Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Getting Elected in Rural Virginia 101, for Anita Hartke

Ms. Anita Hartke is running against Congressman Eric Cantor in Virginia's 7th district, for the US House of Representatives. Since she seems to need some advice on political campaigns, some reasonable advice is available here.

It is best to not call voters names or insult their ethics. Spitting at people, nasty looks at babies and accusations about ignorance of the adults are also not ways to win people over. The use of words such as "inbred", "hick", "redneck", "bitter", and "wingnuts" will likely create ill feelings from many 7th district residents.

Suggesting a gun ban on certain rifles and stricter gun control laws in a district where gun ownership is about 95%, second only to ownership of bibles and pickup trucks, may not be the best strategy either. Ms. Hartke would be far more competitive if she just assumed that similar political positions are the reason the GOP has its death grip on that district in the first place. Making beer sales, cursing, laughing, and hound dogs illegal are also probably on the list of non-starters.

It is surprising that a person who supposedly makes a good living dealing with people doesn't have a better approach than what Ms. Hartke has demonstrated during her campaign. Perhaps more confusing, is that a significant portion of her appeal is supposed to the inheritance of her father's, former US Senator Vance Hartke, political savvy and her claim to the skill set of a natural politician.

If Ms. Hartke is from another planet, it may be wise to confirm her eligibility to run for elected office in the US Congress. Attempts by the DNC to actually find a viable candidate to replace someone who clearly does not represent the majority of his constituents would be very much appreciated.

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