Day 2: much like day 1. I awoke early, as is my custom, and did a bunch of admin work associated with the job I'm vacationing from in order to volunteer. I hit the Marriott for a fat omelet and then headed in at 1030. My day's labor? Database management. You see, the colossal database that I created the day before was had a number of dupes, and a significant amount of missing information. I spent the day trying to find that information--sort of like detective work. For instance--the database I am putting together has first name, last name, email, zip code and county. That's it. So let's say there's someone named Bill Shuster from Davenport, and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no zip. There is no country. So I enter Bill Shuster into a database of Iowa voters into which the campaign has access--and I start hunting. Perhaps it turns out six Bill Shusters. Invariably, two will be registered dems--so I dismiss them leaving me with three R's and an independent. The easy kill is to find someone named "William F. Shuster" who is a Republican--if I do, I consider it a match, locate his zip and county, and then consider it complete. I did stuff like this all day, and there's probably another day's work left to complete the database.
The news of the day seemed to be Governor Perry's impolitic description of the Fed Chairman. Don't know as I agree with the Gov on that one, but one has to wonder whether we'll hear more of that kind of political Turette's from Perry.
After work, I had a steak at Outback (and the wings--way too much food) and then came back to the hotel where I apparently passed out from over-consumption.
Today I'm told, I'll be on the phones. Here's why. The Iowa Caucus is a strange beast, unlike other electoral processes. On the big night, in order to register one's vote, you have to ALL SHOW UP at the precinct location at a certain time. Once there, ALL THE CANDIDATES have reps who give a one or two minute final wrapup speech in support of their candidate (these are called Precinct Leads). There are 99 counties in Iowa all divided up each into scores of precincts. Therefore, a candidate looking to compete in the precinct needs to have a precinct lead identified and the appropriate talking points etc. provided to him or her.
Romney's campaign has the list of its precinct leads from last time, and we're going to start calling each of them to see if we can count on them to perform the same role in February. Phil (the full-time staffer), Chris (the college student "intern") and I will make these calls all day, presumably. Chris is an Iowan, the son of a state pol and a college student in DC. He's a smart kid, with an easy, ironic manner that makes me chuckle as I listen to his stories.
The big mystery to me (and to Jon Stewart, apparently) is why no one seems to take Ron Paul seriously. I've written here that he will be a top three guy--probably all the way to the convention--because he can raise money and because he's got a message popular with many. It mystifies me how he is so ignored--by the media and by the other campaigns.