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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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March 3, 2008 12:02 PM

Visit to campaign headquarters reveals Texas strategies

Posted by Richard Wagoner

This post is by Liz Burlingame, a University of Washington student who, along with other members of professor David Domke's blogging class, is filing reports from Texas in advance of Tuesday key primary election there. Go here to see other dispatches from the class.

“Look at this place…” University of Washington student Devon Hampton said, as he entered the backroom bar area of Historic Victory Grill in downtown Austin, Texas. Through the diffused blue lighting, we could see the walls were covered with yellowed photos of African American singers and songwriters. The room was empty except for a few worn tables and chairs.

The sign outside said, “Austin’s first home of the blues.”

Hampton was here searching for a man named Clifford Gillard, a Barack Obama supporter who needed volunteer help for the evenings’ Early Vote Party. “Have you guys seen Clifford?” Hampton asked two older men as we returned outside.

They hadn’t, but they directed us to Obama headquarters only a few blocks away. The location was virtually indiscernible from the rest of the community (aside from the Spanish-English Obama posters and blue and red streamers on the outside). This small operation was nestled in between residential homes and a nearby liquor store.

Inside, we saw a wave of activity. Volunteers were practically working on top of each other, in this confined space, compiling polling locations and taking calls. One man squeezed by us in the hallway, carrying a large stack of lawn signs that would be sold at the night’s event.

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