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Advice for a Competitive Campaign
April 9, 2012 |
Dear Mr. Keillor:
I just finished reading your book "Homegrown Democrat" and recommended it as required reading for our local Democratic club. (I know, it was written awhile back, but I bought it on sale when Borders went out of business.) I was so fired up that I now find myself running for the office of State Representative in my district and wondered if you might have any more sage advice. I know I'm able to fill the position, but since I'm not backed by any SuperPac, it's difficult to run a competitive campaign. Any suggestions?
The country depends on people like you, men and woman enthusiastic to put their names out in the arena, knowing how tough it is to face the enormous disinterest of the vast majority. You need to arm yourself against that disinterest by collecting friends and supporters, one by one, who share your principles and who will brace you up and work for you and not fade away. Get your committee together and keep adding to it. Politics is a wonderful way to make loyal friends: that's one of the rewards. It's also a fine way to connect to the real world around you. We tend to live in our own heads, in a swirl of prejudice and lovely notions and borrowed ideas, but when you run for office and start to think about the actual work of government, you have a chance to learn about real life ---- about money, about poverty and illness and the education of children, about the construction business, about bureaucracy ---- and that is another reward. As you walk that road toward the election, you will pick up some wonderful stories about the real world, and that should be the heart of your campaign speech ---- real accounts of real people. Focus on the positive aspects of politics ----- making friends, learning about real things ----- and take it easy on the anger. Smile. Walk the streets and knock on the doors and smile, shake hands, hand them your pamphlet, thank them for their interest, move on. Have fun. Good luck.