This is not meant to be a post about issues or the message. (I think that horse has been beaten to death in recent days). Rather, I want to focus on the grassroots extremities of a campaign that I witnessed at Dorchester.
First off, their staff is professional, polite, and always available. The first person that greeted me at the convention center was a young kid with a Saxton sticker that opened the door for me with a smile and a “hello.”
At the ALWAYS STAFFED booth, staff was available to greet inquiring minds with answers to any question they had. The materials that they provided looked professional and showed the dedication of the candidate and the campaign to provide the best message possible ALL THE TIME. Talking to a friend of mine (DarePdx!) while we sat in the vendor/booth room and admired the presence of Saxton’s wife in his booth. We discussed how she not only was she an amazing advocate for the campaign but also provide a personal touch that resonated with a lot of his booth visitors.
During the straw poll, you couldn’t help but notice Saxton’s staff holding spaces at the microphone for their noted surrogates to speak. (Essentially, allowing their surrogates to cut in line so that they could get as many advocates to speak as possible. Near my table, I saw Felix hold a spot in line for at least 2 people. For the life of me I can only remember Kremer as one of the place holders but I guess those details aren’t important.
And I can see a lot of little things that helped create momentum for candidate Saxton. The silly noise makers during the openning nights debate certainly created a perception that he had more supports than he did. And the never ending flow of stickers and shirts to supporters … creating an image of a frontrunner with majority support from start to finish.
Additionally, I may have missed the other campaigns, but I ONLY saw Ron working the early breakfast crowd on Sunday morning before the straw poll.
While some in the blogosphere have been quick to criticize Ron for “busing” in people on the day of the straw poll. (A point that has already been disproven. ) He didn’t bring people on Sunday … he brought them for the whole conference! Or as Mannix campaign spokeswoman, Naomi Inman said, Saxton had “packed the hall” with his supporters so they could vote for him in the straw poll. No Shit! But isn’t that was a good GOTV effort is all about “¦ identify your voter and get them to vote! (I think Naomi’s quote speaks volumes as to the type of campaign that Kevin has run so far.)
Certainly, the Dorchester straw poll isn’t a real election “¦ and the results aren’t a perfect reflection of the Republican electorate. But Ron, or more specifically his staff, proved to this conference attendee that they want to win in May, November AND MARCH! They take no opportunity lightly “¦ and understand what it take to win for their boss!