7 Reasons Why I love Contested Elections

I know there are some Obama supproters who may think that Obama coming in second is a bad thing.

I know there are probably some Clinton supporters who are thinking "thank god, Clinton is the new come back kid!"

I am an Edwards supporter, and all I have is his message which I hope he continues to bring to the race.

But, this isn't about that. This is about a principle that I've slowly developed since 2004. I love contested elections. Let me give you 10 brief reasons why below the fold.

1) Exhibit A-- Kerry. We annointed Kerry (or at least, I feel that we did). He went into the general election a weaker candidate untested by the hard questions and campaigning that he would face from a bruising Bush campaign. This time around we need our GE candidate battle tested and ready for combat. If you hate the metaphor- we need them ready to win from the minute the GE begins. This will make sure they don't rest on their butts for several months.

2) We test ideas and approaches by having contested elections. Were it not for Obama, Clinton wouldn't be changing, and were it not for Edwards, Obama wouldn't be changing, and etc. These candidates being tested means they have to test thier messaging, their policy assumptions, their staff, their own character- regardless of whether they win or not. THis is a good thing for the party.

3) It throws the media narrative out of whack. I was shocked by NH. That's the honest trust. But then I found mysel smiling because I realized I was shocked in a "the media narrative was wrong" ki nd of way, and thats a wonderful thing to behold. No annointing by the media narrative :).

4) I allows later voters to not jump on a bandwagon but instead to actually think about their decision. Now SC and NV and supertuesday and everything else matters. That's a really important thing.

5) It makes for a harder target for the GOP. Sure, they can guess and try to go with the generic Democrat- but a movin target is still a moving target.

6) We get to know the candidates better as voters. It's not based on snap decisions. This is really important. Political junkies know the candidates well, but I've got friends who dont pay attention until days before. Now they are paying attention because like a good season of football with several great teams- they got something to pay attention to. Never underestimate the value of a little drama.

7) As a corrolary it means a lot more free media. Never underestimate the value of free media. The longer this is contested, the longer the media will pay attention.

So- buck up- whether your guy or girl is up or down - its all good. We as a party win with this.

Tags: 2008, Contested Primaries, Democrats, GOP, Presidential Race (all tags)

Comments

3 Comments

Re: 7 Reasons Why I love Contested Elections

Very good points, one and all!

by Steve M 2008-01-08 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: 7 Reasons Why I love Contested Elections

Brilliant diary.

by Rob in Vermont 2008-01-08 06:50PM | 0 recs
Great diary.

I just told my partner about twenty minutes ago that perhaps the number one reason why Kerry's campaign in 2004 was so shitty is that he was untested and didn't know what to do.

You know what?  Obama I think NEEDED this loss.

1.  Obama now will tame the cockiness that has been seeping out in oh so subtle ways.

2.  Obama will treat Hillary less condescendingly and that will help him.

3.  Perhaps he will tone down the annoying baptist preacher shctick that can seep out sometimes in his delivery.

4.  maybe he can pivot after a loss and that prepares him for handling the Republicans in the fall.

5.  It allows him to hone his message and stay sharp and focus.

I am a huge Obama supporter now and I think a long campaign is best for him, our party, and our ability to win in November.

by jgarcia 2008-01-08 06:52PM | 0 recs

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