Another thing to think about, election-wise

Latest in a series of posts on candidates for election

ref: Things to think about election-wise

Thinking out loud again.

What’s in an endorsement?

How should we value endorsements?

Gadfly didn’t mention endorsements in his previous post with some thoughts about the upcoming election.

But seeing what’s happening almost daily on Mayoral candidate Dana Grubb’s Facebook page, he’s become intrigued by (so far) the different endorsement strategies in that campaign.

Now Gadfly has — more than once — heard Councilman Reynolds called a “career politician.” Usually disparagingly. As if there’s something wrong, something suspect, something nefarious in the way that this young man has steadily devoted himself to local public service for a dozen and more years while holding a full-time job. Which is nonsense.

But — almost to ratify the suspect “career politician” moniker — there’s candidate Reynolds celebrating the endorsement by someone further up the party food chain — our Congresswoman Susan Wild.

Of course, that endorsement, that kind of endorsement, can have tremendous value. It’s a kind of blessing, a kind of anointing. It’s saying that you are a good club member.

How different is candidate Grubb’s endorsement practice, endorsement strategy.

Candidate Grubb worked in Bethlehem City government for 27 years.

Now virtually every day, or so it seems, he has an endorsement from somebody he worked with during that long career.

These are for the most part what we might call collegial endorsements, lateral endorsements rather than hierarchical ones.

Gadfly is not sure how long candidate Grubb can keep up that stream of testimonials from, in effect, co-workers.

But it leads to an interesting question for us voters.

How do we weigh the impact of one endorsement from a party luminary against, say, twenty endorsements from peers?

How do we weigh an endorsement by Susan Wild v. endorsements by Richard “Bucky” Szulborski, Tom Mohr, Dianne Bachmann, Jeffrey Fritz, Tom Marshall  . . . ?

As I say, interesting question.

Something to think about.

What meaning, power, influence do endorsements have for you?

2 thoughts on “Another thing to think about, election-wise

  1. Endorsements mattered a whole lot more to me when I viewed politics more like two opposing sports teams; but after a few research classes piqued my interest in actually doing some research I didn’t really like what I found behind some of those endorsements that used to excite me. Sure, there’s still a few that make me smile, and I have a poster from the Bernie Sanders & Public Enemy show hanging on my wall (can ya blame me???) but my interest has honestly been piqued with the endorsements from folks who have engaged in day to day running of the city over the years. Sure, I don’t know them personally either, but its an interesting approach. Im willing to to do the research.

  2. In my opinion, collegial endorsements give a peek into what people think of a candidate as a person and as a potential elected official. Hierarchical endorsements, however, sometimes appear to be more a matter of political favors. “0ne hand washing to other”. They often don’t give us a peek into anything but political alliances.

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