There is a group of people living in Robertson County that are committed Democrats, meaning that they not only vote for the Democratic candidates, they also contribute money, volunteer, and keep themselves informed on issues. I know a handful of them pretty well. Recently, four of us attended the monthly meeting of the County Party (which swelled the ranks of attendance by a third) and got to meet Ben Leming, our candidate for U.S. Congress. It was swell.
We were also looking forward to hearing from our candidate for the Tennessee House, who our State Chair referred to as “about as stout as you can get.” Who am I to argue ? If Chip says this guy is stout, (assuming, of course, he wasn’t referring to the man’s physique) I have no reason to disbelieve him. When you consider, though, that Ben drove up from Murfreesboro, easily 40 plus miles, it does make one question why our candidate couldn’t be bothered to saddle up and travel two blocks to our meeting. Then it hit me…he knows its in the bag.
In my mind, I’m imagining the strategy session at the candidate’s H.Q….
Candidate: “Alright people, let me illuminate the ground upon which we currently find ourselves deployed. This is a mid-term, so we all know voter turn-out will be at an all time high. In addition, our opponent, Josh Evans, only has around 40k raised in the first quarter, and we all know that the State Republican party has little interest in saving this seat in the House. All he has is the backing of wealthy Republican contributors and a solid evangelical base. Fortunately for us, very few if any voters outside of Springfield know who I am, and its not like the county has been trending Republican or anything, so, we’ve got that working for us as well. Last election, when over 70 percent of registered voters turned out, our incumbent lost by only 1295 votes! Why, there are two precincts that carried Josh Evans by a total of 1400 votes, so I’d say we’ve got them by the balls now! All we have to do is hunker down and let the State and County parties go to work, after all, they are the ones with inexhaustible funds and rolls and rolls of potential volunteers! I need ideas for how to stay out of the way! Lets go around the room.”
Campaign Strategist: “Um, we could take down our Facebook page.”
Candidate: “Easy enough, since I don’t have one.”
Campaign Manager: “Well, we could use GoDaddy to not register a domain in your name. I hear they are very reasonable to work with if you don’t actually launch a website.”
Candidate: “Excellent. Obviously, we can let our Social Networking and Media person go.”
Campaign Manager: “Well, we never actually had one.”
Candidate: “Superb job at anticipating my needs! But I feel like we’re just nibbling at the edges here…I need more ways to stay under the radar!
Campaign Strategist: “My counsel would be to avoid public events, especially those where there might be voters. I’m happy to compile a list of events you should steer clear of…”
Candidate: “Not bad. What about ways to ignore local activists? Got anything?”
Campaign Manager: “This should go without saying, but naturally, you’ve got to skip the County Democratic Party meetings.”
Candidate: “But there aren’t any activists there.”
Campaign Manager: “Oh, Right. Um, how about not answering emails offering help?” Also, we could make an ad buy in the Robertson County Times and the Bargain Browser and not actually place an ad!
Candidate: “You’re on a roll!”
Campaign Strategist: “I’ve got one! What if we hired every guy with a pick-up truck in the county to just keep hauling whatever they normally do, and NOT one of our campaign signs?”
Candidate: “With that, fellas, I think our work here is done.”