My last post here was on April 26 but I assure you The Moderate Donkey isn’t another orphaned political blog. I have a good reason for being MIA. I was running for a local office – a race that I lost. But still, I’m proud of my effort and here is why.
I ran this race on a shoe string budget – less than $2000.. And considering the constraints of my budget, I believe I had a respectable showing for a first time candidate running as a Democrat against an obviously popular three term Republican opponent in a Republican area. I garnered almost 25% of the vote and I plan to build on this, learn from my mistakes, use my experience in campaigns for other candidates, and yes – I WILL BE BACK AS A CANDIDATE!
I’ll always remember this race for several reasons. I’ve now experienced the democratic process as both a voter and a candidate. I learned that running for office is a lot different than talking politics around the dinner table or in an internet chat room. But most importantly, my first child was born during the campaign, an event that makes everything else seem not nearly as important – even losing.
Speaking of losing, just remember: Bill Clinton lost his first bid for office. So did George W. Bush. Rudolph Giuliani was unsuccessful in his first race. Though Jimmy Carter was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1962, he lost his first campaign for Governor in 1966. Though I have no reason to compare myself to any of these, I do take comfort in knowing that they, among many other public servants, were able to dust themselves off after a loss and try again.
Of course, I had my detractors. One in particular, who belongs to a far left “clique” of sorts and has never forgiven me (or Democrats like me) for not supporting Howard Dean in the 2004 presidential primaries, took my loss as a sign that “DLC-types” can’t win anymore. The irony of that statement was it came the morning after DLC member Tim Kaine won the Governor’s race in Virginia with the help of Virginia’s current governor, DLC member Mark Warner. I pointed this simple truth out to her but it didn’t make her real happy. Can’t please them all.