How Candidates React When They Don’t Get the Palin Endorsement

A Palin endorsement changes the game for a candidate.  We’ve seen it play out all too often in recent months.  After her endorsement, phone calls pour in, the press listens up, and donations from grassroots supporters increase.  In fact, even Politico had to concede calling Palin the “Senate Kingmaker.”

But don’t take my (or Politico’s) word for it.  Check for yourself here, here, here, here, and here.  The candidates speak for themselves when they receive the endorsement and the energy it delivers.  It packs a punch like no other.

But what happens when you don’t get a Palin endorsement?  I find it odd, frankly, when candidates (or their supporters) specifically comment on why their opponent got her endorsement or when they use rhetoric to downplay the fact that they simply fell short.  And sometimes, they get downright cranky about it.  They either claim Palin does not know enough to endorse the right one or that since she’s not from local municipalities or districts, her endorsement is to be dismissed.

Nonsense!   Even though we’re not allowed to actually vote in every municipal or state race, the votes and actions of candidates like Sarah Steelman, Martha Zoller, Richard Mourdock (if they make it to Washington), and others affect all of us – despite which state we live in.  Therefore; we have every right to vet and compare records of candidates and make the best decision we can collectively along with Sarah Palin (our grassroots leader) as to who we want to move our direction closer to a place of sudden and relentless reform.

The latest displays of such non-Palin-endorsed snottiness come from John Brunner’s campaign in Missouri, Todd Akin in Missouri, and Doug Collins of Georgia’s 9th District for House of Representatives.  Beware: the rhetoric is accompanied by more falsities with regard to their campaign opponents.

Brunner’s campaign stated:

“We are surprised that a conservative like Sarah Palin would endorse a pro-labor, pro-trial lawyer, pro-tax, anti-business candidate like Sarah Steelman who clearly is an unreliable conservative. Governor Palin must surely be unaware of Steelman’s anti-conservative record.”

Apparently, John Brunner was a little ticked when he learned that his money couldn’t buy the Palin endorsement — the same money which also bought the manufactured and untrue smears his campaign purports in this statement against Sarah Steelman.  The reason?  Because Like Dewhurst, Brunner found out the hard way that Palin and her supporters are “not for sale.”  When candidates spend massive amounts of money, it reveals their inability to stand on the truth as it is.  It cannot be dressed up.  You can’t dress it down.  It is what it is and Sarah Steelman’s record of reform proves against the Brunner allegations – allegations that personally cost him $7.5M.

(In fact, after Palin’s endorsement, a former Brunner supporter, Gary Cross has switched his support to Steelman.)

Similarly in Missouri, another Steelman-opponent, Todd Akin said the following recently:

“Sarah Palin has tended to endorse women around the country and so it doesn’t surprise us that she might jump into this race … She’s not very predictable a lot of times where she jumps or who she jumps but it seems like there is a pattern that she’s very much more of the sort of the feminist side of jumping into … the women running in various races.”

As we know, Palin has endorsed countless men in races along the way.  But in many of these races, it seems great conservative women are jumping into the fray that might not have in previous years.  Women like Steelman or Fischer especially who are great seem more appreciated nowadays because of the path Palin has plowed out for them.  But, this doesn’t mean that they haven’t earned the credentials themselves over the years – which they have.

If it were the other way around, such feckless charges could also allege Palin’s avoidance of endorsing women reflecting her desire to not have her thunder stolen.  But Palin’s confident and identifies with Steelman and Fischer both who were greatly outspent in their primaries and fought by sheer dedication of meeting the voters one by one – things that Palin knows all too well about.

Finally, the most apparent crank of all is House of Representatives candidate for Georgia’s 9th District, Doug Collins: (Emphasis)

“For weeks Martha Zoller has brought a lot of Washington insiders into the 9th District, and last night I was proud to see my fellow Northeast Georgia conservatives say loud and clear, “We don’t need Washington to tell us how to vote.”

For months Martha Zoller has claimed to be the front runner in this race and yesterday the 9th District voters honored us with that position.  We expect her campaign to continue to follow the Obama strategy of using celebrities instead of substance over the course of the next three weeks. I need your help to ensure the real values of the 9th District make it to Washington in January.

I know we’re tired, but we must continue to work hard and not become complacent. Over the next 19 days, we have to come together and show once again that We Are the 9th District not Governors from Alaska and media celebrities from D.C.”

This is definitely the snarkiest.  As others contend, Candidate Collins seems to believe that outsiders aren’t allowed to speak — even though the actions of Congressional members impact us all.  The establishment blessed-and-endorsed candidate who hikes taxes would rather re-define “conservative” in order to bless himself with the title as opposed to fighting the ranks within the GOPeTM  and earning it through reputation.  Part of his re-defining effort is to class up Sarah Palin with the “Washington insiders” he talks about as well as the “media celebrities.”

And while it’s true that Collins received more votes than Zoller, he doesn’t mention that it was by less than 1% of the vote.  Further, while the third candidate (Fitzgerald) has planned not to back either Zoller or Collins (despite getting pleas for support from both), Fitzgerald seems to imply that it would have been Zoller and not Collins which would have benefited by the 19% of voters who backed him:

“However, in an earlier interview Wednesday, Fitzpatrick speculated that Zoller would have won most of his votes Tuesday had he not been in the race — something that Zoller also said Wednesday.

“I am going to be aggressively pursuing not only my voters to get them back out to the polls but [Fitzpatrick’s] voters to get them back out to the polls,” she said. “It is a real turnout game.”

That runoff happens August 21st.

Bottom line: Palin’s endorsement is like nothing else when it comes to changing the game of an election.  This explains why the GOPeTM are hitting her harder than ever before and why opponents of her endorsed candidates are crying like spoiled children.

How many candidates respond when their opponent scores the endorsement of Mike Huckabee or Michele Bachmann?   In that answer, you pretty much get the point.



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