…or does it?
The blame game is running fast and furious in Jacksonville over who is responsible for Democrat Alvin Brown’s win over Republican Mike Hogan.
One thing is clear: Mike Hogan was an extremely flawed candidate. He was afraid of his own shadow, was not highly accessible during the campaign, and refused all but one debate. Hogan was also something of a, shall we say, wing-nut.
On the subject of abortion, Hogan showed how much of an extremist he is. In February, the Florida Times Union reported, “Hogan added that the only thing he wouldn’t do was bomb an abortion clinic, then the law-and-order advocate added, with a laugh, ‘but it may cross my mind.’”
It doesn’t take a PhD in politics to realize that kind of comment is enough to drive turnout for the left and suppress turnout on the right – at least among country club Republicans. In fact, such a statement may actually drive turnout among Republicans – to vote for the Democrat.
A fish rots from the head down and the reason Mike Hogan lost is because his head was rotten and stinky.
But recognizing the obvious isn’t the forte of the Jacksonville-area tea party groups – at least one of its leaders who is pointing fingers at the GOP. In a widely distributed e-mail, Billie Tucker, the head of the First Coast Tea Party ripped Republican Party efforts with a childish rant.
Tucker claimed GOP lawyers “couldn’t figure it out” when called upon to consider Hogan’s options for a recount.
She went on to say, “The left plays dirty and they are smarter than us. Period.” In the next sentence she added, “The right needs to understand how to play like they do.”
Just play dirtier than your opponent, now that’s the American way the tea party can be proud of!
Tucker then claims how many more foot soldiers (or as she refers to them as “boots on the ground”) the tea party has. She further laments, “The tea party…[has] no money…” She then suggests the GOP has the money, prestige and power, but all they did was make phone calls, walk neighborhoods, and “hold a few sings.” Sounds good to me. But I guess I’ve only been in this business about twenty years and I don’t really know anything.
But here is what I do know Ms. Tucker: you don’t have any money because you’re a whiny little whack-job who thinks she knows something, but who in reality doesn’t know squat. In fact, about all you’re good at doing is writing e-mails that confirm what everybody already thinks about you.
You want to know why you don’t have any money lady? It’s because no one with an ounce of grey matter stuck between their ears thinks you know what you’re doing. If you were the last political operative in the galaxy, I wouldn’t give you five bucks to buy a bag of red, white, and blue balloons.
You want to win the presidency in 2012? Here’s what you better recognize: if you continue to nominate candidates like Mike Hogan – say Sarah Palin in the presidential race, be prepared to lose. Because no amount of “boots on the ground” are going to keep people who have both oars in the water from rejecting her candidacy. Myself and others who are concerned about spending and deficits, and the direction of this country included — you and yours don’t own those concerns madam.
In conclusion, it’s important to recognize that Mike Hogan lost because of Mike Hogan, not because of what the GOP did or didn’t do.
Facts are stubborn things. Consider these:
1) The state Republican Party spent a record amount of party money for a Florida mayoral race. These resources were on top of the thousands of hours of time GOP volunteers logged making phone calls, knocking on doors, waving sings, and doing other campaign-related matters on Hogan’s behalf.
2) Republican city council candidate Robin Lumb received 100,398 in his successful campaign. Mike Hogan only received 97,271 in his loss. Clearly this was not an issue of turnout the local GOP should be blamed for — the Republicans voted, they just didn’t vote for Hogan. The number of votes Republican Lumb received would have made the difference to Republican Hogan in his race against Democrat Brown. But Hogan was flawed, and that’s why he lost.
Ms. Tucker, you need to take your blinders off lady. The fat lady has sung, and your day on stage is over.
Enjoy your tea.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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