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JO FREEMAN'S CAMPAIGN DIARY
CRANSTON FOR PRESIDENT CAMPAIGN - 1984
Part 4

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2/1/84— The people we sent to Pennsylvania to petition finally cameCranston button back. We have to go to New York this coming weekend. I agreed to go up early to help with logistics, but today Mark said there was no money; any check he'd write me would bounce. I reported this to Jerry Goldfedder, thinking he'd absorb the cost and be reimbursed later as he had pressured me to come early on grounds of absolute necessity. But all he said was sorry. Later Mark gave me his American Express card number and said to see if I could get a train ticket over the phone with it. I found out Amtrak doesn't give tickets by credit card over the phone, but our travel agent does. Of course they were closed by the time I discovered this, but some 800 number I called said I could pick up the ticket at a DC office tomorrow morning--I hope.
I got the results of our initial caucus attendance in Georgia from Betty Rainwater and they were a mess. Only in the 1st CD did things work out the way they were supposed to. No one showed in the 8th or 2nd, as I expected and no one showed in the 5th, which I didn't expect. Steve later told me that Frank James had a last minute police assignment and couldn't go. Why didn't he send his wife, or one of the other people he filed in that district? More important, what happened to Frank Scheuren? He wanted to file and go from that district. I won't call and ask, as it would only embarrass him (assuming he'd talk to me). I'll just wait for him to call me. If he doesn't call, it means he's out for the campaign.
The rest of the districts had from one to three people show, but the results were not what I ordered. We had a four way tie for first in the 10th CD, with the other two people getting no votes. Steve said in the 9th an experienced party official told him how to mark his ballots to get the intended results, but Betty reported it to me as a four way tie. There were similar problems in the other districts. The party's system just wasn't set up for small caucuses. But since they didn't advertise them much in advance or even notify filers where to go they should have realized this would occur. Even Glenn had no attendance in a couple districts. And Jackson had no one in the 9th CD, but he didn't have anyone running there either.
Mark gave us the results of the phone bank polls (not statistically valid) in New Hampshire and Iowa. There were too many numbers going by too fast for me to absorb it all, but it's not good. We went down after the debates, and are only recovering slowly. Mondale isn't falling. However, we did sound like we might beat Glenn in Iowa. It seems that we were beating him prior to the debates, and are now only trailing him by a little. More importantly, we have an organization in Iowa and he doesn't. The campaign calculates that we can and must turn out 15,000 people for the caucuses. What percent we get of the total depends on how the others do. Newsweek says that originally 120,000 people were expected to turn out for the Iowa caucuses, but the boredom of the campaign has reduced the expected numbers to 85,000. Bad weather will help us, because we are organized and our people committed. We were told that Mondale's phone banks disclose hundreds of Glenn supporters every day, but Glenn doesn't have the organization to find them or turn them out. We were also told that while Mondale's support is extensive, it is not solid. They won't all turn out; especially if they don't feel needed, and they won't as long as the press reports on Mondale's commanding lead continues.
I picked up one more delegate in South Dakota. Keith Adair is the new head of the Souix Empire Gay and Lesbian Coalition. I had been hoping to get the former head or another gay activist Ina directed me toward, but this guy's fine. I had spoken to the former head to last fall; he liked AC but didn't want to do anything. I never reached Ina's friend by phone. I sent letters to both of these people. I also asked David Carter, our gay rights leader in Wisconsin to call or write them, but he never got back to me to say whether he did or not. And I put in a request to have Harry Britt phone them from San Francisco. This was Mark's idea. I asked him a few days ago if the call had been made and he said he didn't know. A couple hours after the commitment of the new head, Suzanne Granville, who handles details for Mark, said she would ask Britt's AA to check and see if the call had been made. I told her not to bother, I needed it two weeks ago, but not anymore. I got the commitment myself by simply calling the former head again and asking him if he knew of any potential supporters who would file for us. He said he had spoken to the current head and I should just call him. I did, he committed, and as soon as he files, that's that. I now need three more women and I'll have the necessary 14 delegates and alternates, evenly split by sex.
We have a lot of notables, mostly from California, who are supposedly available to make phone calls and write letters where it will help, but my only other experience in trying to get such a call was similar to this one--too little, too late. I wanted Sergio to call John Lewis, Atlanta City Councilman and former Chair of SNCC, for me when he wouldn't return my calls. Unbeknownst to me, Sergio told Mark he didn't know Lewis, and Harris Wofford, who did, should make the call. Wofford is on our national advisory committee and head of Pennsylvania. Barry, who's the Desk Officer for Pennsylvania, called Wofford. He then called Lewis and I was told to call Wofford to get the results of the call. When I did so he told me Lewis had decided it was politically necessary to not support us publicly, but still wanted to stay on Wofford's Peace Committee. I already knew that. What I had wanted was help from Lewis in finding blacks to slate. But no one passed that on to Wofford, and Barry didn't ask what I wanted before calling him. By the time I spoke to Wofford it was already Jan 12, and too late to do me any good.
We don't have any prominent Indian supporters, so I'm not tempted to try and get someone to call South Dakota for me, even if I had phone numbers for the Indians on my list. I did reach Sen. Thomas Shortbull because the legislature is in session this month, but he wouldn't commit. I had no trouble reaching him either; he came right to the phone. That surprised me more than anything, but South Dakota is smaller than New York, and Georgia, so maybe legislators are more accessible.
Although trying to get a racially balanced slate and filling the quota for women are a royal bitch, doing this has convinced me of the necessity for quotas or some other strong pressure to include "minority" groups. Not that I didn't support affirmative action to begin with, but it is less theoretical now. It's obvious to me why those that are forced to do it don't like it. It's easy to recruit white males. The networks are there and accessible. Men are socialized to be available for political roles, as well as other ones. Given the pressures of a campaign one wants as few hassles as possible. If I could rely on the white male networks to get my job done, I probably would even though I am firmly committed to full equality and full inclusion. When there is too much to do, it's easy to rationalize expediency. However, the DNC rules preclude this. They require that half the delegates be women, and that other groups be fully represented (albeit without quotas). This not only forces me to search for women and minorities but gives me a means of compelling others to do so. When anyone asks me why I need three more women, I can just say the DNC rules require it. I don't have to explain the importance of affirmative action for achieving larger social goals which others may not even be in agreement with.

 
However, women may be the only group for which an absolute quota is feasible. Having quotas for blacks and Indians could penalize underfunded, darkhorse campaigns. We don't have a staff member in South Dakota looking for Indian delegates; we have to rely on word of mouth and so far that hasn't worked. We don't have front runner status or anything else to offer. We probably could do OK among blacks in Georgia if it were not for Jesse Jackson, who siphons most of them off. This implies that it may not be appropriate to require a quota from a group which is potentially mobilizable around a particular candidate, unless one discourages those candidates from emerging. Since there is no woman running, this is not currently a problem. Although NOW's endorsement of Mondale has siphoned off a lot of feminist support, there are a lot of women who are not active feminists, and some feminists, even NOW members such as myself, are recruitable to other campaigns. I think that being half of the population and politically diverse, a delegate quota for women could be filled even if a strong woman was running, but we will not test that proposition this year.
2/9/84— I got back from New York on Tuesday and went right to the office to call the South Dakota State Party and find out what happened in the Senate caucuses. They had few results. They only had Darcy's delegate form which she mailed in as she hadn't gone to a caucus, and a report that Don Stevens of Custer had been elected a state convention delegate. I found out more by calling my own people. Don still hasn't filed his delegate form but will and his wife said she might file also. Jay and Kathy have yet to file. Keith Adair just received his. Jason Cheevers, a student at Yale who's registered in Brookings where his father is a political science professor, said he sent his in. George Perkins attended the Brookings caucus by proxy, though how he did that I don't know. He hasn't filed yet, but will and said he has a friend who might also. He got the caucus chair to hold off sending in the results until he decides whether or not to be a State Convention delegate. He wanted to know if I really needed him and I said probably not. I had my minimum necessary; my concern now was making the 40 percent quota. What I didn't want was someone filing as a State delegate and not going to Pierre on March 3, as that would affect the quorum. George probably won't file to be a State delegate.
The big surprise was Vermillion, home of the University of South Dakota. Seven people came to the caucus! Ina, Dave Bergin, a friend of Jay's whom Ina recruited, Dave's girlfriend, and four others I wasn't expecting. The other man Ina recruited filed uncommitted, but his wife, Kathy Mahood, filed for us. Susan and Lee Snyder, and Robert Prentice also came and filed. I spoke to Susan after getting her name from Ina and discovered that she, or more specifically her husband had received my infamous South Dakota letter. His name was on Jay's list; why hadn't he given me her's as well? I can't find Prentice's name on any list and haven't been able to reach him by phone to find out where he comes from. That district was entitled to send 5 delegates and 2 alternates to the State Convention. All seven filed to go to Pierre as well as to the National Convention. Although of the seven only three were men, needless to say they are all delegates, and the alternates are both women. However, if all seven come, they with Don and Jay will make a nice little caucus in Pierre.
As of today I have my 14 people. Nine forms are in the State Party's office and the rest are supposed to be in the mail. The State Party has received reports from 20 of the 32 districts so there probably won't be any more surprises for me. If Don's wife Jane files I'll have eight women. Before I knew this I had asked Jay to find my last necessary women and he said he would try to find some farmers so we could balance the slate. He also gave me the name of a friend whom he has been talking to about recruiting Indians to our slate and said I should call. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get hold of him. I have had trouble getting anyone in South or North Dakota after 5:30 for a couple weeks. After numerous complaints to our office manager, Sara Jane finally wrote me a note saying MCI, our long distance service, doesn't have any lines into those states. It seems they use lines from someone else and they are usually clogged with personal calls during the evening. She said I should make my calls before 4:00 pm or after 10:00 pm. That's a totally useless piece of advice, as anyone I could reach before 4:00 pm, I've reached, and 10:00 is too late for a rural area. It's also too late for me as 10:00 in South Dakota is 11:00 pm or midnight here depending on the time zone. However, we recently acquired another type of phone service which can be accessed by dialing about 20 numbers (some phones have a dialer, but mine doesn't) so I used that.
I lost my desk while I was gone, though I kept my phone. It seems Alex Thurber has also been coveting another desk--for his assistant. Sharon agreed to give Alex her desk if she could have mine so as soon as I left for New York, Sara Jane effected the switch, leaving political with one less desk and me with nothing. Sharon told me in New York that I had been moved to the narrow desk behind the pillar political was using as a typing area and I would eventually get a phone. When Sara Jane showed up I hit the ceiling. By the time I returned, my phone had been moved to my new "desk", along with all my stuff. I spent two hours straightening out the mess they created in moving me and trying to get my things in the drawers. The files wouldn't fit as that desk's file drawer won't hold legal files. I expropriated a drawer in an adjacent file cabinet, and then talked Bruce into letting me move his two-drawer cabinet next to my desk so I could use a drawer there instead. Jose helped me trade the four-drawer for the two-drawer so I'd have some more surface space. But it's not very good. The desk isn't wide enough to spread out the computer print-out. I can't reach the file drawer without getting out of the chair and moving. And the pillar gives me little maneuvering room behind the desk. I'm fuming.
Sara Jane's on a real power trip which is probably normal when someone that young gets managerial responsibility. We no longer have a postage meter. She buys stamps and doles them out. Those political staffers who can afford to just buy their own stamps and skip Sara's operation. We can't get stamps unless she's there to give them to us and record who has taken what. But she won't put them on. I have to stand there until she gets off the phone or finishes whatever else she is doing, and gives me the stamps. I left a package on her desk last night after she had gone, which I had weighed to ascertain the correct amount of postage, and found it on my desk, sans stamps, this morning. In reply to my query Sara Jane said she returned it to me because she wouldn't put the stamps on and didn't want anything left on her desk when she wasn't there. It was inconvenient. I said I no longer had a desk big enough to store packages while awaiting her return.
We had one brief staff meeting to announce Sergio's departure for Iowa. Tom Pazzi has already gone to New Hampshire. Sergio said things are looking good in Iowa; half the time the phone polls show us ahead of Glenn. Even in New Hampshire, where we are only running 5th, morale is high and people think things are looking up. I hope this wasn't just a pep talk. Mark sounded a little less optimistic when he had a political staff meeting later. He said we were no longer running commercials in either state because we didn't have the money. We have also decided not to file delegate slates in Hawaii and Arkansas because we don't have the filing fees of $1,500 and $5,000. Mark said Hawaii is fixed for Mondale but didn't explain what that means. That makes four states we aren't filing in; the other two are Puerto Rico and South Carolina. The latter was scratched early because it is Holling's home state. I don't know about Puerto Rico. For all practical purposes we also don't have a campaign in North Dakota but there are no slates to file as it is a caucus state. I don't know how many others we are in similar situations in, although Bruce has said we are "dead in the water in Texas." However, Mark was happy to announce that we had slated South Dakota a week before the deadline. I suggested we do a phone blitz of contributors in our states the three days after Iowa if the press reports are as positive as we expect them to be. I think I could raise a couple thousand dollars in my states by catching people at the right moment.
The press people have started a little staff newsletter which has put out three one-page issues. Although I like getting the information tidbits I wonder who has the time to do this. It said that Good Morning America is planning to cover the top three finishers in Iowa and New Hampshire and contacted us. Of course it didn't say that no other second tier candidates were contacted. It also said that 50 percent of our field staff is female. It didn't say that only 20 percent of the state co-ordinators in those states where we have full time staff are female.
Everyone seems to be thrilled with Cranston's trip to Minnesota last Monday. The Washington Post had a good page 4 story headlined "Cranston Invades Minnesota". Sally's sending me the local clips, which she said were favorable. The campaign was happy with the advancing, and Sally said the turnouts were good. However, she was unhappy with Monica's trying to change the agenda at the last minute after the scheduler and everyone else had approved it. She bitched to Earl about this, but wanted me to complain to Mark. I won't, since my differences with Monica are well known and thus any complaints will be taken with a grain of salt. There was one good laugh out of this. Although the weather reports were "clear but cold" Monica asked Sally what she would do if there were a blizzard. Sally replied that she was the one person in the campaign prepared to cope with that problem. She breeds sled dogs and if necessary would have a 20 dog team at the airport prepared to mush Cranston around.
I did make a complaint to Monica, but about Georgia, not Minnesota. It seems Yvonne Burke will be making a Southern tour and a Senate staffer is trying to set up events for her on our behalf. She called Steve Beisher on Monica's suggestion. Steve told me about it before returning the call and was surprised that I knew nothing, not even the name of the person calling him. I asked Monica to let me know anytime someone was calling people or making plans for my states. She said Mark knew and should have told me. I said Mark's very busy, with a lot of states, and I sat only a few yards from her. Surely it wasn't too much trouble to tell me. After all, Sergio himself had given me advance warning about Minnesota, and Earl didn't call anyone there until I had the preliminary conversation.
2/13/84— I returned from New York about 2:00 am, parked illegally since there were no other spaces at that hour in my neighborhood, slept fitfully for a couple hours, got up and returned the rental car at 8:30 and went home to sleep again. By the time I woke up it was late in the day, it was raining, and I was still exhausted, so I stayed home. Two days on my feet and a five hour drive through the fog late at night is more than I am cut out for anymore. We (i.e. the 400 club and anyone else who could be shanghaied into going) were all sent to New York for the last two weekends to do petitioning. There are two petitions in New York. To get AC on the ballot we have to have 10,000 signatures, including 100 from half of New York's 34 CDs. In addition, each individual delegate slate must get 1,000 signatures from their own CD. The rule of thumb is that if you get twice as many signatures as are required, the petitions will not be challenged. That means we need 20,000 signatures for AC. The delegate slates aren't a real worry, except to those on them. New York election law provides for post primary delegate selection in any district where we are entitled to delegates for which no one qualified. Consequently, no one is going to challenge any delegate petitions (and thus only 1,000 are really necessary). More importantly, failing to file will not cost us votes at the convention. Indeed post primary selection might be a benefit; then we can select people we really know are supporters and not merely available to fill holes when no one was much interested in Cranston's candidacy.
 
While the delegates do not have to live in the CD they are running from, anyone carrying a delegate petition must be a registered Democrat in that CD. Actually, anyone can carry; but a local registered Democrat must witness the signature and sign the petition so stating. That is interpreted as meaning that ineligible people can carry petitions as long as they are accompanied by an appropriate registered Democrat to witness the petition. That increases the output in a high volume area but probably not in door to door canvassing. If a CD crosses county lines, it is filed in Albany, and can carry the Presidential candidate's name as those petitions are also filed in Albany. If a CD is totally within a county, it is filed locally, and thus cannot carry AC's name. In New York City that generally means that the delegate and AC petitions are separate. To carry or witness an AC petition, one only has to be registered voter in the State of New York.
I had wanted to file as delegate from Brooklyn, preferably in the 10th CD where I am registered to vote, but was told I couldn't because I wouldn't be available to petition. Thus I was a little less than thrilled to discover that I had to spend several days in New York doing the petitioning that the local people weren't getting done. The first weekend I came to New York earlier than the other staff to co-ordinate and immediately began calling Brooklyn delegates. I needed them to pair off with the out of staters to witness their petitions. It was very discouraging. I reached half and of those, about half weren't available to do anything. They were going out of town, or had family or other obligations or would simply tell me to call Lyle Silversmith who, it turned out, had recruited them to be on the slate. I'd never met Lyle Silversmith, although he was the one who supposedly vetoed my being a delegate. Bernie Hirschorn gave me the impression he was supposed to be a mover and shaker among reform Democrats in Brooklyn. Nedda Allbray also told me he was a key person. I finally reached him by phone and he said he had everything under control. His people were carrying, he said, though not all the delegates were. I told him that virtually none of the people I had talked to even had AC petitions; they only had those for their own delegate slates, but he scoffed. Only in the 12th CD were his petitioners not carrying AC petitions, he said, because they were Regulars, and the regular Democrats had to support Mondale. Everything was under control, he said. Don't worry, he said.
Dan Perry was very surprised to hear my report. He thought everyone had sufficient AC petitions, and he didn't know that the delegate petitions were not being carried by all the delegates. After several calls, I came up with a few people willing to work with our staff over the weekend. Jerry had told me that he was having a meeting of petitioners Friday at 6:00 pm and I had overheard Susan Granville in the D.C. office telling someone there would be another orientation meeting Saturday morning at 9:00, so I told all but a couple of the people I located to come to one of those meetings. That was a mistake. The New York office wasn't well enough organized to hold meetings or do virtually anything else.
My first two days in the New York office were dismaying. Although I had been very impressed with Dan Perry at the NDC endorsement, and had heard very good things about Jerry from Bernie, at the New York office they acted like they couldn't organize their way out of a paper bag. Dan had located a decent office in a good location on Times Square. It consisted of one very large room with five or six desks and phones, and another smaller one with two desks for him and Jerry. But it was devoid of activity. There was only one volunteer working while I was there, and a couple others who acted like staff but I don't think were paid. A couple others drifted in for a couple hours but it was not clear to me what they were doing there. Dan was depressed; he couldn't understand why there were no volunteers; it was unlike any campaign he'd ever worked on. He said this campaign was being run by "two nuts and a granny." I knew who the "granny" was (the volunteer) but whether the reference to nuts was to him and Jerry or the others was unclear.
This lack of activity may indicate that the support for AC simply isn't there; or that apathy is overwhelming. One can't organize if there is nothing to organize. But I doubt this is the case. If that were true, Dan wouldn't have been so successful at the NDC. There are an awful lot of NDC people on our slate; they are political people, who've spent their lives in campaigns and other political activity, why aren't they working? My guess is they haven't been motivated and mobilized to work. That may be because Dan and Jerry don't know how; or it may be that they are too exhausted. They were clearly fatigued and the consequences showed in the operation. Decisions took forever to make; many weren't made at all; others were changed repeatedly. The scheduled 6:00 pm orientation meeting never really occurred. About 15 workers were in from D.C. by then and several local people were available to go with them. But instead of a meeting Dan, Jerry and a couple others talked to groups of four or five about how to petition, with many not hearing at all. After an hour or so the volunteers were shepherded to movie lines to petition with at best one or two New York voters to witness the petitions. In the meantime the local people who were supposed to be paired off sat around wondering what they were doing there. While the others were filing out one of my key workers from New Jersey, Craig Rupp, came to petition and I discovered that one of the locals sitting around was one of the people I had phoned in Brooklyn. So I sent them out together with minimal hassle, and they came back two hours later with 59 signatures.
I found this crazy incapacity to organize frustrating and demoralizing yet I felt I couldn't say anything about it to Dan. I wanted to tell him to let me take responsibility for the entire petitioning effort so I could organize it but I didn't think he'd be receptive to the implication that he and Jerry hadn't done their homework. The original plan had been for me to help coordinate the entire weekend but trying to "help" was like wading through mud. As a registered voter, eligible to sign New York petitions, I felt I could do more good petitioning than holding their hands while pretending to coordinate, so I made it clear that Friday night I was going to go to Brooklyn and stay there.
Even organizing myself into Brooklyn wasn't easy. We spent all day Friday trying to decide how to allocate the volunteers available that weekend, and at least five hours trying to settle Brooklyn. Between 3:00 and 4:00 pm a car of three people arrived from Washington and Dan wanted to send a couple of them with me to petition at Penn Station. But Jerry said I shouldn't go until we'd agreed on who would be working with me in Brooklyn over the weekend. Fine. But five hours later nothing had been settled. Six of us sat in the back office trying to decide what to do with the people expected to arrive. One person was in from Long Island looking to take four back with him. Another was in from someplace else. The sixth was Assemblyman Jerry Nadler, one of our few supporters who is a public official. There were constant interruptions. When one of us who wasn't fatigued would make a suggestion, it took forever for Dan and Jerry to even comprehend what was being said; they were so tired it just wouldn't penetrate. Possible allocations of people were debated and redebated. No one seemed to know how many were coming, though Washington was phoned several times. When another car showed up about 7:00 they were asked who should go where, even though most people had already been allocated.
My impression was that neither Dan nor Jerry wanted to make a decision, even though the decisions were fairly simple. They acted as though what was important was to have a consensus from everyone in the room on what ought to be done. Thus the decisions varied with whom was in the room. That style of consensus building may be appropriate in many political situations, but this was not one of them. This situation required a decision maker. Almost any decision was better than no decision and certainly better than wasting time making a decision.
Finally at 9:00 I put on my coat and said I was leaving; call me when they had made a decision. Dan begged me to stay, saying we'd settle Brooklyn right now. I stayed. It took another 40 minutes to reach a decision. I would get the five people I asked for; they would not include certain people I didn't think would be effective in Brooklyn. A car with all five would pick me up sometime before 9:00 am. I would drive two to Brooklyn Heights where they would meet a local person and do street corner petitioning with him. I'd take two to Kings Plaza, after picking up another local person on the way to petition with them, and the fifth would go with me to the Pathmark, a major supermarket in Brooklyn. At 2:00 pm I'd pick up the first two and take them to Park Slope to meet Milt Gouldner, a superpetitioner who said he could use all the volunteers he could get.
Needless to say this isn't the way things worked out. Around 9:00 am someone phoned and said the car was on the way. Four people picked me up an hour later including two of the ones I said I didn't want to go with me. I got two of them to Brooklyn Heights, and then returned to Park Slope to pick up the local person who was running as delegate from the 10th. We went to Kings Plaza shopping center where the petitioning was excellent. The two volunteers with us, a high school kid whose father was a friend of AC's and his New York girlfriend, disappeared after telling me they were calling local friends to meet them. I don't know who signed their petitions. I didn't. Since John was registered to vote in the 10th, and thus could sign his own petitions, I left him at Kings Plaza when I returned to Brooklyn Heights to pick up the others. I left them at the West Brooklyn Independent Democrats club, even though Milt wasn't there. He was on his way. I got caught in traffic returning to Kings Plaza, and couldn't find John. So I came back for the guys, dropped myself off at the World Trade Center, and let them go on to the office to report. With all that schlepping I didn't get too many petitions filled out.
I went to the World Trade Center to crash the $125 a plate annual NDC dinner. Actually I was invited to crash, but only the pre-dinner cocktails. One of the Brooklyn delegates I called, Barry Starkman, turned out to be the treasurer of NDC and asked if I were coming to the dinner. Not for $125, I said. He suggested I come to the preliminary party to meet people. Since he was monitoring the door, there would be no problem getting in. He did ask me to discuss this suggestion with Jerry Goldfeder, who was paying to come, but I never had a chance. When I arrived at the World Trade Center I was wearing my petitioning clothes; jeans, my dilapidated trench coat with rips in all seams and a pocket hanging by a thread and uncombed hair. My cocktail clothes were in my red knapsack. The door of the World Trade Center on the Westside Highway (sic) through which I entered led me into an elegant hotel where I was distinctly out of place. Undeterred, I queried a hotel clerk on how to get to the "Windows on the World" restaurant where Barry had told me the dinner was being held. Once properly instructed, I asked if there were a restroom in which I could change my clothes. The only restroom accessible to the hotel is closed, I was told. But there's another one in the bar, perhaps I could use it if I acted like a hotel guest. Since I don't drink I'm not too familiar with bars, but I managed to saunter in as though I knew what I was doing and find the restroom without asking any more questions.
It took me about ten minutes to effect an appropriate transformation of my external identity and stuff the real one into my knapsack. Midway through this process a bar employee stuck her head in the door and stared at me, but said nothing. My lengthy disappearance must have aroused someone's suspicions. On the way out, I slipped on the waxed wooden floor and almost fell. So much for remaining inconspicuous. I joined the crowd at the elevator to the restaurant and was relieved to discover that my business suit was not completely out of place; only my red knapsack set me apart. I let it dangle from my hand in hopes it wouldn't be noticed.
At the entrance to the bash Barry was quickly located and escorted me through the ticket lines. I deposited my coat and knapsack in the checkroom. I may not drink, at least not alcohol, but I do eat, and the hors d'oeuvres were superb. Lamb and date shish kebabs. Melon wrapped in prosciutto. Among other delicacies. I spent more time eating than talking until I was adequately stuffed. I still did a fair amount of talking. The major liberal politicians in New York City were there. They included States Attorney Bobbie Abrams, Brooklyn D.A. Liz Holtzman, City Council President Carol Bellamy, City Councilmember Ruth Messenger, Congressman Ted Weiss, Assemblymen Jerry Nadler Frank Barbaro and Joe Ferris and one friend, former Assemblyman Sy Posner. I knew a couple of the people there and Barry introduced me to others. Many there were Cranston delegates, as Barry was. I was the "lady from Washington with the Cranston campaign," which conveyed on me more status among that group than anything else I've done in the ten years since I moved to New York.
 
The attention that derived from that status was unexpected, and might have gone to my head, had I not remembered the basis on which status systems operate in New York. The three cities I've lived in as an adult have very different status systems. Chicago's is based on friend and kinship networks. Who talks to whom at parties, indeed, who is invited at all, is determined by who one is related to, the neighborhood one comes from, the schools one went to and how long one has lived there. Newcomers are not incorporated into the networks easily, unless they are related to oldtimers. Washington's status system is based on where you work. People are constantly on the lookout for good contacts who might be useful to them in their jobs. If you are a potentially useful contact, even strangers will be friendly; if not you will be ignored. When I lived in D.C. five years ago I carefully told no one that I was moving back to New York to go to law school until right before I left. I knew that general knowledge of my impending departure would lower my value as a contact and my remaining months in D.C. would be very lonely. Washington "wives" who accompany spouses with political appointments often comment on the spurious nature of the friendships in that city. They realize, and feel uncomfortable with, the fact that people like them only because they are married to an important person. They don't realize that most friendships from where they come are no doubt similarly spurious. They are just based on a different type of status system; usually the friend and kinship type. Personally, I like Washington because the contact game is one I can play. I've never lived anyplace long enough to fit into friend and kinship networks, so I find those kind of cultures lonely.
New York's status system is less well defined than that of Chicago or D.C. It is based on celebrity, but what that means is not universal. One can be a celebrity in one group but not in another. Thus at one party, everyone will want to talk to you; at another, no one will. In the political world, celebrity is conveyed by one's political positions, past as well as present. I remember going to one Democratic club's gathering in 1976 to speak for the Carter campaign in which this was rubbed in. I was used to attending feminist and academic functions were my status was fairly high. But among the Democrats I was nothing, except the speaker sent from the Carter campaign. That would have been sufficient for the evening had not someone else in the club independently solicited and secured the presence of Gillian Sorenson. As the wife of Ted she had far more status than I did, even though she had done little for the Democrats and I had done much on a local level. Once she appeared, I was told I didn't even need to stay. But I did stay (I had driven through the rain for an hour to get there), and Gillian graciously made sure that I was introduced to everyone and was able to make my little speech. Once I entered law school my status in all arenas plummeted, so I was quite used to playing a peon at the few parties I went to, and had to readjust to being mildly important at the NDC dinner. I was only mildly important because, despite NDC's near endorsement of Cranston, most of the people there were Mondale supporters, including all but two of the public officials.
One slightly funny incident occurred while I was talking to Bobbie Abrams. Sy Posner had introduced us, after Sy had told him about me out of my earshot. As part of the chitchat, I told him that I was up from Washington to do petitioning for Cranston. I knew that he knew that I was a local. Unbeknownst to me Jerry Goldfeder was standing nearby, waiting his turn to speak. On hearing me say this, he interrupted excitedly to tell Abrams that I was a registered voter in Brooklyn. Jerry obviously thought I was telling New York's chief law enforcement officer that I was committing an illegal act.
Although not part of the original plan, I did stay for dinner. Barry noticed that many people who had bought tickets were leaving after cocktails; the evening was just dragging on too long for them. He said if there was a free spot, there was no reason why I shouldn't eat. I suggested to him that I take Carol Bellamy's place, since I knew she had left and didn't intend to return. Why hers? Barry asked. Well, I said, "in my career as a public speaker, I've been stand-in for some very well-known people. I've stood in for Betty Friedan, Jesse Jackson, and others. It's only appropriate that I be a sit-in for Carol Bellamy!" I stayed, sitting next to Barry, which was probably not Carol's seat. It was the first real meal I had had since Christmas.
The next day only Paul Leonard was in the car which came to pick me up. But there was a second car with two New Jersey volunteers Craig Rupp had recruited in it. They had wanted to go home from Brooklyn after the petitioning, and Paul hadn't wanted to take the subway back, so both cars were brought. We met a local, Larry Alexander, at Kings Plaza, about the time the security guards told us we had to leave. They hadn't bothered us yesterday. The chief guard and I argued constitutional law for a while, but the upshot was that we had to get a permit--which could not be obtained over the weekend. We decided to split up, with Larry taking the Mayers to a housing block he said he had access to and Paul and I going to the Pathmark.
The Pathmark is a suburban shopping center in Brooklyn. Paul stood just inside the first of two double doors, catching potential signatories as they entered, and I stood outside getting them as they left. It was cold that day and I had planned on spending it in the indoor mall of Kings Plaza, not outside in the snow. But the petitioning was good; we could get from 15 to 20 signatures an hour. I kept expecting the security guard to ask Paul to leave as he was technically inside the store, but he didn't. I tried to trade with him for a while so I could warm up, but he wouldn't go outside and there wasn't much value in both of us being in the same spot. I wasn't sorry when Paul said he had to return to the office.
The next day I called the manager of King's Plaza to find out how to get a permit. He wanted me to come there to pick up the form. "Why didn't the security chief give it to me yesterday while I was there," I asked. I wanted him to read me the conditions on the form, as I was returning to D.C. shortly, but the manager said he couldn't, because there were too many. So I described what I wanted to do: put four people in the Mall the following weekend, two on each floor. Would there be any problem with this I asked. I don't think so, he said.
When I returned the following Friday things were much better organized than they had been the week before. I was given an assignment (Brooklyn), one of the cars (which I could park on the street) and told to be back Sunday evening. I attributed this new-found efficiency to the fact that we had left three staff organizers there for the week. I had felt that what the office needed was some Indians who would do the work rather than so many Chiefs, who sat around and tried to figure out why the work wasn't getting done. Jerry gave me the permit for Kings Plaza he had obtained and a copy of the form with several pages of conditions. The permit restricted us to an "exhibit area." I had seen no area marked that way in the Mall, and neither the manager nor the security chief had said our access would be so limited.
Although I had the car I had no D.C. volunteers so I arranged to meet Barry and Craig at the Mall. We were there barely ten minutes before the security guards stopped us. They did acknowledge our permit, but said "exhibit area" referred to the main entrance area only, where they had even set up a table for us. We don't need the table, I said. We need to walk around. The entrance space is too small for four of us to make good use of our time. Most people enter from the parking lot which is on the other side of the Mall. We don't go into the stores, and we certainly aren't going to bother people. The people that are easiest for us to reach are the ones sitting down on the benches in the Mall halls, not those rushing in or out of the store. Most importantly, I said, I had described what I wanted to do to the manager and he had not raised any objections. The security chief demurred on the grounds that he could not reach the manager over the weekend to check out my version of our agreement. He threatened to arrest me if we strayed. I said it will make a good test case. After a few more polite exchanges, I left.
However, I couldn't ask Craig and his friend to risk any problems, and I couldn't separate myself from them because I had to witness their petitions. Barry hadn't shown yet, so until he did, I decided to stay in the restricted area. When he showed, Craig left, and I began to wander more widely. I guessed, correctly, that the security guards wouldn't bother me. They didn't want an incident any more than I did. But with only two of us there, there were enough people to keep us busy without my wandering too far. Two McGovern petitioners showed up, but failed to leave even after I told them they had to have a permit. They stayed in our space, creaming off some of our potential signatories. I thought about reporting them to the security guards, who obviously didn't know they weren't with us, but my conscience wouldn't let me do this. If we hadn't been so confined, it wouldn't have mattered.
The next morning I went with a friend recently immigrated from California to the Pathmark. The petitioning was so good we stayed all afternoon. I filled five sheets (75 names) within two hours. The day before getting signatures had sometimes been like pulling teeth; today it was like picking cherries. The basic strategy in petitioning is to look for people who are not too busy (lines are best) and keep hustling. Generally, people will either sign or they won't so always take no for an answer and move on. Few really care who the candidate is once you explain that you just need their names to get the person on the ballot, they are not obligated to support him or her in any way. Every now and then someone wants more information, or to be persuaded. Most who do don't sign, they haven't made up their minds yet. Sometimes it's worth trying to persuade someone. Usually it takes more time than saying thank-you and asking someone else. For delegate petitioning, one usually explains that these are local people, friends perhaps, whom you are helping get on the ballot. For Presidential petitioning, you sometimes have to tell them who the candidate is; not everyone had heard of Alan Cranston. But many are impressed that you are asking them to sign for someone who is running for President. Of those few who wanted to know why Cranston was the best person to support, virtually no one was interested in his positions on issues or in his peace and jobs platform. The single best response that got their attention was my assertion that he was the only candidate who could beat Reagan, because he was the only one running who could take the state of California, which has 18 percent of the electoral college votes, away from Reagan in November. Every now and then I'd run into someone who was a Cranston supporter; usually an ex-Californian. A few gave me their names saying they'd like to help. That was nice. I ran into one woman who's maiden name was Cranston. She said she'd like to work, and her brother, also named Cranston, would too. I even ran into Lyle Silversmith, whom I had not previously met. He said his eyes were giving him problems, so he wasn't able to do anything, but he really thanked me for my efforts. By the third thank you (in one minute) I wanted to tell him that I was the local he wouldn't let be a delegate because I wouldn't be available to petition! But I kept my mouth shut.
Since many people at the Pathmark only spoke Spanish I had suggested that one of our Spanish speaking staffers be placed here, guessing that he could clean up on that basis alone. That idea was pooh-poohed on the grounds that anyone who couldn't speak English probably couldn't vote. They were wrong. During lulls in the petitioning, when I could afford the time, I tried out my pidgin Spanish on the non-English-speaking Hispanics, or got a child to translate. Many were citizens; all who were were very proud of being registered to vote. When I told them that they had to be a registered voter (Democrat) in order to sign my petition they practically demanded to sign as a demonstration of their citizenship. Whole families would line up to sign on that basis alone. The right person at that spot could have cleaned up. I got a total of 345 signatures that weekend compared to only about 150 the previous one.
2/16/84— Seventeen people have filed in South Dakota, not including Keith Adair. I can't reach him by phone, but since I am three over my threshold, may not try any longer. He wasn't going to go to Pierre, and since the people who go will probably not slate him very high, and may not slate him at all, it's sort of silly to push him to file. As of right now 9 people will go to the State Convention for us; 7 delegates and 2 alternates; 7 from Vermillion, 1 from Custer and 1 from Aberdeen. I only need 3 to make the 40 percent quorum so barring a catastrophe, we should make it. I sent literature to those delegates with whom I have not previously been in contact and a couple issue leaflets to the couple respondents to my letter. I should have enclosed a letter, but it's so hard to get access to a typewriter, and so difficult for me to produce relative error-free copy. I finally decided promptness of response is more important than formality.
 
I've called several of our delegates outside Atlanta to get them to start campaigning, and sent them literature (what little there is). Mark gave me about 200 blue brochures to distribute, I have 200 yellow leaflets with the Sorum article in the Minnesota Daily that the MCC sent me, and the three leaflets with reprints from U.S. News and a couple other publications. I don't like these three pieces very much, and can't understand why we have so many copies of them and nothing else that's decent. I'm told we can't reprint the blue brochure because it's dated (how is not obvious) and was produced by the Kamber group with whom we have split. But it's not copyrighted so I don't see why we can't.
Steve is extremely busy with his advertising business, so not as much is being done in Atlanta as I had hoped. He says he tried to interest the radio and TV stations in Jock Smith without much success. No name identification or fancy titles. The TV networks won't talk to anyone but the candidate. However, a couple radio stations would accept Yvonne Burke so he is escorting her to a couple functions today. He also spoke to the Young Dems with other candidate representatives at Georgia State University. Jock was going to do that, but it didn't seem worthwhile to have him travel from Tuskegee just for that occasion. Steve, or more specifically his 13 year old son, did get out the solicitation letter to delegates and other prime supporters. A phone blitz after Iowa will reinforce this nicely, I hope. Steve said 150 letters were mailed, including one to me. Mine came addressed to "Mrs." Freeman which drives me up a wall. Should I tell him that "Ms." is the preferable title for all women? I'm having a hard enough time getting him to use the word woman instead of girl in referring to adult females. Won't men ever learn?
I spoke to Mark about a phone blitz when I returned from New York and he liked the idea. However, I found out that Fundraising was conducting their own blitz with phone calls to contributors of over $100 and letters and telegrams to the others. Mark said I could go ahead with one to contributors under $100. I've told the MCC to do this and am trying to organize it in Georgia and New Jersey. My agreement is that half the money raised this way will be used in the state, even though we will tell people it is to make a media buy in New Hampshire. However, there is a major flaw in all this. Most contributors have been swamped with letters in the last few weeks; all containing business reply envelopes to our P.O. Box. They will get another one next week. If they send a check in the postage paid envelope we won't get credit for it, nor half the take. Thus I could be urging my people to spend their time futilely; they may not raise anything for their own states. Furthermore, I've told everyone I've called on this that any phone bills will be paid out of the proceeds. If there are no proceeds, I will be in the hole. So they not only have to urge people to contribute, but get them to send a check in their own envelope to our HQ address, preferably to my attention. This may backfire.
I'm not all that sure we will get a phone blitz going in Georgia. I asked Steve to phone his local supporters to set it up for next week and he said he'd try, but no promises. Five calls, I said, just make five calls to recruit people to make other calls. We can determine who calls whom on the master list over the weekend. I'll take the ones outside of Atlanta; just do the ones in your area. We'll see.
Most of this week I've been trying to set up the phone blitz in New Jersey. Our New Jersey contributor's list contains about 700 names. Craig Rupp says he will set up a phone bank but doesn't know exactly whom he will recruit for it. He's peeved that the contributor's list doesn't contain phone numbers. New Jersey has lots of small phone books, not one big one for a single big city. He largely draws on his contacts in the Nuclear Freeze movement and wanted to have people only call in their own area. Through phoning I identified four other people willing to make calls. In addition, Bob Stone, a lawyer in New York who is municipal chair of East Brunswick, has recruited some of his local party workers to call 60 names. Virginia Foley will call 50 in her area. Enid Keljik said she'd make a few dozen calls to people in area code 201, but preferred "others" to contributors. The contributors list I have doesn't have phone numbers on it so I don't know who is in what area code. I finally decided to send her a copy of the political master list. There are phone numbers for most people, and about 90 supporters. I explained to Enid the coding system, so she would only call "As" and "Bs". These are the people who have at some point expressed their support for AC. There are also lots of "Cs" and a few "Ds"; these are people who have simply requested information or are on the list because of their position (e.g. party official, interest group leader).
Unfortunately, the political list is not up to date. We have a clerk doing data entry of written inquiries, old and new, but they go onto a master data file on the computer, and don't appear on the state print-outs. I didn't realize this until I began comparing the cards for New Jersey that had been stamped "computer entry" with a recent date and the print-out Sharon gave me. Finally she explained that when we switched computer systems last December Alex had not written a program for transferring the master files to the accessible files. She didn't know when he was going to do this, but judging from past performance my guess is it won't be before June 5. Mark says there is no use speaking to him. He concentrates on direct mail and voter contact and considers anything else to be of a low priority. Thus we have a paid clerk doing work which is not of immediate value to anyone while immediate needs go unfulfilled.
I've had a similar problem trying to get the New Jersey print-out in zip code order so people can concentrate on their own regions. Virtually all calls in New Jersey are long-distance. Without phone numbers, the only way to localize them is through zip codes. Organizing 700 names on a computer print-out by zip code by hand is a monumental task. (In the old days with only card files it would have been a lot easier) Alex tells me a zip-code order print-out is possible; he doesn't have to write a program for it. He's even promised to do it, but he hasn't produced. Since it took about two months to get my South Dakota letter printed (admittedly a bigger project) I'm not optimistic. However, I delayed sending Craig the print-out in hope that I would get it. Now I will have to send it Special Delivery, which is a lot more expensive. Monday is a Federal Holiday; there will be no mail delivery. Tuesday is too late for the list to arrive. It's Special Delivery or not at all. Sharon offered to let her clerk phone Directory Assistance for phone numbers for me late in the day. She did over 100 names, which will save Craig some work. But it delayed the mailing until tomorrow. Furthermore, we're out of stamps and have no envelopes big enough to mail it in. So I took it home tonight to use my own envelopes and stamps and will mail it tomorrow. The delay was almost fatal. When I went to xerox the print-out before leaving we were down to half a ream of paper. I would hate to have to have chosen between parting with my sole copy of the contributor's list (especially an annotated one) and sending Craig the list to divide.
However, things could be worst. Barry tells me we got kicked off the ballot in Ohio. It seems we used the wrong form for our delegates' petitions and they were rejected. I don't know the details and do know we are fighting it but it doesn't look good.
Two people arrived from New York. They said we filed 27,000 signatures for AC and qualified our delegate slates in 12 CDs. Jesse Jackson filed 69,000 signatures; we don't know how many delegate slates. Hart filed 15,000 and McGovern 11 or 12,000. Mondale and Glenn will qualify of course. The big question mark is whether anyone will challenge Hart. He's our real competition because he's leading us in New Hampshire and his supporters tend to like AC as well. McGovern also has some of our potential supporters, but no one takes him seriously so that's not a worry. If Hart fails to qualify for the New York primary, we can argue in New Hampshire that there is no way he can win the Democratic nomination. This might persuade some people to switch to us. An article in the Boston Globe says Hart "forfeited 67 percent of 317 convention delegates in Florida, Pennsylvania and Illinois because his campaign filed incomplete slates." He also filled "only 52 percent of the 366 delegate spots in Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all contests held March 13. In contrast, Mondale and Glenn filed complete slates; Cranston filed slates that are 90 percent complete; former Sen. George S. Mcgovern 51 percent; Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, 71 percent; Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, 45 percent and former Gov. Reubin O. Askew, 68 percent." However the same article also quoted the director of the DNC Compliance Review Committee as saying that Party rules "by implication" would allow Hart to select delegates after the primaries in those states if he qualifies through popular votes. Mark said we would join with the Mondale and Glenn campaigns in opposing such an interpretation.
The latest national poll on the TV news shows Jackson and Glenn fighting it out for second place with 12 and 13 percent respectively. Mondale still has a whopping lead. We only had 3 percent. A Field poll taken around February 1 that was passed on to us showed Glenn with 18 percent and Jackson third with 6 percent. AC, McGovern and Hart all had 3 percent. Mondale had 50 and the rest one percent. However, the margin of error was 3 percent and the undecideds weren't included. More importantly, a question testing name recognition showed us fourth with 24 percent of all voters and 23 percent of the Democrats able to name Cranston as a contender. Mondale was named by 74 percent, Glenn by 54 percent, Jackson by 55 percent, Hart by 15, Mcgovern by 13, Askew by 10 and Hollings by 9 percent. However, a chart cryptically labeled "Acceptability" showed only Mondale and Glenn with over a 50 percent positive response among Democrats. Cranston trailed both Jackson (35) and McGovern (43).
Susan told us Mark will take his staff out to lunch tomorrow. Damn, I wanted to go to Brookings and hear them discuss the Russian succession. And, since I broke my tooth yesterday, eating isn't much fun.
 
2/17/84— Finally got the MCC check from Mark but he told me not to mail it until tomorrow. We have a bit of a problem with this. The MCC has an unusual arrangement in that when they send us checks we are supposed to mail one right back to them, rather than just pay expenses. This agreement was worked out between Sally and Sergio when she was here. I told Mark but don't know if anyone else was informed. Sally submitted $657 worth of checks from the Cranston visit and their fundraising letter. Sergio was in Iowa. Mark told Paul Donaldson, the assistant Treasurer, we had these checks but couldn't pass them on until Treasury had written the return check. Paul said he'd talk to Mike Novelli, the Finance chair whom Sergio had left in charge of running the day-to-day campaign. Mike wasn't in. I saw him later when he passed my desk and asked if Paul had spoken to him about the MCC check. He said no and asked what it was about. When I told him he got very angry. "No one holds checks back on me," he said. Obviously Sergio hadn't informed him of the special arrangements. Mark later told me I had been out of line. "Don't talk money to Mike Novelli." Sally was very upset when I told her this. She tends to overreact. I asked her to be patient, Mark would work it out. So she was delighted when I told her I had the check. She asked me to send it Special Delivery, but I told her we didn't have sufficient postage to do that.
I also said she shouldn't want it special delivery. It might bounce. The pay checks the staff had received last week had all bounced and had to be replaced. We just hoped those wouldn't bounce. I also told her about the phones being shut off for several hours last Friday because we hadn't paid a $17,000 bill. Mike was down at the phone company with letters of credit for the bill at the time some assistant decided to cut them off. I'm not too sure what happened but as far as I can tell, a vendor was trying to attach our bank account, so we closed it and opened another one. Thus the checks written on the old one all bounced. But we supposedly pay all our bills--eventually. And I got a reimbursement check for my expenses of going to New York today as well. I wasn't expecting it for months, given what the other staff had told me.
2/19/84— Mark went to Iowa this evening to coordinate the exodus. We're sending our staff to the other states on Tuesday. He said he might send as many as three people to Minnesota, but none to Georgia. We are writing off the South to concentrate on Maine, Massachusetts and other states where the chances are better. Dropping Georgia I can understand even though I'm sorry about it (especially since I told Beisher we'd probably send him a full time staffer). And Florida is Askew's home territory; I was never too sure why it was a targeted state in the first place expect for the size of the delegation. But Alabama? We've had staff in there all along. We did well in the straw poll. Why Alabama? Equally puzzling, he told Bruce and Barry not to order any more buttons until after Tuesday. They've ordered bumper stickers, 50 of which I've bought for Minnesota, and they were going to order buttons. I want some of those for my states (except Minnesota which did its own) and it takes ten days to two weeks to get them. Will they arrive in time for Super Tuesday?
Speaking of Georgia, Beisher told me he did not call our key supporters and split the fundraising list with them. He says it's "only 90 names" and he can call it himself--in the evenings because he's busy with his business during the day. He says he doesn't trust anyone to do the calling except himself. I tried to explain that it was important to involve other people in the campaign, but to no avail. He did admit that Sylvia Scapa was hot to do something, since she had written him a letter to that effect after receiving his mass mailing. But he still didn't want to call her; he said she had her own list of friends to call. I called her instead and discovered that she didn't want to ask her friends for money. What she wanted was more blue brochures to send to them. She was willing to pay for the mailing herself. I told her it was important to follow up such mailings with personal phone calls, and she assented. I told her about the phone blitz. She was quite mad at Steve's letter; thought it impertinent. I didn't tell her I approved the language before it was sent; but I didn't agree with her either. I did ask her to call Steve and ask him for half the list. Ninety names is too many for one person to call and if she wants to work, I want to use her. She readily agreed, even though she said she had no experience at fundraising and people might not like her accent.
Mark wasn't the only one to leave. Late Saturday everyone was told they were getting on a bus early Monday morning for New Hampshire. I was greeted with this revelation when I arrived today, having left before it was announced yesterday. However, it turned out that Mark didn't want me to go. Bruce is driving 15 people up in a van and returning with it (the rental is cheaper than "one-way"). He, Barry and I are to stay to hold down the fort. Barry will be the Acting Political Director. I had wanted to go to New Hampshire, but Mark told me that those sent there probably wouldn't be back for weeks; they'd be sent on to other states. I can't do that.
Bob Stone sent me a list of names of 1976 Udall delegates he thinks are prime supporters. I'm dubious, but you never know. I've got one of our volunteers calling Directory Assistance for the phone numbers. I need to find someone local to do the calling as it's silly to pay for the phone calls from D.C. I've located 14 people in the 201 area code to participate in the phone blitz and given their names to Craig. As usual he's pessimistic about their doing so. I kept telling him that I had already spoken to them and they assented. They include a Democratic Party County Committeeman, a young lawyer with political ambitions (who won't call in Newark where he lives because the Mayor is a Jackson supporter), two or three students, a disabled person who had worked on several campaigns, an engineer who's a political novice but scared of Reagan, a YD leader, and many others. One woman in particular was anxious to work for Cranston, and said she had lots of free time.
The latest polls are very encouraging in Iowa, but not in New Hampshire. The Des Moines Register poll of potential caucus attendees showed Mondale with 53 percent; Glenn 12; Cranston 9; Hart 8; McGovern 5; and Jackson 3. Among Democrats certain to attend the caucus, the poll found Mondale with 44 percent, Cranston 17; Hart 14; and Glenn 11. But the sample size of this subgroup was only about 150 people so it has a margin of error of 12 percent. Not very reliable, but very encouraging. I told everyone I called about it.
Mark had figures for two New Hampshire polls, one done by the Manchester Union Leader and one by the Boston Globe. Mondale had 26 percent in one and 36 percent in the other. The former showed Glenn with 15 percent; Hart 9; Jackson 8; Cranston 4; Hollings 3; McGovern 2; Askew 2. Thirty-two percent were undecided. The latter had Glenn with 14 percent; Hart 13; Jackson 10; McGovern 6; Cranston 5; Hollings 5; Askew 3. Figures for undecided weren't supplied. Not good for us, except that we, along with Hollings, McGovern and Hart have gone up in the last two months. Mondale, Glenn and Jackson have gone down. But all these numbers are within the probable margin of error so don't mean too much.
2/20/84— This place seems weird it is so deserted. We've gone from being overcrowded to understaffed. Only Treasury, Fundraising and Press remain and the latter was decimated earlier. Issues, Headquarters and Political have mostly gone to New Hampshire. They are going to miss the party. All week several staffers have been planning an Iowa watch party tonight. It's a shame they couldn't have shipped them out a day later; but Cranston is due to arrive in New Hampshire Tuesday and they didn't want him upstaged in the press by his own staff.
Enid told me her list has arrived, but Craig and Bob Stone don't have theirs as of yet. I sent all three packages out Special Delivery; Enid's Thursday night and the other two Friday at noon. They were delayed because a volunteer looked up four pages of phone numbers for Craig, he complained so much about having to do so. Enid says she has a friend living upstairs from her who has all the phone books for New Jersey leftover from her former business (whatever that was). Enid is going to see if she can recruit her to help look up the numbers. I gave her the number of the woman who was so eager to help; but told her not to take her away from Craig's phone bank.
Barry told me to call several of our primary state contacts to find out where they would be about 10:00 pm EST so we can phone them with the official response before any local press do. A couple of the people I called had had their phone numbers changed from that on my list; one to an unlisted number. Others were office phones and the parties weren't there because it is a holiday. This makes me wonder how often these people have been called. I didn't call my own people because I know their home phones and everyone had already told me they'd be home watching. What suspense.
2/21/84— I skipped the party to watch in peace at home but returned later after hearing the early returns, thinking we still had to phone our state contacts even though the results were dismal. Cranston got the predicted 9 percent; but Hart got 15 and McGovern got 13! Glenn got 5; lower than uncommitted at 7.5! Not all the returns were in but it was a depressing evening. Around 1 am Barry and I called people outside the EST time zone; woke a couple up. The official response had taken a while to be prepared. It was essentially that Glenn was out of the race and New Hampshire was a whole new ball game. The choice was no longer between Mondale and Glenn but Mondale and someone else. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers were bunched too close to say one had won. We would continue.
This masked real despair. Reportedly, the campaign had considered folding to avoid incurring any more expenses. We didn't get any good publicity out of this, though the press didn't smash us either. However, we were counting on lots of good press to get the money for the next stage. That all went to Hart and McGovern. I watched all three morning shows but didn't catch Cranston on the Today Show. I may have missed it in my flipping. He didn't get much time or acknowledgement on the others.
I got in late as I went back to sleep after the shows. When I arrived I learned that all staff would be paid as of February 15, and be reimbursed for expenses as of today. Now we were all volunteers, and urged not to spend any money. The Iowa people were not sent to other states; they were told to go home and await further word. About 15 decided to go anyway, though it is not clear to me whether the campaign will send them or they will go on their own. It's all very dismal; though I learned that morale in New Hampshire is high.
Barry asked me to call New York to find out if Jerry had talked with Mark since the results became in and if they filed the objections to Hart's and McGovern's petitions as they were scheduled to do. Either today or tomorrow is the deadline for the general objections, and Monday is the deadline for the specific ones. We asked Mondale to join us, but they declined. They want as many people on the ballot as possible to fragment the opposition to keep any from getting the 20 percent necessary for a delegate in any a CD. We can't afford to have Hart and McGovern on the ballot as they steal votes from us. However, in light of our impending demise, why alienate them? I was told that Jerry Goldfeder had talked with Mark that morning, and the objections would be filed.
I also called a couple of my people in response to their collect calls, but couldn't tell them much. They all had suggestions on what Cranston should say to improve his chances in New Hampshire. Jay Davis said he needed a tax issue. I said what could Cranston say besides lower taxes, which was unrealistic in light of the deficit, or raise them, which wouldn't win him any friends? He said Cranston should recommend that we "soak the rich". In conservative New Hampshire? Someone else, I don't remember who, said more diversity was needed. Being a one issue candidate clearly hadn't worked. I pointed out that now everyone was for peace and disarmament, so something had worked, but Cranston is not getting credit for moving the others; he wasn't identified with his own issue sufficiently.
 

I attribute McGovern's showing to the farmers. He went around saying he was for 90 percent of parity, which is what they wanted to hear. Sally told me many Minnesota farmers had switched from Cranston to McGovern after Cranston's faux pas of saying parity was an anachronism. Obviously they didn't hear his subsequent backpedeling support for "cost of production plus a fair return." The farmers are deeply in debt and going bankrupt, Sally had told me. It looks like they are using McGovern to send a message. McGovern's appeal to "don't throw away your conscience" at the last debate didn't hurt this urge.
Barry asked me to phone his Ohio contact, Mim Jackson, because she had "developed more than a professional interest" in him and he didn't want to deal with her anymore. If the campaign continued he wanted someone else to take over Ohio. I was skeptical of this interpretation, but he was right. She kept me on the phone 30 to 40 minutes. Most of this was spent denouncing Barry for being an insensitive clod who didn't do what he said he would. She was upset that Barry hadn't called last night; I told her no one in the Eastern time zone was phoned because we didn't have an official response until very late. Then she wanted to know why I was calling her instead of Barry. I said as Acting Political Director he had other responsibilities. She said she had told Barry that she wanted to come to D.C. but couldn't afford fare; why didn't he have someone pick her up on the way back from Iowa. I tried to tell her that there was no way of arranging that; and most of those returning to D.C. would probably fly. I also suggested she call Mark in Des Moines to find out if any were driving and might pass her way. She didn't want to.
Mim was particularly pissed that Barry hadn't called any of the jobs experts she had recommended so that Cranston's inadequate jobs platform could be revised. I told her about my problems in getting input into the agriculture plank. The campaign was structured so that the policy making part and the political part were quite separate; indeed there was an invisible barrier between them that was virtually impossible to penetrate without a lot of time, effort and luck. She couldn't believe that Barry didn't know which Senate staffer to call on the jobs plank. I told her we had a list of Senate people, but there were about 50 names on it and responsibilities weren't identified. At the end of this extensive exchange, in order to prepare her for having to deal with someone else in the future, I said that obviously things were so difficult between them that I would recommend to Mark that someone else be assigned to Ohio. Then she got very upset. No, No, she said. "Barry and I work very well together. Keep him in Ohio. I'm coming to Washington next week and want to meet him. We've only had problems for a couple days."
2/22/84— When I got in today I learned that the office is closing down, despite our pushing on in New Hampshire. The desks will be removed on Saturday. The phones will probably follow. The lease runs out Feb. 29. I assume this was known a few days ago, so someone anticipated a move regardless of the outcome. Treasury will continue out of the Treasurer's personal office in New York. The rest of us will at best move to a couple of small rooms someplace on Capital Hill. It's over. Even New Hampshire won't change things now.
Barry showed me telegrams Mim had sent him and Mark asking that Barry be continued as the Ohio contact. She's got a bad case, and I obviously shook her up.
Sally called, frantic for information. I was only surprised that she hadn't called yesterday. She said no one would phone for funds; they were waiting to see what happened in New Hampshire. I didn't tell her how dismal things looked, but I didn't lie to her either. She also said she had gotten more calls from peace people than in the last six weeks. They wanted to know what they could do now; Hart's not favored because he's been a hawk on defense; even Mondale's voting record is better. I said tell them to phone their friends in New Hampshire and tell them vote for Cranston. And send money. The campaign will last as long as the money does. She wanted me to call her back tomorrow, but I said "why spend the money if I don't have anything more to tell you?" She hadn't realized how much these calls cost; we have made them so freely. Restrictions on phone use are the only economy this campaign hasn't practiced to excess; indeed it didn't practice it at all.
Mark returned. He said McGovern's votes weren't just the farmers, but included a lot of urban lefties and students, including Citizen's Party adherents. One doesn't have to be a registered Democrat to vote in the caucuses. Merely show up and say you are a Democrat. Mark said the turnout was larger than we were counting on; that our people had done what they said they would do, but others had come to the caucuses who weren't expected. However, he also told someone on the phone that a couple staffers had said they lost 30 prime supporters to McGovern in the last week. I later heard him tell someone else that we never had the 15,000 supporters we claimed, only about 9,000 and many of those voted for McGovern, leaving us with about 6,000 votes. Mark said Hart's unexpected showing was due to apostate Glenn supporters who thought Glenn doesn't have a chance, so supported Hart to give him the 15 percent threshold necessary to get delegates. (CBS said Mondale would get all but two of the delegates; Hart would get those two). I'm dubious of this but have no other source of information. Haven't read any papers. They aren't around the office as usual. Barry gave me a cartoon out of the comics which he said explained our problem. Cranston has no hair.
It's not as silly as it sounds. A commentator yesterday said Cranston lost because he had neither style nor substance. He was certainly wrong about the latter; I think Cranston is the only candidate who really does have substance. But style is a problem. Cranston doesn't have "presence". He looks his age even though he's quite vigorous. He doesn't speak forcefully. At the Forum for Women State Legislators last December I heard him and Hart give essentially the same speech, but Hart's was interrupted numerous times with applause and Cranston's only once. I suggested at that time to Paul Ambrosino who was traveling with him that a punchier speech was needed. I even offered to write it. Paul said don't bother. Cranston's speaking style was something he wouldn't change. Is that true? Or was it just staff inertia? In either case, it's clear that having the best, or second best organization in Iowa was no substitute. Hart had virtually no organization, yet he came from behind very fast. The one lesson I've learned from Iowa is that, at least in campaigns where voters are saturated with information about the candidates, organization is not all it's cracked up to be, and image is.
Mark said that we had only 1 chance in 10 of surviving New Hampshire, and even if we do we don't have the money for Massachusetts which has a 1.3 million dollar spending limit. The only state we might win in on Super Tuesday is Maine. He's planning on sleeping in next Wednesday. He also said he'd recommended that we either drop the campaign now, or Cranston should get off the road, and get prepped by debate coaches for the League of Women Voters debate Thursday night. We were going to skip that debate because that type of forum doesn't show Cranston off at his best. I gather that the feeling is that Hart and McGovern gained their votes via the debates and that our only hope was to do the same. But Cranston hasn't been pulled off the road.
2/23/84— When I went in today--late because I really had nothing to do--I was told that Sergio had told us all to come to New Hampshire, at our own expense. Someone subsequently interpreted this for me as meaning that we weren't being asked to come help so much as being invited to the farewell party. There was some discussion of who was willing to drive their cars up when. I said I'd like to go Sunday, but couldn't find anyone leaving then.
We spent the day packing. I found this hard to do. It was very sad. There was this ache in me, and in others I'm sure, even the ones talking about their latest job offers. We weren't ready for it to be over; not so quickly. Some said their state people thought 9 percent was OK. But it didn't get us any money or publicity, and without that we can't win. I heard we are 1.5 million in debt and our former direct mail consultants--the Kamber group--were trying to attach our bank account to get the matching funds when they arrive tomorrow. We've switched banks again.
Some people in New Hampshire had locked their desks before leaving and we couldn't find the keys. I suggested we call the furniture rental company, and Mary Thurber, who handles vendors, said don't, they'd just come to pick up the furniture earlier. She finally relented. When I talked to the proper person at the company he was pissed because she hadn't called him to set a time for the pickup on Saturday and assure him an elevator would be available. He asked me to relay his message and I received a very snotty reply from Mary in return. He said he had extra keys, but would have to call me back to make arrangements to get them to us prior to the pickup. He didn't.
I returned later that night to watch the debate, but only Jose, Bruce and Paul del Ponte were left to watch it with me. I thought it would be a campaign affair but now that it's over I guess most others didn't want to stay until 8:00. Cranston was OK, as usual, but didn't stand out in the crowd. His closing statement was his best. I don't think we got any votes from this endeavor.
I stayed until after midnight slowly packing my stuff. I took a box home and left a couple boxes there for the campaign to decide whether to keep or throw away. When I started here several months ago, all my materials could be kept in one small drawer. Then I graduated to a box which I carried with me as I changed desks. Finally I filled a desk, and a file drawer. Now I have to pack and am sorry to leave the new narrow desk I didn't like very much.
Bruce is still packing. He basically lives at the campaign office. He says it's the easiest $400 a month he's ever earned. I don't think "easy" was what he really meant. More likely the most enjoyable. I don't share those sentiments. I'm not a "political junky" as so many here are. Bruce and I have exchanged some harsh words on my preference for not spending any more time here than necessary to get the job done. He has also criticized Andrea, the only other woman desk officer, for taking a day off occasionally. Bruce judges people by their input. He thinks there is always more work to do, even if one just phones the phone book, and everyone should work as long as possible. I am output oriented. I think you should do the job and go on to something else. Obtain maximum effect with minimum effort. The emphasis on putting in the hours is just another form of machismo. Unfortunately, it's a classic component of the male professional work culture. Thus people with other interests or responsibilities in their lives, usually women, can't substitute efficiency for quantity. They are still perceived as inadequate.
Mark tends to side with Bruce. Last week he told me my failure to be there 12 hours a day was deleterious to morale, even though he admitted that there's nothing I've been expected to do which I have failed to do. He couldn't argue with my successes in slating more delegates in Georgia in three weeks than the Hart campaign had been able to do after a year. Nor could he argue with the 345 signatures I got my last weekend in New York. I had a little talk with Bruce afterwards in hopes I could persuade him that judging people strictly by the degree to which they conformed to his own behavior was very narrow minded, but he was unrepentant. His only response to my complaint that if he had anything to say he should say it to me and not behind my back was that when he had an opinion he should feel free to express it to whomever he wished. I thought about giving him a dose of his own medicine, but I also put in more hours the last week just to keep them off my back. As a result my productivity went down.
My feelings toward the job itself, not the candidate or the campaign, were very ambivalent. It was not intellectually stimulating. I didn't learn much I didn't already know. (Because I've been doing political organizing of some sort for almost 20 years). I was much too tired too often for personal enjoyment. The working conditions were difficult. There are no long range benefits from this experience (unless Cranston had won) though no doubt there are for "careerists" like Barry, Bruce and Mark. I didn't have the satisfaction of feeling like I had an insider's knowledge; usually I knew less than the press. And there were times I found myself saying, "how did I ever get myself into this. I don't belong here." On the other hand, I wasn't bored as I had been last year with a "9 to 5" job. I liked the flexibility of coming to the office each day when I wanted to and leaving when I felt like it. (Except when Bruce would make me feel I had to create makework just to be present to keep him and Mark off my back.) I had a lot of autonomy in this job and I liked the responsibility of knowing (or thinking) that what I did made a difference. I ran my states to the best of my ability, had access to advice when I needed it, yet I wasn't monitored and didn't have to wait on someone else to tell me what to do. Of course, my people didn't always do what I wanted them to do; but persuasion, and judgements on when to push and when not to, are what the job is all about. I had a very competent supervisor (Mark) who didn't try to do the job for me or through me. I was my own boss. And I did feel like I was accomplishing something. I'm sorry it's over.
2/24/84— Most everyone left spent the day packing. I hung around and helped a bit since I had done my packing and moving last night. We didn't have enough boxes, so not everything could be packed, but everything had to be removed from the desks and file cabinets so they could be removed tomorrow. Bruce moved my desk to have a niche to put the files and miscellaneous papers on the floors. Since everyone knows how sensitive I am to not having a desk, I thought it was ironic that he picked mine rather than say, Andrea's, who's not even here. At least I could empty my own drawers. Poor Andrea had Barry and Bruce do it for her, with many unkind comments about the contents, especially the Mondale button. (Jose had found a Gary Hart button in Paul del Ponte's desk the night before).
Opening the desks revealed all the hoarded supplies which had contributed to the scarcities of the last few months. Stationary, paper clips, blue brochures, envelopes, posters and many other things I could never find when I needed them piled up on the floor. Someone found a box with a large mailing in it from last January: a couple hundred envelopes, stuffed, addressed and licked, long forgotten while awaiting stamps.
I overheard Mark on the phone saying the objections would be filed Monday though we might withdraw after Tuesday's results come in. Sergio was counseling that we not do this, on the grounds that it would alienate people and would serve no purpose after AC dropped out. Cranston wanted to file just in case he didn't drop out. Mark characterized them by saying that this time Sergio was the realist and Cranston the dreamer. He didn't say that Sergio might be offered a job with the other campaigns and have to undo what he did.
A bunch of people are going to New Hampshire, but it's not clear who and when. One car, or a van will leave tomorrow. I'll go Sunday if I can get two people to drive with me and share expenses. Everyone may lose their last paycheck as our former consultants, Kamber, got a TRO on the matching funds check. The campaign was switching banks continuously to avoid this happening, but I guess they found us. There may be more matching funds later.
Had a long talk with Sally about the election. Her sources also said that a lot of Glenn people switched to Hart, but I still find this strange. I find it less strange that the lefties supported McGovern. There is a large stratum of people in this country, particularly among liberal political activists of the type who vote in caucuses, who are used to supporting losers. Because they never win and because they don't really think electoral politics is a means for achieving social change, they look strictly for candidates who will say what they want to say; i.e. who will be vehicles for their message. We had hoped they would flock to AC since his peace and jobs message is one that should appeal to them. But they didn't, especially after all the other candidates embraced it. And Cranston's virtues to people like me and Sally (pragmatic liberal activists rather than purist ones)--that he could possibly win, and did have the political skills to achieve as much of his program as possible-- appeared as flaws to the purists. They were more concerned about his vote on the B-1 bomber than his dedication to ending the arms race.
3/2/84— I returned from New Hampshire last night. I managed to find two people to drive up with me Sunday to the Manchester office though it wasn't settled until late Saturday night. One was going all along. At he last moment Sergio offered $40 to Paul del Ponte so he could go with me because he knew how badly Paul wanted to go. There really wasn't anything to do in New Hampshire; we just wanted to be there. At Manchester, we were told to go to Nashua. I said I would stay in Dover with my friend Cathryn, but they wouldn't let me work there so I had to commute 50 miles each way. The Nashua office was run by a young woman fresh out of college. Sharon, who had been there all week was quite critical of her. All we were wanted for was "visibility." The day began Monday with everyone (except me, who was still in Dover) holding up Cranston posters along the Freeway entrances for the commuters. I arrived about 10:00 am, but everyone was on break and didn't return until after noon. Then several people were sent out to parade along the sidewalks with signs and Sharon and I went to the shopping mall. We distributed tabloids until the security guards kicked us out, then put them in windshields, along with the Jackson and Mondale leaflets already tucked in there. Later, we were supposed to join the others along the freeway exits, but Sharon didn't want to be in the cold. I agreed with her that we were just marking time and it was hard to justify freezing under the circumstances, so I drove around to the different campaign offices which she went into to pick up buttons, then we had something to eat before going to Derry where the phone bank was located.
It was mostly personed by hired high-school kids, since Hart seemed to have all the college students. Sharon had been making calls from there all week, and described her experiences to me. She had never been too happy being the computer input operator, (i.e. glorified typist) and had wanted to be in political where, as she pointed out, the primary task was to talk, something she was very good at. She offered to help me with my phone blitz when we returned, but I told her I didn't think there would be one. The furniture was gone, and this was it.
Election day was cold and snowy. I took the long route (80 miles) from Dover so I could stay on the freeway, and it gave me over two hours of misery. Driving through the slush and hail was so bad that I kept wondering what I was doing there, but I kept on. Upon arriving I was sent to stand in front of a polling place with a sign. Hart and Mondale also had people there, most of whom were wearing tennis shoes. I lasted about an hour, with the hail pitting against my face, before my feet got too cold to stay there any longer. The young man with me, a Californian, said that when he returned home he could brag about how long he had stood in the snow for Cranston. Your friends appreciate this kind of macho? I asked. Yes, he replied. Well, I said, my friends would think I was crazy, if I were to be so foolish as to tell them. I was back at the office for only half an hour when he called in to say he'd had enough. By now we had heard that Hart was going to win, though I don't know the sources of the information. We also heard rumors that we might come in third, which I didn't believe, and weren't true.
Gary and I went to Derry to phone for a while, but there was little to do when we arrived. Much to my surprise there was no traditional "get out the vote" operation in which tallies are kept of who goes to the polls, and those known supporters who don't are visited around 6:00 to be "pulled." It was strictly a phone operation. Beginning the night before, supporters were called and reminded to vote. At this time of day, any we reached said they had already voted. When asked, they said they had voted for Cranston, but they didn't sound convincing.
Gary and I stopped off at the Manchester office on the way to Concord for the party. All the other parties were in Manchester; we probably had ours in Concord because we couldn't find an available hotel in the biggest city in New Hampshire. At the Manchester office I saw all the supplies we couldn't get in Washington. Piles of yellow pads. Buttons. Stationery. Envelopes. I wanted to take a carload back with me, but knew I couldn't.
The party was quite gay; one would think it was a victory party. Cranston spoke to great applause and an outpouring of love. He kept saying you're all nuts. Later on other staffers spoke and generally had a reunion. There was adequate food, of the expensive hotel variety, and free drinks for the staff through tickets distributed by a couple key people. I wonder who paid for this. We're supposed to be broke. I took some photographs, which I won't be able to use for anything, and watched the others dance. Cranston said he would hold a press conference at 7:30 the next morning. I was surprised at this because I had heard that he was supposed to fly to California and announce his withdrawal from there. Some people thought we would go on to Maine and Massachusetts before giving up, and interpreted this change of venue to indicate things were not over yet. They were wrong. AC announced his withdrawal from Concord. I heard it on the news Wednesday night in New York.
When I came into the office today, everyone was cleaning out. Mark and Sergio will be going on the Senate staff. Some Treasury people will continue working, but I don't know where. We were told to make up lists of people to get thank-you letters and special thank-yous. I used the delegate lists for Georgia and South Dakota, as they encompassed all who had done anything for us. North Dakota was hopeless. I called Sally and Craig and asked them to make up lists for their states and send them to my house; I'll add names when they arrive before sending them on to Mark. There were a dozen or so checks in the mail, mostly from the New Jersey phone blitz. I didn't add them up; just gave them to Mark. I called my key people to say goodby, but didn't reach them all. Some are switching to Hart; others are thinking of doing so. None will support Mondale. I was told Sergio had given a short speech in which he said both the Hart and Mondale campaigns had called asking for workers. We were told to work for whomever we wished. We were also told we'd get our last pay check, through February 15, eventually. I won't hold my breath.

 

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