So, John Tanner is retiring. And Roy Herron is no longer running for governor; he’s going to run for Tanner’s seat in the House of Representatives.
How’s that going? I’m going to give it a C-. Now, I know you’re saying “A C-? But I just heard about this. How could he already be failing to impress you?”
Well, it’s like this. Herron is failing to take Newscoma‘s advice. As she says, you’ve got to be ahead of the story.
I have had a sick cat and I have been in sick cat hell for two days and even I knew early this morning that Herron was running for Tanner’s seat. When did Herron send out his press release to the people on his email list? I got mine at eleven o’clock this morning. Online, that’s a million years too late. His website still says Roy Herron for Governor. Did Kleinheider know before his own webmaster? Embarrassing.
Stay ahead of your story, Herron. If you don’t control the story, it will control you.
And what’s the buzz on Herron? People who follow politics find him a little boring, saying he gives the same speech over and over again. He’s annoyed some powerful folks and the people who were failing to step up to support his gubernatorial campaign were interesting to say the least. A run for Tanner’s seat is probably a little less problematic than a run for Governor, since you just have to manage expectations and revelations in your own area, not the whole state, and there are a lot fewer speech-making opportunities.
Herron’s got to come out of the gate like he is the obvious person to fill Tanner’s seat. That hasn’t happened. I don’t think his chances are ruined or anything, but you don’t want to give the impression that you’re late for your own party. You’ve got to seem like you have a command of things. Nothing that happened today is a deal-breaker, by any means, but it does indicate where Herron’s campaign is going to have to strengthen itself.
So let’s look at whose campaign is going in an interesting direction–Lowe Finney (speaking of people who I didn’t notice stepping up to support Herron). This is a little harder to do because who the hell even knows if Lowe Finney has a campaign? But I like the idea of U.S. Representative Finney, so let’s just assume he is running. How’s it going? I’m going to give him a C+/B-. I mean, on the one hand, there is no campaign (Is there? Did he announce very quietly, because that would affect my grade) and, therefore, nothing to grade. On the other hand, for a man with no campaign, the buzz around his campaign is pretty loud. Is this generated by Finney himself? Hard saying.
My feelings about Finney are complicated. I, after all, still feel like it’d be nice if a small group of Democrats walked behind him at all times, clapping when he does Democratic things and clearing our throats loudly when he acts like an asshat, hoping that a little positive reinforcement would go far to shape him into an honest to god Democrat, albeit a conservative one.
But he is intensely curious and at least gives the impression that he’s listening and considering what you’re saying and judging whether it’s useful to him. He looks kind of dorky in pictures, but in real life comes across as genially smart. And I feel like he could be a leader. Yes, he’s got some head-out-of-ass pulling to do. I know.
But Herron comes across like “Hey, I’m a politician. What’s the next office I could run for?” and Finney comes across like “Hey, I can make a difference to the people in my community. What is the best opportunity I have to do that?”
And those are pretty powerful first impressions to give.