Topic category: Other/General
Inside the Obama Campaign
I've received plenty of email from both supporters and critics of rookie United States Senator and presidential hopeful Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.
Obama supporters who email me usually are as crude and crazed as Obama's spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah A. "God damn America" Wright, Jr.," as shown on those "controversial" excerpts from his sermons proudly put on a DVD and offered for sale at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois.
Susan O'Donnel is an exception.
Referring to Obama, Ms. O'Donnel emailed me as follows:
"I feel like the media just takes his press releases or statements at face value, who does that? I say that because I have worked on presidential campaigns as an advance person. This week I read that he only hires great people and refuses to have any drama. I don't know where that information came from or why it wasn't questioned because I did one trip for his campaign, and there are few ways to get to see how a campaign works better than doing advance for one.
"It was the worst week of my life (professionally). Averyl Bailey was the lead and made everyone cry -- every day. There was a person who was at least as experienced as her and I talked to her most days because this woman made me so unsure of myself and the job I was doing. If you look into who did advance for the campaign last spring, you will see that she had 80% of the teams she led fired from the campaign. When they do that they don't tell you. they just never call you again. That's what happened to me and seven other people on the team. She left hundreds of people in her wake and created nothing but drama. My family loves Senator Obama but won't vote for him because of the way they treat people -- and I know people who work on the campaign and Ms. Bailey is still there and not liked by anyone. Being unpopular is not a big deal if you do a good job or are effective but she is neither.
"I just don't understand why the press takes his word for everything. You shouldn't take mine, you should research this the same way you should research things he says. Feel free to email me any questions you have."
I emailed Ms. O'Donnel an invitation to write more for me to share with readers.
The result is "The politics of personal destruction and Barack Obama," which is much more illuminating and insightful than the promotional material passed on as news in the pro-Obama press.
"I was raised in a Democratic and politically active family and probably knew I would move to Washington, DC to work for Congress after college, where I majored in political science and campaigns. When I got here in 2002, Congress had a Republican majority but I got a job on the Hill as a staff assistant and was happy. Being in the minority just made me want to work harder.
"In 2004 I volunteered in Senator Kerry's DC office until his advance staff let me go on the road. I took vacation time to do a few trips for free and LOVED it. Advance is not something you can have mixed or other feelings about and you can't tell until you try. You love it or hate it. They had me doing Remain Over Night, where you do all the hotel logistics for the candidate and traveling staff, or help with the event site or sites, setting them up, making sure there are porta-lets and that sort of thing. It may not sound glamorous but it is the best job in the world. My work was good enough that I quit my day job and joined that campaign full time. It was the ride of my life until we lost.
"In 2007 I went to the DNC winter/spring meetings in Washington, DC to see all the presidential candidates speak. I didn't know who to support. All looked good and bad at the same time. Then I saw Senator Barack Obama. His speech was everything his 2004 convention speech was and more. More importantly, I got to meet him after. If someone tells you they can meet him and not like him, they are lying. He was down to earth and nice and everything people had said. When I talked to him I felt like I was talking to the next president of the US.
"I spent the next few months trying to get on the road for him. I called every person I have ever met in politics and told them what I was trying to do. It took some work but they finally sent me out, and I agreed to go out for a small fee for my first few trips. They have to test out new people and I was virtually unknown to most of their staff. My first few trips went well, or at least well enough to be asked to do more. I thought I would be on the road through November 2008 and was looking forward to a longer campaign experience.
"Then I met Averyl Bailey. Every advance team has a 'lead' who is really your boss for that trip. She was harsh when I first met her but advance leads come in all shapes, sizes, colors and personalities. I heard she was tough but that if you did a good job it would be fine. I did and it wasn't.
"You can learn a lot about a campaign doing advance. You get a window into how they view the world and treat people or events. The lead's job is to make sure everyone else does theirs and that nothing is overlooked. It's a stressful gig for sure. Averyl's approach was to be as mean as possible. In any campaign people will be mean, arrogant, abusive, disrespectful and unprofessional. None of that bothers me because it's kind of a "been there, got the t-shirt" kind of thing. She was all those and more. We have daily meetings in advance and hers started with a 20 minute speech about how many ways we could mess up, all of which would lead to our dismissal, and all the ways she had seen people screw up, who were now gone. We were berated nightly for sins other advance people had committed on other trips. And she was paranoid. We were told if the Senator needed food and we used his name in ordering it, we'd have to eat a bite to make sure it wasn't poisoned. As part of the RONs on my last campaign, I got food for the Kerrys all the time and never tasted it. I often had to say where I was from so I got it in time. I saw most people on that team cry "every day". Nothing any of us did was right. It started to break my heart after the third day because our meetings were like watching someone beat puppies. We all left them dejected and defeated.
"Every campaign is different. Every lead is different. Every trip is different. I wanted Averyl to like me, because she was my boss, to be asked by her for feedback. She hated "dumb questions" and all of mine were. I apologized and said I just wanted to do the best job I could but nothing anyone did seemed right. I had worked with one other person and we talked about it and she thought if we just made sure there were no mistakes on "game day" (the day of all your events) there should not be a problem. To be sure I talked to people I knew on the campaign and they said that I should just do my best and wait it out; the next trip would be better. Well, our game day way flawless but it was my last trip. Advance can be like dating, the guy never calls to say what you did wrong, he just never calls again.
"It would nice to say she had a bad week. We all have them. I called around and out of the ten people on my trip, eight were never called again. Before I left I had been told to "pack for a long time" because they wanted to keep me on the road and I got my check and not the occasional fundraising letter but no calls. I have since learned that many teams Averyl headed up went the same way and she is still out there; loved by the candidate and hated by everyone else. This week I read that Senator Obama has a "zero tolerance policy for drama" and I don't get it. Averyl is brilliant at showing him a different side of her than what the world sees. Don't take my word for it, look into it.
"Words matter. One person can make a difference. Every vote should be counted. I was raised to, and do, believe these things are more than sayings. I have never missed voting since I turned 18 but I am going to sit this one out. I just can't vote for another Clinton, though I loved voting for Bill Clinton (1996 was my first presidential election that I could vote in). I don't like the idea of dynasties. I'd vote for Mr. Obama but you only get to break my heart once."
It took more than a year for the media to note what Obama must have had in mind for "disinviting" Rev. Wright after inviting him to speak at the announcement of his presidential campaign, on account of "rough" sermons.
Will the media investigate and expose what happens behind the surface of the Obama campaign or merely show the public what the Obama campaign wants them to see?
In that fairy tale about the Emperor, the truth was that the Emperor was not wearing any clothes, but, like the Emperior, his foolish subjects had been successfully made to think otherwise.
The truth about Obama and his campaign is not nearly as attractive as the fairy tale of a young man, half-black and half-white, becoming the President of the United States, transcending race and ushering in an era of world peace, prosperity and only wonderful weather.
The idealistic Ms. O'Donnel wants every vote to count, but the wily Obama makes exceptions (currently voters in Florida and Michigan--he blocked revotes).
Whether we deserve it or not, we need much better than a hypocrite being hyped by the biased media who thinks that babies born as a result of botched abortions should be denied the same Fourteenth Amendment protections afforded to people in America without permission (aka "illegal immigrants"), to whom Obama wants to give driver's licenses.
Michael J. Gaynor
Biography - Michael J. Gaynor
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.
Gaynor's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.