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Great advance work won’t necessarily win an election. Bad advance can help you lose. It’s all in the details. Don’t believe me? Ask the guy from the 1996 campaign who approved that fake railing.

The venue starts to take shape.

Barack Obama will be speaking in Independence, Missouri tomorrow. If it’s news to you now and you want to attend, you’re out of luck. The free tickets for the event reportedly went in two hours.

The local NBC affiliate does a “standup” for the 5:00 p.m. news.

We received a media advisory today which stated:

…Chicago, IL – On Monday, June 30, 2008, United States Senator Barack Obama will visit Independence, Missouri. Unfortunately, tickets are no longer available.

This afternoon at the Truman Auditorium, workers will begin construction on the site of Monday’s event with Senator Obama. The open site build is a chance for members of the media to catch a behind-the-scenes glimpse of everything that goes into making a presidential campaign event.  

SUNDAY, JUNE 29

EVENT WITH BARACK OBAMA SITE PREPARATION

When: 3:00-7:00 pm

Where: Truman Memorial Building…

So, Blue Girl and I drove to the site and spent a few hours watching the goings on as the space for the event was slowly transformed.

The auditorium looks to be able to hold approximately one thousand people, hence the advance ticketing.

The backdrop has to look just right.

We had the opportunity to have a pleasant conversation with a volunteer, and “organizing fellow”, who was waiting for her meeting to start:

…MB: Do you have sort of a guideline? What do organizing fellows do?

Volunteer: Yeah, we basically are organizers. I mean, we get people to host house meetings and bring all their friends and we try to get them to volunteer for the campaign.

MB: And so they’re bringing you out for this event tomorrow to…

Volunteer: Help out.

MB:…help out…

Volunteer: Because, you know, they don’t have a huge staff here…we’re sort of like the first line volunteers…

…MB: …Are you sort of new to activism now?

Volunteer: I’ve been active in, well like I used to be on the board of the Women’s Political Caucus, so I’ve been more active in local type things, not, you know, like I said, not on a presidential campaign, so.

MB: And what made you decide to do that?

Volunteer: Oh…eight years of being really pissed off.[laughter]

BG: That’ll do it.

Volunteer: You know, and then you hear, you finally hear a voice that makes you get your butt up off the couch and do something and I’ve heard the right voice…

Volunteers are briefed by a staffer (left).

The logistics for an undertaking like this are staggering. All of the campaign staffers we saw are relatively young. You’ve got to be to be able to take the long hours and the life on the road.

We’ll return to Independence early tomorrow morning to cover the actual event.