"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, February 28, 2008

We're Off In the 118th

The Republicans and Democrats are both scrambling for their candidates. The Democrats seem to be a little light on the reserve squad; Addie Jenne is not ready, John Burns, well, John Burns could not articulate an issue beyond a parking ticket, Penske or Wicke, if I misspelled their names than that is all that needs to be said about their candidacies, which leaves Tedra Cobb, she is the only force to be recognized in the Democrats field of candidates.

The Republican field host an array of wannabes some A material others B material; Ritchie, Nichols, Button, Nelson, MacDonnell, Reed, Fitzpatrick and Gray. There are names in that list that can win and there are names in that list that can win but do not have the stamina for an intense campaign.

I would expect you to hear about polling, or even receive a call, which will take place either by the weekend or latest by Monday that will ID the people with the highest and best name recognition. This is a methodical process that will narrow the field and begin to solidify the A list, then discussions will take place with the potential candidates and party leaders and finally a candidate will rise to the surface quickly.

No question the Democrats have a lot of money to defend this seat, will the Republicans run a better marketing campaign this time though? With limited money it is essential to market better and have a clear message. Time will tell how strong each squad's reserve team is, it will be exciting to watch, money does not guarantee a victory here, it helps, but it is no assurance.

Picking the candidate is the critical first step.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Can't Sell What You Don't Market

The GOP needs to take a lesson from the Democrats. They just got a lesson in selling, advertising and marketing they should review that lesson for a long time to come.

I have never known anyone who was able to sell a product or service with out some form of marketing, even if it was the simplest form such as word of mouth. Marketing and selling involves the promotion of the virtues of a particular product or service and not necessarily disparaging another product or service. How many times have you seen some company trashing a competitors product in order to sell their product? My guess is not many.

This is not about Aubertine or Barclay, because they did not finance nor did they run their respective campaigns, Aubertine and Barclay were no more than the product these party machines were attempting to market. The GOP got their butts whooped in marketing.

From the start, the Aubertine campaign marketed him as a folksy down home clean living family guy, the "one of us" campaign and they stuck to the theme no matter how much they were tugged on to respond or react or get off message. This was true guerrilla marketing it was pounded home to people again and again; in radio, TV, mailers and letters to the editors. It was so well grounded in people involved in the campaign they walked and talked the message and no one ever got off message.

On the other hand, the Barclay campaign was anything but disciplined. They entered the marketing campaign swinging with negative advertising, in politics you only do this if your favorables are comfortably high and you are fairly well known. This is a risky strategy because your favorables can fall as fast as your opponent. They never defined a clear campaign message or theme, they reacted to whatever the Aubertine campaign did, often referred to as annoying flattery. They failed to define Will Barclay as effectively as the opponents defined Darrel Aubertine, even worse Barclay ended up being defined by the Aubertine camp. They failed to present ideas from Will Barclay, they attacked Aubertine as if they were losing. If this were the TV show Apprentice, Donald Trump would have fired all their a$$es long ago in this campaign. This was a marketing nightmare.

As I started out by saying this was not about Aubertine or Barclay, it was about the Albany people who financed and ran the campaigns. I predicted to a friend the night before an Aubertine victory, although I had advocated otherwise. I think in the end Aubertine is a nice guy, who is definitely getting more political savvy and experienced, but Barclay is more intelligent and articulate on the issues facing Northern New York and the state of New York, but he was overtaken by outside forces and lead into a battle with a bad strategy.

Congratulations Darrel Aubertine!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Relief Is In The Air

Come Wednesday, relief will be in the air, literally, in the airwaves of TV and radio. Also, there will be relief to our mailboxes and any other forum that we use for our personal consumption of daily enlightenment.

After this election, I am confident that Albany just does not get it and probably never will until there is a change in leadership at the capital, to include Spitzer, Bruno, and Silver. The change of leadership should occur on a regular basis, term limits need to be enacted on the leadership positions, not necessarily the elected positions, but the leadership positions of Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker. The current systems breeds power brokers and corrupts the use and distribution of taxpayer's money as well as disproportionately serving the needs of residents who are represented by minority versus majority members in a particular house. The current systems stifles creative thinking and limits or even eliminates debates on proposed legislations and limits potential legislation that might otherwise benefit New York State residents. All of this leads residents and outside observers to the belief beyond any assumption that New York State government is one of the most dysfunctional governments in the land.

Yet, somehow Albany fails to perform any introspection as well as any peer review to see what best practices are being performed by other state governments for possible improvement for New York. And in the end, they bring this failed thinking to the residents of Northern New York for the past nearly two months in the form of the race for the 48th District Senate seat. The only beneficiaries of the race could be possibly the media organizations who have reaped the millions of dollars being spent to stretch anyone's imagination as to the wildest of possibilities.

The race for the 48th Senate seat has resurrected issues that are four years old, raised issues of candidate's personal property that should not even concern district voters and found nuances in any piece of legislation possible to paint a grim picture of one another. Northern New York residents rarely care for this type of politics and they are not alone, most residents of New York State do not care for Albany's politics. Cathy Calhoun from the Aubertine camp and Steve Minarik from the Barclay camp should have been sent packing before they even thought about bringing their ugliness in campaign styles to Northern New York. I know both Aubertine and Barclay and neither of these gentleman are representative of the campaigns that have been run for them by party money.

Tuesday, good luck to each candidate. Wednesday good bye to the operatives and thank you for the infusion of capital into our economy, you did have one thing right on the campaign trial, the economy is a concern and you followed through by spending money on advertising, hotels, meals, etc. We appreciate it, but for once we will say, don't come again.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Could The Democrats Defect From Principle

The Democrats are the self proclaimed "party of the people", yet they could possibly defect from the people's wishes at the Democratic National Convention in Denver later this year.

If the convention was held today Barack Obama would be the choice of the majority of pledged delegates. Obama leads by 73 pledged delegates, excluding Florida and Michigan which are supposed to be stripped of their delegates, but he is behind when including super delegates or Florida and Michigan delegates thrown in the mix.

Super delegates are party leaders, ex-presidents such as Bill Clinton, congressional members, etc. Hillary leads in the super delegate category, therefore she leads the overall delegate count.

Super delegates are obviously not following the wishes of the electorate.

The question for the party of the people, if this current delegate situation continues through to the convention will they allow super delegates to depart from the wishes of the people thereby defecting from their principles? That would be a sad day for democracy.

Also, will they give special consideration to the Florida and Michigan delegates in order to put Hillary over the top in the delegate count?

A lot of questions exist and it will be fun to watch.

One thing is for sure, the Democrats did not expect this type and length of battle for the nomination, therefore they are raising and spending precious resources that a portion could otherwise be used in the general election against the Republicans.

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