If you've been following my blog longer than is healthy, say, for instance, since Autumn of 2004, you might remember my 5th and 6th posts, both of which have to do with primary elections that happened in Escambia County, Florida. I worked on a campaign for J.E. Jones, a republican candidate for County Commissioner District 1. I managed it as well at it would be managed, got Jones to a lot of events, got him name recognition, coached him through debates and interviews, made the signs and put them up, hosted events in my building, and investigated the infractions of the other candidates in the race. In the end, we got stomped like a roach on white carpet, and I lost the faith, not just in the people of Pensacola, who lied to me and voted in the old criminal they once threw out, but I also haven't worked on another race since then, not in any really serious way. 17 races between 1999 and 2004.
I ended up with this interesting artifact, though - a DVD of the campaign ads we did for Jones, complete with Roads, Mole People, shattering glass that produced complaints, bad props, inaudible dialogue - the works. They're so bad, they're funny, and we knew that then. Recently, in my Politics and Elections course, my professor was referencing what kind of ads "no money" campaigns would make, so I brought the DVD in and showed it in class today.
They were confused. Some of them thought it was funny, but for the most part, you could see the opinions of me going down like a Hindenburg whore. They mostly didn't get it, didn't understand that not everything is slick, and that candidates are often crazy characters with no real business running for office; that campaigns are crazy times with no money and no sleep and no time. Regardless, I was glad that I had this leftover collection of weirdness from the past that could inform the present.