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Anecdotal Evidence, August 23: The Sarah Palin momentum

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.

The spark that was Sarah Palin

Mark Harris. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Mark Harris. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Mark Harris – GOP Consultant in Pittsburgh

“The big thing in 2008 was that there was just no excitement. It is funny looking back at it now. Our congressional campaign office was co-located at the same place the McCain office was. The morning after Sarah Palin gave her speech at the convention, there was a line around our building.

“We couldn’t have paid people to volunteer before that day. Now there was a line. Of course, a lot has changed with Sarah Palin since then. But when it happened, those were the only days that John McCain led in the campaign.

“I showed up at the office at 8 a.m. There were about 30 people waiting in line for yard signs and bumper stickers. We had to tell them, ‘We don’t have any of this stuff yet. Come back in a week.’

“At the end of the campaign, we did an event with John McCain, and he couldn’t get 300 people in. Romney put 25,000 people on a field in Bucks County at the end of his campaign. ’08 was a rough time. No one wanted to be for the Republican. We were dead.”

***

Money: It’s where partisanship ends (sometimes)

David O'Loughlin. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

David O’Loughlin. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

David O’Loughlin – Pittsburgh-Based Infrastructure Developer

“I have been a Democrat all my life. But I had good Republican friends who I thought were better qualified than the Democrats they were running against. One was George Herbert Walker Bush. He was a terrific guy with his CIA and China background. A lot of things he did made him deserving of support.

“At that time, I tried to raise money to do various Maglev projects (Maglev is a magnetic train). In order to raise money to do them, you have to go to the people who are in power and work with them. Well, once you start to work with them, and they are responsive to what you ask them to do, you learn to like them.

“Politicians are likable people. They have to be.”

***

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Explanatory Multimedia Reporting from CU Boulder Journalism Students
Anecdotal Evidence, August 23: The Sarah Palin momentum