My Talk With Kevin Lawler Of Reshma 2010
Image of Reshma SaujaniI am going to be a super engaged volunteer. That is my default mode. But I have considered going to work full time for Reshma 2010 for three and a half months. And I shared that with Kevin. He is an Obama 08 veteran, and Campaign Manager to Reshma 2010.
Reshma 2010 Get Together In Little India
I shared some thoughts. I explored a possible role for me. I shared some stories from my work into Nepal's democracy movement a few years back. I had a few things to say about the campaign.
(1) Can't Get Into On Autopilot To A Grand Loss Mode
I saw that happen to the Fernando Ferrer campaign in 2005. You showed up at the campaign headquarters. And there were these tens of super busy people. They were going to put in their hours, even work hard. But there was little experimenting, little of trying to come in from a few different angles.
First of all, Maloney is no Bloomberg, not even close. She leads in the polls now, but Obama too lagged in the polls the longest time. Reshma has raised the most money in the first two quarters like Obama did.
Got to stay in the victory mode. How do you do that? You keep having fun. You keep trying out new things. You keep working the things that work. You feel the growth of the snowball of support.
Carolyn Maloney is never going to run for president, she is a spent force, Reshma could. Maloney has done some good work, but she has had her turn. She is pre-Obama at many levels. Reshma is post-Obama. Maloney is not known nationally for any kind of thought leadership, Reshma is oozing with new ideas. Reshma deserves to win, she is going to win.
(2) Produce Plentiful Video Clips
It is free to do. Produce five minutes of video per day. Produce a video clip for every event small and big. Getting 50-100 hits on a video clip is good enough. You do this for the core team, for the staff and volunteers. Text does not do what video does. The video format has greater emotional appeal. Use a flip camera. Let some staffer volunteer to do the editing.
(3) The Subway Stops: Where It Is At
Showing up at rush hours to hand out small flyers would be a great way to reach out. My first day canvassing in Astoria was 100 knocks, 10 talks. At the subway stops you might approach 500 people in an hour, give out perhaps 200 flyers/post cards/business cards. Even if you net 20 potential voters, that is a lot. All you want is to get people to visit the site.
How many subway stops are there in the district? They are in the 20s. How about having someone at each stop every day during rush hour for the 30 days before the primary? This is about volume.
Kevin told me they already have a cropped map of the NYC subway system that shows only the stops in the district.
(4) Build A Brain Trust
Reshma has to come across as a thought leader. Got to start collecting a brain trust of people from academia and think tanks who will offer advice on all the key policy areas. What would a 2016 platform look like? Build towards that.
(5) Phone Marathons
Modern campaigns are able to pin down the potential primary voters. Being able to call them all would be a thing to do. Working the phone has to be something all staffers do, regardless of expertise.
(6) Community Press, Community Leaders
I saw this with the John Liu campaign. John Liu ended up with more votes than Bloomberg even, but during the primary he was shunned by the establishment press. John Liu reacted by aggressively courting small, ethnic newspapers. Their circulations were small, but loyal. They were flattered by the attention and often talked glowingly about Liu.
Identifying and courting community leaders fall in a similar category. In every community there are people who make it their business to reach out to members of the community on a regular basis.
The first time I heard about it was in the TechCrunch Disrupt video, and it promises to be a great tool. (Reshma Saujani, Scott Heiferman, Chris Hughes: TechCrunch Disrupt)
(8) Debating Maloney
Maloney is going to try and not debate Reshma. We have to keep nudging her, and we have to make political hay out of her not saying yes, and then we have to beat her at the debates when she finally says yes. The campaign has to do a super job of helping the candidate with the best possible preparation for the debates. Those debates will be the turning points. Start watching videos of Maloney on YouTube. Google her up. Read up on her. Know her strengths and weaknesses.
I am not going to say much about money, except that it is money, message, organization. Those are the three pillars.
(10) Social Media
I am hoping to blog profusely. It can be a tool to boost team morale, and more.