I’m out campaigning in jeans and tennis shoes!

IN POST DATED NOVEMBER 12, 2013, I posted a chart with comparisons of the state of the union and its economy when Bush left office and where it is now after six years of Obama. I wrote that these figures “form the basis for a strong, impressive argument for just how good a job that Obama and his fellow Democrats have done since the debacle of the Bush administration that was driving this country into the ground. So, why didn’t the idjit Democrats run LOUDLY on JUST these five statements?”

The problem with the Dems never having their act together has plagued the party and its followers for decades. In fact, I ended the earlier post with a famous quote from Will Rogers: “I am not a member of any organized political party—I am a Democrat!”

And he was joshing about the same incoherency and lack of unity of the party eighty years ago!

So, that led me to this anecdote . . .

Dems shouldn’t have to feign anything

There is a perception shared by most observers of politics around the world that the Rep*blican Party of the United States of America represents the interests of the wealthy almost exclusively, whether they are individuals, families, or—especially nowadays—corporations. To win elections, Rep*blican candidates tend to play down their elitism and try top project an Everyman persona.

It was the progressive Democratic candidate who looked like a banker’s wife in her campaign literature and her television appearances.

This worked well for Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Usually, only Rep*blican voters allow the wool to be pulled over their eyes, but Reagan actually convinced more than a few Democratic voters that he was somehow still “the Gipper.”

And Dubya had journalists won over on the campaign trail with his “aw shucks” attitude and beer-sipping.

The Democratic Party is perceived as representing the interests of the “common man” and the “working joe.”1 Since there are far, far more of them than there are of the wealthy, Democratic candidates do not have to feign anything: for the most part, they simply have to be themselves. At this they often flounder or even fail.

Here is my anecdote to make my point: a woman ran for a federal office a few years ago. I liked her and I voted for her. But the image that she projected—especially with the photographs she used in her press releases—showed us not a “common woman” or “working jane” or even a “soccer mom.”

What she and her handlers attempted to present I will probably never know but what I saw was the near perfect image of a Republican wife: conservatively attired, a hair done in an almost matronly style, her make-up just so, her smile reserved, posed just so that, while no teeth showed, you knew she was smiling. It was not a smile that allowed many in . . .

This is not the type of image that inspires thousands of young people who have never voted before to hurry to the polls enthusiastically wanting to cast their ballots in her direction!

So, that was the image in my mind of the person that I voted for—and it was her progressive background that won me over, so her appearance was neither here nor there for this voter.

Flash forward a few years and I am working as a cashier. The customer in front of me offering me her credit card to pay her bill looks like my type of gal: a comfortable shirt tucked into a well-worn pair of jeans; a modest amount of make-up used artfully to highlight her eyes; a slightly tousled head of what used to be called “dirty blonde” hair.

And an open smile that invited a smile in return.

And I smiled as I took her card, swiped it, and then looked at the name.

It was her!

I’m out campaigning in jeans and tennis shoes!

It was the progressive Democratic candidate who looked like a banker’s wife in her campaign literature and her television appearances.

“I didn’t recognize you.”

“That’s okay.”

“I voted for you. Twice.”

“Thanks.”

“You look so . . . different.”

“Thank you. This is just me, y’ know.”

“But you look great. You look like . . . like a Democrat!”

We chatted for a while about why she and other Democrats allowed her public image to be so at odds with her real image, the opposite of what the Republicans do.2

I asked for her email address to send her something as a potential constituent. In my first email to her, I wrote, “When you walked away from the counter, I told my fellow employees who you were. Their response was, ‘You’re kidding! She doesn’t look like a politician.’ ”

In a second email I said, “In my last email, I mentioned that your publicity photos make you look a certain Bushy way. I failed to mention that in person you were much more attractive, appealing, Democratically correct. My apologies if the email seemed less than flattering.”

She responded, “Fear not. I took the original email entirely in the spirit of our earlier conversation. And I am even today out campaigning in jeans and tennis shoes!”



FOOTNOTES:

1   As the necessity to raise ever large of sums of money to even run for a nomination and the cost of actually campaigning has now reached the millions for even modest Congressional sets, more Democrats are accepting more monies from ever more dubious sources. Soon we may have a two-party system where one party represents the ‘Rich-with-a-capital-R’ and another that represents the ‘rich-with-a-small-r’ . . .

2   A few observers noted that those Democrats that ran as progressives tended to fare better than those who ran as Rep*blican Lites—notably Al Franken.

 
 
 
 

3 thoughts on “I’m out campaigning in jeans and tennis shoes!

  1. 1. Maybe if we took a page from our friends the British and cut the amount of time and money spend on campaigning down to a few months or weeks, with STRICT spending rules, we wouldn’t look so much like a cheap sideshow.

    2. Da good-ole weirdweb could indeed be a secure information highway for computer literate voters to learn about candidates, that could replace some of the hand shaking, baby kissing, corn dog consuming BS.

    3. All the while insuring that many of the “old white men” who try to buy elections, but can’t use a computer, are conveniently left out or are forced to face reality.

    4. Did I mention term limits? Hell Yeah! Three terms and out, with a time out before you can run for another office. And, enough of the back pocket perks! Rep*blicans in congress have a lot of nerve talking about “entitlement”. Just check out what they get for health insurance, and what they voted for for Their retirement. It’s the tip of the iceberg, baby!

    1. 1. Agreed. Instead of eliminating campaign contributions, howzabout ANYONE/THING can donate ANY amount—but it all goes into a central kitty and then divvied up equally among candidates with a certain number of signatures supporting them? That way, ANYONE can run for ANY office and votes are less easily purchased.

      2. Support Net Neutrality at ALL costs!

      3. Not sure I understand this one . . .

      4. I don’t care about term limits. What I want is: once elected to ANY office, you cannot hold ANY job or appointment during or after your term in office where your political/government connections come into play. That includes dog-catcher.

  2. One-z and two-z are AOK and ready for launch.

    3-fer: Oblique reference to any billionaire type—like those brothers whose name begins with K—who would buy government, thus creating an even more oligarchic society, and/or corporate (persons) like Haliburton,
    “We ARE the United States government.” Keep them all out.

    4-th – Put both together and it’s a plan!

    5-eo – Abolish and dismantle any and all private armies operating from the US. If we treated our military with the respect and pay that they deserve to possibly die for their country,this phenom would not be.

    I like the idea of public service and/or military training for all citizens, though. I’m thinking it would make the Founding Fathers and Mothers smile.

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