Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
~ Albert Einstein
One of the original founders of the Reagan Wing was engineer/programmer/developer Bill Leath who had just come from the Reed Davis Senatorial Campaign, where he served as campaign manager. (You most recently saw Reed as Election Night political commentator on KING5 TV.)
Reed had the unfortunate experience of being a better choice than the Establishment Anointed One to run against Patty Murray in 2004.
The following are excerpts of Bill’s recollections written for the ReaganWing.com back before the November election in 2004. You won’t believe it.
[On Becoming Reed Davis' Campaign Manager]
After meeting with the campaign committee and others, I was given the role of campaign manager. It was an exciting time. Although George Nethercutt had announced he was in the race ( bringing his campaign war chest from his House Congressional seat with him) he also brought a serious trust problem and he didn’t seem too serious about his candidacy. He had flubbed several media opportunities, seeming bent on offending the conservative base. The Vice President [Cheney] hadn’t yet been out to visit on Nethercutt’s behalf. Patty Murray was looking vulnerable. And Reed had recently blown the socks off him in preparation, speaking ability and general charisma at the King County Republican Party picnic. All in all, the future looked bright ahead. After all, Reed was clearly the better choice for Senator. But, there was one major unknown. Would conservatives have the courage of their convictions to support someone who actually represented them, or would they sacrifice their ideals to the idol of victory?
[On Washington Conservatives]
At the time of this writing, I have transferred my efforts to the Reagan Wing, The campaign has made the transition to a new campaign manager, Anne Laughlin, (who is doing a fantastic job, I think) and I now have a different vantage point from which to comment on Reed’s campaign (which I still wholeheartedly support). Before the memory fades, I want to share some reflections from my interaction with the temperamental Washington State conservatives. In general, I found Washington conservatives to be a defeated, pessimistic lot. While conservatives, especially social conservatives, tend to be people of Faith and Hope, they were not, in general, people of faith or hope. The general malaise of the conservative spirit is compounded by popular belief in a number of crucial misconceptions and myths.
The myth of Name Recognition
One of the most common excuses for conservatives to support Nethercutt or at least not actively support Reed was the specter of Nethercutt’s name recognition. This is a very weak objection for three primary reasons. First, there is both good name recognition, and bad name recognition. I’d much rather have a clean slate than be known for oh say, going back on my word, abandoning my original principles, etc. Reed was starting with essentially a clean slate and generally positive name recognition in Western Washington. Nethercutt was starting off with only slightly higher name recognition and huge vulnerabilities for Murray to exploit in the general election. Her soon to be $10 million budget will turn all of his vulnerabilities into negative name recognition. Second, low name recognition is one of the most readily overcome obstacles in a campaign – especially a United States Senate campaign. In California, [formerly “unknown”] Tom McClintock’s name recognition peaked at over 96% – largely from free press coverage
Our defeats have been blueprinted. The mechanisms of the destruction of Washington Conservative Candidates are a tried and true routine: a well-oiled machine.
How long will we suffer this incredible stupidity to proliferate without getting angry about it?