Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tuesday Sept 11 Primo doesn't have to fire Samantha!

And it's not going to cost us an arm and a leg to get the car fixed, but we won't have it until Friday.

Primo talked to Potsie and Ralph this morning. They had met with Samantha and she told them that she thought they had a good handle on the campaign and that she wasn't needed any more!

Whew! I like Samantha and I also didn't want to make an enemy of her. Although Ralph and Potsie assured me that the allies Primo was gaining - the guy whose primary campaign Ralph won in August and who will run unopposed in November, for example - are far more powerful and influential than Samantha. But I hate to see anyone get fired. Well, almost anyone.

Tuesday Sept 11 Primo's opponent has never run a real campaign before‏

The bad thing about Primo's opponent is that he has been in the job for only one term, so Primo can't run on the "Vote the entrenched guy out" platform.

However, the opponent (let's call him Buddy) has never run against a Polka Dot. He ran in the Stripes primary two years ago, but there was no Polka Dot opponent, so once he won the primary, he was in.

Running against people of your own party is very different from running against the other side.

Buddy has to know he has a challenger for the seat, but we don't know how he's campaigning. We have seen or heard no ads, although that doesn't mean there aren't any: we never watch TV (except for DVDs of Friday Night Lights and that hasn't happened for months) and I listen to my radio talk shows on podcasts now instead of in the car. Podcasts don't have ads. But we have gotten no mailers. We don't know what's going on.

The communications guys - Ralph and Potsie - think Primo should keep a low profile. Radio ads can be had for $8-$13 a spot.

I know! I had no idea! But there is some law blah blah blah. The radio station has to sell a certain number of ads for its lowest rate. Ralph thinks maybe we shouldn't do any radio right now so as not to alert Buddy. I suggested that we still buy a bunch of space and then use it all in the few days before the election, when it would be too late for Buddy to retailiate.

I would be so good if I would use my power for good instead of for the other side. I do tell other Stripes that I want my husband to win but nobody else on the Polka Dot side. I fugre as long as the PDs don't have the majority, they can't do much damage. I would be very happy with a small Stripe majority but not enough that they can do whatever they want. I think government works best when it is gridlocked. Then they can't do anything to us.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Monday Sept 10 The engineer emerges again

CG: What about tax breaks blah blah blah?

Primo: We shouldn't give tax breaks to large corporations that don't create jobs in this state.

Me: That's a good answer! That convinces me as a Stripe!

Primo: But was that answer long enough?

Monday Sept 10 The communications guys have never worked with an engineer before

This is how the interview prep is going:

Communications guys: How should transportation be funded?

Primo: Engineer talk blah blah blah

CG: OK, but short.

Primo: But I can't say it short. And I don't know all the issues.

CG: You don't have to know all the issues. You're not writing legislation.

Primo: But but...

CG: You need to be prepared to answer questions where you're not an expert.

Primo: But that's not how I work!

CG: You're going to have to be able to.

Primo: But for the interview, they're only asking these questions [that the news organization sent].

CG: We don't know about that.

Primo: I can prove it! [He runs upstairs to get the documents.]

CG: Where did he go?

Me: Upstairs to prove he's right.

CG: Oh.

Me: Have you worked with an engineer before?

CG: No.

Me: Welcome to my world.

Monday Sept 10 OMIGOSH! We're firing Samantha!

So the two new communications guys came over to prep Primo for an interview tomorrow morning. But before that, they wanted to talk to us about something serious.

They don't think Samantha is doing a good job for Primo and they think Primo should fire her.

Considering that most of our conversations - Primo's and mine - about Samantha over the past month have been, "Why hasn't she???" and considering that the communications guys are the first ones to come forth with a solid plan - A PLAN, it did not take much convincing. She's out.

I feel a little bad because I like her, but this is business.

Or politics.

Monday Sept 10 Talking to voters‏

I hope I didn't offend the little old lady with the heavy accent. She told me she was a strong Stripe, so she had no interest in Polka Dot Primo. I shrugged, then asked, "What is your language?" I am always intrigued by accents and always excited at the chance to practice my Spanish, which gets little play here.

She drew in her breath sharply and answered, "English." Then she said, "Goodbye" and closed the door.

Told me.

But she wasn't going to vote for Primo anyhow. Although I still didn't want to offend her.

She was all dressed up in her Sunday best, makeup, hair done, nice Sunday clothes.

I was wearing a skirt and a linen blouse, cowboy boots - I need comfortable shoes for walking, but I hadn't washed my hair. Why? Because I DIDN'T FEEL LIKE IT. And because I was wearing a hat so it's not like anyone was going to see it anyhow. Still, this little old lady shamed me a bit.

Another voter and I had this exchange:

Older lady voter: What party is he, dear?

Me: He's running as a Polka Dot.

OLV: Oh, I'm a strong Stripe. But thank you. [She hands back the flyer.]

Me: Oh, so am I! We don't agree on most issues. But he knows that this district has a lot of Stripes and a lot of Polka Dots and that he has to represent everyone, not just his side. He knows that if he doesn't give my side serious consideration that he will be sleeping in the guest room.

OLV [laughing]: I guess I can take a look at that. [Takes flyer from my hand.] Good luck, dear!

Monday Sept 10 Canvassing with Primo‏

I canvassed with Primo for two hours yesterday. That was enough. It's hard work. No wonder he's exhausted all the time now. He has been doing five or six hours a day and probably needs to do eight. Twenty thousand households, 20 doors an hour, eight weeks to the election.

You can't get to 20,000 in eight weeks. Not doing only 20 doors an hour or only eight hours a day.

But that's what we have.

We stopped at a farm stand on the way home and paid way too much for tomatoes that weren't very good. One of the guys running it was a firefighter. Primo introduced himself, explained that he was running, explained that he had the support of our town's firefighters.

"Show up at the firehouse at 4:30 with a few pizzas," the guy suggested. "You can meet the guys that way."

"That's a great idea!" I told Primo when we were back in the car. "Why don't you do that?"

He shook his head. "I am focused on doors! I don't have time to think about adding more events!"

Why wasn't this already part of his plan? Why did I have to put all the church festivals on his calendar? Why didn't Samantha schedule him with the firefighters, the police, the garbage collectors, anywhere where there is a group of voters to whom he could speak. Where is her plan? Why haven't we had one?

"I had a meeting with the communications guys on Thursday," Primo said when I griped about Samantha. "I was supposed to be there at 10. Samantha asked them to be there at 9:30 so she could talk to them for a while without me. Then all four of us would meet at 10. She didn't show up until 10:30."

I gasped. Being late is one of the worst things you can do that's legal as far as I'm concerned.

"She was an hour late to a meeting she had arranged?" I asked.

Primo shook his head. "Yep."

"That's wrong," I said. "This is a problem. What is she doing for you anyhow? We need to look at the contract and the plan to see if she's doing what she said she would do."

I am ticked. Why isn't she managing his campaign?

And why isn't Primo managing his manager?

Thank you!

To whomever posted a link to this blog on facebook, thank you!

And thank you as always to my friend Tish for sending me so much traffic.

And to my new friend Sulky Kitten!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Saturday Sept 8 Crossing the lawn

So - is it OK to walk across someone's lawn when you are going door to door campaigning for your husband? Or do you walk down the long driveway and back up the next one every time?
Like ·

Russell I think you are supposed to wear those lawn aerating shoes if you do that.
September 10 at 1:46pm · Like · 1

Brian I always stayed on the concrete during my lit dropping days. Less chance of doggie landmines.
September 10 at 1:51pm · Like · 1

Brian Of course if I agreed with said candidate then by all means walk across my lawn, but if its the other candidate, then its criminal trespassing ;)
September 10 at 1:54pm · Unlike · 1

Kimberly Concrete
September 10 at 1:59pm via mobile · Like

John Concrete, some people get bent out of shape.
September 10 at 3:40pm via mobile · Like

Primo After talking to a friendly person, I sometimes ask permission to walk across the lawn. (Also, if the driveways are close together and one or two steps on grass would be a significant shortcut, I'll sometimes do that without asking.)
September 10 at 6:48pm · Like

Derrel Concrete
September 10 at 8:49pm via mobile · Like

Saturday Sept 8 Campaigning during football season

My facebook conversation about this issue:

Post: Primo just realized he can't do doors during a Longhorns game. He has to do 100 doors a day at least, so this is going to throw everything off.

Primo: When working on someone else's campaign as a volunteer, the conventional wisdom is that one shouldn't knock on doors during a Longhorns game. As the candidate, I don't know whether I am supposed to ignore this "rule." In any event, this is a good reason to do more doors today.

Angela: But it's a perfect time to go to a local strip mall or shopping center of food store -- where non-Longhorns' watchers might be milling about....

Pat: I'm conflicted...

Gary: Go to the local bars...

Catie: @ Gary...that would annoy me even more if I was watching the game at a bar!

Saturday Sept 8 I get advice from a friend who ran for mayor and won

I was messaging with my friend Susan from college. She is a hotshot lawyer who ran for mayor of her town last year and won. She ran her own campaign. She has all kinds of good advice that it's too late for us to follow - as in, don't hire a campaign manager, you don't need one.

Ha. I like Samantha, I really do, but she is not reliable and I'm not sure what value she is adding to this campaign. Primo says she's great in crunch time, but she's not so good with the planning. As in, she and Primo should have worked out his messaging months ago instead of trying to do it now when he needs to be campaigning every single day.

She is also late. A lot. She was supposed to meet with the communications guy who wants to spend $20,000. They were supposed to meet at 9:30 and Primo was supposed to join them at 10:00.

She didn't show up until 10:30.

That kind of thing ticks me off almost more than anything else. People who make other people wait for them are thoughtless, inconsiderate, and selfish.


Susan gave us scads of advice and then mailed a $100 campaign contribution, which was so, so generous. She doesn't even live in this state!

I messaged her today to thank her and to ask if I could mention her contribution on facebook as a way to inspire our other friends to give. (Don't worry - I will also write her a real thank you note.)

We had this conversation:

Me: Thanks. His communications guy came up with a $20,000 plan this week and wants us to front the money. Primo is already losing almost 4 months' income. We've put in $7,500 cash. My job pays 1/3 of what Primo made. I said that if this guy is so sure this plan will work, he gets paid last and only if Primo wins.

Susan: Those consultants are good at cleaning out your campaign, I've found.

Me: Almost all the money is for the mailings and material. He's charging $2,000 for the strategy and the implementation. But yeah - I think I need to write a book on how to do this so people don't pay other people. I wish I had thought of that last spring. I am asking why his CAMPAIGN MANAGER didn't have a communications plan. Next time - if there is one, things will be different.

Susan: You'll have to be the campaign manager. They view themselves differently. Just know that the consultant gets a cut from anyplace he does a media buy for you.

That news made my jaw drop. The communications guy will get a cut?

Not on my watch. No way. I'll bid the job myself and save the 15%.

Saturday Sept 8 Primo tells another candidate that I am right

Last night, Primo was talking to MaryJane, who is running in another district. They were discussing whether to attend the town's festival and how one campaigns at such an event. I was eavesdropping, as I am wont to do.

I heard those words that are music to a wife's ears:

"My wife said I should ask Jim about that. He'll know how to do it. I'll ask him the next time I see him."

Oh joy that the words I spoke two months ago and were shrugged off as pointless are now being retrieved from Primo's memory and put to good use!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Friday Sept 7 Primo says I'll have to do all the housework

After Primo told me about his decision to perhaps change his sleep schedule to conform more to regular society, i.e., awake during daylight hours and asleep during nighttime hours, instead of the opposite, he said that he would be working even harder in the next eight weeks.

"I have to do 100 doors a day," he said. "You're going to have to do all the cooking and the housework."

I stopped washing dishes and looked at him. "I already do that."

"Well, yeah," he admitted.

Friday Sept 7 Paradigm shift

Remember how I wrote that this is the part where the hero has to descend, has to lose, and has to return with renewed determination? That always happens - a hero is not interesting unless he is flawed in some way. We want to see him overcome those flaws.


I think Primo has had his revelation - his call to arms - his renewed determination.

We shall see.

He told me this morning that HE CAN NO LONGER STAY UP UNTIL 4:00 AM working! That he needs to start going to bed when I do and getting up when I leave for work. "I can't win this race if I'm exhausted," he said, "and I have to be on doors a lot earlier in the day. I have to focus."

Reader, it was music to my ears.

PS He also told me that he'd made an appointment to take the car in on Monday. Hallelujah.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thursday Sept 6 We negotiate

I still don't want to put up $20,000 additional of our money. Not at all.


I am willing to put up another $5,000 if it all goes to mailings, etc, and not to pay the communications guy.

"Tell him that he gets paid last," I said. "Tell him that he needs to take some risk, too. He doesn't have anything to lose. Tell him he gets paid last if there is money left over and it's not ours. If he's so sure that you can raise donations this way, then tell him to prove it."

I also said that if Primo loses, he has to promise to stay in his engineering job for a year so we can recoup any losses.

Thursday Sept 6 Primo tells me that his campaign manager wants him to put $20,000 more into the campaign

I am sick to my stomach. This communications guy working with Samantha, whose big claim to fame is that he quit his job and moved into his parents' house to work on another campaign, wants Primo to put $20,000 into the campaign.

We should get it back in donations, he assures Primo.


Primo is already giving up almost four months' salary. He has put $7,500 of our money into this. Now $20,000?

If this guy is so good, I demand, tell him to come up with a plan where we don't spend that kind of money.

Tell him I want to see the data - I want proof that if we put up the cash, the campaign donations will follow because of increased awareness.

I do not want to do this.

Thursday Sept 6 Primo is in a better mood

I called Primo after work and he was much more chipper. Perhaps he has found that inner strength. I hope so. I don't know the magic to make someone feel better.

Thursday Sept 6 The communications guy thinks Primo can win

Primo: He thinks I can win.

Me: Well I would hope he would. But he gets paid no matter what. So it's not as important to him as it is to you.

Primo: But he's not charging very much money. This is bare bones. He has other people who want him to work for them.

Me: So why doesn't he? Maybe they could pay him more.

Primo: Because he believes in me.

Me: I suppose that's part of it.

Primo: He believes in the Polka Dot cause.

Me: Or it's that he doesn't want to put on his resume that he worked on the campaign of a loser.

Thursday Sept 6 I think I might know why Primo is so cranky

I called Primo from work. "Did you talk to your mom and dad yesterday?" I asked.

No, he told me.

Well, there goes that theory. Usually, if Primo is in a really crummy, depressed mood, it's because he's talked to the most self-centered, least-supportive parents in the world. It only takes a few minutes of their whining for him to fall into depression. I can't blame him, although I have better boundaries than he does. With them, at least. Now that I think about it, if my mom is upset with me - which is rare, or at the least, is not something she shows very often, it really bugs me. But my mom is not a mean alcoholic jerk, so I don't have that complication.

Thursday Sept 6 Primo is whiny and I am not supportive‏

Primo has been spending six hours a day doing doors. "Doing doors" means going to each potential voter on his list - those who have voted in at least two of the last three general elections and who are not extreme Polka Dots (because they will vote for him anyhow) or extreme Stripes (because they will never vote for him) - and knocking on the door with the intention of asking the person to consider voting for him.

Sometimes, he has long conversations with them. One hopes it is long conversations with the people who will actually vote for him instead of long conversations with the people who would never vote for him, because a long conversation with someone who won't vote for you is a big fat waste of time. I got caught in one Monday evening - 15 minutes with a guy who said he probably wouldn't vote for Primo but gave me just enough hope. I should have cut that conversation short at the beginning. I was a fool.

So he is doing doors for six hours. This is after a few hours in the morning of calling people to ask for money. When he gets home from doors, he works on the surveys that various interest groups have sent him. I doubt these surveys will ever see the light of day. I hope they yield some money.

He has been going to bed well after midnight. Four a.m. the other day.

He is exhausted. And whiny. He told me he didn't think he could do this because he doesn't have a volunteer coordinator. I had already told him I would act as his volunteer coordinator, so I didn't have a lot of patience for his complaint.

Then he complained that he doesn't know when we'll be able to get the furnace repaired. Even though I have already said I would work from home the day that the workman is supposed to come.

Then he complained that the car is having problems starting, which is has had for the past month, and about which I have suggested that he call the mechanic and make an appointment so he and I can drop the car off to be repaired. He has a backup car. He would not be without transportation. But he'll be in trouble if the car won't start at all when he is ten miles from home.

I am not patient with whiners. Solve the problem is what I say.

I am thinking this is the part of the story where the hero has to go underground - where he has to experience failure and then overcome it with inner strength that he did not know he had.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Sept 3 Samantha thinks I can convert the Stripes

Me: Why do you have me going to Stripe houses?*

Primo: Samantha thinks you're my secret weapon on those.

Me: What do you mean? I'm supposed to get them to vote for you?

Primo: Yes.

Me: And exactly what are these magic words that I am supposed to say to get someone to vote for someone they disagree with? I'm not going to lie.

Primo: I don't know.

Me: Tell Samantha to get me that script. I want to see what she thinks I should say.

* The voter lists show the name of the voter, the age, how of the past three elections he has voted in - it's scary how many people are not on the list because they have not voted in any of them, and the likely party affiliation. I am not pleased that the government has this information or that they give it out.

Monday Sept 3 I canvass with Primo, again

Me: My husband is running for the state house. We would appreciate it if you would consider voting for him.

Older lady: What party is he?

Me: He is running as a Polka Dot.

OL: Oh. We've already made our decision. We usually vote Stripes. [She hands the campaign literature back to me.]

Me: Me, too. But he's my husband. So I'll vote for my husband.

OL: I understand. My, it's hot out there. Would you like a bottle of water?

Me: Yes, I would.


Me: My husband is running for the state house. We would appreciate it if you would consider voting for him.

Older lady #2: What party is he?

Me: He is running as a Polka Dot.

OL2: I usually vote for the Stripes, but thank you. [She hands the campaign material back to me.]

Me: Yeah, me too. But I'm married to him.

OL2: How does that work?

Me: Well, he's my husband. And I can tell you that he will have to represent both sides if he is elected, because if he doesn't, he will be sleeping in the guest room.

OL2 [Takes campaign literature back]: I'll think about it.

Me: Thank you!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday Sept 1 Primo is depressed about messaging

Primo: I'm a little bit down.

Me: Why?

Primo: This messaging thing! Samantha wants me to craft my message and say things that aren't really true.

Me: That's not the right way to get elected.

Primo: Not to mention, shouldn't she have had me do this a few months ago? Isn't that what she's supposed to do as my campaign manager? Manage my campaign? Why is she waiting until now to bring this up?

Me: It doesn't matter. You don't need to "craft your message." You know where you stand. You have to be honest.

Primo: I'm kind of upset that she's doing it this way. She's not doing it right. She should have said this a long time ago.

Me: I know. But I want you to think about what you can do, what you can control. There is no point in wasting time over what should have been.

Primo: But I like to whine about that.

Me: I know.

Saturday Sept 1 We fight about playing tennis

I got home from work last night at 5:30. Primo got home from doing doors at 8:00. Just when I was thinking of slipping into my PJs and getting into bed with a book.

Primo: You said we would play tennis tonight.

Me: But it's late! I'm tired!

Primo: But I haven't done anything fun all week! I was really looking forward to this!

Me: But I'm tired!

[Cue to politician sulk]

Me: FINE! I'll play!

Primo: You did promise yesterday.

Me: I can't believe you're holding me to that.

Primo: I want to play. I want to do something fun and I want to do it with you. I never see you any more.


So we played. And it was fun. And then we went to the grocery store afterwards, which is something I usually avoid, as shopping with Primo is pure torture: he has to look at every single carton of milk and every single package of bacon to make sure we're getting the best one. It makes me crazy. But the courts are right by the store, so it made sense.

Primo: I even like going to the grocery store with you. I miss you! I never see you any more!

Me: The job was your idea, mister.

Saturday Sept 1 We canvass at the house of the old man

Bless his heart. That's what I would say about this 90 year old man whose house we visited. He and his wife and their adult son, who has some mild autism, live a few blocks from us. I have seen the son a lot since we moved here: he takes a lot of walks and he goes to my church. Any time I chat with him, he is focused on an issue: the weather, the Detroit Lions, something. That's what we talk about.

Today, he was out working in the yard. I introduced Primo to him and explained that Primo was running for the state house.

"Reagan won because there were hostages in Iran," he said. "Fifty-two hostages! We said let them go or we'll blow you up!"

I nodded. He continued. "The hostages! That's why he won!"

Then he switched to health insurance. "We need better health insurance!"

I nodded again.

"Fifty two hostages!"

Then he announced that we should talk to his mother, whom the voter list indicated was 88 years old. Primo rang the back doorbell and the mother slowly shuffled to the door. As soon as she heard that Primo was a Polka Dot, she perked up. "We always vote Polka Dot!" she said brightly. "We don't get out much any more - we don't even go to church, but we always vote!"

"I would appreciate your vote in November, ma'am," Primo said.

I chimed in. "Would you like a yard sign?"

She thought for a minute. "You'll have to ask my husband. Go to the front door and I'll see if I can get him to come."

Primo walked to the front door. The son started talking to me again, this time explaining why he was using an electric edger instead of a gas one. "No gas fumes!" he said. "No gas stains on your clothes!"

"That's good," I said in agreement, as I walked to the front door.

"I don't like gas stains," he announced.

"Neither do I," I said.

"Or the fumes!"

The father opened the door and invited us in. We stepped just inside, but he didn't step back any further, so Primo and I were trapped between the screen door, the door, and the old man's walker.

"I always vote Polka Dot," he said. "Always! Why, when I was a young man, I was an Extreme Polka Dot! I went to all the meetings! Back when [Significant Historical Figure for our town that nobody outside of here would recognize] was running them. Even before he was mayor!"

"Wow!" I said.


"Wow! That's neat!"

He said proudly, "I knew [Other Major Historical Figure]."

"Oh!" I said. "They named the bridge after him!"



"That was after his brother was elected mayor."

Primo and I looked at each other, puzzled. That one we couldn't figure out.

"I would appreciate your vote in November," Primo said.

"What?" the old man asked.

"Your vote."

"You're voting?"

"No. I'm running. I would like you to vote for me."

The old man looked at him funny. "I always vote for Polka Dots."

"Thank you, sir," Primo said.

"What? I'm hard of hearing," the old man explained.

By then, I was sweating. I had put on a jacket to do doors because it was windy and cool outside, but the old people had the heat cranked.

"THANK YOU!" Primo repeated.

"Would you be willing to put up a yard sign?" I asked.


"Put a yard sign. In your yard."

"Oh!" He shook his head. "No. The neighbors fuss, you know. No, I don't think so." [Even though this is a highly PD neighborhood.]

"OK, then. I appreciate your vote."



"I always vote Polka Dots! When I was a kid, I was in the Extreme Polka Dots club!"

I reached for his hand. "Mr Neighbor, it has been such a pleasure talking to you and hearing your stories. Thank you for taking the time. Goodbye now!"



Primo and I walked out. There was the son. "I hate gas fumes!"

I smiled at the son and said, "See you around, P!"

Primo shook his head. "I guess they'll vote for me."

"No doubt about that! He always votes Polka Dot!"

Saturday Sept 1 I agree to canvass with Primo

The last thing I want to do on a Saturday afternoon is go door to door, asking people to vote for my husband. But I promised Primo I would do it.

He emailed me the script he and Samantha had come up with. I didn't even read all the way to the end before I said, "What is this? This is a big fat lie. I am not going to say this.

Primo: What?

Me: That you would run as an independent if you could.

Primo: Samantha says I have to say it to get elected.

Me: But it's a lie. I am not going to say that. You have never ever ever since I have known you said anything remotely like that. Why does she want you to say that?

Primo: To appeal to the Stripes.

Me: Why do you need to lie to appeal to them?

Primo: Because they won't vote for me if they know I'm a Polka Dot.

Me: Wait. Are you saying you don't think there is a single issue where you and a Stripe can agree?

Primo: This is what Samantha and the new guy are telling me - that I have to change my messaging to appeal to Stripes.

Me: It's one thing to change your messaging, it's another thing to lie. This is crap. I can't believe you can't find the issues. Let me ask you - what are you going to say if a Stripe asks where you stand on voter ID? On unions? On the mining bill? On jobs?

Primo: I don't know. I need to figure that out.

Me: You can't lie. You cannot lie just to get elected. If you lie to get elected and then do other than what you said, you will not have problems with just the voters, you will have problems with me.

Primo: So what am I supposed to say?

We hashed it out. Think of this part as equivalent to the cat and the dog fighting in the cartoons, where all you see is a big cloud of dust with an occasional head or foot emerging.

Abortion! State university system! Public schools! Unions! Voter ID!

We argued and argued and argued.

But I teased some answers out of him. Answers I could live with. "If you can't win this honestly, then you shouldn't win this at all," I told him.

I sat at the computer and wrote a new statement for the script:

Primo is running as a Polka Dot, but he thinks the libertarians get it right on several issues. Although his positions align more with the PDs than with Stripes, he does not follow in lockstep with the PD establishment. As an engineer, he sees himself as a problem-solver and is accustomed to analyzing each issue on its merits. Moreover, he thinks that the main responsibility of a legislator is to represent the interests of constituents, not to advance a personal agenda. Primo is married to a Stripe/libertarian and is used to striking compromises every day.

Me: Take a look at this. What do you think?

He read it. Thought. "Yeah. That's better. That's a lot better.

Me: Why isn't Samantha doing this? For what we are paying her, she should be helping you develop this kind of message.

Primo: I have been kind of depressed since my meeting with her yesterday. I think it's what you said: that she wants me to be who I'm not. I can't do that.

Me: Of course you can't. You can't run as who you are not. You have to run as who you are - you have to be truthful. But you also have to find where your beliefs overlap the interests of your constituents. The purpose of your being elected is not for you to advance your own agenda - it's for you to represent everyone.