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Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Uber-Campaign

Posted by Bob Brigham

Last night I was at a fundraiser for a first-time candidate running for State Assembly. Stop what you're thinking, the idea you have in your head about what that event might have been like isn't relevant. Schädelmann sets the stage:

A virtual who's who of past and present elected officials were on hand in support of her candidacy, including Supervsiors Jake Mc Goldrick and Gerardo Sandoval, and City Attorney Dennis Hererra. Former California Assembly Speaker Leo McCarthy was also in attendance (and serves as the campaign's chair) and various other past elected officials were there to show their support.

Oh yeah, and a junior Senator from the East Coast flew in for the event. And the ballroom atop the Merchant's Exchange was filled with more than 500 people. And the people were more excited by the candidate than they were with the Senator, who happens to be John Kerrey.

Seeing this made me think of the Uber-Campaign, running for the legislature like you're running for Congress, running for Congress like you're running for Senate and running for Senate like you're funning for President.

The event was for Janet Reilly -- Democrat running for an open seat in the 12th Assembly District. The crowd was huge, so large in fact that I got tired of bumping into people and left before Kerrey showed up, but Schädelmann reports:

While Kerry' presence was certainly appreciated by those who attended, his remarks were short and the crowd's enthusiasm for McCarthy and Reilly was a lot stronger. [...]

But to sum up - while Kerry was a draw, the clear star of the evening was Janet. And if one was measuring charisma wattage, Janet, with the courage of her convictions and her ability to communicate, was blowing doors off the 2004 Presidential nominee.

That is the Uber Campaign: have a statewide caliber event, bring in last year's standard bearer, turn out a huge crowd, and remain the center of attention.

It was a solid event, very well managed. They had volunteers working the elevators to keep people moving to the top floor, more than a dozen working sign in (which moved quickly because the majority pre-paid by credit card online and could grab a pre-printed nametag instead of writing a check). The focus was clearly on the campaign organization with around two dozen working to get people into the room with only two more pouring drinks (only problem).

They had a videographer and I saw two people who take great pictures snapping digitals, which should provide some great shots of the high-energy candidate working the room like a pro.

In post-modern politics, there is more to lose by not meeting expectations than there is by overkill. People want overwhelming campaigns, and it is actually the internet that will keep them personal.

When there was a misconception about the event in the paper, the campaign used their blog to set the record straight:

We got a spurt of press today on the Kerry event, with the Examiner and Chronicle both running items. If you read the Chronicle article, they had one fact wrong. Tickets start at $25 for the event, not $250. You can reserve your tickets by clicking here.

The Uber-Campaign is more concerned about cash flow than warchests, getting buy-in and then turning that into on-the-ground support. Many of the people who paid $25 to attend will use email to turn out their friends when they throw a house party (it is a sign of a good Bay Area fundraiser if Kos shows up...he's in the UK, but there were two bloggers there).

Bigger, better, faster. Why measure in inches when you can measure in yards?

Posted at 03:20 PM in California | Technorati


Hey there - thanks for the link. However, I deleted the old entry and updated it - change your link to:


Thanks for the link, and the kind words. Right back at ya! :-)

Posted by: Greg Dewar - Schadelmann.com [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2005 06:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment