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Anecdotal Evidence, August 10 – Don’t you dare to campaign during football games

Lars Gesing, CU News Corps Assistant Director

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Logo final_highIn our Anecdotal Evidence column, movers and shakers share personal stories of how intriguing (and often odd) presidential campaigning in their respective swing state can be.

Thumbs up for volunteers

Matt Dole. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Matt Dole. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Matt Dole – Ohio Republican Consultant

“In 2004 George W. Bush came to Cambridge, Ohio, which is a small town in Eastern Ohio.  He was speaking in a park at a baseball field. I was with some friends and we had stage passes, but we were hanging out in the dugout of the ball field. As the buses arrived, we were whisked away – and not onto stage – because the media was taking over the dugout.

“So, I started to wander back to the back of the crowd to watch the speech. That 2004 campaign was electric. People on both sides were really passionate. It was an exciting time. Because I had worked my way to the back, I was one of the first people to leave, and I was walking the 4-5 blocks back to my car. As I was walking I heard a horn behind me and turned around to see the motorcade.

“I was the only one there and the president was standing at the front of the bus so I held up my sign and gave him a thumbs up. He smiled and gave me a thumbs up back. It was a very small moment. On the other hand, volunteers and staffs work so hard during these campaigns. I put in hundreds of volunteer hours for George W. Bush. And having that one-on-one moment, even separated by the bus’s windshield, was special and probably kept me going for the rest of the campaign.”

***

A flashlight victory speech

Jonathan Varner. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Jonathan Varner. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Jonathan Varner – Ohio Democratic Consultant

“On primary night in 2008, when Obama and Hillary were on the ballot competing, I had a candidate in Canton – Steven Slesnick. He was running for the state House of Representatives. There was a big ice storm. We couldn’t get on our computers, it knocked out the power. He was at his house. Nobody thought he was going to win. He ended up winning and announced it under a big flashlight so people could see him in the dark. That wasn’t a political issue but Mother Nature that went wrong.

“It was tough to follow the outcome of the presidential primary as well. We couldn’t get on the internet. We didn’t know what was going on. 2008 doesn’t seem that long ago, but it is in terms of what you could do on your cellphone at the time.”

***

Don’t you dare to campaign during football games

Bruce Tague. Photo: Handout

Bruce Tague. Photo: Handout

Bruce Tague – 2012 Romney Ohio Political Director

“Never hold an event on a Friday night during high school football season anywhere in the state. Campaign activities such as door-to-door during Buckeyes games will result in huge penalties!

“During a presidential cycle, you have folks from different states who join the team and are not familiar with the state. Without fail, someone will try or ask about holding an event on a Friday night or during Buckeye games. When this happens, any Ohioan on the team will burst out laughing, then explain to them how passionate we are about our football.  The “penalty” is usually a door slammed in your face or a stern talking to voters!”

***

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Explanatory Multimedia Reporting from CU Boulder Journalism Students
Anecdotal Evidence, August 10 – Don’t you dare to campaign during football games