Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS) was one of the first things Bill McConkey taught me when I joined the reelection campaign of Republican Gov. Jay Hammond in 1978. Bill was a state employee, so he couldn’t be Hammond’s official campaign manager. He just did the things that campaign managers do.
When I signed on as a volunteer he asked me to find a titular campaign manager in Anchorage who would front for the campaign. I got my friend Eric Sanders to do it. He was just starting the practice of law as an assistant public defender, so he had no reason not to.
I remember tracking him down in the law library and offering him the job. He had no political experience, and had just moved to the state after law school. But he was bright enough. All he had to do was what Bill and Hammond’s Chief of Staff, Kent Dawson, told him to do. It turned out Hammond really liked Eric, and made him a Superior Court Judge.
I think “P for P” is pretty simple. I just own the domain name for now. The web site will come later.
In 1983 Bill was running House Speaker Joe Hayes’ campaign for Mayor of Anchorage. In Alaska the mayor of Anchorage is a political heavyweight, and this was just a warm-up for a run for Governor by Joe in 1986. The name Bill chose for the campaign, Everybody for Joe Hayes, was awful. What are we, lab rats? Everybody for Joe Hayes? So if you’re not for him, you’re not somebody?
Joe was a civil engineer, and a really nice guy, but he was a terrible politician. I have yet to meet an engineer who had any political sense whatsoever. Silicon Valley is full of engineers, like Zuckerberg, and they’re all brain dead, politically.
In 1983, as the Republican Speaker of the House, Joe was the consensus pick for the 1986 Republican nomination against incumbent Democrat Bill Sheffield. But after spending a million dollars of his own money, he came in fourth, with 5% of the vote.
Engineers are all just terrible politicians. He lost that race for Mayor in 1983, and never recovered politically. It wasn’t Bill’s fault. As a politician, Joe stank. And Everybody was not for Joe Hayes because everybody knew the Mayor’s office was just a stepping stone to the Governor’s Mansion.
All this made Bill defensive, and led to his downfall. He was always a bit of a glory hound, and he agreed to appear on a panel of political consultants at some event. It was pretty informal, and someone asked Bill if he’d lie to get his client elected.
Bill looked at the guy like he was an idiot, and said of course he’d lie. That was what campaign managers did. Which is true, but you’re not supposed to say that.
The liberal media in Anchorage hated Bill, and they piled on him after he said that, in public. His career as a political consultant in Alaska was over. In politics, you have to be careful with the truth.
And the truth is, Trump is the greatest American politician of modern times. But he thinks he knows everything, and he’s wrong. Nobody knows everything. And what Trump probably doesn’t know is that he’s a one term President.
People for Pence is going to prove that. Stay tuned.