Each year, Michael Dukakis kicks off the first Southern California Luncheon Society gathering and this year was no different. Joining us in Los Angeles at Napa Valley Grille on Saturday January 14th and then making the trek up to San Francisco on February 24th at Credo, Mike Dukakis has always brought an informative and self-deprecatory approach to getting his message out. Each year he has mentioned that if he had beaten Bush in 1988, he would be speaking to us in another capacity—and says that if he beaten the Old Man, nobody would have ever heard about The Son. In Boston, the former Governor talked about the business of statecraft and why it matters.
Both Mike and Kitty Dukakis were early Barack Obama supporters and were impressed that they built a grass roots campaign to connect with voters, something the DNC forgot about in the 2010 midterm elections. Dukakis believes that Democrats needs to organize down to the small precinct. He believes that six-to-eight block captains per precinct must organize repeated door-knocking excursions and report any supporters or potential supporters back to a precinct captain. In turn, they must be responsible for getting those supporters to the polls on Election Day. “It’s neighbors seeing neighbors. It’s putting a human face on the political process. It’s engaging people in conversations on issues they care about and responding to them.”
The first question Dukakis will ask anybody running for office is “How many precincts do you have? How many of those precincts have captains?”
Grass Roots campaigns based on old-fashioned-precinct-walking shoe leather will deliver a 5-10% incremental lift each and every time. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet personally credits “The Dukakis Lecture” to getting him to retool his campaign to incorporate a grassroots effort which resulted in a narrow come-from-behind win on Election Night 2010.