I have to admit it, I'm shocked at the outcome of the race for HD 76.
So much for bullet-proof.
To all you haters that are leaving comments without a name, kiss my ass, no one has “shut” me up. Gonzalez didn't win, she's in the lead going in to the run-off.
But there are clear lessons to be learned in this election for Chavez. First of all, she is in trouble...big trouble. Her camp needs to take her cell phone from her, snatch her laptop, break them, put the pieces in a plastic bag, climb to the top of the giant Asarco chiminea and drop them in there so she can't get a hold of them.
They have to do everything they can to keep Chavez from being her own worst enemy. Keep her off talk radio so that she will stop her sudden compulsion to commit public political suicide.
I'm serious, somebody needs to go to the dollar store and buy all the duct tape they can find. They have to stop the conspiracy theory, everyone-is-out-to-get-me, I'm-running-against-everyone, the-commercials-are-why-I'm-behind, my-consultants-screwed-up,Sito-Negron-is-part-of-a-political-faction-out-to-get-me tirades on the radio. It's not helping.
All that stuff does is feed in to the criticisms that are often leveled at her.
Chavez is bad in crowds, but she is a master of personal interaction with people in her district. She has to remind the voters of what she's done. But not the big stuff like the medical school, etc. Its a great accomplishment, in fact its historic.
She has to go back to her roots. She's Jenny from the block who stood up for her parent's small business and working class people like them back in the 90's and went all the way to Austin and fought rich white guys in suits, boots, and cowboy hats.
What I mean to say is, she has to remind the voters of the stuff she's done for them that is tangible to them. That has an impact to their lives. The medical school doesn't.
But things like paving Socorro Road does.
And so does saving a thousand homes during the Lee Trevino extension debate.
And fighting against the Yarborough Bridge.
She's a blue collar girl from working class parents who took on the establishment when her family needed her. That's real leadership, not a hot shot young lawyer who is looking for a title and prestige.
She didn't grow up in parochial schools, didn't have all the best opportunities others might have had, and doesn't have a law degree. But she's a gritty, street-wise American success story that pulled herself up and willed her way to a college degree.
Chavez is a beat-up old Chevy pick-up. Sometimes she's a little noisy and not so graceful, but when you need someone to haul the legislative payload, she gets the job done.
But its time for a tune up. Chavez has to come to grips with the fact that her woes aren't because of a media conspiracy, who wounds are most-often self-inflicted. She has to realize that her election numbers are ONLY because of negative campaigning and a bad summer in the press. Its the culmination of years of strained relationships and public missteps.
The sooner she comes to that realization, the sooner she can start a new relationship with voters.
She can't go negative against Gonzalez at this point. She has to highlight her value to the voters and the value of her legislative prowess, experience, and seniority.
She has to ignore the negative campaigning of her opponent and force her opponent in to talking about policy and issues, something no one in the mainstream media appears to be interested in asking Gonzalez.
And Gonzalez appears all to eager to avoid anyone that will ask her a substantive question.
Chavez needs to live in her comfort zone at this point. Stay organizing. Stay in the field, stay on message.
Its true that radio is Chavez's preferred medium, but the medium is only as good as the message. Chavez needs to make sure the voters don't change the channel.