Through the years I’ve been a generally well-behaved political spouse. But this year, because the choices in the Republican primary are so stark, and so much is at stake, I may be a little less well-behaved. I’m going to write a series of short blogs from the perspective of 35 years and 21 elections by Chris’ side in the political arena. You can expect straight talk.
Here’s the fourth entry:
David and Goliath
When we got into this race, we knew it would have a David and Goliath quality to it.
Goliath, as you may remember, seemed to have all the obvious advantages (formidable reputation, prodigious size, dressed in armor from head to toe, looking for a fight, and totally confident in his invincibility). This terrified his opponents and sent them running for the hills. . .sometimes before the fight.
David, on the other hand, was a simple shepherd boy – a seemingly laughable match for such a formidable opponent. Armed with a sling and five smooth stones, trust in the worthiness of his assignment, and confidence in the ultimate triumph of good, he ran – eagerly – to face Goliath.
We know how the story ends. The shepherd boy with the sling prevailed. It turns out – despite all the hype – it only took one smooth stone to bring Goliath down.
Through the ages, this story has given courage to many an underdog heart and venture. Including ours.
Underdog in This Race
When we thought about getting into this race, Chris knew he would be the underdog at the convention and in the primary. He knew he would be outgunned in terms of resources and organization. He jumped in anyways. You could say, he ran toward the challenge.
Why? Because he has spent a lifetime committed to a few core principles:
1. HOW you get things done matters.
2. Straight talk matters.
3. Respecting the intelligence of the voters matters.
4. Constant listening and learning matter.
5. Finding common ground to get things done matters.
(Goliaths tend to operate by a very different set of principles – especially those in the political arena.)
When you feel those principles are being compromised – as Chris did when he watched the 2010 U.S. Senate race unfold – you can either sit on the sidelines in 2012 or jump in. He jumped in.
Last summer one of our opponent’s top strategists explained to me how, in considerable detail, his candidate was going to win the general election. The message seemed to be: “Get out of the race before you even jump in.”
Then, when Chris announced, informally, in October he was in the race, our opponent’s team went around saying, “When he realizes what he’s up against, he’ll be out of the race by the end of the month”.
In November, they said the same thing.
Again, in December.
In January, Chris made a formal announcement he was in the race. At that point their message changed to: “We will be the inevitable winners”, and so it continued up through and after the convention in May.
Since the convention, there has been a flood of advertising to rebrand their candidate as a grandmother, a sweet lady, the woman next door (even Goliath might have blushed at such a bodacious PR campaign!)
When you are outgunned in terms of money and resources, you better have some armor and a sling.
Here’s what armed Chris though a lifetime of public service:
2. Respected experience
3. Deep knowledge of the issues
4. Proven leadership
If these matter to you, you can help defeat a political Goliath.
Roll them all together, you have a candidate in Christopher Shays who is ready to go on day one to help move our country in the right direction, get our fellow Americans back to work, and restore the promise of America.
When you think about it, it shouldn’t even be a contest.