(Mike Zahara) – He’s a likable guy. I wrote that about GOP US Senate candidate, Danny Tarkanian, earlier this year. If likability were the determining factor in electing our next US Senator for the soon-to-be-defeated seat of Senator Harry Reid, Tarkanian would win in a landslide.
But, he’s got to get himself out of a GOP primary next year with a base that is savage in its intent to blow Harry Reid into permanent retirement, and that base is likely to go with whomever they think has the chops to go one-on-one with Harry Reid.
Sue Lowden appears to me to have the political killer instincts that I don’t get from Tarkanian. You get the impression with her that when Harry Reid gets snide, sexist, and personal against her—which he is genetically programmed to do—that she will just kick off one of her Prada pumps and walk over to his podium and just start whuppin’ the crap out of him with it.
I don’t get that from Danny. To me, he’s your best buddy from work or that you bowl with and go to BBQ’s at each other’s homes and talk about your kids and complain about your wives with.
But he does have ‘the name’ and his media to date is actually far better than Lowden’s. His website is superior; cleaner, sharper, and is loaded with photos.
Campaign websites are more for political types, but the opportunity to place photos is a required element because hard-partisan voters and political people are voyeurs. He could easily double his photos and place them on each of his pages, and no one would complain. Same with mailers; no one cares about your positions; they want to see you in photos with real people that are candid and not politically posed.
A picture is worth a thousand words!
His GOP talking points are standard assembly-line stuff and he hasn’t really stuck his neck out on how he’s the better choice, and to be fair, neither has Lowden. They both appear to be playing it safe and are working the base with months to go before primary time.
They are also cordial and polite with each other in public and that’s very commendable; there is no sense of animus at all, though Lowden clearly knows how to work a room of partisans; she sweeps in like a tornado and greets everyone—she’s very much a blonde Shelley Berkley in that regard.
I worry about Danny’s ability to get to the point and to stay on point. He has a tendency to meander and to indulge too many people with too much of his time when he’s out there. He doesn’t yet know how to sweep into a room like Lowden does. His earnestness and interest in his voters is commendable, but he has no time for such individual indulgence of too much one-on-one with voters at public events. He’s also got to get it down to five sharp, quick bullet points and perfect the 2 minute speech to partisans.
Actually, so does Lowden!
I stood next to candidate Sharon Angle for more than 30 minutes listening to the speakers, and she didn’t have the sense God gave a turnip to introduce herself and stick something in my hand. She kind of just stood there expecting, demanding really, that GOP partisans to come up to her and pay homage to her for her anti-tax stances; like royalty or something, she was ice-cold and unapproachable.
She has no idea how to work a room of her own partisans!
Danny has a small entourage of young bald-headed guys, who are very entertaining to watch, and who are truly in it to win it for their guy; they believe! Someone needs to train one of those guys how to keep by Danny’s side and keep the candidate moving along.
I also wrote some time ago that I thought Danny Tarkanian was shooting too high and should reconsider and re-challenge Ross Miller for Secretary of State. Coming off his win against Sen Mike Schneider, he has the electorate’s sympathy, and most people win on their 2nd or 3rd try. There’s going to be a voter psychology in play next year that advantages lil’ Tark more than any other GOPer in Nevada; just not for the office of US Senate. We’ll write about that next year.
There is extremely high value in partisan primaries to defer and take the consolation prize—this is in both parties—and Nevada has a long record of awarding the consolation prize on your next time out; the last person being Rep Dina Titus in 2008. However, unless he really ignites in the next few weeks (first on radio/TV?), Danny Tarkanian can’t win the nomination (and I fear, the general) despite his mother’s operatives giving him a strong behind-the-scenes assist in Clark County.
He can however, win it for virtually any other office in 2010, and Republicans and Independents will elect him in the general for his deference to the best interest of his party, thanking him for stepping aside for the strongest horse, with only Harry Reid’s hide on their minds.
Those tens of thousands of voters determined to touch the screen against Senator Harry Reid, are unlikely to come back to Democrats for too many offices, and that advantages every other Republican down the ballot.
First and foremost, Danny Tarkanian, but for another office.
I haven’t seen such a highly agitated electorate in nearly two decades and that advantages Danny Tarkanian more than any other Republican in the state. I’m just not convinced it’s for the US Senate seat in Nevada.
I’m sorry Danny; I do think you’re a very likable guy, just not the right candidate for the office of US Senate that is the GOP’s to lose next year. I won’t be voting in the GOP primary, but it would be nice to have you as a choice in the 2010 general.
It’s almost impossible not to like Danny Tarkanian and yes, I would going bowling with him throw back a few beers and burn a cow with him at a BBQ.
Danny, change my mind, or change yours, and go for something you can and will win…and earn the prize of lifelong affection from your party’s voters by doing so.
(Mike Zahara publishes the WatchdogWag.com blog)