Friday, May 18, 2007

How do the candidates "sell" themselves?

Seeing as how the 24th District is holding a Republican primary, with Republican candidates, it is a fairly safe bet that each contender does not differ drastically. That having been said, we are looking at two distinct individuals, with separate backgrounds, experiences and influences which they bring to the table. I wanted to take a look at each candidate to draw a comparison.

I visited their websites to see how each candidate was representing themselves. During my days as a webmaster, we used to say that the Homepage was the most important piece of real estate. This was where you predominantly "sold" your message. If you could capture the reader's attention, then they would delve in for more. I wanted to see and compare how these two gentlemen sold themselves.

Senator Hanger begins pleasantly enough, thanking supporters for the honor of representing them. He is courteous and polite for 2 paragraphs and then he says:
"As a member of the leadership of the Senate, my primary focus is to work for the best interests of the almost 200,000 citizens I am entrusted to represent, not necessarily the sometimes narrow viewpoint of any particular so called “conservative” group or local Republican unit that may be controlled by outsiders or special interest groups that may have an agenda that is not appropriate for our area."
He follows this vitriolic rant with the following:

"There are people out there that apparently think that politics gives you a license to misrepresent the truth (some people call that lying); and there are people that are so mean-spirited and partisan that it reflects poorly on them and all of us that engage in the process."
After those brief, but not so subtle attacks, Hanger proceeds back to pleasantries for the duration.

Scott Sayre welcomes voters to his site, with a brief autobiography as an introductory to the elements that have shaped and molded him. He tells voters what is important to him and then he says:
"I’m looking forward to working for the people of the 24th District in the State Senate. With your support, I will bring my values – and the values of our district – with me.

I’m asking for your prayers, hard work, support – but most importantly – your vote.I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail.Thank you and God Bless."
When Sayre announced he was running, he pledged to run a positive campaign. It is obvious that he is honoring that pledge. I looked for a negative attack, a subtle jibe, even an off-colour joke, but could find none.

In the grand scheme of things, I have not been involved in politics for an abundantly long period of time. However, I have worked with enough campaigns to know that when a candidate begins to negatively attack, it is because they either 1) have not honed their message or 2) have no message to present. In regards to message, Conservative Viewpoints has an excellent post.

I would sincerely encourage Mr. Hanger to reconsider his opening page. Negative campaigning is the sign of a desperate candidate and it does not play favourably with the voters.

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Blogger Yankee Philip said...

Very well stated. My dad used to say, "if you bad-mouth the other speaker, you have already lost the battle of ideas because your ammo case is obviously already empty."

May 18, 2007 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger SWAC Girl said...

I like what you dad said, Phil.

I don't recall a candidate ever doing that before but, then, this campaign has things going on I've never ever seen. I guess the intimidating tactics in play are considered "Mountain Republican" campaigning....

May 18, 2007 at 5:41 PM  

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