Imagine the unlikely scenario of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign advisor moonlighting as a hot dog vendor at Boston Red Sox games just days before highly-anticipated debates this week, or the senior strategist for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign serving as a ticket-taker at a fly fishing tournament in Vermont.
With the first debates of the Democratic presidential season just around the corner, shouldn’t Rep. Eric Swalwell’s presidential campaign senior strategist have something better to do than working the information booth at an Oakland A’s game?
On a warm Wednesday afternoon last week, Tim Sbranti, a member of Swalwell’s presidential staff and former congressional deputy chief of staff, sat lonely at a half-moon desk behind the second deck of the Oakland Coliseum. The desk is usually adorned with free game notes, pocket schedules, and other promotional materials.
Fans might ask Sbranti about the location of the nearest bathroom or about the concession stand serving nachos in a plastic batting helmet. Here’s the most pertinent, albeit, non-baseball question for Team Swalwell to answer: Is this a real campaign?
Sbranti has apparently worked part-time at the Coliseum for years, a good gig for a sports fan, if you have the time. Sbranti is a former Dublin mayor and currently the athletic director at Dublin High School, where he was Swalwell’s teacher. He was recently appointed to the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Board of Trustees this spring. In both cases, school is mostly out for the summer.
But Swalwell’s presidential campaign should be in a full sprint as the debates begin this Wednesday and Thursday (Swalwell will appear in the more star-studded Thursday evening debate). If Swalwell fails to register buzz at the debate, his extremely long-shot bid for the nomination is certainly dead, if it wasn’t already a “dead man walking” mode.
Why isn’t there all hands on deck for this campaign? It’s the bottom of the ninth and Team Swalwell is trailing by 20 runs. Is this a real campaign or is Swalwell, his wife, and two babies actually traveling the country to film a low-budget comedy named “National Lampoon’s Presidential Campaign Vacation”?