Thingish Things

Man on a Mission

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Sep• 15•11

Newly Sworn-In Congressman Bob Turner (R-NY)

 Many messages can be taken away from the NY-9 congressional election Tuesday – the President has problems among Jews and Catholics, machine politicians are an endangered species, and Watch Out!: voters of all parties are now in play – everywhere.

But my chief takeaway is the lesson that can be learned from Bob Turner the man.  (I ran his campaign communications and got to know him well in an abbreviated period of time.)  It is a lesson that must be learned by prospective candidates for 2012 and beyond.

It is simple: Know who you are. Know your convictions. Know your mission.  And then run for the seat like a man of fire. Voters will disagree with you on issue x, y, or z, but they smell passion and authenticity – they thirst for it in a world of manufactured politicians.

Bob Turner (R) didn’t waste a second of time in his race for the seat last held by Anthony Weiner (D).  He didn’t have to. To my occasional chagrin he cared not one iota for crafted talking points.  He never tailored his remarks for one ethnic group or another. And he did not waste time worrying about election results. As he saw it, they had nothing to do with him. That was for the voters to sort out.  All he could do was say “Here I am.  This is how I see things.”

I have worked with a lot of candidates over the years, and many of them lacked that essential self knowledge.  Without it, they are lost when it comes time to make tough calls. Bob Turner will not have that problem.

One other takeaway for me.  There is an untapped wealth in America of accomplished men and women like Bob Turner who can step forward now to run for office – people who know who they are after a lifetime of experience — and who could give a rat’s you-know-what about dancing around the issues.

The nation needs them.    

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  1. Your Friend says:

    Congratulations on your successful campaign. The message was clearly effective. When are you going to run for office?

  2. Peter says:

    I always get the feeling campaigns are less about who wins and more about losing less, everything I’ve heard about NY-9 suggests it’s the case.

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