I meet a lot of candidates in my line of work. People running for School Board, City Council, County Supervisor, State Delegate, Attorney General, you name it.
(I once got a call from a guy running for President but never called him back. Never leave a message at our household for “Chad”).
Every time I meet someone, I always ask the same question: Do you want to win? Are you prepared to win?
It’s not an idle question. People run for office for all sorts of reasons: a zest for notoriety, a feeling of obligation, a particular issue they want to highlight. But do they run to win?
If you run to win, you act differently. Everything you do has a purpose: winning. You raise money ruthlessly. You save money wherever you can. You knock doors or shake hands at every chance. You seize opportunities to speak to issues. At other times, you keep your mouth shut and avoid making unnecessary enemies.
I mention this because of the recent 2013 Republican Convention. I didn’t attend, but I did listen to some colorful analysis on the radio. (BTW, I lost my only statewide primary in 2005 so I offer nothing but admiration – not advice – to the unsuccessful candidates).
In a primary, the winner is inevitably someone who runs to win. No one else can raise the necessary funds. No one else can invest the time meeting thousands and thousands of votes, who may potentially vote. No one else can see it to the end.
A convention is different. A convention of delegates, especially one with many choices, will end up nominating somebody that THEY CHOOSE. That’s great, except they may end up nominating somebody who’s running for a cause or a soapbox, but not necessarily running to win in November.
Not a sermon, just a thought.