2008.11.17: November 17, 2008: Headlines: COS - Honduras: Election2008 - Obama: Politics: The New Yorker: Honduras RPCV Jon Carson was part of the team that made the important decision, during the race against Clinton, to target small caucus states where Clinton had virtually no presence

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Honduras: Special Report: Organizer and Honduras RPCV Jon Carson: 2008.12.01: December 1, 2008: Headlines: COS - Honduras: Election2008 - Obama: Politics: Westby Times: Honduras RPCV Jon Carson was national field director for President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign : 2008.11.17: November 17, 2008: Headlines: COS - Honduras: Election2008 - Obama: Politics: The New Yorker: Honduras RPCV Jon Carson was part of the team that made the important decision, during the race against Clinton, to target small caucus states where Clinton had virtually no presence

By Admin1 (admin) (151.196.52.91) on Tuesday, December 02, 2008 - 9:20 am: Edit Post

Honduras RPCV Jon Carson was part of the team that made the important decision, during the race against Clinton, to target small caucus states where Clinton had virtually no presence

Honduras RPCV Jon Carson was part of the team that made the important decision, during the race against Clinton, to target small caucus states where Clinton had virtually no presence

As the campaign got ready for Super Tuesday, Carson called upon the volunteers—in particular, those he called the “super-volunteers,” people who had left their jobs or dropped out of school to help. He estimated that there were about fifteen thousand super-volunteers working full time for Obama. Carson recalled the moment when the campaign figured out what it would cost to put a hundred organizers out in the February 5th states. “It was the first time that we took an enormous leap of faith in our grass-roots network that was already out there,” he said. Carson and Plouffe realized that the cost-per-delegate in caucus states was very low. “I remember the day when we said, ‘Look at this, we could win more delegates in Idaho than in New Jersey,’ ” he told me. Obama’s original plan was to win the Iowa caucuses and use momentum from that victory to catapult him through the three other early states—New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina—and then on to February 5th, Super Tuesday, when twenty-four states voted. It was clear that the campaign would need a backup plan if Clinton and Obama split the first four states, which is what happened. Obama won Iowa and South Carolina, and Clinton won New Hampshire and Nevada.

Honduras RPCV Jon Carson was part of the team that made the important decision, during the race against Clinton, to target small caucus states where Clinton had virtually no presence

Battle Plans
by Ryan Lizza

[Excerpt]

David Plouffe’s field director was Jon Carson. When we spoke, five days before the election, it was at a cafeteria-style Italian restaurant in the food court of the office building that housed Obama’s headquarters. He wore a gray button-down shirt and khakis, and told me that we had exactly forty-five minutes. Carson has a civil-engineering degree and spent time in Honduras working as a water and sanitation engineer. He, like Plouffe, made me think of the focussed men in white shirts and narrow black ties who, in the nineteen-sixties, ran the space program. When Carson hired field organizers for the campaign, he said that he looked for people with unusual backgrounds—“I try to throw out all the political-science majors when I do hiring.” During a lull in the primary season, he set up a three-week “data camp” in Oregon for Obama staffers. “We had the best data operation of any campaign,” he said. “You can have the most inspirational candidate, you can have the best organizing philosophy in the world, but if you can’t organize your data to take advantage of it and get lists in front of the canvassers and take these volunteers and use it in a smart way and figure out who it is we’re going to talk to—I mean, the rest of it is all pointless.”

Carson was part of the team that made the important decision, during the race against Clinton, to target small caucus states where Clinton had virtually no presence. Carson and Plouffe realized that the cost-per-delegate in caucus states was very low. “I remember the day when we said, ‘Look at this, we could win more delegates in Idaho than in New Jersey,’ ” he told me. Obama’s original plan was to win the Iowa caucuses and use momentum from that victory to catapult him through the three other early states—New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina—and then on to February 5th, Super Tuesday, when twenty-four states voted. It was clear that the campaign would need a backup plan if Clinton and Obama split the first four states, which is what happened. Obama won Iowa and South Carolina, and Clinton won New Hampshire and Nevada.

As the campaign got ready for Super Tuesday, Carson called upon the volunteers—in particular, those he called the “super-volunteers,” people who had left their jobs or dropped out of school to help. He estimated that there were about fifteen thousand super-volunteers working full time for Obama. Carson recalled the moment when the campaign figured out what it would cost to put a hundred organizers out in the February 5th states. “It was the first time that we took an enormous leap of faith in our grass-roots network that was already out there,” he said.

On October 1st, a field organizer named Joey Bristol, a recent graduate of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, who had delayed a career at the State Department and was working as an intern at the Chicago campaign headquarters, was sent to Idaho to organize the state for Obama. When he arrived, he learned that much of his work had already been done by a local group, Idaho for Obama. “When Joey gets there, a hundred people are waiting for him,” Carson said. “They’ve got meetings planned for him for the next month, they’ve got little subgroups by county all across the state, they’ve already gone to the state Party, gotten the rules of the caucus, figured out a plan.” On February 5th, Clinton won a net total of eleven delegates from New Jersey, which had a primary, and Obama won a net total of twelve delegates from the caucus state of Idaho.




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Story Source: The New Yorker

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Honduras; Election2008 - Obama; Politics

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