Steve Bouchard
NH State Director, Bob Graham for President, Inc.
Transcript of May 23, 2003 Interview

Q. When did you start and what have you accomplished?

I started in March and what we've accomplished is we've put together a few trips, we've lined up some key endorsements, we are beginning to lay out our staffing plan, we just got an office--so we've laid a lot of the early groundwork that's critical to make this happen.

Q. where's your office going to be?

It's going to be in Manchester at 60 Rogers Street, the corner of Hayward and Rogers.

...and how did you find that space?  What were you looking for?  How many spaces did you look at?

We looked at a bunch.  I don't know the number...more than 10.  ADA compliance was the first consideration; following that parking, and just the right workspace.  And we found a mill that is perfect on all those.  It's ADA compliant fully, it's got ample parking, and it's just a great campaign atmosphere. many square feet do you have?

I don't even know.  5,000? it already built out or are you going to have to do a lot of --

It's done.  It's move in condition.  We're moving in June 1st.

Q. What's your biggest challenge at this point?

The biggest challenge is just getting him around to meeting people like this...  This is his strength is doing the one on one stuff and just getting him to meet people, and it's not so much a challenge, it's just time.  It takes a lot of time to do this.  I think that if we tell his story and if people get to know him, he's going to quickly move up people's lists in terms of who they're supporting.

Q. Is he behind already?  Dean made over 20 visits in 2002.

The bulk of the polling right now is all name recognition, and that'll become a wash toward the end.  And the average voter hasn't made up their mind.  You've got all these different counts that say this person's got X number of endorsements and this one has this number.  Those are important, but 25 people have never made the election in New Hampshire.  It's voters that make the election.  Having brand name endorsements doesn't assure victory; it's meeting people like this; it's doing this stuff.

Q. How did you come to sign on with Bob Graham?

I was actually doing contract work for SEIU, a contract job, and was going to work for another campaign--and I'm not gong to say who because I know you'll ask.  But I was going to work for another candidate before Graham got in the race.  And then somebody called me and said will you meet Graham?

...was that Steve Jarding?

No, it was Paul Johnson.

Said will you meet Graham?  And I said well I'm not signed on, but I'm about to start with this other candidate.  And he said well will you at least hear him out?  And I said I will as a favor to you, but you've got to understand I'm going to go work for this other guy.  And he said fine, but hear him out.  So I went and I met with him.  And I mean I've known about Bob Graham for years and known what he's done in Florida and known his record, and known all the reasons why he'd make a credible candidate, but literally ten minutes into my meeting with him, the first conversation I had with him, I knew I was going to work for him.  There was something so sincere and genuine about him.

...when and where was that meeting?

It was at his townhouse in DC in February or March, and I just knew it was going to be a good fit.

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