Pro Tip for internal Democratic Party Elections and Primaries:
Democrats are moved by positives, they are moved away by negatives.
Make the case for you(r candidate) not the case against your opponent. Have a vision and understand the role of the office you are seeking. Sell it with narratives and forward looking ideas, not repeating bullets from your resume.
Demonstrate courage by actually having and showing courage, not by pointing at something you did that was courageous some time ago.
Live your values, including in how you conduct your campaign. Communicate pro-actively, but with humble tones and respect for the voters and activists.
Be about transparency, demonstrate it in your campaign.
Don’t brag about doing things you should do.
Earn respect, don’t demand it. You aren’t shit without your supporters.
The rules of organizing…know them, follow them, live them, teach them.
Stand for something and have a theory of change to achieve it.
Be the best version of yourself. The harder things get, the more you are attacked, the better version of yourself you will need to be to win – and the easier it will be to become a lesser version. Becoming the victim, or turning to the tactics you and your supporters abhor from your opponents won’t help you. Unless you want ulcers, then maybe.
Do your homework. Hire professionals. Listen to them. Campaigns are fast moving, you need people that have seen these things before and can help you understand what is happening from real experience. Reactionary actions are often damaging in ways the candidate didn’t foresee, but should have.
Your spouse is for unconditional personal support; not campaign management, strategy, or staffing. This applies even if your spouse is an elected official, world famous strategist, or former U.S. President. The biggest role they should play inside the campaign is to communicate with a senior staffer on the campaign with a status report on the candidate’s health and emotional state. If they wish to, and the candidate wants them to, speak as a surrogate, they must be willing to accept direction and training from the staff. This applies to all surrogates, including famous, powerful, wealthy, and yes, even mother-in-laws.
Recognize this simple reality: being the right person to do a job (hold an office) has not a damn thing to do with knowing how to attain that office or knowing how to be a candidate at all.