I’ve been thinking a lot about Stacey Campfield (not in that way, you perverts) and I’ve been mulling over our encounter. Okay, the encounter between him and Don Coyote, which I had the pleasure to observe.
We’ve talked some about the differences between conservatives and liberals, just in their mindsets–what they choose to emphasize and what they choose to downplay (and Indifferent Children, I’m still thinking about that article you linked to). And my feeling is that, in general, most people are sincere in their political beliefs and motivated by a sincere desire to make things better (even if it’s only for them). The mindsets are just very different.
But, as I was listening to the Republican lawmakers talk, what I realized is that they feel kind of sandwiched in some way. When they’re at home, they can get tons of local media attention, but when they’re here, they hardly get any. And, I have to say that, I think it’s because as “politician-y” as most of them came across, none of them, save one, was a real showman. Yes, a couple of them were good story tellers and a few of them were funny.
But you know how there’s that moment in The Prestige where the magicians realize that the trick another magician is able to do requires him to hold a gold fish bowl between his legs and so, in order to pull the trick off successfully, he must be committed to living his whole life as if he is frail and barely able to walk–that way, when the fish bowl is between his legs, there’s no discernible difference? How he is committed in his whole life to the success of the trick?
That, my friends, is Stacey Campfield.
He’s committed to the trick and everything about him is devoted to making Stacey Campfield a person who cannot be ignored. Seriously, can you think of any other state legislator from Tennessee that gets national media coverage?
And, too, I was thinking about how Mack and I were saying kind of harsh things to him and nothing about his demeanor suggested that it got to him.
I honestly think his only misstep was ignoring us until Mack went over to his table. If he had come over first thing and introduced himself, if he seemed unafraid of us and completely oblivious to why he might be uncomfortable in our presence, I would have sensed no sign of weakness. Right now, though, having observed him in person, I think his weakness is that he’s not exactly sure how to answer his critics (I think that’s obvious from his blog as well) and he comes across like he’s uneasy around women.
I mention this because the man is driven and committed in a way that the other Republicans are not, and in a way I found, frankly, scary to be in the presence of. Campfield is not the biggest fish in the pond, but he’s determined to make the most waves. Right now, he’s got two big chinks in his armor, but if he fixes those, the dude’s going to be as smooth as silk.