While The General still hasn't nailed down the pronunciation of canvass (if you were watching "Meet the Press," you'd notice the odd way he said CAN-vass, as can-VASS), he does understand the job of the volunteers and the laborious task of spreading the Clark message in New Hampshire. On Saturday, Clark checked in with the volunteers by phone and listened to some stories from the "canvassing road."
It went something like this (some rough highlights and quicker back-n-forths made by including " … " 's):
Chris Smith, state canvass director of New Hampshire: We believe we knocked on 8,325 doors today.
Gen. Clark: What's the score?
Smith: We're ahead of course …
Clark: We know it's at least Clark plus one, Dean minus one … This is supposed to grow like an amoeba
Smith: That's the plan …
Clark: Of the 100 people or so who were our canvassing, how do we make them happy? What do we feed them, pizza?
Smith: Ziti with meat sauce.
Clark: That'll stick to your ribs — did you all make it OK despite the cold weather? CHEERS FROM VOLUNTEERS …
Clark: How many doors are there total in New Hampshire? I figure we have about 10 weekends left, that would give us only 83,000 doors. Each home must be housing 20 people … we must not be getting enough doors. Which means we must increase the canvassing target … we have to get to 800,000 doors … can you do 100,000 next weekend?
Smith: No problem.
Clark: We'll bring some Arkansas people up, and we'll bring some Texans up. What about the Albanians? Will they drive to New Hampshire to canvass for me? It's my job to motivate and inspire … So we've got a good start … I'm incredibly grateful to ya, I hope you like the ziti … are we canvassing tomorrow? Ok, all right. So we only have 792,000 doors to go …
And while the volunteers worked on Sunday to reach he General's high goal, General Clark himself was off to California where ABC News hears he had a private meeting set-up with the "material girl" herself — Madonna — before heading off to a fundraiser co-hosted by The Eagles. And later this week, John Mellencamp will play a Clark fundraiser.
It's All In The Family
Nov. 14 — For the past two and a half weeks there's been a new face on the road traveling with the Clark campaign. It's a member of Gen Clark's family and it's not his wife or his son. Gene Caulfield is The General's brother-in-law, the "Senior Brother-in-Law" of the Clark '04 campaign.
Caulfield is married to Gert Clark's eldest sister. The General's wife, Gert, is the second oldest, followed by three more sisters and a brother. A Brooklyn and New Jersey native, Caulfield worked for the American Stock Exchange on the trading floor, later moving to Reuters, from where he retired in December, 2002. Following his retirement, he took up consulting on Wall Street again until he got a phone call from Little Rock a month or so ago asking him to help out on his brother-in-law's fledgling campaign.
I'm "the family relative that is indeed working with Wes both at the organizational headquarters and also on the road." And he can literally choose where and when he wants to work. "I will be on the road with him," he explains, "and then all of a sudden I'll decide to go home and rake leaves."