Ohio Countdown 2004

2004 Presidential battleground analyzed by a grizzled campaign veteran and Ohio's Top Targeted Undecided Perfectly Predictive Swing Voter - His Mom.


Keystone Kerry Kops In Cleveland

If the Three Stooges did an episode where Curly ran for President, it would look a lot like the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party.

We are now three months away from the election, and still, in Cuyahoga County (the Cleveland area), the single most critical county in the state for Democrats, callers to the party office face full and disconnecting voice mail boxes, unanswered phones, unreturned phone calls, and an incompetent paralysis that would be comic if it weren't for the fact that the entire election may be effected by it.

It sure looks like a campaign...the Kerry campaign finally got the hell out of the black hole of the party office and opened it's own office in Shaker Square on Cleveland's east side, complete with new staff, signs, bumper stickers, etc. The phones seem to work there.

But volunteer forms were hard to come by because...you'd better be sitting down for this one...as one volunteer explained it, no one ever calls the volunteers after they fill out the forms anyway, so they might as well not hand out forms to fill out, because when the volunteers fill them out and never get called, they get frustrated and complain about how nothing is going on in Cleveland.

Shoot me now.

Some volunteers do get called...not to do any phone banks, or lit drops, or to call other volunteers...but to show up at a Bush rally and heckle. It seems the only time the volunteer forms see the light of day is when GW Bush is in town.

The sheer weight of endless volunteer walk-ins, their numbers higher than at any time since the 1992 Clinton campaign, does appear to be forcing some activity...a phone bank was sighted. Thank God for the momentum of Bush hatred...it's overcoming organizational incompetence of mind boggling proportion.


At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff as always, Tim.

At 7:23 AM, Blogger Doug Nagy said...

I'm helping the Kerry campaign in Lake County get started and we keep getting Cuyahoga folks begging for information on meetings in their county. This week I called the Cuy Dem HQ and it took me 10 minutes, 10 FRIGGIN MINUTES, to get the lady to tell me that I should just give these interested volunteers the party HQ number. I specifically asked the lady at the HQ if there was a number for Kerry volunteers to call. She failed to mention that there is an entire field office devoted to such things!!!

And also, I don't understand why all these campaigns use phones for volunteers so damn much. A vast majority of people have email and with the click of a button you can send out information to all your volunteers. That would take hours to do over the phone. Its kind of like your post about Bush wasting time fundraising in Kirtland Hill when the Internet has been such a good source of money. If you're not maximizing your technology, you're wasting your time.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Rebecca said...

As a former Ohio resident (Medina County), I always knew the Ohio Democratic Party had their heads up their asses, but I never realized the Cuyahoga County party was so inept. Perhaps they take the Democratic vote in CC for granted?

Great blog, by the way; I check it frequently. I live in Michigan now, and sense that it will go for Kerry, but I can't make heads or tails of Ohio.

At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This distressing description of Cuyahoga county sounds very familiar to my party here in the Dayton area.

For example, there are over 100 people signed up for Kerry meetups and the local party leadership seems totally uninterested in involving these people in the campaign. Duh! To me I'd be sending some really enthusiastic party insiders there to get these people involved! They might get some good precinct people for the future too - like 2006 when we can retake control of many state offices!

At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This page is so true. I'll vouch that it's been like this for at least eight years. Thankfully I got out of Ohio. It breaks my heart that no one seems to be learning anything.
-John Martin (formerly of Cleveland)


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