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October 28, 2008

Building a Rightroots

I never was all that big into this idea. I think it's now necessary if we're ever going to start winning like we used to.

The GOP needs to do its part, too. It shouldn't be up to John Hawkins to compile a list of House GOP challengers. The GOP needs a permanent online liaison, not just charged with sending out press releases and that sort of thing, but with providing information about candidates -- who's vulnerable, who's a solid challenger, etc.

I wrote someone a while ago asking them specifically where I should ask readers for help in phone banking and GOTV. There wasn't a reply.

I also wrote back to Hawkins:

you know what we really need to promote? Grassroots candidate recruitment. We gave up a couple of elections this cycle for want of a candidate.

think of all the military types (and doctors, and farmers, teachers, businessmen,
etc.,) we reach. We have to convince them to put their hats in the
ring in 2010.

We need to tell them there's a briefing book the party hands out that
will tell them the right position on all the issues they don't give a
shit about.

Which are most of them, really, assuming they're not mutants.

We need to start recruiting solid candidates early.

And seriously -- if your life has been mostly scandal-free, and if you've achieved some distinction in your field (especially military-- Good Lord, we should own this one), guess what? You're a solid candidate for Congress or the statehouses.

It doesn't matter that you don't know all the issues. The only people who know all the issues are currently either serving as legislators or are lobbyists, and they don't know all the issues, either.

The Democrats have their recruitment pipeline-- lawyers, bureaucrats. The GOP has a much bigger and better talent pool, but we don't exploit it.

I'm not sure why. I think it's because so many people assume, "Gee, I could never do that."

Well, of course you could. If the Democrats can put up one hack lawyer after another, why isn't a Master Sergeant war hero a good candidate?

We need an army of Sarah Palins in 2010.

Look at Joe the Plumber. Pretty sharp guy. pretty likable. He doesn't have the alleged credentials to be a Congressmen -- by which I mean he's not a hack trial lawyer or sub-bureaucrat at the Department of Cutting Checks for People Who Don't Work. So what? He's got what it takes -- he's bright, politically interested, presentable, and, if he does decide to run, backed by a major political party.

I think an awful lot of people fit this profile.

Especially military men and women.

For God's sakes, guys: You know you have a better than even chance of winning just by showing up?

Think about it as just a slightly distasteful new tour of service. One one hand, you'll be surrounded by mutants and halfwits. On the other hand, no one will be shooting at you and there will be lots of free barbecue and (weak) chicken cordon blue.

On Military Candidates...

A military guy (name withheld) writes...

“Well, of course you could. If the Democrats can put up one hack lawyer after another, why isn't a Master Sergeant war hero a good candidate?”


Ask David Bellavia. McCain called him and asked him to run. The GOP in NY called and asked him to run. He announced his candidacy and three days later a multi-millionaire businessman in the district announced. Then the GOP asked David to drop out because this guy could self-finance. So Bellavia looks like a douche for entering a race that they didn’t want him in. So, you lose one pissed off medal of honor nominee that would have been a good candidate but at least the GOP got their self-financer.

2 years ago I went to weekly meetings at the RNC. I mentioned one day that the GOP was pissing off veterans, a reliable constituency. I told them how they could fix that. My thanks was to never be invited back since, despite the fact that I am a reliable conservative.

Make no mistake, elections are expensive, the RNC has limited funds, and for both parties, self-financing (or at least name recognition which leads to good fundraising) is increasingly important.

However, the GOP should know that everyone on the right side of the internet would constantly link the donation page for any war hero running for Congress (or a state house). And the readers would donate.

We just need some coordination on this.

I'm pretty sure I can guarantee that any war hero running for Congress would be effectively self-financing.

Or rather, you guys can guarantee that.

Pete Olson... is a Navy vet running for DeLay's old carved-up district.

He's up by 17.

True enough, it's a Republican tilting district.

But frankly, we're going to need solid challengers in some Republican-tilting districts -- we've been losing them lately -- and they win in swing districts, too.

Ask the Democrats. They ran several neophyte politicians from the military in 2006 and pretty much won them all.

It's time for the party hacks to step aside and let the veterans run.

The party hacks haven't done a whole much for us lately, but the veterans have done an awful lot.

Thanks to Dave in Texas for that.

And really -- I shouldn't be updated on this stuff from cobloggers. Not to overstate my importance, but the internet is a huge fundraising and name-recognition machine. Honestly, the GOP should have us on conference calls every week.

Not for bullshit getting-the-message out. They do that. And we do get the message out.

But to be more involved in this. As in, making some decisions and offering input.

Personally the prospect of yet another conference call where I get the talking points I already knew (based on common sense) and was already getting out anyway isn't all that appealing.

Right bloggers have let the team down. Or at least I have. I personally spend too much time campaigning against the media and not enough time campaigning for actual candidates.

It's a hard habit to break -- I really don't want to do the team rah-rah thing. I can do it a bit, but it's against my nature.

But the GOP has to be a bit savvier about this, too. The internet is not just a vehicle for putting out press releases and posting YouTube ads, you know.

And back to military candidates: I have trouble supporting career politicians. Why? Because I assume they're pretty douchey.

I'm pretty sure my assumption is mostly correct.

I don't like politicians. Even the ones on our side.

I don't have that aversion with military people -- quite the opposite. Or distinguished citizens stepping up to do their bit for the country.


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posted by Ace at 01:57 PM

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