Reacting to Fiona Grieg’s dropping out of the Ward 2 D.C. Council race yesterday, many people said things like, “Politics isn’t for faint of heart,” or “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
Those people are absolutely correct; that’s how politics works. Greig should have known that. In fact, she did; I talked to some of her supporters who said they warned her about this very eventuality. The fact that she still wasn’t prepared is indeed disappointing.
It’s easy to blame Greig. She certainly made mistakes. Or people can blame Jack Evans for running a rough campaign. But we should do neither. The problem is that voters, especially Democratic voters, expect the moon from candidates who can never live up to expectations.
A good candidate must have all of these qualities at the same time:
— Ability to talk like a think tank expert about any policy issue;
— The right positions as viewed by every different issue group they court;
— Charisma so that voters “want to have a beer with” the candidate;
— Stamina to talk to voters nonstop, all day, every day for months, and politely listen to everyone no matter how crazy;
— Toughness to endure all manner of nasty treatment from opponents and voters;
— Willingness to ask for money, which if you’ve never done you can’t possibly realize how hard it is;
— Expert management skills to hire a terrific team cheaply in just a few months;
— An absolutely squeaky-clean background;
— And much more.
If a candidate doesn’t have one of these, we blame the candidate. They ran a lousy campaign. We just didn’t like them personally. They don’t know enough about the issues. Every candidate has a thousand ways to be a doofus.
[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.