Friday, May 18, 2007

Deep Inside (Literally) Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire Operation

We like to think that GreenMountainPolitics1 is in the "informed opinion business". And being in the "informed opinion business" we try to talk to as many people in New Hampshire as we can get our hot little hands on.

Earlier this week we contacted Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign and asked them if it would be acceptable if we dropped in and saw what was cooking at their campaign office.

"We want to kick the tires a little bit," we told them.

"Sure, what time is good for you," came their quick response.

We've said it before and we will say it again - we have been pleasantly shocked (SHOCKED!) at the level of access we have gotten from Hillary's campaign. We are just a humble (HUMBLE!) Blogspot Blog after all.

And so this afternoon we dropped by Hillary's campaign office at 34 Fir Street in downtown Manchester to "kick the tires."

Sarah Foy, Hillary's NH Director of Online Organizing, acted as our guide and introduced us around the office.

Mind you, all of our conversations were off-the-record. GreenMountainPolitics1 is only on-the-record when we say, very clearly, "ok, we are now on the record."

The "informed opinion business" doesn't mix very well with the "gotcha journalism business". We want people to feel comfortable talking to us. Not clam-up and stomp the other way.

Not that there was anything particularly juicy said this afternoon. We were there to look around, not get Hillary to engage Obama for the first time.

And, having kicked the tires, we came away impressed.

First, you could practically smell the "Metrics" at work in that office. There were charts, graphs, diagrams, check-off lists, other types of lists and colored maps hanging everywhere. The place screams "measured accountability". Which is a good thing if you're in it to win it in New Hampshire.

Second, Hillary Clinton must (MUST!) have the largest NH staff of any campaign. There were people everywhere. And, although we can't prove it, they all looked busy as hell. That's a good sign.

And finally, Communications Director Kathleen Strand told us (again) that she is still working on nailing down our lunch with the Senator. And, when a press shop is as dedicated as she is to taking care of the needs of The Clacker, well, that campaign is going to do just fine.

We're just saying.