Signwaving – a primer

October 16th, 2008 by Ken

I spent part of yesterday afternoon waving a campaign sign for William Bayness, a candidate for judge.  Bill’s a friend of mine and I promised I’d help him in any way I could – – and waving a sign was one way.

It isn’t the first time I’ve waved a sign.  I’ve done it many times for other candidates and I have a sign of my own which reads “Vote NO.”  I can usually be found waving that sign when some significant tax increase is on the ballot.

In all of my time of waving a campaign sign, I’ve come up with some observations.

It’s always cold.  Election time is in the fall, so for the most part, the weather is usually damp and cold.  So dress warm.  Wear a hat, a coat and gloves.  Dress like you’re going to a football game.  You can always take items off if you don’t need them.

Commit for no more than one hour.  Any longer and you lose your enthusiasm.  An hour is a long time.  It’ll seem like several.

It may make time go faster if you take a friend, but I wouldn’ t suggest it.  Waving signs is an intense assignment.  You can’t talk with a friend and do your job.  If you take a friend, have him or her stand on the opposite corner.   Don’t talk on the phone, drink coffee or converse with the  friend.  Pay attention to your job.

Your sign must be on a pole and should be two-sided, so it can be seen from both directions.  One two-sided sign on a tall pole is plenty.  You don’t need more than one sign.  You can’t handle more and wave at the same time.

Always face the traffic.  When the light changes, turn and face the traffic from that direction.  When it changes again, turn and face the new traffic.   Make eye contact.  You’ll be surprised how much eye contact you can make.  And smile.  Look like you’re having fun.  People want to know that you really think your candidate is the best and smiling is a good way to show your support.

Wave at people.  Many, if not most of them, will wave back.  It’s only when you have that personal contact that people will read your sign.

Some people will give you a thumbs up, some people will give you the finger and some people will honk and wave.  Always, always wave back to anyone who acknowledges your presence, even if it’s negative.

Those are Ken’s rules for political sign waving.  Enjoy, and may your candidate win.

Incidently, the first time I heard of political sign waving was in the mid 1970’s when Harris Hunter was running for Thurston County Treasurer.  It was so unique that The Olympian ran a picture of him on the front page.  He won.

Posted in Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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