Government & Politics

Thoughts on the Perry campaign, continued

A reader comments on the Perry campaign:

“As a young white pseudo-lib I attended a couple of weakly organized events publicized only on Facebook. I donated money and offered to volunteer. This began some 9 months ago. I hesitate to make the comparison — in part because I find Perry’s invocation of Obama a little insulting — but our current president faced a loosely analogous situation. He organized and hustled for months before the established candidates started paying their dues. Perry could have had a half-year jumpstart on his retail effort, but he chose instead to attend fundraising parties on the East Coast at the expense of raising his profile among voters. I found his campaign extremely disappointing, if only because the mix of his thoughtful positions and unique electoral circumstances led me to high expectations. By the end of December though, I found myself wondering if his mayoral effort was even in good faith.

There is nothing wrong with a long-shot candidacy that is a sure loss. It affords you a chance to raise your profile for the next round, to influence the conversation, and to motivate civic participation. Maybe Perry just played that hand, and was disinclined to change course when presented with the opportunity to make a much more significant impact than he did. Or maybe he just didn’t see it.”

This sentiment reflects the perils of political opportunity for Perry. If James Perry were running for Mayor in a field that included, in addition to his current rivals, more experienced and well-funded politicians like Karen Carter Peterson, Ed Murray, Cheryl Gray Evans, Leslie Jacobs, Marlin Gusman, or Cedric Richmond, low expectations would probably have prevented this reader’s profound disappointment. The current field of candidates is such that the decisions of Perry’s campaign are scrutinized seriously rather than simply chalked up to inexperience and poverty.

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