Sunday, April 02, 2017

Road Warriors - Then and Now

When we had the energy to work on Presidential campaigns, and it does take energy -- at least the way we did it-- which was without any help, we called ourselves Road Warriors.  We had no assistance, no money (unless we raised it ourselves), never a guarantee of a place to sleep, or an idea of where we would go the next day. We washed our clothes in a bathtub because we never knew how long we would be anywhere. If we ever talked with HQ it was in a phone both, jangling a handful of quarters, quarters which we probably had to raise on our own.  You might say, “it was the best of times and the worst of times”.  We had limited expectations of what the campaign could provide. And we were grateful when there was any assistance provided from “National HQ”. 

Imagine how surprised  I was when NBC annointed the traveling staff, covering the campaign, “road warriors.”  Which by the way, they were not.  They were young, smart, journalists, who travelled with the campaigns.  This road warrior got paid, they knew where they were sleeping, were never out of touch more longer than an iPhone touch, and the networks made sure they were fed, because they were members of a union, maybe two.   In addition, they knew that after the campaign they would have a job for which ever network they represented. This was certainly not the case for campaign staff warriors. First your candidate had to be victorious. Then you had to compete with every other campaign staffer who also wanted a job. Everything you did in and round the campaign was truly a battle.

“Advance people,” the people who travelled ahead of the Candidate, were responsible for everything that happened to the candidate from the time the candidate arrived at an event to the time they left. It didn't matter what kind of an event. Everything from  checking sound and lights, to flushing toilets for the Press.  Picking up Press and Staff luggage and making sure it got where it needed to be.  These new so-called “road warriors” never battled more than an angry press secretary.

Maybe I should be pleased about the continuation of the label. But somehow the“warrior”part is only for people that were at odds with just about everyone with whom they had dealings, except other Advance people. Everyone hated them/us, or at the very least found us annoying, That includes other campaign staff like the State coordinators, directors and fund raisers. Because we did battle for the candidate, and the candidate ultimately depended on us, far more than desk staff or local political people.  We had access to the Candidate. Usually close proximity. We briefed, advised, and made on the spot political decisions.   Some of those responsibilities are no longer the job of the advance person, but they still remain responsible for doing "the battle".

Anyway, how about that Sean Spicer and where is Kelly Anne?.  The President came into office without one day of government experience and surrounded himself with people who also had no experience. You cannot drain the swamp if you don't know how the government works. It's not like the private sector, where if you are the person in charge, everyone has to listen and obey.  Nope. We should all be grateful for this. Except he can sign an executive order which might just destroy the environment and other treasured resources-- or freedoms, or people's lives.

Thinking is depressing. We all need to concentrate on the the tasks that make us happy and the people we love with the knowledge the President must be absolutely miserable not being able to get his own way.  We’re just sayin’… Iris

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