Get Out The Vote , From South Carolina Churches To Barbershops, Goal Is To Get Out The Vote - CBS News

Funny how "secular progressives" are completely cool with overt political activity in predominantly African-American churches but are somehow offended and outraged if a white evangelical church engages in voter registration.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Judge hires ex-'warlord' :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State

Only in Chicago...

A incumbent Judge in Cook County is hiring a former Gangster Disciples "Warlord" as a GOTV "consultant". Wow.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Political Punch

Political Punch

hat tip to Peoria Pundits for this article by Jake Tapper.

Is Bill Clinton trying to remind everyone that Barack Obama is a black guy?

What is more morally reprehensible? Republicans who are supposedly indifferent to the plight of African Americans because they refuse to pander ...or Democrats who say all the right things until those pesky black voters stop listening and then blatantly remind rural whites that Barack Obama is a black guy.

Wikinomics » Blog Archive » The death of the newspaper: murder or suicide?

Wikinomics » Blog Archive » The death of the newspaper: murder or suicide?

I think the author is trying to find an answer on a higher plane when the reality is simple and matter-of-fact. Times change, people change and the way in which they choose to be (or not to be) informed has changed.

So where the polls wrong again?

Maybe I am not looking hard enough but can anyone find a poll that saw this coming?

"COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Democratic Party broke its own turnout record in Saturday's presidential primary and eclipsed the number of ballots cast by residents in the Republican primary the week before.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, more than 532,000 votes had been tabulated in Barack Obama's commanding victory here. The returns easily eclipsed the 280,000 people who voted in the Democratic primary in 2004.
Democratic officials characterized the record-breaking vote as a sign that the party is resurgent in South Carolina."

Obama crushed her by almost 30 points. That is an impressive statement. Love to see some numbers on increased turnout amongst African Americans.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Top 10 reasons candidates should write their own email and blog posts.

Funny yet completely practical list from our Democratic friends at The New Organizing Institute

1. The people who have signed up on your email list and who read your blog are your die-hard supporters. These people love you and are going to pour their hearts into your campaign over the next year (or two, if you win). These people deserve better than canned messages written by an "Internet guy" who doesn't even know you.
2. If you write the messages yourself and really put something of yourself into them, then your supporters who receive them will be far more engaged in your campaign — that means they will do more work and donate *more* money.
3. If you can spend six hours per day on high-dollar fundraising, you can take 15 minutes to jot out a note to your supporters.
4. As someone running for president, you have one of the most interesting lives out of anyone in the world. And yet the canned emails and blog posts we get from you reflect none of that. You have ten amazing stories to tell every single day: tell them!
5. Having some "Internet guy" write your messages is soooooo 2004! People are sick of those canned, formula emails. No one reads them anymore. Actually, no one read them in 2004 either. So wake up to this new medium and put yourself into it the same as you do with, say, television.
6. Now that everyone is opting out of public financing, you need to raise hundreds of millions of dollars between now and November 2008. Everyone in America is disgusted by that. The only way you will get our full participation in helping you to get to that goal is by making a real connection with us and winning our trust that you won't blow it all on sucky adds like they did last time.
7. Because you'll have fun doing it!
8. Because you (the candidate) can say more in one sentence than your staff can say in ten emails.
9. You've got a one-to-many platform that reads one-to-one. Next thing you know, they'll be holding a rally for you on [1]Second Life.
10. Number 10 is up to you. Leave your suggestion in the comments section.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The RNC is looking for a few good staffers...

I have had the great privilege of taking part in a lot of the Political Education at the RNC since 2004 as an instructor and helping design some of the curriculum. As a party we have made leaps and bounds since the last Presidential election in refining our operations. I have said it many times before that one of the most valuable things the Bush Cheney campaign did was after election day in December 2004. We spent the better part of a day dissecting every aspect of our operation and refining GOTV, AB, EV, voter registration, staffing and so much more. It was a surprisingly candid conversation and many solid suggestions were made from those that labored in the field.

You can get this training and be put in the human resources pipeline with a simple application that is now online at .

These are the finest campaign schools available and more importantly put you in the best position for the best jobs for the upcoming Presidential campaign.

If you are ready to submit your application for one of the hundreds of jobs that will need to be filled you can do it here

**Update on Clinton's Nevada voter suppression scheme

The Obama campaign is now officially protesting actions of the Clinton campaign at the 2008 Nevada caucuses.

"The letter to Nevada Democratic Chairwoman Jill Derby from Obama lawyer Robert Bauer lists instances of early door closings, obstruction of voters, and improper handling of voter preference cards. Obama aides said the campaign has received more than 1,600 complaints, including 300 that came in to a hotline at the time of the caucuses."

Of course the Clinton campaign is listing their own grievances.

"The Clinton campaign has also complained about behavior at the caucuses. On Sunday, Clinton senior adviser Dave Barnhart said he witnessed an enormous "gauntlet" of Obama supporters at the Mirage casino-hotel caucus site who tried to intimidate Clinton backers."

The best part of course was this little gem...

"The sheet offers guidance on how to persuade caucus goers to caucus for Clinton.
One line states: "It's not illegal unless they tell you so."
"This certainly suggests that, for the Clinton campaign, the operative standard was, simply and only, what it could get away with," Bauer wrote."

As a GOP campaign veteran I have believed that many well intentioned Democrats have "pushed the envelope" every election day in the interest of winning. Looks like these tactics have caught up to them.

Again, the double standard is sickening. If anything even remotely resembling these tactics was used by a Republican candidate in a General Election Al Sharpton would be staging hourly protests, the ACLU would have filed multiple lawsuits, Dan Rather would have come out of retirement to "get to the bottom" of it all and Congress would have already issued subpoenas for committee hearings.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Organization Matters.

H/T to Patrick Ruffini for tipping me off to this great article on Hillary's organization in Nevada.

Zack Exley has been leading Democrats in organizing and online communications for several years. His resume includes organized Labor,, Dean and eventually Kerry-Edwards. He has also started a fascinating organization called The New Organizing Institute but that is deserving of its own post later.

He writes extensively about Hillary's highly organized effort in Nevada-

"The walls of Donahue's team office were covered with overlapping charts and lists of staff, their precinct captains, and other measures of their progress. But no numbers were put on the wall without a discussion of how they were achieved--and the lessons to be learned from the experience. In these nightly reporting sessions, regional directors went beyond mere numbers to debrief every conversation the organizers held that day with potential campaign workers as well as detailed plans for future recruitment, voter ID, persuasion and organization building."

Sound familiar BC04 veterans?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

In between yoga classes and smelling flowers Democrats find brass knuckles.

I like The Politico. Great online source of timely political news that is providing great coverage of the great spectacle that is our Presidential election this year. Also, shout out to my buddy Jonathan Martin who is doing a great job covering the Republicans.

But I gotta laugh at this one from the Law Vegas Sun which is contributing to Politico this year, Democrats toughen up . Really? I mean as a partisan Republican I have always liked to call them soft on terrorists and wimps on the economy. But did they need some sort of Hard Ball 101 from the GOP to start beating each other up?

Give me break. The breathtaking premise of this article is that, somehow, the Democrats don't know how to play hardball. Really? Maybe they were just winging it when they -

  • Attacked Bush-Cheney campaign offices in 2004.
  • Slashed the tires of GOP volunteer vans in 2004.
  • Stuffed the ballot box with hundreds of fraudulent votes in their own primary in East Chicago
  • Maybe it was 1992 when Clinton gouged Tsongas.
  • Used gay baiting to torpedo a Republican in the Montana Senate Race in 2004.
  • Told black voters in 2000 that if Bush won they would all be drug behind a truck until dead.

My party is not a group of saints on this issue but to think that the Democrats needed to learn from us on how to get sharp elbows is ridiculous.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Clinton campaign looks to suppress voter turnout...again.

After a cynical move in New Hampshire that ejected poll book holders the Clinton campaign is looking to suppress the voter turnout in Nevada. The gloves have truly come off now as the Clinton campaign has filed a lawsuit that will attempt to suppress the largely Hispanic hotel workers union vote. No one cared when that union's endorsement was still in play but now that is has gone to Obama, suddenly, the Clinton campaign is concerned with the "fairness" of those voting locations.

Take a deep breath because the hypocrisy and irony here is just staggering.

Let's just recap the FACTS here. A white female democratic candidate for President has attempted (and succeeded in NH) to stop GOTV for a black candidate and now is trying to limit opportunities for working class Latinos to vote for that black candidate.

And they say Republicans are the party that does not respect minorities?

**Update** The Culinary Workers Local #226 strikes back with this ad in Espanol.

Joe Trippi needs some vitamins.

Ok, so I can admit that I am not exactly a normal Republican. I find Democrats fascinating and fun to watch. I follow Joe Trippi on Twitter and enjoy getting tidbits on what he is up to. After following him for about a month or so I gotta say...dude take some vitamin C or something. The guy is ALWAYS sick.

Seriously, probably 75% of his tweets are updates on which meds he is on, his head cold or how much Alka Seltzer the guy has had in the past 24 hours.

Word for the wise if you meet him and shake his hand make sure you have some of that hand sanitizer stuff.

And of course I am sure the Edwards campaign probably believes that somehow someway Rove is behind Trippi's many illness.

Which state will be the "Ohio" of 2008?

Much has been written, discussed and fabricated about the great battle for Ohio in 2004. There is even a great documentary called "So goes the nation..." that details the epic fight for votes there (one of my favorite movies, especially the part where the Dem organizers are crying at the end when they lose).

As a proud participant in the President's re-election battle in 2004 I have some mixed emotions about the state. I am very proud to know people like Chris McNulty, Matt Mason, Ryan Meerstein and so many others who worked so tirelessly there. At the same time those of us in other states, often out of petty jealously, longed for some of the immense love that Ohio received. I still stand by my assertion that if Chairman Bennettrequested planes flying over major GOP areas in the state with banners encouraging Republicans to get out and vote he would have gotten it.

My point being that no expense was too extravagant, no idea was too crazy (except of course the Voting Rights Counselor shirts and hats, the guilty know who you are) and no program was unworthy of full implementation there because the stakes were so high.

In 2008 there may be more than one state that is utterly crucial but it may just come down to one again. One state that is make or break for both Parties and that is the key to victory. There are some great candidates for the role.

Could it be...
  • Wisconsin - home to a heartbreaking close loss for us in 2004 and democrats with an affinity for tire slashing.
  • Florida - ground zero in 2000 and, hey lets face it, a much warmer place for a recount in November than say Minnesota.
  • Pennsylvania - will the personal dynamics of the candidates make this state a little more in play for us in 2008?
  • New Hampshire/Iowa/New Mexico - they are all small but very important. Although I am not sure if the people of IA and NH will ever want to see campaigns again after this primary.
  • Ohio - will history repeat itself and make places like Delaware county more saturated with reporters and campaign staff than the entire state of California?
  • Somewhere else? The Primaries are still unfinished stories and there are dozens of scenarios (including Mike Bloomberg) that make this year's election a bigger and more exciting spectacle than John Edwards in the hair care isle at Target.

Leave a comment and let me know where you think the eyes of the world will be focused in November of 2008. Vote in the poll to the right too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rove describes the Democratic field.

You can always count on Karl to lay it out straight.

"She's running against nobody and nobody gets 40% of the vote. The other 5% of the vote went to three other people. 27,924 votes went to the guy who believes in UFOs, the guy who dropped out and the guy who last held public office somewhere around 1855." -- Karl Rove, quoted by NBC News, on Sen. Hillary Clinton's performance in the uncontested Michigan Democratic primary."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

So there are these two twin homeschoolers with computers...

No this is not the lead up to a dirty joke.

Hat tip to TechRepublican for this awesome story about Brett and Alex Harris who are the power behind . Again, full disclosure I am not a Huck fan...but I am a fan of ordinary people taking charge of their democracy. There are so many cool tidbits in this story there is no way I can cover them all.

" uses Meetup to organize group meetings, but that's where the resemblance to 2004's coffee-and-croissants netroots ends. The Harris brothers and their campaign managers are building a national team with specific responsibilities. For example, there's a point person for almost all 50 states, and special "liaisons" on each of the popular social-networking sites. The twins and their 28-year-old volunteer campaign manager, Jimmy Morris, who lives in the small town of Joplin, Missouri, meet nightly via conference call to strategize and to share ideas that have bubbled up through regional Meetup groups during the day."

This is some cool stuff. I have always said when I do grassroots and campaign training that the best volunteers, pound for pound, are homeschoolers. It is amazing at how technology is unleashing this tight bond amongst social conservatives and throwing off the limitations of geography. I am kind of easily impressed sometimes but if these two are not working for whoever our eventual nominee is then somewhere along the pipeline someone is stupid.

Great job to the Harris brothers and if I am struck by a sharp object in the head tomorrow I found out that my local Hucksarmy chapter already has 15 members I can join.

Hillary in a deat heat with Mr. Uncommitted.

Hillary ekes out a win against Kucinich and Mr. Uncommitted in Michigan.
  • 58% Clinton
  • 37% Uncommitted
  • 4% Kucinich

Can you hear that sound? It is the sound of Red State democrats puking in trash cans as they consider being on the ballot with her this year.

Election night etiquette.

Wow, Mitt Romney just stomped all over McCain's concession speech. Tradition dictates you allow the runner up to give their concession and then you bask in your win. McCain got maybe 60 seconds and then Mitt took the stage.

If McCain's staff did not hate Romney already...they really hate him now.

Word for the day - Bluetool.

Your word for the day is Bluetool.

You know who I am talking about. In the grocery store, at a kids soccer game, in a restaurant and sometimes even walking around their own home with a bluetooth wireless earpiece in as if the President has them on speed dial.

You are in the airport juggling bags, listening to voicemail, in the car or maybe working a political event - these are times where maybe having it in, even if you are not on it, at that immediate moment is not such a terrible thing.

If you are not on the phone and not awaiting a call from Peyton Manning about hanging out at his house this weekend (hey, he is not busy) take it out and turn it off. Stop trying to be cool.

Easy to spot Bluetools as they are likely owners of the Blackberry Helmet as well.

What happens to burned out GOTV volunteers?

More and more GOTV operations are finding new ways to stretch the human capacity for pain and drudgery. An unnamed GOP Senate staffer brought us this gem in 2006:

"Hours go by while our captain supplies us with more coffee, donuts, and pretzels. I haven't heard her make any calls yet, because it did take her a good hour-and-a-half to find the Dunkin' Donuts across the street. After take-out pizza for lunch, she has an announcement. She has "statewide numbers." Lovely, I'd love to hear some internal polling or geographic data. Oh no. She's going to inform us of how many calls our team did during the "morning shift." WHAT?!??! They're actually tallying how many calls we do and scolding us if we don't hit "our numbers?" Really? Oh, but she wasn't finished."

This really is funny (read the whole article here . It makes me kind of sad too that we do such a poor job managing and motivating volunteers. I also kind of feel a little guilty that I might have helped create this meat grinder environment for the GOP by teaching tough enforcement at the RNC Field Schools.

From the Democrat side comes this disillusioned veteran:

"Unfortunately, we still have no cure. Despite all of the candidates talk about bringing change to Washington this year, they all ran identical and very traditional Get Out The Vote campaigns in New Hampshire this past week. Roughly 70 percent of volunteers were from out of state. Directives were top-down and based on models developed in the 1970’s. It was all walk-sheets and pencil scratchings, information collected only to be thrown out the next day (Micheal Beach and Zac Moffatt are gritting their teeth right now), a massive influx of people and energy all directed at a non-sustainable form of interacting with people. It was “town hall meetings” with only a handful of locals, squeezed out by traveling fans (who can’t vote) and the media. It was Gidoudavote in full swing."

She has a pretty valid point in that most campaigns still run horribly outdated GOTV operations. Later in the post she waxes poetic about the need to change the way we operate:

"In short, politics needs to truly be local again, and candidates need to pay attention to the states they’re running in, instead of importing a model that just doesn’t fit all. Instead of simply talking about change, a truly savvy campaign would change the way they run. They would integrate their organizers and their volunteers in a dialogue for change and activate their energy to generate new tactics and concepts for their states. They would focus on creating a sustainable base for their party, or themselves, in the general election. They would be daring enough to generate their own media, by staging events that were worth covering, to give us all a break from 24 coverage of nothing. The result would be a candidate, and a campaign, that was actually involving their supporters and generating a national dialogue. "

She raises some interesting questions, read the whole post here .

Monday, January 14, 2008

Why volunteers need direction from campaign HQ.

Love how any volunteer with a computer and a printer can blow up a media cycle for a national campaign...

Volunteers complain about top-down campaigns all the time and how they can't use more "local flexibility".

This is why.

Hat tip Halperin's Page .

Giuliani campaign overflows with Bush/Cheney alumni.

It's no secret that many of this year's GOP Presidential campaigns are sprinkled with Bush-Cheney 2004 alumni. No campaign is heavier with these experienced folks than the Giuliani campaign. McCain's campaign during the Terry Nelson era was probably close but since that shakeout and his departure Giuliani's campaign has, by far, the most.

Are these folks somehow better than staff from other campaigns? Certainly not, but their is a familiarity and camaraderie there that has value. We all know campaigns are tumultuous and chaotic. Savvy and experience are welcome commodities but sometimes teamwork will be that extra component that will push a group over the top.

In Florida we will see how their team does...

“A lot of us on this campaign have learned a lot of politics and get out the vote strategies from the Bush-Cheney-Mehlman-Rove machine, and we’re replicating all those things,”he said. “They work great, we’ve seen them work great in Florida in the past.”
“I think we have probably the only, or certainly the largest, most capable early voting and absentee chase program in the state,”he said. “I think structurally, in grass roots, kind of ground game politics, I think we’re way ahead of the other campaigns because of our early investment, our early commitment in Florida.”

Read the rest of the NYT Caucus blog story here .

Absentee voting continues to integrate into overall GOTV.

Every election cycle we are getting a little closer to seeing full integration of early and absentee voting into GOTV. It makes complete sense (in most states) to approach these items as one complete operation rather than subdividing them into different phases with different budgets, staff, etc.

"Nationwide, 31 states allow some form of early voting with “no excuse required,” and analysts say interest in voting by mail has increased mainly because it is more convenient than going to, and sometimes waiting in line, at a polling place. Several states in the last decade have changed their laws to allow all voters to cast ballots by mail for any reason, as opposed to limiting it to the infirm or those who will be out of town. (New York, whose primary is Feb. 5, requires voters to state a reason when they apply for an absentee ballot, leading political professionals to speculate that such voting by mail will not be as large a factor there as in other states.).

Early voting adds another layer of complication to the already frenetic, far-flung campaign. Well-financed campaigns are in better position to take advantage of this dynamic by having more to spend on phone banks, mailings and other tactics to specifically target these voters.
It makes for an “extensive, grueling and expensive get-out-the-vote operation,” said Paul Gronke, a political science professor at Reed College in Portland, Ore., who is an expert on early voting. Mr. Gronke said surveys had shown that voters who use absentee ballots tend to be older, more affluent, better educated and more partisan."

Read the whole story from the New York Times .

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Clinton machine disenfranchises Obama voters in NH and the MSM yawns.

For the purposes of clarity on this post let's define some terminology.

A poll watcher is a person certified by a party, campaign or other organization who is usually found inside a polling location on an election day for the purposes of "observing". The placement of these folks (dependent on state law) is usually for one of two purposes: 1. to ensure that election law is followed and no ineligible persons are allowed to vote (this role is sometimes referred to as a challenger) 2. to ensure that all persons are allowed to vote with no impediments or obstacles.

A poll book holder is a person certified by a party, campaign or other organization who is usually found inside or near a polling location on election day for the purpose of monitoring and improving voter turnout by maintaining a list of identified partisans or favorable voters. This list (wagon book, tear sheet, strike list) is checked several time a day and run to a centralized call center where voters who have not yet shown up are called.

Ok, everyone got that? Good.

It seems that there are some hard feelings in NH over some questionable activity by the Clinton campaign in NH.

"Lasky was also involved in the attempt by Clinton officials to remove
Obama volunteers who had been sent to many polling places on primary day to
check off the names of voters as they arrived so that the campaign's get out the
vote workers would know which of their supporters had and hadn't voted. Clinton
volunteers and local lawyers acting on behalf of the campaign demanded in
Nashua, Concord and at least one other town that poll moderators ban the Obama volunteers from the polls, saying that their presence violated a state law
stating that only the state party chairmen can delegate people to monitor the

So you understand what happened here, the smart yet cynical folks at the Clinton campaign make a very calculated decision. They looked at their polling and saw that Obama was going to do better with new, independent and younger voters. So they made a crafty move, they used an obscure state law and argued the nuance to have Obama's poll book holders thrown out of precincts. Why do that? The people who need more of the GOTV push are those new, independent and younger voters so the Clinton team tried to throw a wrench into Obama's turnout effort. At the end of the day it probably did not matter based on the historic turnout but for a moment imagine a world where the press treated Republicans and Democrats equally...

Can you imagine if the MSM treated this story like they would in a general election with the GOP vs. Democrats? Let me take a deep breath and imagine...a white candidate used lawyers to kick out get-out-the-vote workers for a black candidate??? Credit to Alec MacGillis from the for putting this up. I just am blown away that they got away with this without more media scrutiny and angry at the HUGE double standard. Had the Clinton campaign been Republicans they would have had a firestorm of public criticism and media would have been breathlessly reporting this story 24/7. Al Sharpton would be leading a march, the ALCU would be filing lawsuits, Henry Waxman would hold congressional hearings and somehow Karl Rove would be responsible. Amazing.

Where in the world are those candidates?

Awesome mapping feature that allows you to follow all the candidates as they manage schedules between Primary states.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New blog poll on the Michigan Primary.

Very scientific and designed by smart people who belonged to the chess club and never played team sports.

Ok, not really but it is fun.

Remember guys and girls the poll asks who do you THINK will win not who do you WANT to win. Pretend like you are betting on this and answer honestly.

Bad advance work?

As a field guy I am honor bound to hate advance people. This Romney event sounds like someone did not do some crowd/room management.

In all seriousness this is the headline that NO campaign ever wants to read and why advance work is so important.

"Small Crowd Greets Romney's Mich. Push"

There is no such thing as a small crowd. There is only bad advance work and rooms that are too large. This next part really hurts...

"(WARREN, Mich.) —Despite embracing Michigan as the heart of his bid to revive his campaign, Republican Mitt Romney was greeted by an anemic crowd Friday as he began his final push for votes in the crucial primary. No more than 150 people were on hand for his appearance at Macomb Community College's Center for Alternative Fuels, in a space set up for an audience twice that size. Romney delivered an unusually short, 13-minute address, breaking with recent practice and taking no questions from his audience."

So what is the big deal?

The pea brains in the press pool will immediately begin to infer all kinds of things that may or may not be true. "losing momentum", "sluggish start", "desperate", none of it is ever stuff you want associated with your campaign and some artful pipe and drape work can usually save a bad event.

This is why Duha's peeps want to follow him into battle.

Most campaign staff pay sucks. There is no watering it down or sugarcoating it. Most of the qualified and successful people on most campaigns could make far more in a normal job but choose politics. Lots of reasons why but the best one is they like to win. Mike DuHaime likes to win and that is why people want to work for him.

"We have enough money, but we could always use more money," contended Mike DuHaime, Giuliani's campaign manager and one of those who now is working for free. "We want to make sure we have enough to win."

Whatever it takes to win.

Now this is where the major respect comes in...

"DuHaime and other aides stressed that relinquishing pay was voluntary and was limited to senior staffers.
"I want to do everything I can to make sure Rudy's president, and I speak for a lot of the campaign when I say that," DuHaime said. "None of us joined this campaign for money."

I have seen lots of campaigns screw their staff to save a couple of bucks. The part that breaks my heart is when it is some 23 year old with 150k in school debt whose mommy and daddy don't belong to three country clubs (sorry, for the class warfare but I got stick up for my kin from the trailer parks) that gets the shaft. They are told they can't file an expense report and that the meager salary they were being paid for 7 days/100+ hours a week is now on hold so we can buy 2 days of TV.

Real leadership takes the first step especially when it comes to sacrifice. Way to go Mike.

Read the whole article here .

Facebook and Myspace in raw numbers.

I love data. I love the percentages, numbers and stats. Great post from one of my smart friends Jeremiah Owyang who works in the normal world. These numbers are staggering and scream for more political attentioin than we probably give them. Dive in and enjoy!

General Growth
* More than 60 million active users
* An average of 250,000 new registrations per day since Jan. 2007
* An average of 3% weekly growth since Jan. 2007
* Active users doubling every 6 months
User Demographics
* Over 55,000 regional, work-related, collegiate, and high school networks
* More than half of Facebook users are outside of college
* The fastest growing demographic is those 25 years old and older
* Maintain 85 percent market share of 4-year U.S. universities

· MySpace has more than 110 million monthly active users around the globe
· We are the country’s trafficked site on the Internet
· 85% of MySpace users are of voting age (18 or older)
· 1 in 4 Americans is on MySpace, in the UK it’s as common to have a MySpace as it is to own a dog
·On average 300,000 new people sign up to MySpace every day,this month we broke a record and had 4.5 billion page views to the site in one day.

Read the whole post here .

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hey South Carolina, STOP listening to the press and follow your gut!

As I have said on this blog before I am a FredHead. There I have given you full disclosure.

Now lets look at this new Rasmussen poll from South Carolina. Here are the head-to-head results:
  1. McCain 27%
  2. Huckabee 24%
  3. Romney 16%
  4. Thompson 12%
  5. Giuliani 6%

Now lets look a little deeper...

When asked if people are "certain" of their choice it was the Thompson voters who led at 66%.

When voters were asked if they had a favorable impression of the candidates the candidate that led was Fred Thompson with 72%.

When voters were asked who the most conservative candidate was Fred Thompson AGAIN led with 57%.

So do not listen to the talking heads and do not listen the press...listen to your gut, it has a southern accent.

Ok, Ron Paul it is time to say good night.

It has been fun while it lasted.

The whiny voice, the waving hands, the legions of fanatical supporters...Ron Paul we will miss you but sir, it is time to go. Your continued presence on stage with legitimate candidates for the most important job in the world is no longer needed. You have made your point and had your 15 minutes. If you can't hear the questions from the moderator (or even the other candidates) you need to stop asking to be included.

There are some heinous spending bills in congress that need to be voted against. There are some federal agencies that need someone to beat them around and question their existence.

Can I drive you to the airport?

IMPORTANT: Pray now for the destruction of the evil Belichek and his horde of Patriots.

Ok, so I know this has nothing to do with politics but Bill Belichek is evil and most be stopped.

I live in Indiana and will buy any product that Peyton Manning shills for.

Please join this Facebook Group and stop Belichek now!

Viral Video for Republicans.

A great read for people who are serious about an online strategy for their campaign. As usual, Tech Republican is ahead of the curve and has useful tips on how to implement.

"MESSAGE/TIMINGThe recipe for a viral video involves perfectly defining the narrative of a candidate which everyone is thinking but no one is saying through moving images and a message. The message must be perfect in every way, or it will die. It must be timed perfectly to get carried in the stream.

SKILL/CLEVERNESSViral videos aren't always *perfectly* edited, but they are. They may look amateurish, but they're not. There's something about most viral videos that when you watch them, you say both, "I could do that... but I could never do that." We assume that it's simple when really it's complex. That's the beauty of a viral video.
It's seemingly a video that we could have produced, but in reality, someone else did (and we're OK with that). Video editors are artists. They take pride in their work and spend hours refining their masterpiece. Of course, it's also important not to be too clever. Always a delicate balance.

EFFECTIVE DISTRIBUTION/LUCKPhil de Vellis emailed his video to a "few bloggers." From there it spread like wildfire on its own merits. The point is that you need eyeballs and to get those you need the right influential folks to see the video, find it interesting, and then send it along to their network or post it on their blog. Of course, some of those influencers are people like Matt Drudge at the Drudge Report, but Drudge isn't exactly looking to promote your video. And even if he did, it's not always a guaranteed hit. Throw one big handful of spaghetti at the wall and keep throwing."

Huckabee and Colbert for a better America!

As I have mentioned before on this blog I am not a Huck supporter. I am with him on social policy but the fiscal stuff he mentions scares me. Having said that I acknowledge that he is the most charismatic guy in our field of candidates.

His appearance on The Colbert Report last night was AWESOME. He is so quick and smooth in his exchange with Colbert you can see him winning over people with his polished communication skills. His past experience as a pastor has really prepared this guy for interviews, off the cuff humor and a level of empathy that most candidates will never achieve.

That, and of course, Chuck Norris who rocks. That ad has over 1.4 million views on YouTube .

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

HRC wins in NH - Whouley strikes again!

Karl Rove has reached a level of fear/loathing/respect so deep amongst democrats that he is often given credit for things as wide and far fetched as rain on election day and global warming. It is a well deserved reputation as Karl has shaped the political campaign direction of Republican politics for a generation.

You have heard of Karl, he is famous.

So who is Michael Whouley? He is probably the most legendary field organizer in all of politics and a dead ringer for John Malkovitch .

A man so mysterious he does not do press interviews and has only a few of public photos you can find. He is the Keyser Soze of democratic field operatives (thanks Crowley ). He is one of the characters depicted in an upcoming HBO film about the Florida recount of 2000.

Where did he come from and what did he do?

  • 1992 Field Director for Clinton's presidential campaign
  • 1996 Director of Vice Presidential operations for Gore
  • 1998 Founds Dewey Square with NAFTA as cornerstone account
  • 2000 Drawn back in by Gore when Bradley had him on the ropes to help turn around New Hamspshire. Many whispered that he organized a traffic jam on election night delaying wealthy liberals who were driving home from work in Boston. On election night it is a cell phone call from Whouley that stops Gore from delivering his succession speech because the "numbers in Florida don't look right".
  • 2004 Kerry says he will not officially get "in" unless Whouley is with him, Whouley avoids a full time role until the Iowa caucuses. Several weeks before the caucus Kerry is struggling in 3rd place - Whouley arrives, fires top organizers, retools the ground game...Kerry wins.
  • 2006 Whouley is brought in to consult on GOTV and Field Operations by Rahm Emmanuel for the DCCC when they pick up 30 seats.
  • 2008 HRC begins to fade even before the Iowa caucuses. The decision is made to send to Whouley to New Hampshire...just in case Iowa does not turn out well. HRC comes in 3rd in Iowa and is projected to lose by double digits in New Hampshire. Polls close and HRC wins by 3 points. Whouley delivers again.

Trouble with Catholics?

Very interesting post from the The Atlantic on the voting patterns of Republicans in Iowa based on their religious affiliation. Clearly shows Mitt doing well with Catholics while Huck does well with rural Protestants. Does Huckabee's strong evangelical message turn off Catholics?

Did the bitter feud from the straw poll between Huck and Brownback have some lingering bad feelings?

Props to Alexham at RedState for pointing this out.

Monday, January 7, 2008

What does the inside structure of a campaign look like?

The answer, as always, depends on who you ask and which campaign you are describing. If you are a real junkie this kind of stuff is fascinating. Kudos to Eric Appleman from GWU who has done tons of work gathering all the campaign organization charts from 2004 to build an incredibly insightful picture of both the Bush and Kerry campaigns. This is truly amazing considering the omerta code that most GOP operatives operate under. Democrats on the other hand all seem to have an inability to shut up about their work on campaigns so that is not surprising.

Eric is compiling the same info for the 2008 election and it is worth your time to check it out. Also, if you happen to get contacted by Eric about campaign literature or other stuff - help him out. He is genuinely non-partisan and does this stuff for the academic value.

Shameless plug for my Minnesota crew in 2004 they are listed here . They worked like dogs (and I probably treated like dogs sometimes) for a disappointing finish but a larger victory.

I fell off the wagon...

Sorry for my 48 hour absence. No excuse other than work, life and family. I am quickly realizing this whole blogging thing is almost a full time gig.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Social Networking For Voter Contact?

I know a lot of political hacks (especially Republicans) are waiting to really see if Social Networking ( Facebook, MySpace, Twitter , etc.) will matter in voter contact. I think the answer is probably still out to the jury. I think most people expect too much and then get frustrated when they can't "win" with a social networking strategy.


Just like any part of your campaign there is no singular reason you win or lose unless you are Howard Dean ...then maybe. The best way to look at using social networking is to have realistic and pragmatic goals. Especially small campaigns, use it as a way to save much needed cash and reach out to folks who will never show up at the HQ. Having an email list of supporters is a good start, as long as you don't abuse it (see instructions from Patrick Ruffini ). There are too many tools out there to take advantage of for me to really try and list them (although if you have suggestions I would love for you to put them in the comments for this post).

My point is figure out which part of your base uses these tools and go engage them. Be honest with them, speak to them in non-pandering terms and keep it frequent. Really important item here is go see what normal people are doing. The for-profit market place is light years ahead of us in utilizing these technologies so be a good hack and go steal some of their ideas.

Some of my favorites to keep up with are C.C. Chapman and Jeremiah Owyang .

Not a big enough babykiller to lead the Democratic party?

I am pro-life and unabashedly so. I know that there are Republicans who are pro-choice and I can work with them. Pro-choice Republicans are usually in the minority but are still given room in our party. Hey, look at our 2004 convention - keynote speakers Gov. Schwarzenegger, Gov. Pataki, Mayor Giuliani- all pro-choice.

Now in the Democratic party being pro-choice is not an option. It is a requirement. Anyone recall any pro-life Democrats speaking at their convention? Last time it was even an issue was 1992 when Governor Bob Casey of Pennsylvania was denied a speaking role at their Convention just because he was pro-life.

So fast forward to 2008.

Apparently Barack Obama is not pro-choice enough. That is right he does not believe enough in terminating life to lead his party. A mailer from Hillary Clinton's campaign just hit households in New Hampshire with the shocking news that Barack Obama missed 7 opportunities while in the IL State Senate to stand up for abortion rights. His sponsoring of several bills and 100% record with Planned Parenthood are just not enough.


Interview with FOX affiliate about life as a political vendor.

We started our mail shop in 2002 and I got a lot of advice from other consultants and people in politics that you can not have political firm outside of the DC/NOVA area or at the very least a big city.

Our main office is in Granger Indiana, population 28,000. A place where "traffic" means getting stuck at an intersection waiting for one of the many trains that cross our area or that it is a Notre Dame Football weekend when as many as 100,000 people will descend on us. We live in the South Bend media market which is the 85th largest in the country.

Local news is often a mixed bag and most of the reporters are new. The upside is that it does not take much to be interviewed and be the focus of a story. Our local FOX affiliate wanted to do a story on the Iowa Caucuses with a local tie-in so they interviewed me. The reporter got most of what I said but still a little rough around the edges...and I was having a bad hair day. Check it out here .

Friday, January 4, 2008

Will New Hampshire mean as much to Hill as it did for Bill?

Can Hillary recreate some of Bill's Magic in New Hampshire? He did not win New Hampshire but it made him the "Comeback Kid".

What did the candidates say last night after the Iowa Caucuses?

Our friends from Many Eyes Data Sets have some cool web based software that I don't fully understand. Basically someone uploaded the remarks from Iowa and then the Word Cloud- allows you see which words dominated their rhetoric.

Mitt Romney-

John Edwards-

Mike Huckabee-

Barack Obama-

Hillary Clinton-

It will take a minute to load then select the word cloud visualization.

Shout out to msedlar- for doing all the heavy lifting.

Mitt hits Huck, Rudy and McCain on Immigration in NH.

This piece is hitting households in New Hampshire this week immigration mailer

Is Immigration a big deal in New Hampshire? Tancredo is out of the race can we please stop beating on it. Don't get me wrong, I am a mail vendor and have done tough immigration pieces as well. I am Just wondering if folks in the Granite state care as much as people in Iowa.

I think Majority Strategies did this piece They are competitors but do great work.

Here it comes...

Did you hear that? Yes, that sound of someone slipping a pair of brass knuckles on to their scarred and experienced hands. HRC is on the warpath. She probably jettisoned several staffers from her plane last night at 20,000 feet on the way to New Hamsphire.

"Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to target what her campaign calls Barack Obama’s inexperience over the next five days in New Hampshire and deliver much sharper — and likely much more personal and negative — attacks against the Iowa winner, according to Democrats familiar with the evolving strategy. "

Now we get to see what Obama is really made of.

Huck's part-time communications guy keeps it real on his blog.

I love it when people in politics drop the charade and keep it real. This is a GREAT post from Joe Carter at the evangelical outpost . Take a peek...

"Campaigns Are Staffed By A Narrow Range of People -- Much like tax preparation or lettuce picking, campaign work is short-term, seasonal, and semi-skilled. I identified five main grouping of staffers: (a) local hires and people who have previously served with the candidate, (b) young singles that that work cheap, (c) financially independent volunteers, (d) high-priced veteran advisers, and (e) semi-competent/semi-experienced temps. (I fell into category (e)).
The Mainstream Media Ain't So Bad -- Many bloggers (including me) have a knee-jerk reaction to the mainstream media. We "just know" they have a liberal bias and that they can't be trusted to report accurately on Republicans and conservatives. If my experience is any indication, then most of what we know is "just wrong."
My job wasn't to spin the press but to present the facts for the Huckabee campaign's side of the story. I expected that I'd have the toughest time with the professional journalists but most of the reporters that I dealt with (especially Michael Luo of the New York Times and Jonathan Martin of Politico) were quite fair and always professional. Even when their coverage was cringe-inducing I rarely could fault them for being inaccurate or putting their own biases ahead of the facts."

He continues on to several different topics and all will give you campaign veterans a chuckle as you think on your own similar experiences. Although I am not a fan of Huck I give credit to Joe for being very candid in his commentary.

Shout out to David All from TechRepublican where I read this first.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Is Obama the sweet justice the Howard Deaniacs craved?

So after the Iowa 2004 Caucuses there had to be a lot of really disenchanted anti-war folks with cute orange beanies. You know they worked hard to defeat Bush (it was never about Kerry for them) and they have been gritting their teeth and complaining about centrists in their party for 4 years.

They were probably pretty stoked to see their guy become Chair of the DNC and then broken hearted to see him neutered by Rahmbo, the Clintons, and other Dems in Congress.

You almost felt sorry for them. Almost.

Now tonight their are getting their sweet revenge. They beat those DLC/Clintons/Centrists and are ready to roll.

It is going to be fun to watch.

Ron Paul's supporters are impressive

Say what you want about the candidate, the intensity and self-organization of his supporters is second to none on the GOP side.

Check out this link where they walk you thru how to organize your precinct

Another one

The idea to post something like this on your campaign site is not earth shattering. The fact that so many of his people will actually do it is.

Spirit of the Godfather lives on in Iowa

I am not Italian so I am not sure if this is a point of pride or kind of embarrassing. It is definitely interesting.

"Our people are our people," said Joe Aiello, president of La Macchina, which operates as a civic club. "Our people do exactly what we ask them to do."

When outsiders think of Iowa politics, they envision bunting draped on hay bales, candidates touring family farms, and lots of bromides about rural values. La Macchina represents a grittier, urban brand of politics - more Chicago than Cedar Rapids. In a close race tonight, its influence on the South Side could give Clinton a major boost.

"We're a very powerful group," Aiello said."

It just begs the question...are they going to give their voters "an offer they can't refuse"?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

So what will the campaigns not do to get your vote in Iowa?

Mom's taxi.

Yes, thats right the Clinton campaign is ready to drive your kids to basketball and pick up your dry cleaning.

"If you need anything, even help with your kids, just ask. One supporter did ask: “I’ve got four kids. Do you want to drive them everywhere they gotta be that night?” A Clinton volunteer replied: “Let me take your name and see if we can help you.” “Are you serious?” the woman asked. “Yes,” the volunteer said. “We need everyone.”

The funny part is what voters are going to expect in November this year for the general election. Probably something like this...

  • Campaign volunteer - "Hello, just calling to remind you to get and vote on Tuesday!"
  • Targeted voter - "No problem. I am going to need some folks to rake my leaves this weekend first."
  • Campaign volunteer - "What?"
  • Targeted voter - "I said, I will need some staff from your campaign to rake my yard first. Need the oil changed in my van too."
  • Campaign volunteer - (now somewhat depressed) "Ok, I will be over after I finish my shift at the phone bank.

RNC Raises $83 Million

From the RNC's press release today...

"In raising more than $83 million over the course of the year, more than 800,000 supporters sent an average of $227,000 to the RNC every single day. The RNC is debt free and had $17.2 million cash on hand at the end of the year, all of which will be dedicated to helping elect Republicans in 2008."

Not a bad haul. Definitely pushes back on the notion that Republicans have given up on donating to our national organizations.