Ed Lindsey, Former State Rep and until May 20th a candidate for Congress, penned the following in the comments sections of one of our post-runoff threads. We don’t promote comments up to the front page that often any more, but given his experience on the subject of campaigns – including this recent cycle – it’s worth its own post. Thanks for the words and the time, Rep Lindsey. – Charlie
Let me offer these perspectives from one of the candidates who learned a lot by coming up short this year.
1. “Success has a thousand fathers but failure is an orphan.”
2. One member of a coalition of a defeated candidate pointing the finger at another member of a coalition and saying, “they were the reason the candidate lost” just sounds silly.
3. We spend a lot of time talking about it, but endorsements of candidates have a marginal impact at best. What matters then? See 6 below.
4. Polling is worthless unless you can also predict the % turnout. This year’s turnout was a record low for recent elections and way off from what folks originally expected (See 8). Given that, an ouija board and tarot cards were just as effective.
5. For all the faults folks have found in picking apart Jack Kingston campaign (See 1 above) — whom I endorsed (See 3 above) –, he almost pulled off a remarkable feat. He comes from an area of the state far removed from the population center of Georgia. He pulled together a remarkable coalition unheard of in recent years in our state (See 2 above). People that know him best, adore him as shown by the % of votes he got from the coast. He only lost by a few thousand votes. We should not toss him aside. Instead, we need him.
6. Message matters. David Perdue — as well as Jody Hice and Barry Loudermilk — echoed exactly what the GOP voters want this year in their federal candidates. They all promised to take something fundamentally different to Washington — call it pitchforks and torches or mops and Clorox — and that is exactly what the voters who came out to vote (See 8) are demanding. You can disagree/agree with it but that is the mood we are in right now.
7. Money matters but only if backed up by the right message. (See 6)
8. Voter turnout was disturbing this year — 18% in the primary and only 12.5% in the runoff state wide and in many areas far below that. As Americans, we pride ourselves on being an example to the world on the value of democracy. Maybe it’s time for us to take a civics lesson from abroad. In war torn Afghanistan, with leaders far from perfect and with bombs going off all around them, the Afghan people defied the Taliban and stood in long lines to vote in their general election and runoff. Seehttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/world/asia/afghanistan-voting.html?_r=2 andhttp://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/06/15/afhans-say-election-turnout-strong-50-killed-in-attacks/. Here in Georgia what is our excuse for our apathy? Mad at robocalls? Tired of negative ads? Turned off by volunteers knocking on the door? Not wanting to get wet in the rain? Well, we need to grow up. We face serious problems abroad, in Washington, under the Gold Dome in Atlanta, and in our own local communities. Nothing has ever been fixed by people who sat on the sidelines and refused to participate.
9. And finally, the Rev. Peter Marty says, “Nothing has been more destructive to the Church, than those who believe they have the sole possession of the truth.” This applies doubly to politics.