Today I received a letter from Mike McGavick's campaign.
I've been around campaigns for more than 40 years. So this letter really surprised me.
"With the benefit of three months of hindsight, it is now evident that our effort to better Washington State's representation in the U.S. Senate succumbed to national political currents. What a very different perspective from the optimistic days of the campaign!
"Yet even knowing what I know now, I am honored to have had the chance to run as your candidate in a statewide election, and I know we did the right thing in running. I am grateful for your generosity and personal support.
"Gaelynn and I spent the weeks following the campaign focused on our family and on the joys of the holiday season. It was a wonderful and restorative time. We are only now starting to think about what comes next, but we can assure you that we will always try to find ways to use whatever gifts God has given us to better our community.
"I reflect often on the remarkable generosity and many kindnesses that you and so many others offered to me and my family throughout last year's effort. It is not so remarkable that there are so many good people, but to experience that collaboration and support in such an intense way was a wonderful revelation. Truly, the central blessing of this nation is the quality of the people who give their time and resources to democracy.
"There are always many opinions about why campaigns fail. Given the national sweep this time around, there are fewer second guesses about the cause of my defeat. Yet one question does arise with respect to my tactics: "Doing it over, would you still make and stick to a pledge of civility?" Without reservation, my answer is "Yes." I firmly believe we need to attack problems, not personalities. The challenges facing our nation will require a new era of civil discourse and positive leadership. Our timing may have been off, but good ideas, as with the truth, will always find a way.
"Thanks again for your help and your fiath in our message. My family and I are forever humbled by, grateful for and changed by your generosity.
"Best, Mike McGavick"
One, you're welcome, Mike. I saw your campaign as having one of the better chances of overcoming the media campaign against common sense. There are so many educated and talented people living in Washington, that given the chance to vote for smart and honest you'd have to fight, but I thought you would win.
Two, I have, as I said earlier, been around a lot of campaigns. Taking the time to write a letter to your supporters and contributors was never expected. Usually, you only get this letter when your candidate wins. And, they're looking for more money. You never asked. Perhaps you will. But you didn't this time. No twofers.
Three, one of my earliest memories of political scandal was the horrible experience suffered by Sherman Adams. And this from a guy who grew up reading Jack Anderson's columns! But the media isn't going to pick up stories that parallel the Jack Anderson/Sherman Adams embroglio that would benefit a Republican. The purported corruption of your opponent got absolutely no play in the press. Your opponent was never dogged by her own purported corruption. As far as I know, no investigation of your opponents actions or ethics has ever been undertaken. That is what a campaign is for. How does the gifts accepted by Sherman Adams compare to what is purported was accepted by your opponent? And the litany of claims of corruption have never ceased. It is as much a part of the American political scene as is kissing babies. There is no clean politics. There's just winning and losing. As Justice Brandeis said, "A little sunlight is the best disinfectant."
Next time, let your campaign turn the bright light of truth on the actions of your opponent. Or, as Jefferson once said, "It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."