Project Wonderful

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ain't no one comin' in for the windows

It's rare that I'm willing to admit that someone is smarter than me, especially when it comes to campaign stuff.

However, this week I had the opportunity to reconnect with a campaign friend who is most definitely smarter than me, and I was reminded of the smartest thing he ever said. I would love to give him a shout out here, but I haven't asked his permission, so we'll call him Jarreth.

Jarreth is mostly a policy guy and was working as a full time staffer on a campaign because he was friends with and believed in the candidate. Toward the end of the campaign, I asked him what was most surprising to him about campaigning, and doing field specifically. And he said,"policy on a campaign is like window dressing in a bordello."

Amazing. I loved that. I thought it summed up so perfectly just how far removed some campaign actions can be from the policies that we are ultimately hoping to enact through electing good leaders. Sign wars anyone? It is also my stock answer when people ask me why I don't want to work on the hill.

Let's be real. Ain't no one comin' in for the windows.

The Things We Carried

One of the best interns EVER, who shall remain nameless since he is currently working on a campaign, called me this weekend to tell me he found a Tufts University pen in a Cedar Rapids labor hall.

The pen doesn't necessarily belong to me, but it seems pretty likely, and I'd like to believe it does. I still have a pen from the church that used to practice loudly next to my office in MN on my first campaign in 2006. It says "With God All Things Are Possible," which I found fitting given the circumstances- me doing volunteer recruitment wedged between a very loud, out of key church and a day care center for mentally challenged adults.

I kid, but I really do like to think that years later I still carry literal and figurative pieces of these places with me and that I left a little something with them. Besides, Iowa already took my dignity, my youthful idealism and a year of my life, why not also my pen?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vote by The Submarines

It is my sincere hope for you that you never get your heart broken on, or worse yet by, a campaign. However, like a lot of people I've spoken to this week, if you work on campaigns long enough one or both of these things will happen to you.

Behold. Vote by the Submarines, the best song I know for campaign heartache.

I've listened to it many a time, staring out a car window after a certain campaign in Iowa....but that story for another time.

"I'm not saying
That there's no hope for this
But you have tried
To change my mind
And we all know
Our system's broken and I...
I'll never vote again.."

Wishing you success in your endeavors!


Yeah I know...

There were a bunch of primaries yesterday. I intentionally choose not to blog about them because I wanted this to be a different kind of "political" blog. You can get information about various primaries through Google news, Politico, the New York Times, or like I did, watching the news while eating vegan sushi with Jon.

Besides, primary shimary what I'm more concerned about is this. Fivethirtyeight is forecasting increasingly scary results for Democrats in the midterms. Sigh...where to begin?

I can't decide if being off the campaign trail this cycle is a blessing in that I'm avoiding a difficult environment or a curse in that I feel so powerless! I'm banking on my belief that taking this time to apply to school will pay off for my contribution to Democrats in the end.

In the meantime, I hope the information and opinions I post are helpful or at least amusing enough to take your mind off things...and also, have you asked me to volunteer?

68 Days Until the General Election,

Monday, August 23, 2010

The (Democratic) Party Don't Start 'Till I Walk In...

Okay, from what I can tell, Kesha Ram is actually pretty awesome. She's the youngest state legislator in the country. You can read more about her here.

Still, I am glad it wasn't me who found this picture (thank you, Lee) as I'm not sure I would be able to resist the urge to draw money signs through the S. I'm gonna guess she gets that a lot.

By the way, can you just imagine this guy walking into your office saying "I won't make calls or canvass, but I CAN help you by...."

I'm writing a blog!

Hello everyone! I'm writing a blog...about campaigns. I know what you're thinking "Doesn't Nancy hate blogs, especially those about campaigns ever since the politico debacle of 2007?" (That's right, Ben Adler, two can play at this game.) The answer is yes, I do, but I also read them frequently and while there are a lot of blogs out there about politics, very few of them accurately portray what I did/do.

This blog is going to be part selfish effort to stay connected to a community about which I care enormously, part collection of relevant subject matter and part forum for discussion. Ideally this will be the kind of blog I would have liked to have read as an organizer- a place to share information and keep sane.

I absolutely welcome any submissions/feedback and hope you will hold me to my promise of not making this one of those blogs that I hate.