Sunday, May 01, 2011

Rob's Rules of Political Campaigning

I'm going to try something a bit different here.

Usually, my blog posts - as infrequent as they are - are about something I've been chewing on for some time, something that I've flushed out pretty well in terms of how I feel about it. Sometimes, they are simply reactionary; I see something that gets my attention, and I essentially comment on it. Rarely is there ever an arc, or theme to several posts, and I think I'm going to try that for a bit, and see what happens. If they suck, so what? You're not paying for this and I promise you it takes me more time to write it than for you to read it.

The 2012 election for President of the United States is starting to simmer. One candidate is all but certain: Barack Obama, who has announced he's running and is the incumbent. It would take extraordinary circumstances for him to not be the Democratic candidate. The other side of the ballot is less than certain - which is a huge understatement.

So as I search out for a candidate to get my vote in November 2012, I figured hey, why not put some criteria together? Sure, why the hell not, sounds good to me.

Number 1: Don't make your message all about bashing your opponent. Look, I'm pretty damn smart, and I really don't need someone jumping up and down telling me what someone else is doing wrong. I can pretty much figure that out for myself. If your candidacy is based on the other guy being wrong, well, who is to say you're right? Talk about yourself, first and foremost. If I want to hear about the other guy, I I'll listen to what he has to say. Would you go into a job interview and say "You should hire me because Joe over there is a terrible person"? No. Impress me.

Number 2: Show me the math. Don't walk around spouting how (random legislative policy) is going to create jobs or cut the deficit. Show me the math - prove your work. If someone looked at your deck and said "yeah, just cut a 2x6 that is 14 feet and 6 3/4 inches long" without actually measuring, would you believe him? Of course not. I understand Economics is not an exact science, but, if your economic theory is a talking point or part of a larger platform that you didn't actually set, I'm sending your homework back for a re-do.

Number 3: Speaking of platforms, if you're simply a boilerplate guy who is parroting the platform of the party you are running under, move on. I find it inconceivable that someone would agree with EVERY little thing and have no thoughts of their own on a topic. Any topic. Don't be the Politibot 3000 and rubber stamp everything you see. Your job is going to be hard. It's going to require a lot of intelligent, creative thinking and problem solving skills that would perplex most people. Show me you can do that and I'll vote for you. Maybe.

Number 4: Charisma is nice, but honestly I don't care. I'm focused on message, not delivery. I was on my way to a music gig at a place where then Senator Obama was campaigning, and really, all he was doing was stirring up the crowd. Content Counts first and foremost. Don't jump up and down saying we need more jobs, explain to me how you're going to create more jobs. And show me the math.

That's enough for now I think, but I'll continue with this as time goes by.

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