President Barack Obama’s campaign operation appeared to be getting off to a shakey start Friday, sending out an ill-timed email calling on millions of supporters to flood the Capitol Hill switchboard with calls supporting gun control.
Call in campaigns can be a powerful tool in lobbying Congress: when done right, lawmakers’ offices are inundated with thousands of constituents demanding to speak with the senator or congresswoman about a particular issue. Well-orchestrated campaigns can even result in the congressional switchboard going down for hours at a time, disrupting everyday life in the Capitol and giving everyone in the building a sense of a national grassroots surge.
But the Obama email, penned by Former Obama campaign manager and National Chairman for OFA Jim Messina, didn’t seem to be having much of an effect Friday afternoon. Five Democratic and Republican offices contacted by Buzzfeed from Illinois, Kentucky, California, Oklahoma and Tennessee reported either normal or below normal call traffic during Friday afternoon, and no perceptible increase in calls about gun control.