This will be the first in a series of post-mortems for Election 2005 (insert dramatic music here).
COUNTY COURT JUDGE (also known as "Excuse me Senator, but you have some egg on your face!")
We have listened to a lot of "take" on this race and its outcome. This was the jewel in the Republican Crown. Unfortunately for them, the jewel was less a diamond and more a diamonoid. There must have been some concerned faces at the Best Western when results began to trickle in.
So, the post election discussion centers on "why did DeAngelis lose?" Did Bruno overplay his hand? Did the voters bristle at the idea DeAngelis was the anointed one? Was Trish's message ineffectual? Did negative media play a role? All these things are being discussed. All these things may have played a part. But....
This reminds us of a story about General Pickett. Years after the Civil War, a reporter asked Pickett why the Confederacy had lost Gettysburg. Was it Lee's fault? Was it Longstreet's fault? Pickett looked at the reporter and said, "son, I believe the Union Army had something to do with it."
Well, we believe Robert Jacon had something to do with his landslide upset over DeAngelis.*
First, Jacon brought credibility to the race. He is well respected, had judicial experience and "acted like a judge." That is, his temperament seemed straight out of central casting for the role of judge.
Secondly, he believed the race worthy enough to spend money and get his message out. We've been told that Jacon spent in the area of $90,000 on the race. That's a significant gamble. It's also a significant commitment. He worked hard going door to door.
Third, Jacon's strategy was simple but so often overlooked by politicians. He stayed on message, touting his experience and at the same time he kept DeAngelis on the defensive. DeAngelis never seemed to find her footing** in this race and credit for that goes to Jacon and his people.
Jacon kept DeAngelis on the defensive by attacking her record. These weren't cheap shots. He didn't attack her hair, her voice, her looks or her father. He attacked her record and was quite effective. His mailing that depicted the negative DeAngelis headlines was one of the best pieces we have ever seen.
So, when you talk about what happened on Tuesday, remember, Bob Jacon had a little something to do with it.
* Traditionally, a 10 point spread is considered a landslide; 20 points is an ass-kicking.
** According to sources, a poll conducted four or five weeks before the election showed the race at DeAngelis 43%, Jacon 27%. If relatively accurate, the poll shows little to no movement for DeAngelis for a month.