Every so often a candidate hits just the right note (as adjudged from a purely analytical standpoint, as a political scientist would do) in terms of his political pitch. Like the candidate or not, you must acknowledge the art of the message and applaud its political effectiveness. History says that JFK’s speech on religion-in-politics in 1960 was one such example.
Well, just now, I got the final email message from a candidate for state Senate in Virginia. (I get such advertising messages via email all the time, from all over the country.) This one came from a candidate named Miller Baker, who in the past has taken on such serious subjects as the current rules for presidential “succession” in an emergency, winning plaudits from neutral analysts such as Norman Ornstein for Baker’s analysis (on a purely practical issue, where ideology does not come into play).
Anyway, here’s the message I received from Mr. Baker:
I have knocked several thousand doors in Fairfax, Prince William, and Alexandria since March. This evening, as the sun set in Clifton, I knocked the last door on the last day of the campaign, and it was a poignant conclusion to a tumultuous campaign year.
The couple that opened the door were Russian immigrants who fled the Soviet Union in the 1970s and found their way to this country in the 1980s. They told me that they were voting for me, invited me into their living room, and offered me a glass of wine to celebrate the end of the campaign.
In heavy Russian accents, they despaired: “What has happened to America?” They told me of their suffering in the Soviet Union, their joy of obtaining American citizenship, and their deep concern for their adopted country.
On Tuesday, Virginia voters have the opportunity to render a verdict about the direction in which this nation is headed. The polls open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. Please vote, and please encourage your family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to vote as well.