A great deal of commenting has been going on since this post was emailed around to a bunch of us. I agree completely with the take in the post.
Here’s my experience in this election. I go sit in the Delaware Obama office quite a bit. Most times just to get out of the house for a bit while working. The undisputed leader in requests coming through the front door is for yards signs. Almost always they are told there are none, but there are volunteer opportunities. They almost never sign up. They wouldn’t even if they scored a yard sign. Why? Because getting a yard sign and putting it in your yard FEELS like doing something, but it’s not. Yard sign takers usually don’t volunteer to do real work with campaigns because they feel like putting out a yard sign IS work for the campaign.
Yard signs are for losers. Signs don’t vote and they don’t win elections. Voters do. I think the Obama campaign is spot on in focusing on what matters to win and those who think planting a yard sign in their yard is doing something for the candidate to win are delusional.
Is visibility good? Hell yes. But from a strategic standpoint and not a feel-good standpoint. Hell, I LOVE yard signs. I had one until the winds came and it split down one side and blew away. I’ll be fixing it soon and putting it back out. I’ve also got a rally sign in my window. Know where I got it? I bought it online. Same place I got my two bumper stickers and Tee shirt (that already feels like a 5 year old tee). I didn’t wait for the campaign to get what I wanted. Neither should you.
So if you want a yard sign go get one online or better yet get a whole supporter pack. Hell. Buy 10 and commit to passing out 9 to your neighbors. If you think going to a campaign office and getting a free yard sign is “doing something”. Think again. You are wasting your time and (more importantly) the staffers at HQ. They are busing meeting call targets. They are busy “cutting turf” for actual volunteers to walk. Here is an alternate action plan for you:
1. Head down to HQ and sign up to volunteer. Find a neighborhood team and get to know the team leader. If no team leader exists, step up and become one.
2. Ask for a call list and take it home. Clear your throat and take your energy and enthusiasm and channel it into calling your neighbors. They are waiting on you to call, trust me.
4. Worst case, make your own. Decorate your car. Write Obama on your windows. Print out flyers and hand them out. Get a T shirt or three and wear them everyday. Tell everyone you meet to vote for Obama. Connect with your neighbors. Get to know other supporters. Walk with them in your neighborhood and get out the vote.
There are so many things to do in this time other than worrying about why the campaign is not giving out free stuff that most likely doesn’t make a damn bit of difference in winning elections.
Bottom line if you want a yard sign, buy one. If you want to win, volunteer.
Anthony Fossaceca: Knock, Talk, or Get Out of the Way
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