Skip to comments.Getting started in a political/campaign advisorary career
Posted on 06/27/2005 8:31:05 PM PDT by qawarner
I've been a lurker on Freep for a couple of years and love the site; I was hoping maybe some of you guys could give me some career advice.
I'd like to get involved in the political game as a professional. I'm not a policy wonk; I'd like to be a behind the scenes image crafter/campaign strategy type guy.
I am currently in IT, where I use my analytical/logical mind to solve complex problems. To me it's boring and I feel like I'm wasting my talents as someone with both a logical and creative 'outside the box' mindset. Ive got an IT mind, but Im also not the typical nerdy type guy either (not that theres anything wrong with that).
I've been spending some time thinking about what I'd like to do with the rest of my career (I'm 30), and have come to the conclusion that I would like to help shape the political scene. The idea appeals to me for various reasons, including, but not limited to:
-My desire to be a part of the solution, rather than always be on the sidelines.
-My desire to expand and continually challenge myself and abilities.
-My competitive nature needs to be fed. I'm not going to break any laws, but I'm very competitive and aggressive, I play dirty and don't pull punches.
These traits don't carry over well into IT, but seem to suit politics pretty well.
I see it like a game of poker or backgammon, on obviously a much larger scale. I would never cheat or steal at the table, but my sole purpose is to rip my opponent's heart out and show it to him on the table.
I'm not an idealist; I have my views that would be separate from the job. I don't agree 100% with the GOP pov. On most topics I'm right of the GOP, on a few I'm to the left; but in most issues, I can frame any argument, see any side and turn around just about everything to meet my agenda.
It's kind of funny sitting here thinking about yourself as a political machine so to speak, but it's really what I want to do. I seriously want liberals to get the same face as they get with the mention of Karl Rove's name when they hear mine.
I've sent out a few feelers to the Maryland GOP organization, as well as the national group. Do any of you guys have any other ideas as to where I might go to volunteer and get involved?
Obviously there probably isn't a lot of paid positions in the political/campaign structure with the 04 cycle completed and the 06 campaign still a fair ways off, but at the same time Id like to start volunteering, meeting people and trying to get my name out there.
I honestly don't even know what the positions are that are out there for what I'm looking for, I'm assuming I've got to start at the bottom and work my way up, but I don't even know what the bottom is.
Maybe it's too late for me to jump into this arena, maybe all these positions are going to recent college grads with Hill internships and such, but I'm optimistic, both in my abilities and chances of making something happen.
Any insight you guys can give me about the organizational structure, ways of going about it, skills I should build on etc would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance, have a great night.
Tip One: Don't use the word "advisorary" in any job inquiry.
If you have to ask...don't quit your day job. You should be on the stage. Take the next one back to DU
That's the kind of helpful advice I was looking for =)
It's been a long, long day.
Start at the grassroots level helping a Republican State Rep or Senator get elected -- get to know them well and if you see something they can use, tell them about it. They will not forget the people that help them out -- the more you get involved locally, the more candidates will get to know you and start using your ideas in their campaigns. Then in a couple of years, you should be able to start getting paid a small amount and go from their to a Congressional campaign. There are a lot of consultants but few really good consultants that have a real feel for politics.
You are not too old -- not even close. Candidates look for people that have ideas they can use -- age doesn't matter.
Also you could offer your IT experience to local candidates to help them design their websites and their campaign literature. You might be surprised at how few of people are around to develop a website for candidates or for the County/State parties. There is money in it but from what I have seen, you have to volunteer first and when they see your work, the next people will be willing to pay with a track record.
Hope that helps! Good Luck!
Since you are an IT guy; I have a friend here in Southeast Texas who got on his p.c. at home and made up a Voter Data Base. It's easy to acquire because it's all public information; who's registered (name address, precinct #, phone number), what party affiliation, what primary they voted in, voting history, etc., etc., etc. He sells them for a few hundred bucks per precinct for County Commisioner Candidates and the like and for the larger portion of the population data base, the more politicians are willing to pay. I think he gets anywhere from $300 to $3,000 depending on how much data base the candidate needs. It's a great tool for contacting voters and keeping records on potential votes for personal contact, mail-outs, phone banks etc.
Also, any candidate you really feel strongly about supporting would be glad to have you come on their staff. You will learn more by working in a campagin than you can reading "How To...." books.
writewingnut, are you a troll?
Ever hear of the Leadership Institute? They have courses on such things.