Friday, July 07, 2006

How to win elections

President Bush isn't always the most articulate person in the political world, but once in a while, he comes up with a good line.

Today's news conference in Chicago was one of those times.

He was asked about his low poll numbers, and then whether he was hurting candidates he was trying to help by simply showing up. Obviously a biased question, meant to embarrass him. He didn't really take the bait, and within his answer, said something close to this (I'm paraphrasing, pending release of a text):

“The way you win elections is to actually believe in something.”

Bravo! He's exactly right, and coming from a man who has won two elections for governor and two elections for president on that philosophy. It's amazing to me the number of  people who think they can run for office without having a set of core issues on which to run. 

Before announcing for office, it is a good idea to set down your core beliefs on paper, and then formulate them into a few key reasons WHY you are running.

Ronald Reagan probably didn't need to perform that exercise when he set out to run for president, because his entire career has been formed around a few simple principles:

- Less government regulation
- Cut taxes
- A strong national defense
- Stand up for traditional American values

Agree or disagree (and I happened to agree!) everyone knew what he stood for, and nearly everyone admired that about him. 

Someone without a firm belief system, or someone who fails to make it the 
cornerstone of their campaign, is simply asking to lose.