Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Parsing Ed Fallon

From the Inbox this weekend:  

From: Ed Fallon Subject: Campaign Announcement Yes, you read the subject line correctly. This Friday, March 1st, at Raccoon River Brew Pub at 6:30 p.m., I will announce a campaign. I realize this probably comes as a surprise, and two weeks ago I would not have predicted it. But upon deep reflection and deliberation, I am certain this is the right thing to do.

Some of the politico-journalist-sphere was fished in: "Fallon to announce candidacy for unnamed office." Some, however, parsed the wording: "a campaign" does not say "I Ed Fallon an a candidate." Indeed, "a campaign" does not even necessarily mean electoral politics.

Fallon tips his hand a bit in paragraph 2:

That's all I'm saying for now, as I work to learn a new element of political discipline: timing. In the 2006 Democratic Primary for Governor, Mike Blouin proved to be a wizard at timing. First he announced an exploratory committee announcement. Then he announced the actual exploratory committee. Then he explored. That was followed by an announcement that there would be an announcement on a decision as to whether he would actually run for Governor. Finally, Blouin announced he was running. It didn't matter that there were less than 20 people at each essentially redundant event. The media were dutifully interested and in attendance each and every time.

One of my pet peeves, too: in my rule book you get to announce once, and you can't do it after you file because filing is of itself a public action. In any case, my bet is the big "announcement" is that it's some sort of fundraising campaign for the radio show. But more power to Ed for playing with our expectations on this.

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