Nuts & Bolts—At the Heart of a Democratic Campaign: Please Don’t Do This

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Anger is no way to go

Many campaigns struggle to find their footing because they feel they don’t get enough support, donations or attention. It’s easy to feel overlooked when people know you’re not going to win. You have many ways to move forward with this feeling. The least effective way is to be angry. When you exhibit anger towards your own party members and complain and grumble that no one cares about your race, you are not helping yourself.

Be prepared to have a little fun and celebrate what you accomplish. “I meet Democratic voters who haven’t seen a Democratic candidate in a decade. For the first time, I encouraged them to vote, and they’re not just going to vote for me, they’re going to vote for our Democratic slate! Remind your Democrat friends what you do and allow the joy of connecting with your community to be part of your campaign.

Several years ago, a candidate running in a district he couldn’t win hosted a nighttime event to help collect canned goods for homeless people in his community. Four people showed up. Rather than being depressed, the contestant took the time to thank everyone and let them know that four families would have food thanks to those in attendance, and that everyone should feel like they are part of something. special.

Now after, the candidate may be heartbroken that more people didn’t show up; but in the moment, in public, don’t let anger overwhelm you. Find joy and embrace it. Acknowledge the good you are doing and let it be part of your story.

Please don’t empty your own bank accounts

You end up in a riding that favors the Republican candidate by double digits. Voter registration is even more against you, including even unaffiliated voters. You want to make an effort to train all possible Democratic voters. You will find that some voters and supporters will donate to your campaign because they want to show you that they know you are taking time out of your life and doing it on their behalf, representing their values ​​to the public. It is an honor and a privilege. They sacrifice their gift to support you and say they believe in what you stand for.

It makes sense and it deserves it. When a candidate in a riding he can’t win tells me he’s invested almost everything he has, or is willing to take time off work, risk jobs, or decide to lend themselves money from their retirement fund or bad weather, I have to push them aside and tell them they have to stop.

The most important thing in every campaign is your own family. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are together today because he cared about his family. When you’re risking your family’s future by pursuing a dream that you know won’t come true, you have to take a step back. Invest in your own running what is reasonable and what you can afford. Don’t overspend and don’t be the only person investing in your campaign. If you’re embarrassed to ask for money because you know people on the other end will say, “You can’t win your campaign,” then you shouldn’t ask yourself or your partner the same question. Find solace in asking and comfort in doing all you can do within reason.

Never, ever repeat the event of another candidate

As a candidate, you will often be asked to attend a fundraiser for another Democratic candidate. This could be a candidate for Governor or the United States House, State Treasurer or the United States Senate. Regardless of the race the other candidate is in, their event is designed to support them, and they have welcomed their supporters who are there to support their campaign.

The event is not organized for your campaign. Your campaign may or may not be recognized as existing. Someone may ask, “Are there any other candidates in the room?” or, if the candidate knows you, he can nominate you.

What they don’t want is you taking over fundraising for their campaign. Don’t immediately move in to give a long speech, or get the room working by pestering their donors to donate to your campaign. Feel free to wear your campaign gear if you want to, and if, organically, someone asks you to, that’s fine. You are on their campaign ground and you must respect their campaign. We are a team. No one would remember Scottie Pippen, a great NBA player, if he refused to play with Michael Jordan. Likewise, all great quarterbacks are aided by great receivers. Everything takes a team.

Another candidate’s event is his event. You don’t have to be the pitcher in the room that demands attention. You’re not a peacock out there to strut around.

You will earn incredible respect for what you do to help another campaign. Give the other campaign its space and don’t try to take the limelight.

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