Political Direct Marketing 2004
September 1, 2004

Two months from now, President George W. Bush and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry will wage their final battle for the White House, capping off an emotionally charged, hard-driving election campaign that has seized American consciousness like no other.

To illustrate, consider that when George H.W. Bush ran for re-election against Bill Clinton in 1992, he didn’t mention him by name until July. And in 1996, Clinton didn’t mention Bob Dole by name until August. This time around, the candidates traded barbs as early as Super Tuesday in March.

Political Fallout?
July 1, 2004

Here’s a shocker: Fundraising is tough. Joan Specter, who’s part of the development team at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, spent quite a bit of time driving that point home to me during a conversation I had with her recently.

She was talking about her work with the center, where she focuses on securing major gifts, and explaining how much patience, tact and tenacity it takes to get someone to part with, oh, say, a million bucks.

The Republicans Continue to Astonish
May 1, 2004

When I started the cranky little newsletter, Who’s Mailing What! (now Inside Direct Mail) in 1984, I persuaded America’s premier liberal democratic fundraiser, Roger Craver, of Craver, Mathews, Smith & Co., to write a three-part series on the opposition — the then-current republican efforts that were superb in terms of elegance, sophistication and power. Craver wrote:

Gentle Persuaders
November 1, 2003

It’s a stunningly perfect, late-summer day in the nation’s capital, and Carsten Walter is doing his best Homer Simpson impression — though maybe not on purpose. The affable, animated Walter slaps the heel of his hand against his forehead, rolls his eyes and explains how certain “duh moments” play into his work as director of membership programs at D.C.’s venerable Heritage Foundation.