25 May 2012

Opinions: A little campaign advice...

Normally, campaign strategists keep all their work and suggestions secret for fear of someone else picking up on what works for them and then stealing it. And you never give information to your opponent’s campaign! Why would you do that?

Well, good thing I’m not a normal campaign strategist. Let me give a little (albeit probably passive-aggressive and certainly snarky) campaign advice that, while it is directed at a specific campaign, is applicable to many races I’ve seen and will probably see in the future.  Don't take it too seriously—if you can't have a little fun in politics, what's the point of being in it?

  1. Don’t call your opponent a “budding career politician” if you’ve held elected or appointed office (from student government on up) in almost every year since your junior year of college—especially if you already have a campaign committee open for the next cycle, just in case you lose for the second time in a row (hey—third time’s the charm, right?). 
  2. Don’t tell other folks you “didn’t read the emails sent out by your campaign” and then take delight in remembering the baseless attack you put in it months later. I don’t know which is worse… not actually approving communications going out from your campaign, or lying about it to CYA. 
  3. If you want to be taken seriously as conservative and pro-Second Amendment, don’t have Hank “Assault-Weapons Ban” Brown as your honorary campaign chair. 
  4. If you want to be taken seriously as an “experienced” and “credible” candidate, you might want to show you have some credible experience. Like in a statewide race, for example, it might behoove you to show up outside the Denver-Metro area (only five times since September? In order: Logan County Lincoln Day Dinner, Weld County Lincoln Day Dinner, Mesa County Republican Luncheon, Grand County Assembly, El Paso County Assembly.). People respond better to folks showing up than sending letters (or not even returning emails and phone calls from County Party Chairmen). 
  5. Additionally, if you’re going to have surrogates speak for you, you might want to find some who don’t put the audience to sleep as much as you do in your job.
  6. Fundraising is key—so much so that you’ve claimed your opponent can’t raise money. Except when he’s outraised you since he got into the race… every. single. reporting. period. Oh, and throwing $1,000 of your own money into your campaign the last day of a reporting period because you’re raised no funds and want it to look like you have been doing something? Totally classy. 
  7. Do you so lack any common sense that you’re really willing to spend 71% of your funds so far on a campaign consultant who is clearly doing you no favors? P.S. Please tell Mike Ciletti it’s time to let this one go before he gets outperformed by a “little girl” in Colorado’s only statewide race in 2012 to save himself from the embarrassment. Dick Wadhams might want to consider dropping this one, too.
  8. When you look for people to endorse you, usually you go to the folks who know you best. Not so with this race. This one sought titles… and as he even says himself, he doesn’t know most of these people. His retort, of course, was, “Well, I may not know them but they know my opponent”. Ooh, ominous. Except that most of them endorse him BEFORE his opponent was in the picture. Oops.
  9. Speaking of titles… most people aren’t nearly as obsessed with titles as you seem to be. Get over it. No one else really cares.
  10. If there is even the appearance of a conflict of interest, one might consider running for another office (since clearly, this guy just wants another title and has no real interest in doing the job that goes with it). And yet, with no regard for the rest of the Republicans in this state who will be tarred with your sticky brush of hypocrisy and conflict, you plow ahead. At that point, you’re not a team player... you’re a power-seeker.
  11. Reagan’s 11th Commandment was “Thou shalt not speak ill of your fellow Republicans.” This means no personal attacks in races, but you can vehemently disagree on issues—and should discuss those. But when you don’t have the high ground on any issue… I guess the only thing you have left is personal attacks, something at which your campaign excels. I suppose when you’re not right on anything else, making up lies about your opponent is the only thing that’ll get you elected. Oh wait. That’s why every Republican in a statewide election in Colorado since 2004 with a nasty primary has LOST.
  12. And finally… if you’re going to regale the fact that you narrowly escaped victory in a previous election, you might want to get your numbers right. If you lost by, as you say, less than 0.4%, there would have been an automatic recount. Which there wasn’t. But hey, since you’re willing to lie about your opponent, why not lie about your previous race too? It’s not like you can’t easily find this information out or anything…

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