Obama's $750 Million Juggernaut
The two Davids—Axlerod and Plouffe—are marketing geniuses. They propelled Barack Obama to the presidency by running textbook campaigns in the primaries and general election.
In the course of their work, they raised three-quarters of a billion dollars, upended the entire business of political fundraising and scotched forever the Holy American Empire’s concept of taxpayer-funded elections.
How’d they do it?
I have in my archive 187 e-mails from the Obama campaign to me (from 3/5/08 – 12/9/08) and 207 messages from the Hillary Clinton press office to me (from 3/11/08 – 5/9/08).
This is grist for a book or white paper on what Obama did right and Clinton did wrong—especially since the presumptive secretary of state is in the hole for $30 million and is whining and begging, while the president-elect is sitting on a $30 million surplus.
As readers of this e-zine know, history fascinates me. And for three and a half years, I had the enormous privilege of working for Walter Weintz, the father of direct mail political fundraising.
What follows is the story of how it all began. The pioneering work in political fundraising by Walter Weintz in the 1950s is directly applicable to the world of fundraising today—more than a half-century later—whether you use snail mail, e-mail, off-the-page advertising or the telephone.
How the National Republican Party's Winning Fund-Raising Program Was Built — By Walter H. Weintz (Former circulation director, Reader’s Digest)
From “The Solid Gold Mailbox” by Walter Weintz (John Wiley & Sons, 1987). Reprinted by permission of Todd Weintz.
Once the basic principles and techniques of mail-order promotion are understood, they can be applied in the most unlikely places, and for unexpected products. Although my own initial mail-order experience happened to do with magazines and books, the same rules would have applied had I been working on a correspondence course in accounting, the mail-order sale of Christmas hams or Chesapeake crabmeat, securing leads for Ford cars, or, indeed, getting political candidates elected or fund raising for a political organization like the Republican National Committee.