Friday, August 02, 2013

You're either in or you're out

I'm getting real tired of this type of talk.

From Bloomberg news
Representative Dave Camp, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he would decide by January whether to run for the Senate next year. 

You're either in or you're out. I'm tired of this "might run" or "may run" type of talk I see from so many people speculated as candidates. Run, or don't run. I respect either decision.

 If you show me a half-assed campaign, you'll get half-assed results. If you're not going to jump in with both feet and give it 100% in your campaign - DON'T RUN. Candidates who run a half-way campaign in a Senate race are as bad as a Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, or Todd Akin. They get the same results. They lose. Usually 57-40. Where was Pete Hoesktra last year? Tommy Thompson lost too, to Tammy Baldwin of all people.

After last year, my patience for a bullshit halfway job campaign is done, whether it be a halfway job due to abandonment, laziness, bad advice of consultants, giving up, or running like you are talked into running. Voters respect effort. Whether you agree or not with Joe Hune, he knows how to win and outwork opponents. That gets him votes from independents as well as conservatives. These are things that can always be controlled. Things that can be controlled should be controlled. Self inflicted errors have cost a number of campaigns.

What scares me is this. Some quarters in Lansing are not fans of Terri Land and are recruiting some supposed "big name" to jump in. This is reminding me of Butler, Zandstra, Bouchard in 2006 in some ways. They are in love with the idea of a Dave Camp candidacy for one reason and one reason only. He has a  $3 Million Dollar warchest and has had some elected office. Money is important, but it doesn't guarantee a win. Ask Romney. He was the supposed "electable" (I never thought so - and said he couldn't close the deal long before the loss) candidate because of money. That was one of the crappiest campaigns I've ever seen between Boston's broken promises and the Project Orca clustermuck. Money is important, but decisions in how it is spent is more important. Will Camp knock on doors? Will he spend the hours and hours necessary away from his home base in Midland, and go to places like Ottawa County, the UP, Metro Detroit, Livingston County, and across the whole state? If I ask 100 Republican voters here who Dave Camp is, most will say "Who?" and we border his district.

I met Dave Camp a couple of times, but I don't know him. From what I've heard about him, he doesn't have skeletons, is quiet and isn't offensive. He shows up and does his job. He hasn't had many tough races and never won with less than 61%. That can be encouraging or discouraging. Encouraging is that he's not Todd Akin. What's discouraging is that he (like Hoekstra) hasn't been through the ringer of a super tough general election campaign. His toughest opponent was probably Mike Huckleberry, probably considered a B- team candidate (although an A candidate if the district was Montcalm County) who later went on to win a state rep race for a term. 

Camp is chair of Ways and Means. Does he have the time to run a full bore campaign against a tough opponent in Gary Peters? If the answer is maybe, probably, or "he thinks he can", then he shouldn't run. Camp should only run if he can look in the mirror and then tell his family "I'm in 100%. We will win and do what it takes to do so." If he can honestly do that without trying to make himself believe he can do that, then I have no problem with his candidacy.

One thing I respect about Terri Lynn Land is that she told Mike Rogers "I'll wait until this time." When that date passed, she ran. No mights. No maybes. She's in. We have a candidate here who has announced. She's won statewide twice. If someone wants to run a primary, that's fine. If someone is running because he was talked into running due to a 3 million warchest, then that's not good.

Back in 2002, I always ran into Terri Land on the campaign trail. She was strong in West Michigan, but worked hard out here as well. That was one of the big reasons she earned my support (Lorne Bennett was running as well then). She was a hard worker. She didn't disappear after the election either. There's a lot to be said for that, especially as I live on the other side of the state.

Whoever runs has to outwork Gary Peters by a good margin. If the candidate is unwilling or unable to do that, then that candidate won't win. Peters isn't a pushover.
 

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