Cruz's Iowa Win In Part Due to Culture of Kindness and Courage at Campaign HQ

Source: PJ Media | February 5, 2016 | T. Elliot Gaiser

On Monday night, the Republican Party gave the first victory of 2016 to the first Hispanic candidate for president of the United States, Ted Cruz.

Sen. Cruz won for many reasons: his outsider appeal, disciplined message, and sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation. But after two trips to Iowa to volunteer for Cruz, I noticed something else about the Cruz campaign that probably made a difference.

I’ve worked on many campaigns. I started with George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign when I was 14, and I’ve volunteered at the grassroots level every year since. A wise mentor once told me the kind of organization a leader builds says a lot about him.

There was something different about the Cruz campaign, including many signs of kindness and courage:

  • – Cruz’s Urbandale headquarters were like many campaign headquarters – office space in a suburban strip mall. Streams of volunteers came in to sit in rows of phone bank tables, and went out with literature to canvass neighborhoods door-to-door. Staff bustled in and out of small offices. But people were relatively calm and quiet. There was orderliness.
  • – Unlike every other campaign I had worked on, the Cruz operation encouraged volunteers to engage. Plainly typed signs all around the phone bank said, please flag someone down if someone has you stumped with a Cruz question – we want to earn as many supporters as possible! This communicated not only a commitment to discipline, but also to rational persuasion and fearless confidence that our cause is what the voters are looking for.
  • – One of the offices had been cleared of desks and chairs and instead contained colorful foam mats, toy blocks, and coloring books. I saw four or five kids putting together puzzles or coloring quietly while a mother made calls from a folding chair. Someone told me the kids’ playroom was Heidi Cruz’s idea. Families and children were welcome.
  • – After an hour on the phones, I noticed a frizzy-haired teenager emerge from the kitchenette with an old fashioned wooden tray of coffee, cream, and cups, walking quietly between the tables offering volunteers warm refreshment. Later, a middle-aged woman walked around gathering up empty cups and crumpled bottles of water. Every hour or so, another pair of volunteers followed suit, coffee tray then clean up.

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