Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2008/09/virginia_gop_seizes_on_obama_y.html#more

Okay, it’s official.  The end times are near.  It’s late September and there are hardly any yard signs in Fairfax County.

Today’s Post carried an article featuring quotes from County Chair Scott Surovell (who is my law partner) which decried the lack of Obama yard signs in the County.  Volunteers are actually having to “earn” them by knocking on doors. 

I am not a political consultant.  If I was, perhaps I could explain why it’s more important to buy more TV commercials about “change” rather than allowing ordinary Virginians to articulate their views in their front yards.  Enough already.  Get the signs out!

Think signs don’t matter?  Let me tell you a story.

In 1998, I was new lawyer with zero name i.d. running for Fairfax City Council against several more established candidates.  My chances were considered slim by those who even considered me.

I started knocking doors in January.  Whenever I met a friendly face, I asked if I could put a sign in their yard.  After four months of door-knocking, I had 300 commitments which was a lot for a young guy.  I think some folks simply couldn’t say “no.” 

I put my signs out a couple weeks before Election Day (which was in May).  They all went up one night thanks to my friends from NOVA Rugby.  The next morning, with the signs all up, I was suddenly a legitimate contender.  And on Election Day I won the open seat by a nice margin.

Sure that was a local election.  But all elections become local at some level.  You vote at a local precinct with your neighbords.  Local visibility for a campaign at any level is like oxygen.  Bumper stickers and signs are critical for letting folks know that you’re not just running — you’re going to win!

Again, I’m not a political consultant.  But don’t disrespect signs. 

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