Monday, November 2, 2009
Up a Creigh Without a Paddle
Sadly, the Democratic candidate, Creigh Deeds, has run a disastrous campaign. Whatever best practices were developed by the Obama campaign last year, he didn't learn. (At least he hired Obama's graphic designer to make the T-shirts and signs.) He came through a tough primary where he fought off a challenge from much better-funded candidates, so you would hope he would understand things like messaging. But he tended to focus more on the fact that McDonnell wrote a thesis in which he said that women don't belong in the workplace (which is disturbing indeed)--and didn't do anything to show that he himself was a progressive candidate.
The kicker is that after the 2008 campaigns, when we learned how important it is to use a huge group of supporters to carry a message and a program through every facet of media (print, TV, and all the forms of social media) -- the Deeds campaign hasn't done any of that. In fact, I called the campaign to volunteer, to which they responded with total tone deafness. It took two weeks to get a call back from them, upon which I said that I didn't have time to canvass or work the polls, but could make calls from home. They never got back to me about that, but did invite me to work the polls.
And then there's Deed's Twitter feed. The only content he's provided has detailed what is on his playlist. Now, I'm delighted that I share his taste in music, but I'd much rather that he use his limited time and money to send substantive information through his social media work. Like what policies he would implement, how to volunteer, how to register to vote, and so on. Like his opponent.
And to top it off, when I mentioned this to the campaign worker who called me about volunteering (which I said I wasn't able to do), she said she didn't know much about Twitter or Facebook. And she was younger than I was.
Tomorrow is going to be a disaster for the Democrats, but the Republicans learned very well from last year. It's enough to make me start referring to the Democratic party without the "ic."
So, we'll have divided government again in Virginia. Jody Wagner looks like she's in a good spot, we have two Democratic senators, and the balance doesn't look to change significantly in the legislature in Richmond. But it's a shame, if you're a Democrat.