The fact is that the Right is making strides to close the gap with the Left regarding campaign database technology. The Right, however, needs to be careful in understanding what this is really all about; with all the buzzwords of analytics, modeling, targeting, technology being thrown around in center right circles, there is the distinct danger in forgetting that database technology is absolutely a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.
Now that I’ve had a few days to recover from CPAC, here are my thoughts on all of it.
The Activism Boot Camp was a very strong success. It was the first time in 42 years that CPAC has taken a run at having a coordinated approach to training. Kudos to the American Majority team for really driving it, but also to Leadership Institute, America Rising, Young Americans for Liberty and the others that participated in the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday training sessions. Wednesday afternoon’s turnout pretty much shocked everyone involved. We literally ran out of space/seats. Overall, almost 1,000 people came through the Activism Boot Camp sessions at CPAC. I think next year, in a Presidential, we can, and will, really kill it. 2,000 maybe?? I fully intend for the Activism Boot Camp next year to really take a step up. We will make. magic. happen.
In a normal, practical world, after getting bludgeoned upside the head, smart people usually step back, appreciate their “teachable moment,” and ask, “What can I learn after this particular disaster to make sure it doesn’t happen again?” And so one would think it should be after the RNC and the Romney campaign . . . and Karl Rove’s Crossroads group. . . and the Koch Brothers. . . all combined spent several bank vaults of money on television ads, mail and phones, only to lose virtually everything in 2012. For those with a practical view of wanting ROI for money spent, this would be zero return on investment. Well, one would think perhaps lessons were learned from this. Certainly, in a practical, real world environment, behavior would be forced to change. But here’s our first lesson: GOP and center-right politics do not operate in the real world. It is something of an alternate universe.
We’re less than five weeks out from the midterm elections, and by all appearances they will go well for the Republicans. Gains in the House and Senate are likely, with the majority in the Senate within reach. Pick-ups are likely at the state level as well—just as important, but frequently overlooked. So you can be relatively sure that on the night of November 4, there will a ton of backslapping and plenty of folks walking around with that winning glow.