Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Push Junction: Carpetbagging Hipster Leads Battleground Texas

The San Antonio Express News reports on an early meeting of Battleground Texas:
Jeremy Bird, the former national field director for President Barack Obama and the driving force of Battleground Texas, could have picked anywhere in the state to begin the group's launch tour. He chose San Antonio not because it's the “best city in Texas,” as Juli├ín Castro proclaimed, but because — as Medina noted — this is where the political firepower is located.

Like many successful political organizers, Bird is a hipster nerd: a skinny, bespectacled, coolly analytical veteran of the game who also sees that game as an inspiring civics lesson. The product of a suburban St. Louis trailer park, he has no roots in Texas, but tried to make up for lost time by twice expressing his enthusiasm for tacos.

Above all, Bird might be the best representation of the strategic revolution that Obama (via Howard Dean) has wrought in American politics. While the GOP has made great sport of Obama's background as a community organizer (and it's certainly debatable how valuable that background has been in the White House), that experience made Obama unusually receptive to the concept of grassroots political organizing — and unusually aware of the modern-day limits of TV advertising.


Bird and Jenn Brown, executive director of Battleground Texas, said the campaign will be relentless. It will center on local, precinct-by-precinct drives to tap into the large number of unregistered Latino and African American voters, and the use of state-of-the-art data collection and analytics to get those voters to the polls. And it'll rely on plenty of money.

It all sounded strikingly similar to the ethos that drove the Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012. Obama campaign leaders generally paid little attention to polls. They believed turnout was everything — that they had the votes to win; they just had to go out and get them.

 There isn't a lot of new information in this article.  That Battleground Texas intends to win through aggressive micro-targeting isn't exactly news.  That being said, when they say: 'that they had the votes to win; they just had to go out and get them,' Cahnman's Musings considers that statement interesting, considering that Julian Castro is up for re-election in two months.

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