Thursday, March 4, 2010

David Smith Gives A Tea Party And Nobody Comes

David Smith
David Smith

Pete Sessions easily won re-nomination for his Texas Congressional District 32 seat in Tuesday's GOP primary with over 83% of the vote. Fifty points if you can name the opponent he defeated. ... Time's up. It was David Smith.

David Smith is a blogger for the Dallas County Republican Examiner. He's up with a post-mortem of his campaign. He calls it a wrap-up but he can't quite bring himself to admit it's really over: "Well, it began here, it ends here--or perhaps I should say, it continues here!"

After the jump, what Smith has to say about his loss.

David Smith starts by offering his congratulations to Pete Sessions and immediately accuses Sessions of violating the law by using paid Congressional staff on his political campaign. Maybe the congratulation was meant sarcastically. It's so hard to tell in blogs. He says he didn't know a Congressman could get away with that. "I still have a few things to learn about the political process (!)." That I'm pretty sure was meant to be sarcastic, which makes it ironic instead, as Smith does have a lot to learn.

Pete Sessions ignored David Smith during the campaign. Smith imagines this is a positive achievement on his part. He claims that he "quite literally drove my Congressman under a rock--or his desk, to be a little less harsh--these last several months." If Smith was to have any chance at all of winning, he needed to drive Sessions out into the open where Smith could put Sessions on the defensive. Driving him under a rock ("literally" or not) served Smith no good. Charitably, I'll assume this is just Smith applying a standard campaign technique, spinning a weakness to make it plausibly sound like a strength. It isn't. This was the biggest failing of Smith's campaign.

David Smith looks to his future:

"I continue to wind down my campaign and consider what my next steps in the political sphere will be and simultaneously return to my writing for"

Wind down his campaign?!? What campaign? Consider his next steps in politics? If I said dogcatcher I would sound insulting, but seriously, next time he should start at the bottom and work his way up. Return to his writing?!? Why did he ever quit? Most candidates realize that you want to increase your communication during a campaign, not suspend. He tells others thinking of running for Congress they should "raise more than $5,000," but at the same time admits, "my campaign was slow to get a web site up and operating." Why in the world, if he was short of money and if he already was a regular blogger on The Dallas County Examiner, would he not exploit the Internet in his campaign?

Bashing the press is a standard page in the Republicans' playbook and the press has always been a handy whipping boy for losing candidates of both parties. David Smith pins some of the blame for his loss on The Dallas Morning News:

"By the way, the Dallas Morning News didn't especially appreciate my mentioning that I had scooped them on multiple occasions over the last several months. I can't help but think my mentioning that to their faces played a role in their endorsing my opponent."

David Smith planned to ride into office on the coattails of the Tea Party. Now that he's lost, the Tea Party is also partly to blame:

"While the Tea Partiers came out in impressive numbers, the organizers of the Tea Party movement were less than helpful toward challengers and the results speak for themselves."

David Smith expected an anti-incumbent mood to translate into votes for himself.

"It has been aggravating to hear activists calling for legislated term limits...only to abandon fresh blood and new faces at the polls. Take responsibility for your nation, people! You can't keep passing the buck to the elected officials and expect anything different if you keep sending the exact same people to every elected position at every level."

David Smith now has an opportunity to demonstrate his own support for "fresh blood and new faces." He can urge people to vote for someone other than Pete Sessions this fall. Come on, David, use your next Examiner piece to recommend Democrat Grier Raggio or maybe the Libertarian (there's always a Libertarian).

Without a trace of irony, David Smith closes with, "So stay tuned--I'm certainly not going anywhere!" Just like his campaign.

Finally, David, some advice ... if you really want to win over the Tea Party voter, lose the cuff links.

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