Tuesday, January 21, 2014

If you want to be a Republican Governor in California, Remember the Lessons of 2010!

This first (real) post of the year deals with something I care very much about:

Who will run for the Top of the Ticket in California (influencing the Down Ticket here in the Southland)?

Within 72 hours, one candidate dropped out (Abel Maldonado), another helicoptered in (Neel Kashkari) and another maintained his ground (Tim Donnelly). 

The last Gubernatorial Election, we had a policy maker with no Political experience win the Primary (repeated on a national level in 2012 with the same team!) against a candidate who worked within the Party Structure who built connections. The Party Guy lost and we all lost in 2010.

Lesson 1) Money does not win elections; Ground support and loyalty does.

What made 2010 frustrating was that we were sending a green candidate against a Democrat with years and years and years of campaigning experience under his belt.  We face Governor Brown again.  He knows the Dirty Tricks to play, we should not to send a JV candidate against a Super Bowl Veteran (sorry, but Governor Brown is experienced). 

Lesson 2) Candidates for the Top of the Ticket need experiences in winning and losing campaigns.  If you never run, one low blow will knock you out of the Election.

Also, 2010 was a Tidal year.  For all the work that came from the Whitman campaign, she was the wrong messenger when we needed to FIGHT THE POWER! Heck, the GOP owns no major positions in CA, we are the rebels and the underdogs, if you are not singing that tune, you've given the game away.

Lesson 3) The biography of the Gubernatorial candidate will be the message as well as the Policy espoused.  Don't fall into the trap of thinking your past and present has no bearing on Democratic Party attacks.

What galled me about Whitman's team was how they spent no time or Political Capitol dealing with the local activists. Poizner went into the lion's den of the San Fernando Valley Republican Club; into the headwinds at the SDGOP and also met with everyone at RPLAC.  Whitman's people spent no time making nice with the local activists who could have helped.  We know how that turned out.

Lesson 4) If you are unwilling to go into Thunderdome with your own activists and take the hard questions, you will lose the General Election.  Win the Primary by winning the activists.  Money does not win them, only how well you do under fire.

And finally, look at this map of California:

Election 2010 Whitman (Red) v. BROWN (Blue)

 We own the outer counties, to win the Central Valley, talk about the Delta Smelt and to win in LA, look at the traffic on the 405 and 101.  There is saying among Old School Republicans here in CA: Governor (and President) Reagan did not win State (or Country)wide, he won precinct by precinct.

Lesson 5) Don't take any vote for granted, and use the local activists to help you get into areas most Republicans are not campaigning in (yet).  Fight for every vote as if you were behind 20 votesAnd be sure to have people making sure each vote is legal! 

My question: What lessons would you give to the CA Gubernatorial candidates?

Thanks for the links Blackmailers Don't Shoot and The Other McCain!  

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