So much for my short hiatus from MDGOP politics – you could have knocked me over with a feather.
As he was preparing for a long-planned trip to Algeria, Andrew Langer wrote the following on his Facebook page:
I’m asking you to support Mary Kane for Chairman this Saturday. I know this may come as a surprise to some of you, but since withdrawing from the race last week, I’ve had the opportunity to have a number of conversations with Mary—and it became clear to me that we share the same vision for the MDGOP. It is a vision of strength and unity, one in which we all work together towards a common goal of electoral victory.
Mary has expressed tremendous enthusiasm for the principles that were articulated in my Vision 2010 statement—enthusiasm to the point that she has asked me to work with her on implementing those visions. So those of you who were excited about the ideas contained in that document, you should rest assured that under Mary Kane’s leadership (with all of us working together), those ideas will move from concept into reality.
Mary also has a few key factors which make her the best choice for us in 2010:
1) She has pledged that she is not using the Chairmanship of MDGOP as a springboard to another office. I know that is an area of concern for many people, as we want a Chairman who is going to be focused on building and strengthening the MDGOP, not merely holding a post or adding to a resume. This is implicit in Mary’s understanding;
2) Mary has proven organizational experience. This cannot be understated—whoever comes into this job ought to know how to manage an organization. This is not the same as running things unilaterally—a great leader knows how to bring people together and move them towards a common goal. She has already offered me some solid ideas as to how to bring the party together, and get the executive team working as a core group. I think those ideas terrific;
3) She has excellent fundraising credentials and connections. Perhaps the most important role of a party chairman is raising money—and as someone who runs a non-profit organization, I can tell you that takes know-how and know-who. You need to know the art of fundraising, and have some great ideas as to where that money is going to come from. Again, Mary and I have talked about the development efforts articulated in my Vision statement, and other ideas that she has. I am more-than-satisfied that she is going to be able to not only build on our fundraising successes of the past year, but substantially pass them.
We need to move beyond the clique mentality. And I say this as someone who hold deeply conservative and libertarian beliefs. I believe that we can grow this party by building on those core values, and created a plan for us to get there.
With Mary Kane as Chairman, we can implement that plan.
Fair enough. However, there are other candidates who fall under each of the aspects Andrew pointed out about Mary Kane as well. I would suspect that, with the possible exception of Alex Mooney, we probably won’t see the other contenders deciding to run for something in 2012 or 2014. And this was the reason Eric Wargotz took a pass on the position.
Personally I would rate fundraising and messaging over organization, and one could also argue that others in the race excelled more at both aspects than Mary did.
Yet what makes this announcement by Langer most surprising is that Kane is perceived by many as the “establishment” candidate while Andrew has deep experience with the TEA Party and the conservative activist movement. Certainly Mary didn’t step far outside her running mate’s moderate campaign to endorse the TEA Party message.
It will be interesting to see whether this endorsement by Langer could convince a few more people within the convention to vote for Mary. The appeal may work for backers of some better than others, but I can’t see those new, more conservative TEA Party activists who attend the convention embracing Mary Kane right away. They’re the ones who feel left out of that “clique mentality” and some may even whisper the word, “sellout.” Unfortunately, Langer won’t be around to refute the charge.