The title for this blog came from one of my favorite press conferences. This one was from former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld who at the time was talking about the Iraq War and as usual facing criticisms from sources like the New York Times.
I admire Secretary Rumsfeld. Most of all because of his experienced, level headed self-confidence he brought to this important position. At times I didn’t agree with the way the Iraq War was proceeding but I always felt that the Department of Defense was at least being led by a capable leader.
And not a politician looking to move up the beltway power ladder.
The spell checker klaxon is now going off telling me that the last sentence is a fragment, so what, I’m trying to make a point dam it so spell check that! The video below I think is another New Hampshire example of known knowns. And this is Charlie Bass; a candidate for U.S. Congress in the Second Congressional District. When I first heard of the former congressman possibly running I didn’t support it having agreed with the Union Leaders assessment of the situation when the seat was lost to incumbent Paul Hodes “returning Charlie Bass to Washington is like re arranging old furniture.” they said.
After watching this video I don’t think so. And actually if the campaign is anything like this video I think that the former congressman from Peterborough can distance his opponents in the primary and challenge the democratic nominee which is a race to analyze another day.
So, how can Charlie win this primary?
The most important reason is that everyone knows Charlie and I mean everyone. In northern New Hampshire I’ve met people that dislike politics and the whole political field but they know Charlie and they vote for his regardless of their political affiliation. And more importantly than knowing the candidate himself many of the voting public have come into contact with the district offices and the staff members working for the congressman. This means a lot as well. Or, as I’ve heard it described “it goes a long way.”
If you notice that the Bass campaign isn’t doing what Jennifer Horn and Bob Guida frequent. And this is trumpeting and campaigning around issues like energy policy and patriotism. I think even professional consultants in the Horn, Guida campaigns would have a hard time showing how these campaign tactics translate into votes, especially in this primary.
Fundraising is another issue but not the decisive issue.
I remember in 1994 when I first met the candidate running against two term Congressman Swett. It was at the now demolished Clam Shell Restaurant in Littleton. It was almost like this video a normal person that is running for Congress. At the time I didn't even know that he had served in both the NH House and Senate. To me he just doen't appear to be a professional politician, even though he probally is. In any case, Bass did take the time to answer questions about policy, legislation, etc. but I never sensed during this meeting that this was an professional, scripted campaign instead Bass was working for the votes in the second congressional district.
And it looks as if he is doing the same on this run.
Source: BassNH campaign.