Newt Gingrich once admitted that when he was in High School, he decided that he wanted to be Speaker of the House. When Joe Lieberman was in college, his friends used to refer to him as “Mr. President”, because even back then, he had a strong interest in politics. I completely understand why someone would decide early that politics was something they wanted to pursue; climbing the political ladder is not a quick process. It can take years to develop the engaging personality, the personal contacts, and the mindset necessary to be successful both as a candidate and as an office holder.
But sometimes we dream. We dream that somewhere out there there is a candidate who can and will burst suddenly onto the political scene. They’ll have solid policy proposals, a sharp wit, and a firm handshake. They’ll be charismatic, full of energy, and people will instantly love them. Sure, they’ll start out small-but once people get to know them the crowds will grow larger. Their standing in the polls will increase and conventional wisdom will be confounded until alas! they are elected to the office in which they were seeking. And all of this is accomplished without the slow and methodical rise to power that so many others have painstakingly subjected themselves to.
Yesterday a gentleman named Cleve Tidwell announced his candidacy for the United States Senate in Acacia Park. Was this unknown businessman from the Denver area to be the candidate we dreamt will swoop in and save the day?
Not just “no”, but seriously…..NO!
Where to start?
When I first heard about Mr. Tidwell’s announcement, I started by googling his name. I found some interesting posting on blogs from people obviously trying to generate excitement about the campaign. The jewel was this one left at bendegrow.com:
“So yesterday I receive this verbatim email message from a mysterious “Victorila Rasheem” (all errors of spelling and syntax preserved):
“I think taht your website should do a think on Cleve Tidwell. Most say that he has the support of most if not all of the major donors in the state. Also much of the grassroots is excited for him and is backing him to be the senator for colorado. I do not know if Dick Wadhams found him or not but if he did it was a good find because he is a good candidaet and wiill win. He is a very good speaker and will be at most events when he is senator because he will represent people in Colorado. Also, he has not spoken with the press so whatever you might hear if anything is probably just their way of trying to create a story or gossip. He has wonderful friends in the news media and when the time is right he will discuss with them. He is a very busy man but he will get the job done because that is his way.”
I don’t want to cast stones here-I frequently misspell words or use prepositions or commit other atrocities that would make my former English teachers cry-but my writings haven't been bad enough to where people wonder if my attempt to make someone look good isn’t actually a thinly veiled attempt to make them look bad.
Needless to say, it’s not a good first impression.
Then there was yesterday’s announcement…
According to my source, it was an interesting announcement-if you like train wrecks.
First there was Mr. Tidwell’s staff. According to my source, some of them were perfectly nice, cordial, and professional, while others apparently don’t understand that their actions speak for their candidate. A couple of pointers: it’s a campaign, not a bar. Staffers hitting on other staffers at a campaign event are displaying incredibly poor taste. And while neither my source nor me are entirely clear on the context of this one, the words “Hey, did you know that the Star of David is really a swastika?” should never be uttered by a staffer at an event-even in jest. In fact, let’s put that under the category of “should never be uttered by anyone at any time”, shall we?
Secondly, my source and others seem to think that Mr. Tidwell is a nice enough guy, but he doesn’t seem to have a lot of direction in his quest for the U.S. Senate. His “announcement” at Acacia Park contained no real speech, so no one could come away with a cohesive message as to why he or anyone else should think that he is the best candidate for the office he is seeking. How is that supposed to make me feel comfortable about our prospects of taking out Senator Bennett if a candidate can’t even convey a cohesive message?
Finally, Mr. Tidwell’s invitations referenced the fact that they would be serving food (BBQ pork) in protest of the Federal government’s penchant for pork. Does anyone else see the irony of protesting an entitlement system that gives people something for free by giving them free…pork? Wait, what?
So for each of you out there, I have a simple proposition: save your time and effort. As it stands now, Mr. Tidwell is not the unknown untested candidate with the skills to break away from the pack and save us at the end of the day. He is simply the unknown and untested candidate who if he is our nominee will only prove that the Colorado Republican Party is indeed in a sad state of affairs.