October 28, 2003

AHEAD OF THE CURVE: In the mail today was a copy of Walter Shapiro’s new book, One-Car Caravan: On the Road with the 2004 Democrats Before America Tunes In — which, as the title indicates, is a report of time he spent with the candidates back before anyone was paying attention. I’ve just flipped through it so far, and it looks quite interesting, but I’ll try to provide a longer report later when I’ve had a chance to actually read it. But here’s an interesting bit:

Even in late May, when I spoke with Schriock about Internet fund-raising, she projected the slightly nervous tone of a 1920s aviatrix about to attempt a cross-country flight. “Someday just like direct mail, it’s going to be a science,” she said. But right now, she admitted, there was just too little of an on-line track record to hazard a realistic second-quarter projection. . . . They were all like high-school science students who had thrown a bunch of volatile chemicals into a beaker and had no idea if they were going to spark a chain reaction. As the evocatively named Zephyr Teachout, a former death-penalty lawyer who now oversees Internet organizing for Dean, put it, “The learning curve for all this is extraordinary.”

Not nearly as extraordinary as the results.

More on this, later.