Barack Obama Campaign Should Provide Free Lawn Signs
I have never paid for a political lawn sign. I never will. And I love politics.
Having been involved with political campaigns since 1982 I never have even known of a candidate that charged for a lawn sign. It seemed to run counter to the whole idea of trying to get a candidate’s message out in a grassroots manner. The fact that the Barack Obama campaign is charging from $5 to $8 for a lawn sign is yet another indicator that the political process is less about message at times, and more about money.
Granted, the Obama lawn signs are well made and I suspect the quality will let them endure past the time he is inaugurated in January. (Sad to say, some never know when to take the signs down.) But there is this old fashioned idea that I want to cling to of going ‘down to headquarters’ and getting a free sign, and then proudly putting it in my yard. Even back in the days when I was younger and renting I was known to plant a sign on the apartment property, and Madison being Madison, never was called about the placement.
At a time when I am flooded by commercial after commercial on TV that are the result of multi-million dollar ad buys, am I to believe that the campaign is so cash strapped that a lawn sign has to be paid for? No way.
Four years ago my once very conservative dad from the World War II generation who had faithfully voted for every GOP candidate who had been nominated switched parties, and started voting Democratic. Dad and I were no longer political strangers, and as such he wanted lawn signs to show how upset he was with the direction the country was heading. He had never placed lawn signs for anyone during all the decades I was alive, so I was more than pleased to get him the three he wanted for the various offices up for election.
I still recall the Sunday in 2004 I took them back home to Waushara County. Dad placed those signs with the same precision that one plants a tree. How it would look, and where it best could be seen by cars coming in both directions were of top concern to him. He cared for the signs by taking them in when it rained, and placing them out again when the sun shined.
As a result of those signs my dad was able to talk with other voters about why he had changed parties, and he was able to educate some about the state of the nation.
I suspect a local voter hearing my dad’s concerns about the world was more effective than if that same person had been subjected to another political ad on TV. Those conversations were the result of free political yard signs.
Political signs matter in neighborhoods, and there is more than enough money in most campaign coffers to supply free ones to the proud supporters of a candidate.
The Barack Obama campaign needs to change this political sign policy now.