Thursday, July 29, 2010

Going “Negative”: If You Can’t Take the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen

With a very Special and General Election rapidly approaching, campaigns are going to get down right dirty. All this negativity, and the accompanying publicity, can really get under a candidate’s skin, especially if they aren’t prepared. That’ s why thick skin, a proactive mindset, and learning the art of “spin” are critical for campaign success.

Very Special Election Democratic Primary: Governor Manchin won’t go negative, he’ll spin Ken Hechler’s anti-mountain-top-removal around attempting to discuss jobs, how important coal is to our economy, and talk about how he’s been there during coal mining tragedies. Manchin will be passionate, he’ll be dedicated, and most likely he’ll win. And wildcard Sheiri Fletcher? I’m definitely in the dark on that one.

Very Special Election Republican Primary: Raese wins. (I think Mac Warner will campaign really hard, but Raese will outspend him.)

Very Special Election General: It’ll be an election that will simultaneously move and remove mountains. In the end, I bet Manchin will win, but so much mud will be slung that both candidates and every West Virginian will be so dirty, we’ll look like we came from an underground mine!

So if you’re ever considering running for public office, take a good step back in your stilettos and analyze what will go on from today through November 2nd. If people talking about you behind you back hurts your feelings, if you’re paranoid, if there are negative comments on a blog about you, if you have any skeletons hidden in your Carrie Bradshaw-esque closet, if you have burned any bridges, if you have done anything illegal, reconsider. Politics is a profession for the passionate, and in the heat of a campaign anything can happen. All is fair in love, war, and politics. After all, they don’t make firefighter uniforms for politicians.


  1. Your predictions on the election seem fairly accurate. Raese will win the Republican primary because he will spend an obscene amount of money and Manchin will win end up in the Senate thanks to an illusion Houdini would be proud of. But ...

    After reading this post, I'm a little disheartened. Negativity should have no place in a political forum. And I say that in the sense that a real difference exists in bringing out facts about (for example)an illegal activity a candidate may be involved in, versus the private details of someone's personal life.

    West Virginians (and Americans, for that matter) do not pay attention to the issues or look at the records of politicians. People pay attention to all the facts that don't matter. Candidate appeal and negativity win elections (sadly).

    With regard to your statement that "politics is a profession...," I could not disagree with you more. Politics is about service to a larger community -- something bigger than one's self.

    The "passion" you write about is a quality you only would want a politican to have in measured quantities. People ruled by their passions make rash decisions and ignore facts. We need leaders to use their passion in a controlled manner and make sound judgments.

  2. Thanks for you comments, I really enjoyed reading them! Let me clarify, when I say "politics is a profession..." I meant it's a duty and honor, it' something candidates and elected officials must be passionate about and dedicated to because politics isn't easy. You're 100% correct, it is about service and creating a better future for the lives of constituents today and tomorrow.