More from the accumulated mail: Mike Chapman is running his own campaign and, I can tell you, if I ever run for office I would ask him to consult.
You will recall Chapman set off a firestorm of sanctimony several months ago when he mailed out the first postcard.
By any measure this was a perfectly typical political campaign comparison piece. Oddly, two of Chapman’s opponents (Mark Davis and Verne Dickerson, who have both since dropped out of the race) decided to make a public statement that this was somehow a breach of “civility” and decided to create a “pledge” as a sign of their displeasure and supposed moral high ground. The two opponents – who are decent, intelligent men but also with terrible PR instincts (in other words, novices) – came off looking silly and neither campaign ever got any traction. I believe starting off with such an indefensible defensive posture put them in a hole they never got out of.
To his credit, Chapman sent out the same postcard two more times. That, my friends, is strategic campaigning: Identify where the opponent is muddled or inaccurate, keep the opponent in that space as long as possible, and when the opponent reveals the weak spot keep poking it. Also, never apologize.
Then recently, Chapman sent this bottom one out:
Oh, most uncivil cut of all. Let me point out the genius of this piece. For one, it is super-cheap. It screams “my neighbor got a two-color printing press at a yard sale and printed these for me by running the cards through twice.” This is not a man who wastes money when he knows it does not require a lot of money to get the job done effectively. Second, it is pointed, direct, and even with a couple near-subliminal touches (the “9/11″ dividing line that I marked in yellow is hard to make out, given the economy print job, but it could be picked out). Yeah it is smudged because the ink was not allowed to dry long enough … but that is part of the charm of true grassroots, guerrilla marketing. Bravo.