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Friday, March 24, 2006

It's Not All About the Candidate

A few more thoughts post-election:

A candidate seldom wins an election by him- or herself. It's just not possible. The effort is too large, complex and daunting.

First, there's family. We all know that when your husband and family are with you, it doesn't matter so much who's against you. I have the BEST of both. THANKS y'all.

As anyone who's campaigned can tell you, a campaign consumes your life and the lives of those around you. Special recognition is also due a dedicated group of staff and volunteers who threw their ALL for Zinga for Congress into the primary race. One lives outside the 17th and couldn't even vote for me! but was an asset in whatever capacity, whenever needed. One drove an hour each way to and from her job--one researched tirelessly--one walked in parades when it seemed an impossibility, and set the pace for the rest of us... In three other cases, the help came from seasoned experience; and brilliant strategy; and cheerful willingness to tackle the formidable challenges of a federal campaign. And almost all of it was done without money as the object. People like that are rare and wonderful--true friends.

From there, it moves on to other friends: county coordinators and county finance coordinators, the men and women who sponsored fundraisers and helped set up events, volunteers who showed up for expos and put out signs and did 101 other things that you never even IMAGINE when you first run for office.

A special thanks to the donors: IT DOES NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT YOU.

A special thanks to PCMs and party chairmen and officers: whether in private conversation or by public endorsement, you keep grassroots politics alive and well in America.

And finally, to my two opponents: you fought hard, you executed some good strategy, you talked about issues, you made it a competitive race that I think was energizing and representative of the best of American politics in action. I have always carried around a quotation I found somewhere and can't even attribute: "One key ingredient for success is a good, wide-awake, tireless competitor." A race like that one makes us all stronger and more knowledgeable, and is excellent preparation for the fight ahead. In this new general campaign, with 7 and 1/2 months to go, our feet are already on the ground and we are running hard.

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