Saturday, July 17

Are Political Consultants Stupid?

I was intrigued by a tweet today and it led me to a couple of articles about political consultants.

I am a political consultant. Please keep reading anyway. I consider myself one of the good guys though, and I'll tell you why. It's for the very reasons that political consultants were disparaged in these articles. To elaborate further, the points that Newt Gingrich made in the Washington Post are exactly right, and our firm does the opposite of what Newt wrote about.

GPH Consulting is made up of people who grew up in the activist side of politics, some of us are still precinct chairs at the grassroots level. We believe in building the conservative movement, through the Republican party, in every race that we are involved in. We look for candidates willing to work their communities and go door to door to deliver their message, because only when we talk with everyone will we all win. We know our history, we have conservative principles and we try to elect good, competent people to office each year. We're not marketers turned political consultants who view a man (or woman) in a suit as a product we're trying to push with a couple of soundbites. We believe in more than just direct mail and tv ads. We believe in the conservative cause.

We are and have been supportive of groups like RagingElephants.org and Latino National Republican Coalition, groups going into communities that our party will traditionally write off and engaging voters who rarely if ever hear from Republican candidates.

I feel that no race, no district anywhere, should be seen as "off the table". When we cede ground to the opposition, the voters lose by not having a real choice, and eventually we all lose by having unchecked representation that can run wild in the halls of power.

Matt Lewis did a nice summation of what Newt said, and he also went back as far as 2007 to show that Newt was saying these things about consultants back then. In some of Newt's 2008 and 2009 speeches he would also make similar comments about political consultants. Melissa Clouthier also followed up with some insights. I appreciate that Matt and Melissa both used identifiers like "most" and "many" rather than "all" or "every", so I did not take offense to what either of them said.

I posted this blog back in April trying to warn our side not to give up ground so early in 2010, to keep fighting, to keep engaging, because we have the opportunity before us to build a long term movement based on freedom and prosperity. Just assuming we're going to win and assuming we have enough districts to have a majority is not enough. Let's make sure we're building our databases of emails and voter interests so that when 2012 comes around, we can be on better footing with the Obama machine than we were in 2008.

I would say to Matt and Melissa both; I understand your concerns and what you're saying, but rest assured that there is at least one consulting firm out here doing right by our cause. You may recall, just two weekends ago, I was with both of you at the AFP Summit in Austin, how many other consultants did you count in that crowd?

Sunday, July 4

July 4th, 2010

I wanted to take a minute to post some thoughts for the 4th of July. Rather than try to re-create anything new, I thought I would link to a couple of items from the last year that are worth re-posting.

Thoughts on the 4th of July

All Honor to Jefferson

I spent Friday and Saturday of this July 4th weekend in Austin at the Americans For Prosperity Defending the American Dream Summit. We heard many inspiring speakers and learned many interesting tactics for promoting liberty and defending America. I don't know how many people actually attended the Summit, but the number of people that actually were there was quite impressive. All of these people could have been doing any number of other things, but we were all in a hotel in Austin sharpening our minds and honing our skills. It's great to live in America.

Happy July 4th.

Thursday, July 1

Presidential Names For 2012, My Own Speculation

There's a lot of talk about the 2012 campaigns. It's early yes, and as much as I hate the early speculation before we're even at the November 2010 elections, allow me to join in the early speculation and go against my own preferences.

Here are my top contenders, in no particular order:

Congressman Paul Ryan - He has said he won't run and he states that his young children are the reason why. I see no reason not to take him at his word, but it doesn't mean I can't hope he'll run (and there's no reason he couldn't be a contender in 2016 and 2020). Congressman Ryan is pure and simply one of our movement's best idea generators. Ryan created the Roadmap For America's Future, a solid plan which is exactly counter to everything Barrack Hussein Obama has offered in his first 20 months in office. Ryan's congressional website is one of the better house websites around. Recently Ryan delivered the Republicans weekly address. One of my favorite lines from that address: "Let’s make the tough, forward-looking choices that will restore the promise and prosperity of this exceptional nation".

Herman Cain - I personally met Herman Cain in Georgia in 2004 when he was running for United State Senate. What a dynamic and captivating individual. Cain has maintained a public presence in recent years and I think he could be building his national name ID slowly but surely. He hosts a daily radio show on WSB in Atlanta, he writes and he speaks, traveling the country this summer with Americans For Prosperity speaking at the conferences in various states. Cain has a great personal story, growing up the son of a car driver who drove around wealthy business men, then later leading the resurgence of Godfather's Pizza chain.

Governor Mitch Daniels - Governor Daniels was recently told by Newt Gingrich to lead the media to believe he hasn't ruled out a run for President, that they would take him more seriously and give him more national coverage. So, I admit to not being sure what to make of the Governor's words and actions. Either way, Daniels has been an innovator and a real leader in Indiana. Earlier this year, George Will penned a column where he played out a scene in a future President Daniels administration. Mark McKinnon also weighed in with his thoughts on a Daniels candidacy.

Governor Chris Christie - The new Governor of New Jersey is making many friends in conservative circles online. Some of Governor Christie's speeches have been blunt and to the point. He has taken on the media. He visited with citizens at a Town Hall, and his speech became known as the "Day of Reckoning". He even told a teacher who was complaining about teacher pay that she didn't have to teach, this speech also generated a great line when the Governor said "unlike the United States of America, the state of New Jersey can't print money" with regard to people unhappy with certain budget cuts. Pragmatism at its finest. Not sure America is ready for that.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich - For the record, I don't think Newt will run. I think he will lead people to think he is so that he is taken seriously as he proposes ideas, gives speeches and writes books, employing the strategy he suggested to Mitch Daniels above. Newt's work at American Solutions stands online in the depth and ideas he offers. A recent speech Newt delivered in Detroit could have been seen as a launching pad for anyone else in any given year, but for Newt it was business as usual: Ideas, ideas, ideas.

Liz Cheney - For those not familiar with the former Vice Presidents daughter and her qualifications, a brief bio will enlighten you. Liz Cheney has been a frequent and effective critic of the Obama Regime. Last year, Liz Cheney gave Anderson Cooper an education on CNN when he showed up less than prepared. A google search will reveal any number of great links to Cheney's writing and tv appearances. Cheney's group, Keep America Safe, released an ad earlier this year about Eric Holder and the DOJ. Cheney took some flack, but Erick Erickson at Red State came to her defense, here you can see both the ad and Erickson's response. Finally, in March of this year, Newsweek weighed in on Cheney at 2012. We'll have to wait and see.

I recently heard someone say they were sick and tired of Governors and Senators always being our candidates for President. I can see the sentiment there. I won't work my way down a list and automatically eliminate anyone who is or has been a Governor or Senator, but based on my list, Paul Ryan, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Liz Cheney would be good possibilities. I would also argue at this point that Governors Daniels and Christie are not typical of Governors past. Daniels has led Indiana during difficult times, he has made tough decisions and he has done some great things for the state through his leadership. Christie was elected, took office and has begun to act in the age of Obama, in times of extreme difficulty for America and for New Jersey, and for a Republican in New Jersey.

So that's my two cents, I am open to hearing what you think. Much like Obama was a no one in 2004 and got elected President 4 years later, is it possible we have no idea who the people are who will be our candidate(s) in 2016 and 2020?