Campaign workers seek new trails

Marketplace Staff Nov 7, 2008

Campaign workers seek new trails

Marketplace Staff Nov 7, 2008


Bill Radke: We told you earlier about the transition underway
between the Bush and Obama administrations. There’s another transition going on too — thousands of campaign workers who toiled long hours making calls and knocking on doors
are now grappling with the question, “now what?” From the swing state Ohio Public Radio, Karen Kasler has more.

Karen Kasler: It was the day before the election, and a dozen volunteers manned the phones at John McCain’s campaign office in Columbus. Glassworker Rick Datchick took 10 days’ vacation to help out. He was already contemplating going back to work.

Rick Datchick: It’s going to be an adjustment, because this there was just so much at stake here.

Kasler: You’re getting very emotional, this is really personal to you.

Datchick: Yeah, it is.

Later on that evening, at a Jay-Z and Beyonce concert for Barack Obama, campaign volunteer Bill Fullerton said he didn’t miss too much at work — he’s a realtor.

Bill Fullerton: Well, not much to do. Hahaha!

Datchick and Fullerton are among thousands who left jobs and college, often temporarily, to help out their candidates. Now, they pick up where they left off. But it’s different for paid staffers.

Aaron McClear is press secretary for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger. Before that, he worked in Washington at the Republican National Committee, after managing George W. Bush’s Ohio campaign in 2004. McClear says when Republicans held power, there was no shortage of jobs.

Aaron McClear: Now just you know, two years later, it’s completely opposite. And so if you are a Republican, it’s very difficult to get a job there. There are a lot of Republicans looking for the same few jobs right now.

The day after the election, Columbus workers for Obama packed up boxes and chattered about how to get jobs in D.C. or elsewhere. Aaron Pickerell is going back to the staff of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland after serving as director for Obama’s Ohio campaign.

Aaron Pickerell: You close down, you celebrate, you rest, you sleep a couple of weeks, you figure out what’s next, and a lot of people will go do campaigns. There will be enormous opportunity for folks to go work in the administration, I think.

It’s hard for the members of the losing team. A spokesman for the McCain campaign in Ohio wrote in an e-mail: “We have no interest in participating in this story.”

In Columbus Ohio, I’m Karen Kasler for Marketplace.

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