Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Primo gets some tough love about campaigning from a legislator friend

One of the things Primo hates the most about running for office is the feeling that he is bothering people when he talks to them about running. He doesn't mind talking to strangers when he is at a political event or when he is knocking on doors, but he is very uncomfortable talking about himself and about the campaign if he is at a non-political event, like a block party or a church youth group fundraiser. He doesn't want to bother people or intrude.

I tell him that if he is comfortable knocking on someone's door and interrupting them AT HOME that he should be fine at any other gathering.

At the least, I tell him, wear a campaign button!

And go to events in our district!

I am not the only person telling him this.

He got an email from a friend of his who is a representative. This friend - we shall call him Hamilton, although that is not his name - is echoing what other friends are saying, which is that Primo is spending wayyyyy too much time helping other people in their events and not enough time in his own district campaigning.


I write with love and support, but I do need to share a few things that aren't easy to say - and a few ideas that I think are really great.

Here's the tough news: Primo, I believe you need to be in district more, less events for others.  You need to be selfish.  You need to be at neighborhood or community based events meeting people you don't yet know.*

 [*That is the part Primo hates!] 

The political circles know you, they support you.  You support them back, which is good, but unless you're raising money by going, you gotta stay back in the burbs and connect with voters.  Example: Becky is a friend, you support her, that's all good but there is no cross over between her district and yours.  You can also rule out getting money from her, as she's running, on balance an evening event like that needs to become less of a priority.  

I say the same thing about my own fundraisers coming up.  Don't come to my events, stay in district and connect as best you can.  Obviously there won't be events every night but you get the point... 

Now, the [PAC] event is a room where you can get money.  If you go to an event like that you've got to bring lit/business cards and make a hard ask from some of the political folks there.  Mike and Steve can each direct thousands to you.  They'll tell you that they can't do it this early in the campaign cycle, but you need to ask.  You need to stick your hand out and say "I'm going to win and I need your support.  How much can you contribute?"**

[**Also torture for Primo and, I think, for most normal people.]

Primo, you are in the spotlight.  Lots of people around the state and country have eyes on your district.  We expect you to win.  I believe you will, but I don't say that like a coach tells the worst kid on the team that they tried their best - I mean I expect you to win.  I expect you to be ruthless and selfish and go get this.  You can win.  You will win.  You just need to do it.  That takes an unwavering commitment to you and your district.  

"But how do I work a room?" Primo asked me. "How do I go somewhere where I don't know anyone?"

I have no idea. I am also not a room worker. Nothing fills me with more dread than having to enter a room of strangers and there is almost nothing I would rather do than be at home by myself or with Primo and the cats and some books. I don't enjoy being around other people. It's torture. And it's boring.

Primo called Hamilton and asked.

Guess what? Hamilton is also an introvert. Campaigning is torture for him, too. He has the added challenge of not being the same race as almost everyone else in his district, so, as he told Primo, he really stands out.

But he does it anyhow.

His rules are simple:

He goes to the events.

He makes sure to meet the organizer.

And he talks to at least three people he doesn't know.

Then he lets himself leave.

He gave Primo a formula.

Primo is an engineer. He loves formulas.

And we went to the church youth group fundraiser on Friday. We sat at a table of people we did not know. Primo met all three adults at the table. And he talked to them. And it actually came up organically in the conversation that he was running for office and THEY WERE INTERESTED.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: People give Primo their hard-earned money and he wants to be worthy of them

You guys, we are so grateful every single time someone sends Primo a campaign contribution. This one came with a really nice note:

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Nobody ever said, "I wish that guy had talked longer!"

Me: You wrote, "Listen to inspiring speeches!" on your post about your karaoke fundraiser.

Primo: I know!

Me: Because that's what everyone wants to do - hear speeches.

Primo: Oh! You're right!

Me: Yeah, don't talk about forcing people to listen to speeches.

Primo: I need to change that from "listen to inspiring speeches" to "hear inspiring speeches!"

Me: Ummm. I think you are missing the point.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: How an engineer packs (so not political, actually, unless one of you guys can think of a way to apply this to politics - I can't)

Me: I packed my Bon Appetit magazine. Where is it?

Primo: Oh. I moved it to a different suitcase.

Me: Why?

Primo: Because it was the only magazine in the pink suitcase. I put it with the other books.

Me: You mean you moved it for aesthetics.

Primo: Yes. It was the right thing to do.

Me: It's a suitcase. Of dirty clothes.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: The story about the Opponent is on the news but they don't mention that Primo is already running in the race

Primo: [Campaign manager] just called me. They had it on the news that [Opponent] is running.

Me: Wow. That was fast.

Primo: Well, [Opponent] already holds a state office, so it's news, I guess. They didn't mention my name at all.

Me: Ouch.

Primo: [Campaign Manager] says I still might get some media calls.

Me: That would be good.

Primo: I am not supposed to say [Opponent's] name or refer to him in any way.

Me: That's what Ruthie told you when we saw her in Houston!

Primo: What?

Me: She was the campaign manager for that person for school board. When you were telling her about your campaign, she said, "That's the last time I ever want to hear your opponent's name* cross your lips. You never ever ever say it out loud again."

Primo: I won't!

* Actually the incumbent, but the point remains.

The Candidate's Wife: Primo gets an opponent

Primo: Whoa! This just got real!

Me: What happened?

Primo: The guy who blah blah blah ran blah blah blah filed today!

Me: Oh no!

Primo: No! He's on the other side!

Me: Oh - I thought you were being primaried.

Primo: No! He's on the other side. And he's AWFUL! This is GREAT!

Me: What makes him awful?

Primo: He's really extreme. His endorsements are from really extreme people - Extreme Person A, Extreme Person B, and Extreme Person C.

Me: Not the incumbent?

[NB The incumbent is running for a higher-level seat this election.]

Primo: Nope.

Me: Wait. The person who holds the seat currently is not endorsing the person on his side who is running for the seat now?

Primo: Nope.

Me: Wow.

Primo: And you know what else? [Nice Political Mentor Guy Who Knows Everyone] said he thinks [Incumbent] would rather have me win that seat than the guy on his side.

Me: He would rather have someone from the other side win than this guy?

Primo: Well, he would rather have me win than this guy. But yeah. He does not like this guy. [Political Mentor] says that [Incumbent] likes me.

Me: Why wouldn't he? You like him. He's a nice guy.* You just don't agree with each other.

* Which he is. We have met [Incumbent] a few times. He really is a nice guy.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: He married the wrong woman

Primo: Hey! How come you are ironing those napkins?

Me: Because they look nicer when they are ironed.

Primo: I thought you were against ironing.

Me: Not against ironing napkins.

Primo: How come you don't ever want to iron my shirts?

Me: Because I am against ironing other peoples' clothes.

Primo: But shouldn't you be interested in ironing my clothes?

Me: You should have married an ironing woman instead of a golddigger.