04/26/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

They Were Undercover Campaign Volunteers

The whole idea of OffTheBus is to report more of the campaign. But we're not the only ones trying to do that. Philadelphia City Paper just pitched in with two separate but exactly parallel reports, which we've reprinted here at OffTheBus:

* I was a Clinton Volunteer, reported by Tom Namako.

* I was an Obama Volunteer, reported by Mike Newall.

They're both writers for City Paper who chose to go undercover to find out how the volunteer operations for both candidates actually worked. Newall had covered the New Hampshire primary. "Any time I flashed my reporter credentials in a campaign office, I was quickly shown the door." This time he took a different approach. "I signed up to volunteer under a fake name." (His was Mike Kelly).

You can argue in the comments about whether that's the right thing to do. Journalists would disagree on it. What's fascinating is to absorb their parallel accounts--Tom's experience, Mike's experience--and see the different culture of the two campaigns unfold. Read both and you will know why the Caucus states turned out as they did.

flickr: wetwebwork