Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

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.

by Alicia Orr Was it fact or rumor, I asked Dan Cirilli, inquiring as to the truth of tales I had heard that he started out in the mail room at Grolier. Cirilli's response: "I grew up in the Bronx and attended the New York School of Printing, a special high school teaching the graphic arts. I then went on to City College at night. It was Robert B. Clarke, an important figure in the history of direct marketing who was executive vice president of Grolier at the time, who hired me, and yes, it was to work in the mail room!" On his

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