I actually have a number of things to write about in order to update my activities over the last few days. However, it’s Thursday night, after the Vice Presidential debate and it’s the most appropriate topic for now.
I got into the office about 11:00 this morning. Most of my day consisted with updating the database with the folks who attended the Presidential Debate Watch party we had last week. I love being able to simply interface with a database. It comforts me. Is this strange? You bet, but each to his/her own pleasure.
What I found more interesting was the importance of this data. We have finished the voter registration portion of the campaign. Tuesday was the last possible day in Colorado when you could make sure you were on the voter rolls. I’m learning lots about election law in Colorado and there a number of things I think we could learn in Canada from their example. I’ll post later on this topic.
The next stage for the Obama campaign is Get Out The Vote, or GOTV as us cool kids say. We headed over to one of the Fort Collins OFA (Obama For America) offices to get trained.
Loveland and Fort Collins are in Larimer County. We saw a map that showed how this county was in the Republican column in 2004 and in the Democrat column in 2008. Larimer County was one of a half dozen counties that switched and gave the state to Obama. So, I’m actually in a county that will make a difference in a state that will make a difference. I didn’t know this when I chose to come to Colorado, but I think it’s very intuitive of me to make such a decision.
From 4:00 pm to 7:00 we were trained on what the GOTV effort would entail. Again, I won’t go into specifics. However, if you’ve heard that the Obama campaign is relying on the ground game, you have no idea of how seriously they take this notion. All of the polls, all of the pundits, really have no idea what this campaign is about in a swing state like Colorado. We have registered voters, spent time talking to them and now will make sure they caste their ballot. The media talk in generalities, the campaign talks to individuals.
If the Obama campaign screws up a lot nationally, of course we’d be in trouble. However, if it’s as minor as a poor debate performance, no problem. The ground game will make it happen.
What impressed me was the sophistication of their plans. And the plans are being implemented by leaders who are all under 30. These are wonderful young people (the young women are especially attractive – if I were in my 20s and needed a semester off, I know where I’d be). I’m glad, in the words of Norman, that they are accommodating to an “old fart” like me.
This is a data driven campaign of incredible sophistication. I would be a very valuable participant in any Canadian election given my experience here. Just you wait, Maurice Vellecott! I have your number and it’s in my database.(For the uninformed, M. Vellacott is my Member of Parliament and very focused on conservative social issues – although given what I’ve seen of hard right Republicans – he’s still kind of a pussy cat. From personal experience, he can still carry on a polite conversation.)
I could have stayed to watch the debate with the young ones, but chose to drive home and watch in the comfort of Deb and Jack’s living room.
I felt sorry for Paul Ryan. As I’ve long felt, young and strong can be defeated by old and sneaky every time.
This is what dedicated Democrats look like:
One of the reasons I came to Colorado was to meet people. Tonight I met Sarah. She’s from Wales and I initially thought she must be a Grade 10 exchange student. Actually, she’s in the third year of her American Studies program and she’s spending it in Fort Collins before she heads back to finish her degree. What a delightful youg woman. She doesn’t spend a lot of time apologizinng for George III. We’ll have to compare notes at some time.