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December 8, 2011

Loyalty Is Priceless

Chris Cavey

Fame is more fickle than fortune. If Tea-Party-leaning Republicans truly desire the end goal of ousting President Barack Obama in the 2012 elections, then they must have greater focus and become less fickle.


On May 1, 2011, all current candidates were officially in the race; Mitt Romney was in the lead and Newt Gingrich in second place. Since that time front-runner "flavors of the week" have come and gone at the whim of confused GOP activist shopping for the perfect candidate to carry the Gadsden flag.


It wasn’t long before Mr. Gingrich, the former speaker of The House of Representatives, dropped in the polls. His small peaks happened only his after snipping at the press during the plethora of GOP debates. Then, if I had a $100 bill for every person who said to me those few months ago that "Newt is the smartest man in the room...but too much baggage to get elected” – I could finance a congressional campaign.


There is no doubt Speaker Gingrich is the smartest man in the room. He is a brilliant historian, author, Republican leader and visionary; however, his perceived political baggage did not diminish since May. He is still the same man with the same history. It is the lack of commitment of those polled which changes.


Many of these presidential shoppers now have a brand new "Newt" bumper sticker on their car – covering the Herman Cain sticker – which covers the Rick Perry sticker – which covers the Michelle Bachmann sticker. Likely under all that mess is a "Don't Tread on Me" sticker hiding somewhere.


Christopher Gadsden was an American patriot who led the Sons of Liberty in South Carolina in 1765, and became a colonel in the Continental Army. By 1775 he was representing his home state in the Continental Congress – sounds like a role model for loyalty to me.


Whatever happened to showing loyalty to your candidate? Kudos to those who understand loyalty and do their homework.


Back in June I met with Karen Winterling, a lady from Howard County who was pumped to work for Herman Cain. She spent two hours asking me questions about how to contact a national campaign, how statewide campaigns work and everything possible about the Republican National Convention... she was sure Herman Cain was the one.


I told her that he was a super long shot – but she was persistent, followed through, and became the Cain chairman for Maryland. She has fought for "The Herminator," loyal to the bitter end. I have great respect for her and was even happy for her as Mr. Cain rose to the top of the polls!


About a month later, when Gingrich was going nowhere in national polling, I chatted with Del. Warren Miller (R., Carroll/Howard) at the Howard County Fair. He was, at that time, the only Gingrich fan in Maryland to make public pronouncement. Warren was certain Newt was the one, solid behind his man...and today polling looks like he could be on the right track.


The Bachmann, Paul and Perry fans, who have ridden the polls through the ups and downs, understand loyalty too. The rest, however, are like five year olds in the ice cream store... indecisive about which flavor Mom and Dad should buy. I have vast respect for people who do their research, then chose a candidate and fight to the bitter end... loyalty is important.


Over the years I have learned a lot about campaign loyalty. I have learned to commit myself, going "all in" for my candidates because I was once the recipient of that loyalty. The people who worked for and supported me when I ran for office taught me that lesson. I will never forget and will always be grateful.


In February I joined the Steering Committee of Mitt Romney in Maryland. I knew then, and I know now, that he is not the perfect candidate – but he is my choice and unless he leaves the race, just like Ms. Winterling and Delegate Miller, I will work for my candidate to the end.


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