Friday, October 23, 2020

Alone With All My Friends....

 What do you do when you want to work on a campaign and the “in-charge” people cannot figure out what you should do, or for that matter what they should do.  You could just say, “Well if they don’t want me, then I don’t want them.”   Or since you have been working in politics your whole life and you want to make America kind again, you figure out what needs to be done, and you just do it. My week here could be a TV special called “The Crazy Person is at it Again.”   It's about this nutty campaign strategist who has worked in every area of political campaigns.

In a campaign no job is too small and no task is unimportant. There is so much to do and never enough time to do it. For example, money has to be raised, schedules have to be established, there needs to be a message, the message leads to what kind of events you will have. There is a need for a press operation or at least a press person. There is usually a field organization, an advance team, campaign paraphernalia available, signs, buttons, and stickers that tell you in a most succinct way why you need to elect your candidate.

If however, you have a candidate and no campaign structure what do you do?   You look at the operation and see what needs to be done and without bullying anyone - you do it by yourself. You collect the materials you need,  and distribute them to the places from which the campaign will benefit the most. Will you look silly being a one person campaign (there are people working, but there isn’t enough time to train them) and again, you don’t want to appear to be anything but helpful.  So far I have written 200 Get Out the Vote postcards, made fundraising calls for candidates other than my own, since I can’t get a list from "my own."   I attend rallies that I know will be in certain places, carry signs and a banner flag, go door-to-door, always masked, to see if people will put signs upon their lawns. At this late date you do not waste your resources on places you know will not vote for your candidate and your political party— in this case it’s the Democrat party.

As I drive around with my flags and signs I am one person but I am not alone. Right there, sitting beside me and yelling in my ear, as they always did, are Wagner, Tully, Harold, Anne, Sarah, Donna, Kim, Sue, and Alicia, Sid, and all those folks with whom I have worked over the years. Not only do they tell me what I should be doing, but, as we ride along we tell old campaign stories like, "do you remember when we left all our rental cars someplace close to the border but in Mexico. Or the time the event site got washed out by near tornado winds and rain five minutes before the candidate arrived. Or the time we were flying in the Bassler Bomber and we were reported missing somewhere between NY and Wisconsin. Remember when we were in NYC and had to raise enough money to get to Chicago ? " (Before the FEC limits on cash being passed in a hat.)   There is no shortage of stories and they go on forever because telling stories is almost the best part of working in campaign politics.  We're just saying...Iris.

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