Sunday, February 05, 2006

Patrick Sweeps the Watertown Caucus

Blogger was acting strange yesterday, so I apologize for the delay in posting about yesterday's Democratic caucus here in Watertown. H2OTown posted her report from the caucus, so if you didn't see that, it's worth a read. She even has pictures.

As you no doubt have heard, delegates committed to Deval Patrick, including myself, swept the caucus here in Tom Reilly's own backyard. We brought about a hundred and fifty supporters. They brought about fifty. It wasn't even close. This was a scenario that repeated throughout cities and towns all over Massachusetts yesterday.

I was pleased and stunned about what happened at our caucus. I was one of the people organizing the slate of delegates for Patrick, so I knew exactly how hard we worked to get people to the caucus. Personally, I printed out letters until two in the morning the day the date of the caucus was (finally) announced so they'd be in the mail the next day. We called and mailed everyone we could think of who might be sympathetic to Deval Patrick's candidacy or even to members of our slate. We did not go out of our way to alert people we knew were Reilly supporters to what we were doing, but neither did we keep this a secret. We assumed that Tom Reilly was doing the same.

But come caucus time, it became apparent that he wasn't. I was expecting about as many attendees who were planning to vote for our slate as turned out. I had been hearing for weeks about how Tom Reilly was not expecting to do well at the caucuses statewide, but I thought that was just his campaign setting the bar low so they'd be able to exceed it. I thought that if the Reilly camp was really on top of things they could have easily doubled the number of delegates we brought. As the morning progressed, however, we saw that the overwhelming majority of people were taking the yellow sheet that had the names of our slate and putting on their Deval Patrick stickers.

While I'm on the subject, I want to thank everyone who came out to the caucus, no matter who you supported. It was crowded, chaotic and often frustrating, and everyone who stayed until the last vote was counted deserves a lot of credit. The fact that so many Democrats fought over the privilege of cramming themselves in that tiny room says to me that we are ready and hungry to take back the corner office in November.

I will say, though, that I think what happened in Watertown really puts the lie to what Tom Reilly said about how only liberals go to caucuses, so of course he lost. The people who went to the caucus were the people we asked to go. They did not just wander in. The Reilly campaign could have and should have done the same if they wanted to avoid the "lost his own hometown" storyline in today's papers. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Tom Reilly, but he showed yesterday that he cared more about what was going on in Lowell and Boston than he did about what was happening just down the road from him.

By the way, there was some talk that the Patrick campaign was parachuting in organizers and really giving Watertown special attention to embarrass Tom Reilly. I don't know where that idea came from, but it's completely false. While I'm sure it's true that they wanted a win here, they didn't give us any resources that were not available to any other city or town. No paid staffers made calls for us or did much else other than give us moral support -- we all did this because we believe in Deval Patrick.