View Full Version : An outsider's perspective on Iowa

01-08-2008, 01:02 PM
My sister was a relatively new convert to Ron Paul. (Two weeks compared to my two whole months of seniority. ;) ) She was an Independent/Democrat who registered Republican just to vote for RP. In other words, exactly the kind of voter we need as a boost to our campaign and movement. She sent me the following e-mail which I admit is somewhat long but shows some interesting insights (especially as a newbie) about how she feels Ron Paul could have been even more successful in Iowa and future caucus states.

"Then the next day, on Wednesday, Ron Paul would be speaking at the Des Moines University at noon on health care. The Ankeny guy was an engineer from John Deere and was highly intelligent. He called me at least two more times including Thursday, the day of the straw poll to make sure I would be there. He also was the temp chair of his precinct. He confirmed that all precincts were supposed to call in the numbers for Ron Paul separately to confirm the numbers given to the Republican counters for the state. When the Republicans walked into the school building that night, the first person to greet them was a pleasant and well organized female and male volunteer sitting at a little table with a computer and Ron Paul stickers on their table and them too, directing people to the various rooms. No other candidate representative greeted the people although there were a variety of precincts meeting in the building.

I think that phone banks in each country could have been set up in the evenings in business offices staffed by volunteers to call people in each county. Find places where phone banks are already set up for that business if possible to save money. Maybe pay just the county coordinator to set these up on various nights. Provide lists to the callers of not just registered Republicans, but also registered Democrats, and Independents. While Ron Paul is running on a Republican ticket, his followers come from all backgrounds just as Obama's do so we are missing the boat by not getting our hands on all of these lists and calling them to survey their preferences.

What other contact did I have from other candidates? Ten pcs. of slick mailers from Obama, four from Hillary, one from Richardson, six from Edwards. No survey phone calls from any volunteer for any candidate, but perhaps one before I arrived in Ankeny. A phone call from a NY based TV station for survey purposes. No volunteers representing any candidates knocked on my door.

There was not one mention in the local TV news about Ron Paul's events. I would like to know if the media was personally invited to attend and were informed well in advance of the events. Also, there should have been heavy scheduling of Ron Paul at all kinds of events to get his message out. It would have been so easy to do. I was wondering where he was on the day of the caucus and could not find anything on his web site about him for that day. I thought maybe they would have a list of his schedule but no there was nothing.
Many ads ran for all of the mainstream candidates and towards the last week, Ron Paul's ad started running and ran many times. The messages I got from the ad was that he was experienced having been in congress for many terms, had never voted to raise taxes, had never voted to raise his own pay, championed the constitution, and had delivered over 4,000 babies. No other details were forthcoming from the ad. It was kind of like the creators of the ad were more interested in making sure people knew he was not some whacko and was a mainstream reliable patriotic person. That was all well and good but then there should have been another ad or two promoting the basis of why a person should vote for him and they didn't do that with the ad they showed. They needed to set him apart and give something for people to hold onto. There should have been some meat to their messages as the other campaigners did. While you can't cram a bunch of messages into one ad, you can make different ads with different singular messages. The folks here in Iowa listen the first two or three times they hear an ad and then replaying it is a waste of time. There should be variety and different messages to get the point across....always ending with a return to the basis of our original government. I would share different examples in these ads and then end with Paul wanting to return our government back to us so we can have a government .....by the people and for the people. Maybe it would have also helped to show real everyday people telling why they wanted Ron Paul so others would want to jump on the bandwagon as they could identify with those in the ads. This would eliminate the mistruths about Ron Paul supporters... that we were all unemployed paranoid survivalists and computer geeks with little formal education.

I agree with everything Dr. Bowery listed as ways to improve the campaign and I might add two others. I did not see any evidence from my personal experience that anyone was a "plant" to sabotage the campaign. However, as a retired professional who worked in statewide not-for-profit organizations all of my life in Iowa and having worked in various capacities including PR, fundraising, volunteer management, public and professional education, I feel that heading up the state campaign for Ron Paul required a local Iowa person with a proven track record demonstrating strong experience in volunteer management, event coordination and public relations. This person should also have first-hand experience in the Iowa caucus process. A second Iowa person should have been hired to handle computer type issues, blogs, etc. on a local Iowa level and oversight of data, etc. I'm not sure these credentials were considered in the hiring process. Was the hired staff leadership extremely committed to Ron Paul but lacking in the proper experience and skill base required? Some individuals want to do these things and know they must do these things but end up hiding behind their desk because they do not know how to go about it or do not have the comfort level to be a frontline person. I don't know the leadership involved, but am just speculating that the job may have been too big for the staff qualifications. You can share this if you believe this info. could be of help for Ron Paul in other states."