Friday, January 7, 2011

Gibson Delusional

Can I preface this by saying that I like Ron Gibson as a person. I have found the former City-County Councillor to be a very nice guy, and I have shared many cordial conversations with him.

That said, as President of the Decatur Township Democratic Club, I don't believe I recall seeing him at one of our club meetings since March of 2007 when he spoke to our club. I could be wrong, and, if I am, I apologize to him.

Somehow, with very little campaigning, fundraising, or really any effort, he still thinks he can put up a competitive Primary battle with Melina Kennedy. I don't get it, frankly.

Ok...that's the prologue.

Here's the kicker. He's not dropping out of the race for Mayor. Gibson released this statement late today after hearing about Jose Evans' decision to leave the Mayor's race, endorse Melina Kennedy, and focus on a Council reelection fight.

"I thank Jose Evans for his service. Today, I still stand for working and middle class families who deserve a voice, for the thousands who have been unemployed for months, and for the future of our children. I look forward to a competitive primary race", said Mayoral Candidate Ron Gibson.

Let's analyze the statement:

First of all, Ron Gibson has not been campaigning for the job. Not at all. For someone that wishes to stand for the middle class and working class, you have to set up some sort of reason why Melina Kennedy does not. He does not here and has not on the campaign trail.

Secondly, he thanks Jose Evans for his service. Evans isn't going anywhere. He's going to continue to be a strong voice for the residents of District 1.

Thirdly, he said he looks forward to a competitive primary race. If that is so, these would be my questions to Gibson. What does he bring that Joe Hogsett, Kathy Davis, Kip Tew, Brian Williams, Jose Evans and others did not that he thinks he can be more competitive with Melina Kennedy than those that have dropped out? Can he raise over $900,000 between now and May because that's what Melina Kennedy has? If the answer is nothing, no and no, why continue the delusion? Gibson will be obliterated by Kennedy in the Primary. It won't be close. Why not just drop out of this thing and let Kennedy go free and clear after Greg Ballard?

I guess he figures he has nothing to lose. Can somebody stop him?


Paul K. Ogden said...

This is an issue I've preached on before. The assumption that a primary is a bad thing is quite often wrong and in this case it is most definitely wrong.

The media will give Kennedy campaign more (i.e. FREE!!!) coverage if she has a primary opponent. It won't focus on her until the fall if she doesn't have a primry opponent.

A primary allows her to sharpen her message and hit the pre-primary window when people are paying attention. She'll up her positive name ID and do so with an opponent who doesn't have the money to drive up her negatives.

A contested primary gives her campaign team a nice practice run (think of the primary as the football exhibition season)before the general election.

So what if she burns some cash going into the primary? A good campaign strategy would be to spend money during the primary window anyway. With an opponent, people are going to watch those ads a lot more closely plus, as I mentioned, she'll get free publicity because she has a primary opponent.

Gibson isn't just a name...he's former councilor. The media will take him seriously and she'll score major points when she wins the primary.

No, the best thing that can happened to Kennedy is that Gibson stays in the race. You should not be wishing that he drop out.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Maybe he is setting up a trade. He gets out for something he really wants.

Jon E. Easter said...

You don't understand. Gibson hasn't campaigned. He's running on name recognition, but he hasn't been out and about in ages.

Evans was the person that could have given her a serious primary run. Hogsett, Davis, and others could have, too. Gibson's candidacy is simply prolonging the inevitable...he will get trounced and Kennedy will have to spend money and some effort to beat him.

Jon E. Easter said...

Furthermore, Paul, you are the first person that I've ever heard that actually takes his run seriously. He has no traction within the party. His campaign is going nowhere fast.

Evans ran a good campaign and had good backing. Still, he's out. Melina has elbowed out the others. I don't know why Gibson thinks he's different.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Paul, I'm going to side with you on the issue of a primary fight against Gibson being good for Kennedy. Gibson not only has little cash, he has little credibility. Just because you find him personable, does not make him competitive, Jon.

I stand by my theory that Gibson is striking a deal. For whatever reason(okay they don't want to spend even a single penny on it) the Party doesn't want a primary fight. Therefore, they will pay dearly for a 'compromise' with Gibson.

Evans didn't look for a deal when he dropped out - much to his credit.

You may like him as a person, Jon, but Gibson has significant baggage and there isn't any way he can win against Kennedy in any race.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I think you're misunderstanding what I'm saying. I'm not saying anything about why Gibson is running or whether he should be running.

What I was saying that it is in Melina Kennedy's best interest for Gibson to run in the primary, for the reasons I stated. The assumption that primaries are always bad is simply wrong, wrong, wrong. Melina Kennedy would benefit from the publicity of a primary run. That's not even mentioning the benefit of sharpening the message and having a practice run before the real thing in the fall.

Anonymous said...

Gibson has nothing to trade.....he won´t be given a deal as he is so insignificant that there is no need to offer him something to get out of the race. He has alienated most of the party. He is really sad.

varangianguard said...

There is also that pesky ideal that it is a citizen's constitutional right to run for elective office.

I think it terribly presumptuous of anyone to try and shoo him out of a race for any invalid pretense.

Just another reason to view traditional party activists with disdain.

I also happen to agree with Paul that a little competition can bring plenty of free media. If Ms. Kennedy had smart PR people they could gain a lot of mileage out of this. Without a competitor, the media, and the voters, will lose interest very quickly. Primary Blahs.