Thursday, November 22, 2007

How to Run a Primary Campaign Without the Candidates

OK, it's Thanksgiving and football games haven't started yet, so I've got a couple minutes on my hands. Let me pose this question: How do we run presidential primary campaigns here in Florida without the candidates?

Florida's presidential preference primary will be held on January 29th. That's just 67 days away. And it will be one week before Super Duper Tuesday on February 5th when so many other states are going to vote. So Florida's voice will have influence this cycle.

The question becomes, how do we begin to make this a fair contest in Florida if the candidates can't campaign here?

This diary is not about all the silliness that has brought us to this point. This diary really is about how do supporters of the various candidates actually mount campaigns without the overt presence of the campaigns and the candidates?

Since we are going to go before Super Duper Tuesday, and our results will be all over the media for that week, what are we going to do to make sure that the voters get a chance to really know the candidates before they go into the voting booth?

You will notice that so far this diary is full of questions and not any answers. I really don't purport to have the answers and I want to hear from y'all. I do have the thought that as members of the Florida blogosphere community and with our commitment to Blog Florida Blue, that we ought to be thinking about how to make that happen.

And we better do it quickly.


Trish said...

I understand what you're going for but feel free to call me bitter. I think your question would best be put to the DNC and the candidates who willingly and speedily agreed to its idiotic plan, or should I say lack thereof. What is their solution? Other than losing Florida, I mean, which looks like a sure thing to me.

brookhines said...

i think it the damage has been done and it's a mystery how this play out. Floridians have already been disenfranchised. We've already been removed from the primary process, because the "process" is largely about having facetime with the candidates and having our voices heard, promises made, etc.

the FL Dem Party isn't even getting hotel reservations in Colorado, and the national convention site shows Florida having zero delegates -- so, i'm left to believe that we aren't going to have an "official role" in the primaries.

that leaves the "unofficial role" of getting our unofficial, non-binding "votes" broadcast in the media on Jan 29. with no candidates campaigning here this could go one of two ways. first, the presumptive front-runner will win the "popularity contest" just like in high school. OR, a majority of FL Dems will be so pissed-off that they will essentially vote against party politics as usual and give the nod to Kucinich or Edwards.

at any rate, the process here has been damaged beyond belief, and the lack of reporting on the issue is going to add to anger come election day when the pundits dismiss Florida's "say" with a brief "explanation" that our votes really don't count.

there's an incredible amount of anger and irrationality on the part of bloggers i've spoken to. they fall into two camps: those who toe the line with the DNC and therefore hope the FL Dem Party is "punished" by the wholesale disenfranchisement of Florida voters;, and those who are in "sitting this one out" mode.

there is no coalition building. we are behind in building a volunteer base. come November we're not going to be competitive with the Repub's machine and will likely go red.

gatordem said...

To Trish: Please see brand new CNN poll that has Hillary beating Giuliani by 9 points here in Florida. Dems losing Florid a "sure thing" - I don't think so.

And brookhines, you are oh so wrong about what January 30th is going to look like. the media coverage about the Florida primary will be overwhelming - and then the genie will be out of the bottle. when all those other states vote on Feb 5th, they will know what Florida's voters did.

That will absolutely have an impact.