Friday, November 24, 2006
Whither Len Munsil
Sorry, I have been out of commission for a while with work obligations. I noticed the Sonoran Alliance post about the state chairman race, and wanted to interject a little commentary.
I had figured that it was unlikely that Symington would make a go of it. I think he still has a couple of years until his political radioactivity diminishes sufficiently, but he will eventually be back at some capacity.
I don't really have a dog in the fight, I like Randy Pullen just fine, but I also wish that another credible challenger will step up because there needs to be a debate. That being said, I hope that Len Munsil is not that alternative.
Don't get me wrong, while it appears that the poster at Sonoran Alliance doesn't think that much of Munsil, I don't have any gripes against him as a person. My only contention is that the Chairmanship should not be a consolation prize for losing, at any level. That goes double when the loss is recent and overwhelming.
Matt Salmon was an interesting experiment, especially as his loss was by a razor thin margin. In retrospect, his service was a failure. Republicans have less influence in the state than when he was appointed, lack a coherent message, and seem disjointed and isolated from each other in support and ideas. That falls at his feet, regardless of outside influences.
Now look at Munsil, he is no Matt Salmon. His campaign for governor was nothing short of a disaster. Quite frankly, there was no reason that the should have had the struggle that he had in dispatching Goldwater, especially with the press coverage that Goldwater was getting (most of it extremely unfair.) He was set up nicely and did not capitalize.
Then, when his chance with Napolitano came, it seemed that he was entirely in reactive mode. Did he really not have a strategy in place outside of winning the primary and stating "But I am a Republican!" If he did, it was lost on me. I would challenge anybody out there (Nathan, I know you are out there somewhere) to succinctly lay out the strategy to me in a succinct manner. Janet was vulnerable in many ways, but in none of the methods used by the Munsil campaign. When the 911 Memorial story started to resonate, it became his entire message. Honestly, did he have something else ready in case this story didn't drop from the air? If he did, shouldn't it have been stronger and something he spent more time on? He had four years to gather material, and didn't look to be prepared at all.
I went and heard Munsil speak several times, he certainly does not lack charisma, nor is he a poor public speaker. I even believe he was a better debater than Janet. I would even go as far to say that if you met both on a street corner with no idea of background or past, Munsil would be the better politician. Politics does not work that way, however. Napolitano was better organized, more on-message, and built a better team. She outworked Munsil at every opportunity, and this is my biggest worry.
The major job of the party chair is to organize a winning team, and there is nothing about Munsil currently that leads me to believe that he can accomplish this at this point.
Len has some work to do, and I believe that he has quite a few natural tools to become the leader that he needs to be. Placing him in such a position right now would not be good for him, or the party at this point.
Let's see what happens come January.
Posted by Framer at 7:26 AM