I’m out campaigning in jeans and tennis shoes!

IN POST DATED NOVEMBER 12, 2013, I in­cluded 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 …

 

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

 

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.

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.

 

Dems shouldn’t have to feign anything

The De­mo­c­ratic Party is per­ceived as rep­re­senting the in­ter­ests of the “common man” and the “working joe.” 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. 1

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.

 

It was her pro­gres­sive back­ground that won me over, so her ap­pear­ance was nei­ther here nor there for this voter.

 

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!

 

The Darcy Burner the public sees at work …

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!”

 

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is of a re­laxed Darcy Burner, looking very much the Western Washingtonian.

 


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.

 

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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!

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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