Campaigning heats up

Delegates who have attended pre-convention meet-ups are reporting some interesting trends. It’s not uncommon for District leaders to encourage delegates to vote one way or another – although they’re usually pretty careful to avoid outright endorsement. I’m hearing reports from folks whose District Presidents might be best described as supporters of President Gerald Kieschnick. These delegates say that they’re generally being encouraged to support the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. One of the reasons given for why? Well, people put a lot of time into developing the recommendations.

I actually think this is similar to the way some of the worst pieces of legislation get passed here in the Washington, D.C. Elected officials, their staff, lobbyists and special interest groups put so much time into developing some gargantuan bill that they sort of lose all perspective. And the media spends so much time covering each minute of the fight that they end up cheerleading it on as well. In my view, “time spent” is one of the least convincing arguments in favor of something.

Anyway, we’re also learning a bit about the campaign talking points that some Kieschnick supporters are using.

–President Kieschnick made a comment to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggesting that his decreased support from congregational nominations, which paled in comparison to Harrison’s, is proof that congregations are happy with him. I thought this was a statement that he probably immediately regretted making. But apparently the Kieschnick camp thinks this is a good talking point because his supporters are repeating it. I can’t explain it. Particularly since the feedback I’ve been hearing is that this talking point is going over like a lead balloon.

–Another talking point is one I’ve also heard from some of my International Center contacts. It’s a bit tricky but here’s the idea. They’re saying that if delegates vote for the Blue Ribbon Task Force proposals, they need to vote for Kieschnick. But if the vote is going to go for Harrison, then they shouldn’t give him the centralized power that the restructuring would grant.

When I encounter legislative proposals to change the size or scope or power of government, I always try to imagine my least favorite politician implementing the proposals to see if I still like them. My suggestion is that these recommendations should be judged on their own merits. If you wouldn’t like seeing the changes under one administration but you would in another, that’s probably a good sign that there’s something wrong with the proposed change. But that’s just my opinion.

Anyone else have anything they want to report from their pre-convention meetings?

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