The summer season in New Hampshire is a tough time for campaigning.
In fact, I used to not even bother and I would just hit the ground walking fast once Labor Day came and went. There really was no need to since I was usually the only candidate running for Governor of New Hampshire under The Flatlander Ticket.
I would let the candidates in the other two parties fight it out to figure who their candidate was going to be and then I would just step in, feeling fresh and ready, and planned to knock out those guys (or gals) since they had already been to hell and back and were probably pretty battered.
Of course, since I am writing this, it never worked and I have yet to be elected governor. Still, I figured that eventually this philosophy would pay off.
This summer is different though since I am battling to just get the nomination from my own party.
I am finding out that here in New Hampshire it is easier to run for President than it is for governor. Running for president is a snap since everyone you meet is a potential voter, even if they are from another state, eventually they will be going into a voting booth somewhere where your name is on the ballot, so all of the glad handing and phony, put-on smiles and ridiculous promises are not in vain.
Here in New Hampshire, especially in more touristy areas like the Lakes Region, summertime is a big mix of folks. There are locals who you might be able to persuade to vote for you if you’re really good at telling them what they want to hear. There’s also those visitors from away who could only vote for you if they drove across state lines, went to a voting place, claimed they lived here, filled out a form attesting to this and then voted for you. Of course, this is America and we know things like that could never happen.
So, campaigning takes a shrewd know how of being able to use your resources wisely in order to be at the correct places in order to meet those who can actually vote for you and to avoid, time wasting hand shaking and pretend concerned listening with people who are, basically, a waste of your valuable time.
Of course, my resources are small and my team (two people I met last week at the dollar store) is limited in its capabilities. One suggested that I ask people for their IDs before I shake their hand or talk to them, but I thought that was a bit extreme.
We did compromise on that idea though. Instead, we have put together a few meet and greets (with food and drink of course; no one shows up anywhere without these things) where people would be required to show IDs before being allowed to enter in order to verify that they are both legal New Hampshire residents, as well as old enough to vote. (Nothing is more irritating than spending ten minutes discussing your plans for the future of New Hampshire with someone, only to find out that they are only sixteen. What’s the sense?)
The food and drink table will be very close to the entrance so that people can fill up on the free stuff right away. It is of no use trying to talk to people before they have eaten. While you are trying to tell them about stuff that you will do as governor (but probably won’t), they begin to shift back and forth on both legs while their eyes are looking past you to the buffet table.
If the crowd is a big one, which we expect, it will be a challenge to get to everyone before they have finished their pumpkin pie and will be looking to leave. (Some people just like to talk to you about issues forever….it gets annoying.) So, we will be having a raffle at the end with lots of cool prizes to try and get as many people to stay for as long as possible.
We do realize that not everyone will be eligible to vote in the Flatlander primary, but we are going by the same philosophy of the presidential candidates. If I make the cut and am the nominee for governor under the Flatlander ticket, we are hoping that many of these people will remember me on Election Day in November (especially those who won the cool raffle prizes).
Hopefully this process will work in our favor. While our opponent is wasting his time smiling and talking to many people who won’t be able to vote for him, we will be gathering a nice constituency of voters.
I am feeling pretty confident and I hope to see you at the big chow down.
To find out more about Brendan’s book and upcoming appearances go to www.BrendanTSmith.com