Political backroom operators from across the political spectrum get on pretty well. Good professionals keep the back-channels open, partly out of mutual respect for their backroom opponents, partly because there are so few good people who are any good at campaigning and they like to talk to others even if they are opponents, and partly because it is important to be able to exchange information and stop stupid stuff from happening on the campaign trail.
So I wasn’t surprised when I got a call from a Labour person close to Phil Goff asking me about the NBR article on Victoria Crone’s campaign. Part of it was a fishing expedition for information, and part of it was because Goff’s team have been laughing themselves silly at every move Crone makes and wanted to make sure they weren’t underestimating their opponents.
The article itself was strange because experienced campaigners know that they should never be in the media. Their job is to get the candidate in the media, not get attention themselves. Yet the article is all about Joe Davis, who has given himself the title “Campaign Director”. There is a rule in politics, adhered to by all the backroom operators worth paying, that campaigners who want profile should be running themselves, not running other people’s campaigns.
Although it appears Auckland Future is still pondering this question – its website is entirely silent on the issue – Mr Davis tells NBR he made up his mind a month ago to throw in with Ms Crone.
“During the Christmas holidays Vic approached me and asked if I’d consider leading the campaign for her, which I was obviously thrilled to be able to do,” he says. Read more »