Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A tale of two campaigns

On Thursday, I happened to be in downtown Concord for a private event at a local law firm which toasted the Leadership Greater Concord class with some cocktails, munchies, and good conversation. I parked at the first parking space I found and walked north. As I walked, around 4 p.m., I went by the John Edwards office, the storefront of the old Waite's Bike Shop, and noticed there was no one inside. I went in for a quick second to see what they had for materials. I'm leaning towards voting for Edwards although I haven't decided, but I did want to see what they were handing out. After a couple of minutes, a young woman came from behind a curtain to greet me. I asked about lawn signs, which they didn't have, filled out a card to get on the email list, and went on my way.
I went to the law firm, had a great time, and left around 6:30 p.m. I took the back way back to my car and noticed that Barack Obama had an office in the back of Eagle Square, a public space where they have concerts, right near the historical museum.
Looking in the window, I saw about five or six people, aged 18 to 60, phonebanking voters together. I did a double-take. Phonebanking, already? Yeah, already. But it isn't really "already." The New Hampshire primary is less than six months away. The time is upon us for looking at these folks - after everyone else had been complaining it was too early.
But the larger point is this: Edwards - one body, in the back, and took some time to come out of hiding; Obama - five or six people, phonebanking, in plain view. That says a lot, doesn't it?
It is even more glaring when you consider the recent Concord Monitor article revealing how many paid staffers each of he campaigns has. Edwards has more than 30, with 10 more to be hired soon, Obama has less. Clinton has 54, which is just shocking. These campaigns are running on paid energy and fuel, six months before the vote.

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