I know that 21st-century campaigns are about micro-targeting individual voters using social media and laser-casting of print, web and Facebook advertising, plus organizing and get-out-the-vote drives of ultra-granular, peer-to-peer viral specificity and outreach through personal, neighborhood and email contact.
I get that.
Well, I laser-cast, too. I did it by talking to the guy sitting next to me on the plane to Charlotte.
After an hour-and-a-half flight and two cups of coffee, I knew this: The fellow was as vivid an explanation as there could be for why President Barack Obama is in the fight of his life against the newly nominated Republican ticket.
My seatmate (whose name I can’t use because his employer would have fits if he spoke publicly) is a 44-year-old African-American Army vet and married man. He describes himself as apolitical but is a registered Republican who reads national newspapers on his iPhone. In his spare time, he mentors young athletes and their families and does some recruiting for his college.
In 2008, he crossed party lines to vote for Obama. He watched some of the GOP convention from Tampa, Fla., last week and was underwhelmed. But he’s not voting for the president again.