Tuesday, July 04, 2006

State of the Campaign - Frank Antenori

The Bad- Frank just simply isn't going to win this go-around. He doesn't have the money, he doesn't have the grassroots, and there is way too much noise in a five person primary to make this up through word of mouth. If he could simply be the anti-Huffman or the Anti-Graf, he could possibly move ahead faster, but there are more experienced candidates with more money and name recognition to fill these roles.

The Good- I believe that Frank has a future. It has been suggested in the comments thread of another topic that Frank needs to participate in local elective office before having a chance at the national nod. I do not believe that to be the case. Although his chances this cycle are almost non-existent, he has put himself in a great position two years from now.

With a loss in the Primaries, either Steve Huffman or Randy Graf are done. With the money advantage Huffman has, a loss would dry up these funds for the next election. It will have been shown that Steve has deficiencies that money cannot fix. If Graf loses, he will have come up short twice. No candidates in the modern era are allowed a third chance without becoming a punchline. Three hard fought runs in six years is way too much for a non-incumbent to take from an emotional and family level as well.

Now the same will probably apply to either candidate if they lose in the general as well. It would be hard to throw the losing candidate into a rematch with someone they couldn't beat as a non-incumbent.

This also assumes a third place finish by Mike Hellon, which is by no means a given. Should he finish in third, it is doubtful that he would be attractive for, or even want to make a second run.

If a Democrat wins in 2006, Frank then becomes the name recognition front runner for the 2008 nomination. Barring the entry of a "celebrity" candidate like Jim Click or a local Tucson news reporter, Frank would certainly have more initial backing than a state legislator.

It is also a given that national security will be even a bigger issue in 2008 with Iran and North Korea coming to the forefront. With a small stage and a larger microphone his positives will have more of a chance to stand out.

What's Next- Keep on doing what he has been doing. Make appearances wherever he can at whatever venue avails itself. Make people think, "If I wasn't supporting my candidate, I would support Frank." This will not only build name recognition, but should also sell more copies of his book, which is also helpful. A surprising showing in the Primaries would be an added bonus, but isn't necessarily needed for his future success.

From what I have seen Frank's team is very adept at promoting him. He needs to keep this team together.

Frank needs to parlay his book success to an "expert" status in the local and national media. This will assure more recognition and help build his future campaign narrative. Finally, a "Frank Blog" where he analyses ongoing military and foreign policy issues would certainly be a boon to his credentials, help him further demonstrate that his past experience is relevant to today's issues. It would also be damn interesting, from a purely selfish point of view.

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