It really isn’t all that much fun running for governor this time.
In years past, it was only me representing the Flatlander ticket. This year, as you may have read in a previous column, I now have competition.
I won’t even mention his name here since that would just give him free publicity and save him from spending a few extra dollars and, as we found out this year during the presidential campaign, that can be all the difference between winning and losing.
In my previous campaigns, none of the candidates in the other two political parties took me seriously. They were so focused on figuring out ways to denigrate the other, that they had no energy left for me.
Even those in the parties who spend all of their time sending out press releases making up things about how evil the opponent on the other side is, never once mentioned my name. Since that is all these people do, I was a little insulted that they had no time to belittle me.
I admit that not being included in some of the mudslinging being directed towards me hurt a little; I wanted to be part of the game. Still, as they say, the grass is always greener.
This campaign season it is a whole new ball game. My opponent has taken up a very nasty and negative campaign towards me and, I admit, it has taken me by surprise.
Be careful what you wish for.
First off, he (who shall remain unnamed) has claimed that I am no longer a “real” Flatlander. That I have been living here in New Hampshire so long that I am really the establishment candidate. I have been absorbed in the New Hampshire culture for so long that I have lost my Flatlander ways and I will give in easily to the natives when it is time to negotiate.
He has only lived here for a few years and he claims that he has not yet become assimilated enough as to be part of the establishment. In fact, he claims, the natives are scared of him and what he might be able to accomplish once he is elected. (Seeing he is from New Jersey, I can understand their concern.)
His message has resonated and crowds are beginning to get bigger at his events. His dubious promises such as insisting that real potato knishes be sold at all grocery stores may be impossible to even implement, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the hundreds who are coming to his rallies. Even natives are attending his rallies since there isn’t a whole lot to do around here until summer.
For the first time in all of these years of my candidacy, members of the Flatlander Party are beginning to question my legitimacy as a viable candidate.
It all is beginning to spread like wildfire. My candidacy, which was once not even on the radar screen has now garnered statewide attention.
Of course, most of the focus is on my opponent. He seems to be an expert at off the cuff interviews and giving speeches without teleprompters and he is not against speaking his mind which often leads to controversial statements.
The media loves it.
Even the local radio political talk shows are discussing the Flatlander Party campaign for the first time. There seems to be enough negativity now to meet the requirements for their discussions.
My campaign platform of wanting the job because I need the money, is no longer good enough even though it is honest. Even though my opponent has yet to talk about his own position on anything, no one seems to care. All eyes are now on me to dig myself out of this hole of being cast as one who really doesn’t have the interests of the Flatlander at heart.
My opponent has even recently started sending out huge cardboard mailers with a very unappealing photograph of my head which was somehow taken during a recent root canal. The words “Is He For ALL The people?” highlighted across the top.
People now recognize me and stop me on the street and the words aren’t always kind. Some are just asking me for directions.
I have to admit this has all taken me by surprise and I am not sure how to react to it all. I have become complacent over the years and never expected that I would have to put up a fight for the nomination.
As of today, my campaign manager and I are trying to come up with some good negative campaign rhetoric to try and fight back.
It looks like the campaign for the Flatlander nomination will be as ugly and venom filled as those of the other traditional parties and, for the first time, people are beginning to pay attention.
Find out more on Brendan’s books and upcoming appearances at his website www.BrendanTSmith.com