Monday, July 10, 2006

State of the Campaign - Mike Jenkins

The Good- I have listened to Mike on a couple of his radio appearances and he sounds informed, and is very personable and comfortable talking about the issues. I was especially impressed with the conviction with which he handled local issues, notably law enforcement and education. This was in marked contrast with what I saw at the first candidate forum where he looked a little nervous (which is perfectly understandable.) Mike as a candidate also tells a good story, from his home-grown business background to his military service. It appears that he also has a network of veterans that back him. The amount of signatures he turned in at the deadline was quite impressive showing that he knows how to use his contacts and existing grassroots effectively.

The Bad- Mike has no campaign money or name recognition to compete at this juncture. His campaign also lacks a minimum amount of polish that the other campaigns have achieved so far. This goes for little things like the quality of his website (typos, suspect image quality, lack of online forms) to his initial performance in the candidate forum. Frankly, Mike looked uncomfortable in a situation where he needed to stand out above the other candidates. This is in direct contrast to the performances that I have heard on the radio.

What's Next- I would recommend that Mike stay in the campaign as long as he can afford to. This would certainly give him more experience at what it takes to campaign and will give him higher visibility than what he could achieve otherwise. However, in contrast to what I wrote about Frank Antenori, I would recommend that Jenkins use this experience and recognition to run for state office. From what I heard him discuss, I like Mike's possible contributions on a local level, and it does not appear that a state legislator's salary would be too much of a problem for him at this point.

A state run would help Mike gather the skills and people necessary for a possible congressional run at a later date if that is what he desired. I truly think however that he would have a better chance of impacting his pet issue of education at this level. There are going to be four individuals that come up short in the GOP primary, and not all of them will have the opportunity Mike Jenkins does to grow and to leverage run into something else later on.

1 comment:

David R. Blevins said...

Great assesment of Mike Jenkins. Thank you for the insight of his website. You are correct with your observation. Mike Jenkins campaign is a "TRUE" grassroots campaign. There are no big dollars sent to him to make him look like a superstar politician. He is an American on a Mission. Mike is simply dedicated to making America better, not into making himself look better. That is scary to the power brokers and money brokers, it means he can't be purchased, and he is approachable to everyone.

David Blevins
Website Administrator
Jenkins4Congress