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Virginia GOP Seizes on Obama Yard Sign Shortage

Tim Craig

In an effort to raise money, the Republican Party of Virginia is seizing on the shortage of yard signs for Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

"While grassroots Democrats are getting discouraged by their lack of materials like yard signs, RPV is working hard to make sure all of our supporters have the yard signs, bumper stickers and materials they need," Frederick wrote in a fundraising appeal, which also took aim at liberals."For example, we've delivered tens-of-thousands of yard signs to our Victory offices in just the last two week. Your most generous gift will help us launch an all-out 30-Day offensive, and will enable us to continue to keep supplies coming."

Frederick was referring to a report that some Democrats are disgruntled that Obama staffers have downplayed the importance of the traditional yard signs, which have long been a big part of Virginia campaigns.

C. Richard Cranwell, the chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, said he has received a deluge of complaints from Democratic activists and local committees over their inability to get yard signs.

"I keep calling Mitch Stewart," said Cranwell, referring to Obama's Virginia director. "But I tell everybody, in this case, it's not about yard signs, spend your money on ID-ing voters and getting them to the polls."

When told of Frederick's fundraising appeal, Cranwell responded, "keep putting those yard signs in your supporters yards, they are going to vote for McCain anyway."

He added, "Yes, I would like to have more yard signs, but the people who call for yard signs are the people who are going to vote for Obama anyway, including my sister."

But one Obama Virginia supporter wrote the Washington Post this morning threatening to withhold her vote for him because of the yard sign flap.

By Tim Craig  |  September 25, 2008; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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Hello, I'm Tim Craig and I wish I could cover real stories of substance but no one will hire me to do that. Instead I'm stuck here talking about inconsequential process stories. If you know if any supporters of either candidate are not happy because the campaign isn't being run exactly as they would do it, please let me know and I'll go to them. Otherwise, I'll just sit here in the office and wait for a blogger or press secretary to give me "news" to report.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The shortage is over.

I just called the Fairfax Democratic Committee Headquarters regarding yard signs. They said to come over this evening to pick some up.

Posted by: DaveN | September 25, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

As a fellow journalist, I'm giving Tim credit here. I posted an item on the Virginia Obama campaign blog, and he e-mailed me and called me to talk about the issue to see if there was anything to what I was saying.

Then he called around and talked to the Obama campaign, another local committee, a Dem who felt disaffected, and reported what he found out.

Nobody sent him a press release saying, "Hey, Tim, we're disgruntled Democrats out here trying to make a big deal about stinkin' yard signs because we don't have anything better going on. Please call us and interview us and write a story." Tim sniffed out a story here, and there is a story here. It's not a campaign putting out a press release or scheduling a conference call to point out some insignificant comment made by some six-degrees-of-separation underling, which is what the partisans seem to want out of their media coverage, something to make them feel good about how their guy is right and the other guy is wrong and never the 'twain shall meet. This is classic man-bites-dog - partisans expressing frustration with their own over strategy.

It's not going to win Tim a Pultitzer or anything, but he and the Post would be remiss if they were aware of this little tidbit of information and did nothing with it because there might be somebody out there who isn't even human enough to sign their name to their potshot whose feathers get ruffled.

Posted by: Chris Graham | September 25, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Given the choice between adequate signage and truly exceptional candidates, I choose the latter.

Obama supporters: We've got the superior candidates. Now, get out your magic markers and show some creativity!

Posted by: desertwillow | September 26, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

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