Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Democrats, Keep Working Your Ossoff!

While he received 48.1% of the vote and not the 50% threshold for an outright win, 30-year old political newcomer Jon Ossoff just pulled off quite a feat in a deep red Republican district that hasn’t seen a Democrat in Congress since Carter held office.

Going into last night, all the pundits kept mentioning how much money he’d raised, $8.3 million, and that if he couldn’t win with that, then Democrats are in deep trouble heading into 2018. But just because he raised an insane amount of money in a few months, I couldn’t help but wonder why they weren’t talking about how it was allocated. Candidates can raise all the funds in the world, but that doesn’t mean they’ll win if those contributions are not allocated effectively. For example, I was part of a statewide campaign where a candidate put over $1 million of their own money into their campaign, and while we almost came in first place in the Primary, we came in last place in the General because we didn’t allocate resources appropriately.

Also, how much did Trump hurt Republicans yesterday? Tremendously. The leader on the GOP side, Karen Handel, received less than 20% of the vote, and she did distance herself more than her opponents going into yesterday’s election. According to the New York Times, "Ms. Handel, 55, has portrayed herself as a Trump supporter, though she was less fervent in her backing for him than were the other Republican candidates in the race, who adopted Mr. Trump’s catchphrases and style in an attempt to stand out."  In an interview on New Day this morning, Handel mentioned that Trump called to congratulate her and she said she hopes he’ll come and campaign with her. We’ll see how that goes.

Thankfully, Ossoff’s team did allocate his millions effectively. The real test, though, is whether or not Democrats will do that almost always happens in Georgia Runoffs: we lose. Losing this runoff will be traumatic for Democrats. This is truly a bellwether election, and it’s one we cannot afford to lose. We jumped over the first hurdle, now we must vault to victory and work our Ossoffs!  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The "Political Mean Girls" Attitude Has Got To Go

Hillary Clinton recently handed women considering entering the political arena a piece of advice, “Take criticism seriously but not personally.” She was talking about the inverse correlation when it comes to likability between successful men and successful women.

Her advice comes at a time when, just yesterday, I was speaking with an extremely well-qualified former 2016 female candidate who is considering making another run for public office in 2018. During the 2016 cycle, my candidate received almost more endorsements than any almost any other candidate running for office in a particular state. She’s deeply entrenched in community events, advocating on behalf of working families, serves on multiple local boards, and is a district native and lifelong district resident.

Yet, when on the campaign trail, women didn’t listen to her, they looked at her and called her a prom queen, told her they wouldn’t vote for her because they thought she was immature, constantly and ruthlessly criticized her attire, and even told her she just didn’t look the part and needed to grow up and stop wearing sleeveless sleeve dresses. They didn’t focus on the policy changes she wanted to enact to improve their lives and bring more funding back to the district.

Herein lies the problem with Hillary’s advice: taking criticism seriously but not personally is directed toward the candidate, not the person giving the insults. The real conversation we need to be having is how to shift the mindset of these “political lady haters” so they’ll stop focusing on whether or not a candidate is wearing too much eye shadow and focus on what that candidate is saying and how they want to improve voters’ lives.  

How is it that we can bond together and hold the world's biggest protest, the Women's March, yet we can't bond together to get more women elected? This “Mean Girls” attitude has got to go, and it’s going to take awhile to make it happen, but ladies, we must start listening and stop “lady hating.”