Growing up in the DC Area, and now a resident I have always felt a little guilty not having a passion for politics and well… history too (sorry). I found that this quote by David Hughes, really described politics and power in this country very well, it made me smile…“Washington is a great soggy log floating down the Potomac with a bunch of ants who think they’re steering. Anything that is worth a damn in this country starts on the grassroots level.” From last weeks conversations on the Dean campaign and the reading this week, this campaign is a great example of how this grassroots nation supports what they believe in, even if that support is only in double digit increments!
Maybe its my age, but who would have thought the Democratic party prior to the Dean campaign was that disorganized! It blows my mind that an organization like this could not handle making sure they had correct contact information. As Garrett says, ” “The Democrats were so far behind and so disorganized when it came to technology that-to this day-the party doesn’t own www.Democrats.com,” the “Aggressive Progressives” do! (this explains why he wanted us to buy up our names!) The Dean campaign seems to have brought much organization and structure to the Democratic party after the campaign. A new sense of urgency and motivation set in to change the direction of the organization.
It must have been an amazing and truly rewarding experience to work on this campaign, going through such highs and lows. Just the dollars raised and spent alone…I wonder the cost per lead breakdown would have been to get one person to donate?
In my experience, some of the best marketing strategies and campaigns were those that veered off the intended course and created something more than what you had expected. They mold into something a little different, and in this case It sounds like the Dean campaign on-line did just that, exceeding the initial expectations and creating and changing the way political campaigns now gain support and financial backing. With politics not being my niche, I gathered that the Dean campaign also brought about the idea of doing more than just raising money. As Garance Franke-Ruta mentions in The American Prospect article, Dean Machine, “Through the Meetups, Dean is creating community, stimulating political discourse, building the rough outlines of a movement and expanding the public sphere — all while creating a mechanism to position himself to compete in at least the first few primaries. It’s great strategy. Even more importantly, it’s great politics.” Are the candidates of the presidential campaign, Clinton, Obama, and McCain using Meetup.com?
This on-line community that the Dean Campaign created seemed to also allow people to act in real time, and form the campaign side, it allowed them to track results quickly. Probably very different than waiting for the newspaper and television to create this kind of community, buzz, and results. I thought the Bat Ad with the clocks that says “Grassroots never sleeps” fit well here, as you could really participate at any time from any place.
My other favorite Bat Ad was the Halloween themed ads that said ” Bush Frights Me, Frighten Bush Back.
Are the strategies of the Dean campaign on-line, the same strategies that Obama is using in his on-line campaign, that has proven to be very successful? What is he doing differently?