Wednesday, January 16, 2008

January 14

15 January 4:30 am.

I’m jet lagging a bit. And while I like being up this early, I really can’t visit anyone’s house for another 5 hours.

Today, I will canvass the neighborhood that my Aunt and Uncle live in. This means that I have become the local precinct captain. My job will be to get out the vote for Ron Paul in this precinct. When I have finished doing that for the day, I will head to the Las Vegas office and will make some phone calls for a few hours.

Yesterday was my first night in town and I felt it a good idea to spend the evening hours with my Aunt and Uncle. I arrived at the airport, dropped off some things, spoke to my uncle for a bit and then head to the Las Vegas HQ where they were happy to have me. I did some cold calls on local republicans. They really seem to have their stuff together in this office. They have lists of Ron Paul supporters that are automated, so you would hook up to them through a wifi connection on your laptop, log in to the system and then you have the numbers appear in front of you. The cold calls are on paper. I did well there turning a few ambivalent voters. The folks at this office don’t seem able to turn a no into a yes like the Operation Live Free or Die folks. In the cold calls, I concentrated on Republican (since it is a closed primary and only registered Republicans are welcome on the day of the caucus) supervoters (those who have voted in three of the last elections). Of course I would love to have some big time job, but sometimes you’ve got to lead and sometimes you’ve got to follow, and good campaigns need lots of footsoldiers.

This is the second time that the Nevada GOP has had a caucus. The first time was when W was running for re-election, so no one went that time. This time, there is a turnout of about 5% expected. I wonder if even that percentage will show based on what one voter said to me yesterday (he happened to be a real estate agent and in the event that any of you would want to buy a house here, I have his contact info, and I’m sure he’d be happy to help out). What he said was “No one knows where to go, no one knows why they are going, and in a 24 hour town where the idea of time has become meaningless, there’s only 30 minutes to vote.” Yeah, George also suggested to me that if I encounter any of the many Republican voters who have not made up their minds, I should just ask “Well, who do you feel real strongly about?” The likely answer, he believes will be “No one.” George believes that is a sure sign that the person has not yet heard enough about Ron Paul, and as a result has been left “passionately, furiously, ambivalent” like him.

The guy next to me phone banking in NH claimed that he decided to call the toll free number that we were giving everyone, the toll free number to HQ. A girl picked up the phone and answered a few of his questions without trouble, but then the guy asked “What is it that you like about Ron Paul?” and she responded “I don’t like Ron Paul at all, I’m just paid to answer the phones.”

This was a story that I told yesterday during a discussion with two guys from the National Headquarters who are here in the Las Vegas office. One of the guys was so shocked by the story that he made a phone call right away and then had me do the same. The explanation I received was that that phone line was being answered by a company.

This was pretty shocking for me to hear, perhaps even more shocking than the original story. I think when I return to the Las Vegas office later today, I’m going to ask the folks to address the following – the inability of the paid staff to harness the energy of the volunteers, a lack of passion from the national that the grassroots have, an inability to communicate with the grassroots effectively.

One of the ladies that I was on the phone with last night quoted her husband from the dinner table the night before “I really love lots of Ron Paul’s ideas, but I could never vote for him because he’s a 9/11 truther.” This is absolutely incorrect. To my disappointment, Paul absolutely denies being a 9/11 truther, and does so regularly.

Another person said to me that everyone out there was deceived about the political process and what was really going on with the economy and the money supply, and he told me to tell Dr. Paul “we intelligent people know what’s going on.”

The Constitution Bomb project is at a “we’ve got to get this done now” point. We need to put in an order for many in the next few days because we have already generated a demand that is much much greater than the available supply. There is this question now, and one that has always been there, about whether or not we can get the Constitution to people by Super Tuesday.

(writing from Las Vegas)

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