Endorsements and Common Sense

Maybe there is something wrong with me. But I really do not get the endorsement-mania this cycle has become.

I can understand Deal and Handel racking up endorsements and I am perfectly fine with that. If Speaker Gingrich, Governor Palin, and Tito Puente want to endorse a candidate for Governor – that is perfectly fine.

What draws my eye and my ire is when I see things like this in the AJC:

Christian activist Sadie Fields was siding with state Sen. John Douglas of Social Circle – rather than fellow Christian activist Tim Echols — in the Republican runoff for state Public Service Commission.

Echols, who last year was campaign manager for John Oxendine’s gubernatorial campaign, has been conducting a consumer-oriented campaign for the statewide seat.

Echols sent a note reminding the Insider that he has received endorsements from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Dan Becker of Georgia Right to Life, and Randy Hicks, president of the Georgia Family Council — among others.

What in the blue blazes does Bobby Jindal know about Georgia’s PSC? GRTL cares about PSC? Is there some conspiracy by the power companies to cause people to become barren that I have not been informed about? I knew I should have never ceased wearing my tinfoil hat.

I’m being crass and sarcastic, if you failed to get the memo. But really – have we gone too far with the whole endorsement thing? High profile races I can see the benefit of dropping big names. It has helped the two Republican candidates for Governor this year no doubt. And for policymakers I can see the need and room for groups like GRTL, NRA, etc to endorse candidates – they do make policy after all. But when Tyler runs for City Council in a town of 700 people, does he need the endorsement of the Republican Liberty Caucus? At that level can he actually do anything relevant to that group? Would it help him at all to ride on the coattails of Ron Paul?

Maybe I’m jaded. Do these endorsements really matter that much to you guys? That is an honest question.

25 comments

  1. EllaPatriot says:

    I think endorsements only matter to me if I respect the person endorsing and if I agree with them. If I dont agree with their endorsement, it makes me look unfavorably upon them. Case in point — Sarah Palin and Governor Jan Brewer endorsing Karen Handel…I’ve lost respect for both women because I dont believe that Karen is the most conservative. I believe this is a show of “girl power” and I am not okay with that.

    An honest question deseves and honest answer!

  2. Bugs Dooley says:

    It can be helpful to see endorsements in down ballot races because there’s little media coverage and most people won’t bother looking at the candidates’ websites. You don’t have enough information to choose between Candidate A or B but you might have a preference for the more well known endorser of one or the other.

    Also, even if the current job title doesn’t do much for the organization’s goals, it could be a stepping stone to bigger things for the candidate. It would be nice to know in those cases if it’s an endorsement of character or the group really feels that he/she is the best for the position.

  3. John Konop says:

    Great post and question! I do think the Palin and Gingrich endorsement do carry weight with the base. The other endorsements the average person does not even know the name or has a limited opinion. The real issue is will that person work the streets with the candidate and when.

    That is why Palin working the street a day before the vote in Georgia is a big victory for Karen. The robo-call endorsements I am not sure how effective they are because of the volume of calls drowning out the message. Yet big events give you free media.

  4. Newt’s endorsement of Deal makes sense because of their relationship in the U.S. Congress. Newt knows Georgia well and he is still our “Speaker.”

    I didn’t realize the personal relationship of Huck and Deal until they explained their work together on Medicaid reform. That one makes sense to me now.

    Jindal and Echols? Please! That is an odd one.

    However, the real question of the Georgia political season is what in the world Sarah Palin was thinking (or more likely what was her minion thinking) when she chose to back “Sonny-In-A-Skirt.” This one will haunt her for a while. I really thought the only moderate she would support would have been John McCain (for obvious reasons).

  5. Jace Walden says:

    I know I don’t give people much credit, but I can’t imagine there is that big of a demographic who thinks like this:

    “I need to wait and see who [insert name here] endorses before I make a decision.”

    Most people already know who they’re supporting, and I doubt very few, if any, actively change their vote because some big shot endorsed “the other guy”.

    Endorsements keep a candidates name in the news, that’s about it.

    • Baker says:

      I think this differs a lot between primaries and the general, but I apparently give people even less credit than you do. I think a huge number of people in general elections don’t know jack about the actual people running but if some news figure says they like ’em, well then, that seals it. I don’t think an endorsement would often change someone from one candidate to another, but the huge number of people that are “undecided” in the final days of an election, aka, don’t know diddly, may be swayed by an endorsement.

      • Baker says:

        I’ll add this: Because of the nature of our politics today, oftentimes it is darn near impossible to get any substance out of our candidates. Campaigns become who can promise the most while being concrete about the least. With that in mind, I’ll give some credence to the idea of an “undecided” voter. But not very much.

  6. slyram says:

    Ron: Because he died in 2000 and this isn’t Chicago, Tito Puente endorsement would be a surprise. But then again, people have figured out ways to get endorsements from Reagan, MLK, and the founding fathers this year so maybe you are right.

    For me, support from political bloggers who have been laboring in the vineyard or viral grassroots continuously for years would be big—folks who remember funky votes, forgotten statements and interesting associations.

    And what are you thinking, an endorsement from a prominent Puerto Rican would stir up the immigrant debate, statehood for PR and bombing at Vieques. Did you know that there are more Puerto Ricans in the U.S. than in Puerto Rico. Most Americans don’t know that PR was war booty…I better leave that alone.

  7. saltycracker says:

    Just got a robo-call from Pat Boone “singing” the praises of Deal !!!
    Top that !
    If that wasn’t a freebie the campaign isn’t as fiscally responsible as expected for the right side of the ballot.

  8. Tea Party Man says:

    Pat Boone is making calls for Jody Hice. Remember the song April Love from the 60,s, He was almost as big as Elvis in the 50’s.

  9. ricstewart says:

    Endorsements only matter to people who can’t think for themselves.
    The only good they serve is to bring attention (and money) to the race.

    • polisavvy says:

      I agree with you, ricstewart. I have never voted for any candidate just because of the endorsements they receive. They are just money makers for the candidate, pure and simple.

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