Angi Stalnaker: 7 brutally honest thoughts on the Senate special election

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I am a political consultant with no professional involvement in the Roy Moore vs Doug Jones races, but I watch elections like a football player watches the Super Bowl and the following are the thoughts of a Republican consultant on the U.S. Senate campaign:

1. These are two very strangely run campaigns. There seems to be a lack of a cohesive strategy on both sides. Images of spaghetti noodles sliding down the walls of both campaign headquarters come to mind.

2. All campaigns are local. The Jones campaign seems to have done a great job in the last 2 weeks of organizing supporters on a county by county and, in some places, a precinct by precinct level. Democrats in Alabama have always been much better at this than Republicans. The question remains as to whether it happened too little too late for the Jones camp. If the timing was sufficient, that could make a real difference considering Moore has not pulled the trigger on his grassroots organization.

3. Beyond the scandals, the WTH moments in these campaigns have been plentiful. Steve Bannon, a media mogul and Harvard graduate who has never lived in Alabama, comes to Alabama to tell Moore voters to reject the opinions of media moguls and to reject the opinions of people who are not from Alabama and then proceeds to explain that being a Harvard graduate makes him superior to University of Alabama graduates. Ummmm… what?

The Jones camp gets Barack Obama to do a robocall, but obviously has a bad phone list because they called several long term Republicans which did nothing but serve to ensure that those voters raced to the polls at 7 a.m. to cast a ballot against Jones.

4. The TV ads. At least those will be over in about 10 hours. I don’t know how many more times we can see Doug Jones standing in that monotone room before we lose it. And Moore’s ads… who decided that the creepy head turn shot was a necessity to end the Moore ads. It looked like an SNL skit gone wrong.

5. Policy. What policy? Neither candidate has said much of anything specific about policy. Beyond the surface statements of patriotism, pro-military and a few rousing renditions of God Bless America, neither campaign has done anything to let me know what their candidates actually want to do in the US Senate. This is made more bizarre by the fact that each candidate seems to believe they know what the other would do, if elected. Psychic hotline anyone?

6. Human decency took a nosedive. This campaign season has been one of the dirtiest I have ever witnessed. The only thing we are missing is allegations of, well, I don’t guess we are missing anything. It will take Alabamians a long time to get the bad taste out of their mouth from this election, regardless of the outcome.

7. The final interviews are serious WTH moments. Moore decided to wrap up his campaign with an interview from a 12 year old girl? Who in the hell thought that was a good idea? And Jones? Dude, nobody watches CNN in Alabama.

Let’s all go vote and then wake up tomorrow and be glad it’s over. May 2018 have less WTH moments!

•••

Angi Stalnaker is an Alabama native who, as a political consultant, has worked on numerous statewide, legislative and constitutional amendment races for conservative causes and candidates. For more information about her visit Virtus Solutions.

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