One theme of a recent Markey field organization conference call was the dearth of collateral — signs, leaflets, brochures — in the field. The absence of a comprehensive Web site for the campaign was also noted, and has been remarked on here at DailyKOS as well. Similar complaints dogged the Warren campaign for many months. A commendable independent Web effort, http://www.markeyforma.org, has recently launched.
Of course, the compressed schedule of a special election inevitably leads to delays and bottlenecks. And it’s natural that people in the field complain about lack of resources: that’s what they do. In early days money is still scarce, and it’s tempting to hoard cash on hand for future necessity.
It’s not obvious to me why two consecutive senate campaigns, both very much in the national eye and both crucial to progressives, seem slow to get collateral to canvassers, signage to visibility volunteers, and imagery to the Web. Can one of the veterans here explain this to a duffer?
One important asset of the progressive technical lead is that it’s not difficult for us to paper over shortfalls like this. Lots of people have computers and decent printers, so churning out good independent literature isn’t a technical problem. (The days of the quarter-sheet, once a campaign staple, are probably over.) We have plenty of people who can make an effective Web site or start an impromptu social media effort. But in the long run this raises problems of message discipline — and message discipline, unlike technology, is not our natural strength.