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The continuing lunacy of Bill Bradley

by: David Dayen

Tue Dec 12, 2006 at 17:42:36 PM PST

So now, with the election over, it's time for our favorite unemployed journalist to say this:

A get out the vote operation is effective only on the margins. If you are in a close race, it can make the difference. This is why Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger raised $20 million for it, anticipating at the beginning of this year that he would be in a close race against a Democratic candidate. Which of course did not happen. The point is, unless a candidate is right there in the ballpark in a close race, GOTV doesn't make much difference. Aside from Schwarzenegger and new Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, the moderate Silicon Valley entrepreneur, California Republicans simply don't have many good candidates.

This, of course, comes two months after Bradley's long and glowing post about that same GOTV operation, called "Schwarzenegger's Secret Weapon," which couldn't be more fawning about the super-duper high-tech facility (complete with video evidence!) that will "turn out a vote not only for Schwarzenegger, but also for his ticket mates."  This blowjob of an article practically gives the whole state to Republicans, and glorifies Arnold's campaign manager Steve Schmidt as the architect of the surefire GOP statewide resurgence.  Now, suddenly, when it fails, it wasn't that important to begin with.

I'm telling you, there's no bigger tool in politics than this guy.

David Dayen :: The continuing lunacy of Bill Bradley
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You still have an Internet connection? (0.00 / 0)
You should be so lucky as to be so unemployed.

You still don't get it (0.00 / 0)
Irrational boosters of the disastrous Phil Angelides like yourself were blind to the danger of a total blowout for Democrats. You were still claiming the guy was doing well, ferchrissakes.

The Dems had to rally behind the down ballot candidates who couldn't really take care of themselves, ie, not Jerry and Lockyer. They finally stopped wasting millions on Angelides and did it, barely in a couple of cases, such as LG and SOS, 3 and 4 point wins that should have been much more

tell me what you're going to say next week (0.00 / 0)
and maybe I'll catch up to it.

Oil ain't as slippery.

[ Parent ]
A stalker wannabe like you should learn what GOTV is (0.00 / 0)

Keep telling your "audience" how great Angelides is doing.


[ Parent ]
Multi-tasking isn't just for 5 year old ADD kids (0.00 / 0)
I don't think multi-tasking is a bad idea.  You couldn't find many supporters more enthusiastic about Debra Bowen's candidacy than us here at Calitics.  We posted on her 44 times and raised over $4,000 for her in small contributions on our ActBlue page. Yes, we were cheerleaders for Angelides, but is that really suprising given the fact that we are a progressive blog?  I think we did a very good job of simultaneously supporting Angelides and Bowen. You can't ignore the top of the ticket and not expect a blowout down the ticket. 

But neither were we ignoring the facts, we covered all the polls.  I can't speak for dday, but I think we addressed the situation fairly.

But one thing I can agree with Bill about, being unemployed off is cool.  I took some time off before going to Berkeley, and I found it quite enjoyable. Heck, I even started this site during that time.

I think?

[ Parent ]
BTW, why do you still have a Phil ad playing here? (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Still have me in your little web site banner, "D-Day?" (0.00 / 0)

Get a life.

weird (0.00 / 0)
The dude posted three comments with zero responses in a half an hour? Is he trying to draw attention to the fact that people think he is delusional?

BTW, he's not unemployed. He sold out to the Victoria's Secret for ugly has-beens a long time ago.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

You guys are fairly pathetic, you know (0.00 / 0)
This is a very small blog. It usually has few to no comments.

Your history of lying, like you're doing again, and sophomoric delusions  --  generally you delude yourselves  PHIL WILL WIN!!!!  --  probably accounts for much of it.

[ Parent ]
Where did I lie or say Phil would win? (0.00 / 0)
Just because you are paid to say outrageous things in your pajamas doesn't mean you need to stop taking your medication.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
You children are amusing (0.00 / 0)
You obviously have no idea what I do. I love cyber journalism. It's going better than ever. I have too much work.

For one thing, I leave the "outrageous" comments to folks like you. Absent facts, you do hysterical cheerleading for lousy campaigns and imagine that you are taken seriously.

But that only happens when you try to "blogswarm" grownups. As some of your little friends learned to their chagrin.

So, I see a whole six comments there about the big crusade againstg Ellen Tauscher.

She probably should be taken on.

But you boys don't have the chops to do it.

Go finish your homework.

For one thing, learn what GOTV is.


[ Parent ]
it has double the number of comments (0.00 / 0)
Is that good enough for you? Not that it matters, because everyone knows that when you sold out you lost the ability to cover Democrats ridding Democratic districts of corporate losers.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
Probably best not to feed the trolls (0.00 / 0)
Let him have his opinion, it really doesn't matter what he thinks that we are capable of. The netroots/grassroots will make sure that ET gets primaried.  And if we are counting comments, how about looking at Kos' diary which drew 185 comments.  But I suppose it's true that it didn't get as many as this diary.

It's probably best just to ignore this particular troll.

I think?

[ Parent ]
Let's Do The Math (6.50 / 2)
Enough with the trash talking.  Sure it's fun, but let's see what, specifically, Bradley failed to critically examine.

In the article in question, we learn that $20 million was spent.  It wasn't an after-battle report. But at the time:

Beginning last spring, working outward through concentric circles of core Republican activists and Schwarzenegger admirers to entirely new people, this group set about the task of recruiting 90,000 volunteers to work, at various stages of the campaign up through election day get out the vote operations, a universe of some 1.5 million voters.

Many Republicans were skeptical, and that is putting it mildly, hearing of the goal of 90,000 volunteers. “Arnold’s Texans are crazy,” one ranking Republican said. Despite a lot of talk, in the past, the party and its standard-bearers had had at most perhaps a tenth of that many volunteers.

They don’t have 90,000 volunteers, says campaign chief Schmidt, they have some 60,000 volunteers, with “over 70,000 by the final push.”

Last week, he says, the operation had “300,000 completed phone calls to targeted voters.”

So, that's 5 phone calls per volunteer?  Now, I know that completing phone calls is not easy.  People aren't home. They hang up on you. You can complete 2 or 3 in a row, feel really hot, then nothing for 30, 40 minutes or more.  Still, those figures indicate no more than an hour or two of effective volunteer time. And their ultimate target--which they were not on target for at the time--was 90k volunteers reaching 1.5 million voters, roughly 17 conacts per volunteer, at a cost of $13.33 per contact.  That's roughly 4 hours of volunteer time, and $222 in costs of the operation--probably a lot of it for those data-mined lists.  The volunteer effectiveness seems pretty darned low, if you ask me.

What killed Angelides, of course, was two things: Steve Westley's scorched-earth primary campaign, and the legislative Dems willingness to work with Schwarzenegger.  They had to know that they were handing him another term when they decided to play ball with him, but I'm sure they were in deep denial about it.

All this tells me is that Schwarzenegger and the state GOP aren't really that formidable.  Their secret weapon wasn't very cost-effective. Their volunteers weren't very productive.  California's Democrats had their fate in their own hands, but never seemed to know it.  The year before, it was the unruly nurses who burst the bubble.  Now we need someone to step up and do that again.

We also need to recognize the incredible benefits of registering new voters to expand the electorate.  The PPIC report on the differences between voters and non-voters says it all, really.  Fighting for middle is playing on the GOP's turf.  Expanding the electorate is playing on ours.  We should play enough on their turf not to surrender.  But we should focus like a laser on expanding the electorate--a task in which, btw, demographics are on our side.

yes yes (8.00 / 1)
yes yes!

Glad to see you around these parts Paul.  We win in this state by expanding our voter universe.  This state is much more liberal that the current likely voters.  We can change that, but it takes serious $ and resources.

[ Parent ]
Serious Money, Sure, But Compared To What? (8.00 / 1)
Thanks juls.  Glad to be here. I agree it takes a serious money commitment.

But this needs to be placed in perspective.  Remember the glut of TV ads we just endured?  Not to mention the mailers, the robocalls, the radio spots, etc., etc., etc.?  So much money was spent on all that stuff, with so little effect.  I mean, what's the difference between seeing the same ad 35 times and only seeing it 30 times?

IMHO, we could easily divert the money needed for party-building--especially new voter registration--without making any noticable dent in campaign ad expenditures, at least as far as the average voter is concerned.  I know that many of these were initiative ads, but ultimately, the money for them comes from pretty much from the same liberal donor base, except for the ones relying on a just a few deep pockets.  And even those might be persuaded to see the wisdom of changing the playing field.

The real problem, of course, is that people give on the election-cycle model, when the best way to register people is on a continuing basis.  Ramping up just before elections makes sense, of course, because it's easier to register folks then.  But doing it continually helps to change that cultural assumption, too.  Just look at how signature gathering has become a non-seasonal thing over the past decade or so.

What's needed, IMHO, is a big push on an ETF donor system, where we get folks signed up to automatically give whatever they can afford on a year-round monthly basis.

[ Parent ]
Absolutely (0.00 / 0)
and the lesson of Deans sustaining donor model is that people need to trust the money they are giving is going into programs they support.  The question is does this get done within the party structure or by a technically outside group that can take in unlimited funds ala America Votes?  The initiatives had huge stacks of cash because they didnt have donation limits. 

The total of all fundraising her in California for this past cycle was most than $640 million.  We are talking about a relatively small percentage of that being siphoned off for a sustained effort.

[ Parent ]
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