Filed under: Election 2008, Local Government and Politics, Strategy and Tactics
Probably the biggest part of my job as office manager (yes, I’ve taken on another task) for our County headquarters is working with Amy Tisinger and Suzanne Curran to make sure all sign requests are taken care of (by the way, if I didn’t get to you last night, so sorry, but I got lost in St. Luke). People have been clamoring left and right with the new enthusiasim that Palin has brought to the ticket–which is much to my chagrin, as for the last few weeks we’ve only had a small supply of McCain signs. However, thanks to some intrepid efforts we finally have a small stock of McCain-Palin signs, with more on the way.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are having some issues getting signs here in Virginia:
Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is spending millions of dollars on television ads in Virginia, staffing 43 offices and sending the candidate and his running mate, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., to every corner of the state.
But Obama has apparently overlooked one important element of a successful campaign in Virginia: stocking up on those venerable lawn signs.
Across the state, Democratic officials are clamoring to get hold of free Obama yard signs but are being told that none are available or that they have to buy them from the candidate’s Web site. It can take weeks to get them delivered.The frustration of volunteers and Democratic officials over the campaign’s inability to provide the signs is nearing a boiling point in some parts of Virginia.
As signs for GOP nominee John McCain sprout up in neighborhood after neighborhood, some Democrats are starting to fear that their failure to win the lawn sign war could in a small way cut into Obama’s ability to carry Virginia.
“I think they might be missing the boat,” Chris Graham, chairman of the Waynesboro Democratic Committee, said in an interview. “We have so many people coming in, and they just want a sign. ….. Signs are a big deal for our people.”
Kevin Griffis, an Obama spokesman, said the campaign hasn’t put a priority on lawn signs, noting that they don’t vote on Election Day.
Mr. Griffis is right; yard signs don’t vote (except in Chicago). However, what they DO do is create a small bit of ownership in the campaign for the individual in the yard sign, and it starts that conversation between neighbors, particularly in subdivisions. Once you get that conversation going, you can churn out some votes. So they do create a human connection, however small, for the campaign, which can be absolutely crucial as the campaign draws nigh. It also starts that conversation to see if there’s something more, however small, that the person can do.
However, the Obama campaign would rather you work BEFORE you get your sign:
Obama’s Virginia campaign did receive several thousand Obama-Biden signs two weeks ago. But it decided to distribute them only to volunteers who went door-to-door last weekend.
“After you knock on just 40 doors, make sure you stop by the office in your area to pick up your free Obama-Biden yard sign,” Steve Hildebrandand, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, wrote in an e-mail to Virginia supporters.
The e-mail offended some.
“Earn your signs? Give me a break,” Chris Duckworth, an Obama volunteer from Chantilly, said in interview. “You should be honored that I would put the sign in my yard. Is he such a celebrity that I have to earn the right to put a 29-cent sign in my yard? ….. We should be saturating the neighborhoods with this stuff.”
Fortunately, we DO have signs available. Our campaign HQ at 183 E. King in Strasburg is open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday and each evening starting October 1st, with Saturday hours from 10 a.m-8 p.m. We will also be distributing them at our rally on Saturday, and will be putting a few at United Country Real Estate in Mount Jackson starting Monday. We will also have a few at all the events scheduled on on our Calendar of Events as well. If for whatever reason you can’t make it to anything, please give Craig Orndorff a call at (540) 335-9428.
Thanks for hanging in there, and please know that so many people are looking for yard signs that they are driving all the way from WEST VIRGINIA to the Harrisonburg office to find them.
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