Wednesday, February 29, 2012

RINO vs. Conservative Election Strategies

Many assume that picking a candidate is like launching a rocket. If you aim the rocket in the right direction and launch it with the right energy, that is IF YOU PICK THE PERFECT CANDIDATE, success is automatic.


This is absolutely wrong in my view. Electoral success, especially for the minority party in a State, is not determined by picking the perfect candidate, but by running a (near) perfect campaign, every single day.

If you understand that it is the campaign — not the candidate — that matters MOST, then you work every day to win. Otherwise, you sit back, pop some pop corn and WATCH, and throw insults at the candidate.

Success depends not just on having a great canddiate BUT ALSO ON HAVING A GREAT PARTY — EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. Everyone counts. All hands on deck. There is no one who won’t be missed. There is no one we can do without. There is no one too “small,” too part time, too unnoticed to spare.

If you understand that it is the quality of the CAMPAIGN that matters, YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, rather than just floating helplessly with the wind. YOU can go get trained. YOU can take charge of your precinct, whether the official leader or just assisting. YOU can make it happen.

If you think it is exclusively about the candidate, then you can sit back, do nothing, be lazy, and moan and groan and criticize, without being in any danger of having to do any work.

Bill Clinton had lots of baggage. Yet he won. A candidate has “baggage” when the opposing camp does a good job of puffing up issues into big deals, the candidate’s camp FAILS to defuse and respond to. A candidate is called a “STRONG CANDIDATE,” not because there is nothing in their life or career to criticize, but because their campaign does a better job of refuting, shouting down, obscuring, distracting from, etc. the criticism of their candidate than the other side does in attacking the candidate.

In hindsight, a candidate had “baggage” because their party did a lousy job of defending them.

In hindsight, a candidate was a “strong” candidate because their party PREVENTED several dozen potential land mines and time bombs from exploding.


In Delaware's 2010 US Senate race, Chris Coons had tons of baggage: PENDING LAWSUITS over political persecution of his rivals, some still in the courts. “Baggage?” No, because Republicans were more interested in attacking each other than in winning.

I walked neighborhoods for the RNC Victory campaign effort in October 2010 and DEMOCRATS told me they were voting for Christine O’Donnell because Chris Coons was their boss AND THEY COULDN’T STAND COONS after working under him. NCC finances collapsing. But because Republicans did not effectively address Coons’ weaknesses, he is considered a “strong” candidate. But it was the Democrat coalition that was strong, while the Republican coalition was weak.

Coons did not have "baggage" because the Republicans were ineffective. O'Donnell is said to have "baggage" because the Democrats were effective in their attacks.

If a football team does not protect its quarterback after the snap, the quarterback will be unable to run or throw a completed pass. Being under instant pressure, the quarterback will be forced to throw the ball away recklessly just before being smashed and squashed by the other team's rush.

NO quarterback can be effective if his team does not block the other team's rush. If you have ever seen a quarterback being rushed, expecting to have a few seconds to find and connect with his chosen receiver, and then suddenly in a panic as the otehr team's players are barrelling toward him, you get the picture. The sudden panic and scramble to get rid of the ball quick, without any effective success, is a perfect picture for the Republican Party.

One self-proclaimed "wiser" moderate independent insists on a political blog that an election is like launching a rocket. He claims you can predict what will happen on eletion day by the quality and NATURE of the candidate (i.e., appealing to moderates in his opinion).

But a campaign is most definitely NOT a ballistic motion. While I abhor the tendency to get all wrapped up in metaphors, and getting lost in the poetic imagery, a political campaign is called a RACE. That is a better model than a ballistic trajectory. In ballistic motion, the energy is imparted at the start (a gun’s internal explosion of gunpowder or a rocket’s engine), then the force STOPS, and the object COASTS — unpowered — along a ballistic trajectory, following only the laws of physics.

A campaign is more like a race, where EVERY STEP of the runner COUNTS. Every time the runner hits the ground and puts one foot in front of the other, each and every step makes a difference, from the starting gun, to cross the finish line tape. Everything that happens every hour of every day, right up until the polls close can change the outcome.

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