I recently had coffee with two candidates who have thrown their hats into the hurly burly of Denver politics. They have taken the risk, they are ready to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune which will be thrown at them during the campaign.
They asked me about campaign techniques which work. Dan Pabon is running for State House of Representatives, District 4, North Denver. Christopher Scott is seeking the Denver School Board at-Large seat. At-large means he runs city wide for the seat which represents all citizens of Denver across the city. We will vote on School Board races on this year's November ballott, not far off. Dan will be up for the legislative races in next year's state house races. I told both of them the following most enlightening story about Tip O'Neill.
Tip O'Neill ran and won the Congressional seat vacated by John Kennedy when he won the Massachusetts Senate Seat. The Wednesday morning after his victory, O'Neill told people he saw Miss Flynn, I believe her name was, who lived across the street from him. He asked her what she thought of him winning the seat for congress. Miss Flynn did not even look up from he trimming her rose bushes.
"Ah, Tip, I did not vote for you," she volunteered to an astonished O'Neill who had know Miss Flynn for many years. She was his first grade teacher.
"Miss Flynn, why didn't you vote for me, you've known me all my life, you taught me in the first grade," crestfallen Tip responded defensively.
"Ah, Tip, I thought I taught you better. Tip, you have to ask for the vote. You can't take people for granted no matter how long you have know them. It's a sign of respect," she admonished the newly elected congressman. "Tip, you have to ask for the vote."
And humbled by Miss Flynn's reminder, Tip O'Neill ever thereafter asked everyone he knew for the vote, no matter how long he had known them. And Miss Flynn was right, people want to be asked for the vote.
I checked up on these candidates recently, and I am pleased to report Chris and Dan are out asking people for the vote. I hope other candidates will follow their good examples. And damn the slings and arrows