December 19, 2003
First you feel the rumble. It's far off and indistinct, but it gets your attention. It's out of the ordinary. Experience tells you that it's likely to become a problem. You try to carry on with everyday election activities, but the fleeting glimpses eventually paint the picture. You're being visited by the Sasquatch RINO. He's human-like, fleeting, and his stomp can be devastating. You won't ever see him directly, but you'll feel his heavy presence throughout the election cycle.
Sasquatch Republicans In Name Only differ markedly from Baby and Bold and Porcupine Republicans in Name Only (earlier columns). Sasquatch RINOs often are never even identified. They're quiet presences, not given to flamboyance, not attention seeking. Only the experienced real Republican will even know they've been around. But the effects of their stomping can be devastating, if not countered quickly and decisively.
If I didn't know it was impossible, I would think that Sasquatch RINOs simply pop into real people now and then, causing them to do or say uncharacteristically inopportune things. We've all looked at co-workers, wondering how they came up with such a terrible idea — unless by chance they meant to suggest something that would accomplish exactly the opposite of what the candidate needs. We often excuse the episode as overwork or inexperience. But the truth is the Sasquatch RINO was there.
Part of Sasquatch RINO's power comes from knowing that you can't reveal him. How many of you could go say "Sasquatch RINO" to a coworker right now? Exactly. It's not easy. Trying to explain Sasquatch RINOs to the uninitiated could certainly dampen office momentum, and it could undermine confidence in you as well. Behold the power of the Sasquatch RINO.
So how do you combat something that seems human, is remarkably fleeting, yet stomps all over your election cycle? You have to identify Sasquatch RINOs early. And you start with your candidate.
It seems improbable, but Sasquatch RINOs will even try to get to the candidate himself. Make sure every issue is ironed out, with position papers on everything. Sasquatch RINO would just love to catch the candidate unaware during a speech, and have him utter some contradictory or uninformed drivel. You can imagine Sasquatch RINO kicking back in his hovel later, watching the replay of your candidate's slip over and over.
Talk at length with your campaign workers. Sasquatch RINOs try to get to them too. Don't assume they know your candidate's positions, simply because they should.
And don't forget the phone person. Too many campaigns stick the young and inexperienced worker there, when this is just the type of person most vulnerable to Sasquatch RINO. This is your link directly to the voting public. The phone person can cement a caller as a new voter for the campaign — or alienate the caller forever.
And be sure to thank. Thank everyone. Thank often. Because, while your campaign workers think they're just small cogs in the campaign engine, you and I know they are actually warriors thwarting Sasquatch RINOs. And Sasquatch RINOs will never thank anyone for anything. They're too busy trying to stomp Republican campaigns to oblivion.
Jan Ireland is a freelance writer who lives in Texas. She receives mail at email@example.com.
© Copyright 2003 by Jan Ireland
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