Archive for November, 2009

Running for Office: Why?

One of the most important things you must do, once you decide to run for office, is to get a clear idea of WHY you are running.

This is the most fundamental question you will be asked, and you will be asked it early and often, all the way through election day.

Many political experts say, and rightly so, that you need to have a 10-second speech, a 60-second speech, and a longer statement. The shortest is for elevators, or the line at the grocery store. The 60-second might be for a luncheon event or networking situation, or when encountering the press from time to time. And fundamentally, rather than going into details of issues, you need to know, and relate, why you are running for office.

Keep it simple. For example, “I’m running for the legislature because I believe that ordinary folks can do a better job of representing our interests than the politicians we have in office now.” Or “I’m running because we need to really find out and control what’s going on in the state capital.”

Think about why you are running — if it’s not something external to yourself, you may want to think again about running. Many of our current politicians ran (and continue to run) because they think of politics as a career, or the next stepping stone on their way up the political ladder. You know that’s not you — make sure you communicate that to your voters – and let “why” you are running permeate everything you do in your campaign.

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It smells like 1993

I’ve made that comment or something like it a number of times on Twitter over the past few months, and the recent elections in New Jersey and Virginia have borne me out. So what conclusion should that make ordinary, politically interested conservatives come to? It’s time, folks, to do it.

In 1993, I got very angry at my legislator for not returning my phone calls about a bill he was proposing in the legislature. So angry, in fact, that I decided he wasn’t going to run unopposed again in 1994. I beat him in a Democrat university town, and beat him again two years later. Turns out it was the perfect time to be going after the liberals — and that time is upon us again.

If you or someone you know is interested in running for office, I would recommend a number of preliminary steps — and I will be blogging about them over the next bit. Not anyone can run for office successfully — but if there was a time that was ripe for real conservatives to run for their local councils, legislatures, or even Congress against either Democrats or RINOs, this is that time.

Watch this space for more on how I did it (with a lot of help from my friends and family) — and for what to avoid after you actually take the steps to get running. If you’re interested in running for office, I would be happy to give you whatever advice and counsel I have to offer — RINOs need not apply (although my definition of a RINO is probably a lot more narrow than most of my conservative friends).

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