…Demoralized as Hell : AH Squad Leader Edition

He wasn’t wasting his money.  A candidate’s assessment of his chances was discreetly checked and rechecked through other sources…if a report was highly unfavorable, so was Johnson’s response: Noel P. Fox Democratic candidate in Michigan’s Ninth District, told Johnson that he was leading by 1,500 votes, but Johnson knew better (Fox in fact was to lose by 12,000); “None,” he wrote next to Fox’s name.

Robert Caro  Lyndon Johnson The Path to Power 1982

The old Avalon Hill gaming company created some of the most amazing military simulation games in history from the Siege of Jerusalem to the Arab Israeli Wars, the greatest of these games was a World War 2 infantry game called Squad Leader.

The game pieces represented individual squads of 3-12 men and single pieces representing the Squad Leader after whom the game was named.

The leader piece and the morale system was the greatest innovation in war-gaming. The entire game mechanics was about keeping the morale of the troops high enough to keep fighting. If you lost your morale and couldn’t rally them, you could not win, PERIOD.

Which brings us to again to Bain and the Obama Campaign.

Yesterday I talked about how the Bain attacks were all about keeping big donors giving, but as any campaign person can tell you while money is vital to a campaign it can’t do everything.

With allies like the Unions and groups like ACORN you can produce astroturf to make a protest but all of those things require either money to pay such people or intimidation to make sure people show. I never forgot meeting a Union Steward who was checking to see which of his members showed up for a rally for Coakley in Worcester and who did not.

A campaign simply can’t survive if they have to pay for each and every individual doing the grunt work you must have Volunteers motivated to do these things. Without the volunteer foot soldiers, willing to knock on doors, willing to hold the signs, willing to do all of the small things a campaign falters.

Volunteers give the single most valuable thing a human has, the one thing he can’t create more or earn more of. The one thing he can never get back TIME.

While there are a few romantic quixotic types out there. It is almost impossible to get people to give that time if they believe there is no chance for victory. Even the true believers once they figure there is no chance, will move on to the next campaign.

And that’s the 2nd reason why the Obama campaign is going all in.

The money problem is huge and may already be insurmountable for the president’s re-election campaign, but if the foot soldiers decide this election is over at best they might end up on a local, state or congressional campaign, at worst, they’ll just go home they might even not vote.

So the Obama campaign will burn money and keep burning it as long as they can, because the moment the stop the truth of these words become clear

“Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell”!

their squads of volunteers will disappear from the board, never to return.

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