• Ed FitzGerald Loses the Timing Game

    by  • July 21, 2014 • Uncategorized

    A candidate who isn’t a homerun doesn’t necessarily guarantee defeat. However, in order to have a realistic chance, a subpar candidate needs a top notch campaign team.

    Most of the key players in the Ed FitzGerald campaign are guns for hire, brought in from various states and backgrounds, in hopes of giving him a fighting chance. But, in a rather strange week for FitzGerald, his campaign team demonstrated they aren’t quite up to speed when it comes to running a successful statewide campaign.

    Timing is everything when it comes to campaigns. If something negative is going to surface, you do everything you can to make sure it coincides with a much larger headline. LeBron James returning to Cleveland was sure to drown out any negative piece surfacing that day.

    In the same light, campaigns work hard to ensure that positive pieces are released their story won’t have to share the headlines. All the attention will be on the campaign and the latest release.

    With this in mind, it’s a big head scratcher why the FitzGerald campaign revealed their first TV spot when they did, breaking the news on Twitter in the middle of the highest profile Major League Baseball All-Star game in recent memory.

    While the FitzGerald campaign was touting their 30 second TV spot, America was transfixed on Derek Jeter and the celebration of his illustrious career, as he took center stage at baseball’s “Mid Summer Classic.”

    While seemingly a minor slip up, the campaign quickly recovered by spending the next hours working to spread the commercial and get the spotlight it needed. Credit where it’s due, the campaign managed to overcome the slip up and successfully filled our Twitter feeds with conversation about Ed’s TV spot.

    But just as quickly as it came, momentum shifted, again.

    Hours later, the Ohio Republican Party rolled out their latest gem, get ready for this, www.fitzgeraldforohio.com. You read that correctly.

    In a bizarre turn of events, the ORP revealed they had managed to purchase a website URL that would seemingly be the first choice for the FitzGerald campaign website. Instead of a page sharing Ed’s successes and why he’s a good choice for Governor of Ohio, it’s a website showcasing all the gaffes and controversy FitzGerald has so desperately worked to silence up to this point.

    Overnight, the conversation was back to Eric Kearney, the “WinTax” debacle, and Cuyahoga County’s credit rating decline.

    A wise, former colleague of mine gave me a good bit of advice once. He said “No matter whether you use it or not, make sure you buy all website domains associated with your name. You may never use it, but you can be sure no one can use it against you.” Somehow, this slipped the minds of everyone at the FitzGerald campaign.

    It’s mind-boggling to consider how a gubernatorial campaign in one of most high-profile states, politically, would allow this to happen. And to make matters worse for FitzGerald, the ORP was ruthless in their timing. One step forward, three steps back.

    Despite the latest questionable polling numbers, FitzGerald needs a lot of dominoes to fall his way between now and November. If it doesn’t, the FitzGerald campaign may just be dead on arrival.

    About

    Nathan is a conservative campaign consultant based in Southwest Ohio.