Maximizing Buyers’ Remorse: Or, How to Distribute Campaign Lit When Mailboxes are Verboten
From the latest RJC campaign press release:
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) announced the latest element in its Jewish outreach effort. The RJC recently launched a billboard ad campaign in South Florida. The campaign includes billboards in high traffic areas in the Jewish communities of Broward and Palm Beach counties. The ad campaign is part of the RJC’s $6.5 million outreach to Jewish communities in the key swing states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.
The billboards feature a top RJC slogan, “Obama… Oy Vey!!” with the message underneath,”Had enough? MyBuyersRemorse.com”
RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, “There is a strong sense of buyer’s remorse among Jewish voters, who are disappointed and disillusioned with President Obama and the job he has done in the last 3 ½ years. We’re helping those people give voice to their feelings.”
In Pennsylvania, on the ramp-up for Romney
Our several days campaigning in Pennsylvania for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney were, we are told by the RJC, quite successful. The Republican Jewish Coalition paid some $6.5 million in 4 venues around the country (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Nevada) to have hundreds of volunteers present literature, do phone banking and contact opinion drivers in three states as to the ongoing failings of Obama and the sane alternative, the excellence of Romney/Ryan. We distributed 75,000 pieces of literature, made 50,000 phone calls to fence-straddling voters, and hopefully awakened a number of former pro-Administration flacks.
With some 150 others from states as far off as California, S. Carolina, and even a fellow sitting nearby who had come all the way from Johannesburg, S. Africa, we stayed at the Radisson Valley Forge in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and spent 8 hours a day calling, visiting homes, talking to (mostly Jewish/Dem voters) those who had been identified as former voters for the current Obama regime. We also heard talks at supper from Pennsylvania congressmen and officials. We waxed data-filled with each other, drunk on the delight of not having to hide our fealty; exhilarated that others were as frothily wroth as were we over the financial catastrophes and calamity of the bizarre czar nightmare.
It is estimated that the neighborhood “walking” contingents (I was one of those) walked about 20 miles a day going from home to home in select segments of suburbs where minorities of the Jewish persuasion were supposedly resident. As fellow volunteer richer T of bucks county opined, these were not ghettos, so many Jews are not cheek by jowl with each other, and thus many groups of Other were incidentally flyered, because not everyone has a white sculpted Madonna on the lawn to tip one off that here is not a Jewish voter switching to support Israel. On the other hand, many of the finest and most knowledgeable volunteers were terrific Christians who were dedicated to Israel, and diametrically opposed to the ‘food-stamp president’ of the past four very sorry years.
Most of us, consequently, were not fans of the lit, which too closely targeted only Jewish concerns–since many people in the homes approached were Hindu, Christian, American blacks or something else. Most of us felt the brochures should have been aimed at a more general audience of former O voters now experiencing buyers’ remorse–a good overall concept.
The signs and posters read Obama–OY VEY!~ which many of us felt was also a slight mistake–since most people might have not understood “Oy Vey,” and since Obama was in bold letters, they could have misconstrued our campaign to have been PRO-the outgoing loser president. My personal suggestion, too late to have made a difference or been introduced into contention, was OYbama. So at least a quick scan would have yielded a non-supportive message. Nonetheless, for legal reasons (501[c]4 orgs may not be FOR anyone, may only be AGAINST someone, so we had to go with the materials we were given. We distributed several thousand flyers/brochures–this must be counted as a virtual accomplishment, since we were in neighborhoods with large plots and upper-class homes, and they were not in the main near each other.
We had to mind the grass, and the curving walkways were not the shortest access to the front doors. We were of course aware that mailboxes may not be accessed, as it is a federal crime to interfere with or tamper with or mess with a mailbox in any way.
The trickiest part was getting the lit drop into the hands/properties of the recipients without opening or approaching the mailbox, which is by law forbidden. So we stuck the lit under the door gasket. If there was one that permitted even a slim opening. Or we stuck the thing , rounded, into the brass door handle or into the mouth of the stone dog/beaver/rabbit on the porch or into the slot between the screen door and the doorjamb. Some homes provided almost nothing to put the brochure into or onto. Then you had to really be creative, while staying legal. If the mailbox happened to be open, whoops. If the house was in fact open, then you could slide the thing onto the floor, or through the mail slot on the door (that is not illegal). And so it went, teasing your ingenuity, and hoping the dog barks would not be too long, or too sustained.
For the phone bankers, the vols had complicated phone loops and rituals to call voters, input button directions, recording the answers of voters to major questions and subdivisions of those questions. ?The goal was to prompt the recipient to realize that if support for Jewish concerns and Israel were their private goal, this president was not the guy to pin one’s vote on. There were dozens who chose to do that over the walking/distributing/engaging in the public (and the full-on sunlight burning steadily for the entire day sans shade), which was clearly more labor intensive. Many people got tired or had foot/knee/leg problems from the large swaths of territory we had to cover. It was not taxing work, but doing it all day comes to seem so after hours of walking up and back, avoiding the nasturtiums and freesia, the trimmed green and the sod. Being barked at by adorable though noisy canines.
• Huge numbers of people have dogs to guard their homes or as pets.
• Many, many homes had their front doors ajar, or their screen doors open–it bespeaks the confidence of the population that they have these Open Sesames all day. Of course it means they have faith in their security systems. ADT is everywhere as a security company, seen hundreds of times.
• The car rules. There is no home that can manage without a car, so one sees how critical automobiles are to the management and process of living anywhere outside of the big cities where public transport is available. The walkways of many homes do not even nod to the street-front–the car driveway gives onto the walkway path to the front door of the home in many cases.
• Similarly, in many regions of the ‘burbs we went to, there is not even a pavement or sidewalk–no one walks. In each case, when the van came to pick up the vols after they/we had completed a neighborhood, it was easy as pie to spot us–we were always the only persons walking on the lovely tree-lined roads and streets.
• These homes were in the vast majority lovely–architecturally diverse, beautifully painted and maintained, with scrupulously maintained, gardener-assisted shrubbery, topiaries and flower beds. Individal, lovingly cared for, painted and decorated with lawn decorations or stone statuary involving rabbits, chipmunks or other forest fauna.
• We are a rich nation. Not all the neighborhoods in all states are this beguiling, but the fact that dozens of us spent time in large tracts of such lovely homes is a source of pride. Poverty exists, yes, but we often forget that elegant living also exists.
• The profusion of immaculately groomed and startlingly beautiful trees overwhelmed. The imposing, grand trees spoke to the age of the neighborhoods, gloriously green and free of infestation or rot. Flowers and clever greenery arrangements were a refreshing change from the arid concrete and no-color grey of the city.
• Many flags were evident–a welcome sign to those of us who associate flags with patriotism and–likely–Republicans.
• One of every three homes seems to have a portable basketball hoop on the front or side of their homes, the worn threading of the rope “baskets” a testament to the frequency and ardency of play.
• Again, tons of tuff-guy dogs to give us a brief scare, as they stridently defended their turf against strangers walking up to their domains.
• Even people disagreeing with our point of view were amiable and cordial. None of that appalling Upper West Side nastiness of the Democrats to anyone not praying at their temple of liberalism and strident, illiberal animus.
• The food provided during our stay was adequate to stave off starvation. Not much for elegance, variety, taste or culinary quiddities. This was a function of the organization, not the hotel itself. We were given as much bottled water and fresh fruit as we may have wanted. No one expired. No one became dehydrated.
• Vans were provided to ferry the walkers to distant suburbs here and there. Drivers were excellent, forceful, interesting and nice people. We had 12-14 people in a van.
The weather was nonpareil–gorgeous sun and clear cerulean skies puffed about with exquisite and dreamily dramatic cumulus –and the temperature was moderate mid-September, mild for walking from district to district. I met many terrific people, and my roommate is a longtime friend and activist who is a wonder for her indomitable energy and fierce passion to save the union and defend Judaism from its many detractors. The hotel was quite vast, and far above what we could have been bivouacked in–we were all offered Casino coupons for $15 ‘free dollars to gamble–Of the 150, I don’t believe even one person took advantage of the offer. The beds were those “sleep-number” beds with remote control devices on the pillow that you can harden or soften per your taste or delight. We enjoyed copious hot and cold water, toilets that flushed on command, lovely showers and clean dining accommodations. Lighting in the bedrooms was excellent–so many hotels fail in proper lighting.
On the way back, we made excellent time on the bus, but were mysteriously trapped in the Lincoln Tunnel for 2 hours, without explanation or comment. Many left the bus on foot, in annoyance; those who stayed were rewarded only mere minutes later as we took off again, no explanation, still, and returned to our point of departure. Several people feared the reason we were becalmed in a long queue of commuter buses was a “terror attack.” I discouraged talk of that nature, as we thought it added nothing and caused some to panic. It would however have been nice to have been given a reason for the untoward stoppage on a non-climate-related holdup. Weather could not have been more perfect. Perhaps we will read why so many thousands of us were being stopped for so long. Maybe, of course, not.
The crucial ticket is how many of those we buttonholed will cast their votes for the man who will rescue the union from its endless languor of no jobs, threadbare mortgages, empty larders under the arrogant, unresponsive, over-the-top radical Pretender in Chief?