Friday, August 6, 2010

I am still mystified at David Hall's win.

I am still mystified at David Hall's win. I saw David Hall speak a couple times at some of the "Egg and Bacon" Summits back several months ago but then never saw him again during the campaign. He stopped accepting speaking engagements to address the various Republican clubs around the county, he did not attend the Davidson County Republican Party picnic and did not take part in the Apollo School Debate. I am not sure of his speaking skills or how he performs in a debate.

I am not the only one who was surprised by Hall's win last night. Everyone I talked to was amazed. I think David had some TV ads but I never saw them. After a while all of the ads start running together even for a political junkie like myself and I can't be sure who's radio ad I heard and whose I didn't, but I seem to recall hearing David Hall's radio ad. I know I did get one, maybe more, mailings for Hall and I saw lots of David Hall yard signs.

One theory of why David won is the "Greene Factor." Recently in South Carolina, an unemployed military veteran stunned Democratic Party activist by winning that Party's nomination for a South Carolina's senate seat despite not even running a campaign. The speculation was that since "Greene" is a comfortable sounding name and was the first name on the ballot many people voted for him unknown.

In the 5th District many Republican voters may have been focused on the Governors race and not even known who was running in the crowded field for the 5th Congressional District nomination. The name "Hall" is a solid sounding name, is very American and is the first name on the ballot.

Another theory, and one to which I subscribe, is that Hall worked his tail off campaigning directly to the voters. He may have had a strategy of meeting so many voters a day and locking up X number of votes by election day. He may have reasoned that going door-to-door and meeting voters one-on-one was a more important use of his time than attending debates or Republican breakfast groups or Republican picnics. Politician seeking office should not underestimate the power of that one-on-one contact with the voters.

So, either David Hall was very lucky to have the name "Hall" and his election was a fluke or he is a hard working candidate and a brilliant strategist. Maybe it is some of both.

Winning the nomination, now what? Hall financed his own primary campaign. Unless he is a very, very wealthy man he cannot afford to finance a general election campaign against Jim Cooper. I don't think the same strategy that won him the primary will win a general campaign against Jim Cooper, assuming there was a strategy. Hall is going to have to make himself known to political activist and donors in order to have the resources to mount an effective campaign. He is going to have to sell himself. He needs to make people with money and people who volunteer feel comfortable.

There are also some negatives Hall must overcome such as the questionable campaign financial report and the doctored phony Marsha Blackburn endorsement. He must convince Republican activist that those were minor missteps and not representative of who he is. He needs to reassure people. He needs to make friends with Republicans. To expect donors to open their wallet, he needs to network with Republicans and convince people that he is up to the task of doing battle with Jim Cooper.

To beat Jim Cooper David Hall is going to have to win the support of a lot of moderate middle-of-the-road voters. He is going to have to take votes away from Jim Cooper. "Cooper" is a household name. Hall cannot win a general election because his name is "Hall" and he can't knock on enough doors to win a general election. I know there is a lot of anger against Cooper because of his support for Obamacare and the general Obama-Pelosi agenda. I am not sure there is enough anger at Cooper to win the election. Some people will vote against Cooper as a protest no matter who is the candidate running against him. However, I doubt there are enough of those people to win an election. People must not only vote against Cooper, some people must be persuaded to vote for Hall.

I will vote for David Hall. I support him. However, I have not yet been able to muster the same enthusiasm I could have for a Cece Heil, Jeff Hartline, Bob Schwartz or Lonnie Spivak. When people are excited they are willing to work the phone banks and take a day off from work to work the polls and join the candidate going door to door. Maybe it is simply because I have not had the same exposure to Hall as I have the other candidates or maybe it is because of the negatives mention above. I know we are all supposed to be excited about our nominee and get on board. I am on board and I am going to vote for him; David needs to get me excited.

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  1. Mr. Williams,

    Your blog post is 100% correct!

    "Another theory, and one to which I subscribe, is that Hall worked his tail off campaigning directly to the voters. He may have had a strategy of meeting so many voters a day and locking up X number of votes by election day. He may have reasoned that going door-to-door and meeting voters one-on-one was a more important use of his time than attending debates or Republican breakfast groups or Republican picnics. Politician seeking office should not underestimate the power of that one-on-one contact with the voters."

    I think we knocked on 11,000 doors and made maaaany more calls.

    But you were 100% right again when you said

    "Hall cannot win a general election because his name is "Hall" and he can't knock on enough doors to win a general election."

    Campaign strategies vary from campaign to campaign, ours is going to vary GREATLY from primary to general....But we still plan to door-knock and phone-bank...But you can now expect Dad to attend the breakfasts where he will hope to gain 100% of the 30 people there.......Instead of 30 divided by 11 candidates lol

    Thanks for posting
    Zach Hall

  2. Oh!! And both of the "Negatives" you mentioned have been explained...You just must have missed them, but everything else you said was RIGHT ON!!

    GO HALL!!

  3. How can a Marsha endorsement HELP?
    Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
    Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, FY2004 Foreign Operations Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Flood Insurance Reauthorization , Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Debt Limit Increase, Fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extention.

    Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
    Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations, Withdrawing U.S. Soldiers from Afghanistan.

    Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
    See her unconstitutional votes at :

  4. Rod, as usual ... you get right to the heart of matters that keep many of us as disgruntled as you! I WANT to defeat Jim Cooper - so bad I can taste it. BUT - I want to BELIEVE in the candidate that opposes him! I'm sick and tired of holding my nose, and voting for the 'lesser of the evils'. With ALL that's at stake right now in this country - with ALL the energy that is surging through this nation right now to bring us back to our Constitution and our Republic - with SO MANY of us engaged in the process like we've never been before ... HOW does David Hall manage to capture the nomination in the 5th District???

    I WANT to support David Hall ... but I honestly don't know if I CAN (yet!)! I've visited David's Website, signed up for eMail updates, and will be pondering my next levels of commitment and support. But I don't have a CLUE to what he brings to the table to oppose and defeat Cooper! There are some nice editorials on generic issues - but, they don't even match the passion of your blogs! And solutions? Nothing more than the canned versions of political rhetoric that I can get from ANY Republican Candidate in ANY state!

    I was just a few seats away from you at the Apollo Debate. I took a gazillion notes, and I came away from that debate with MANY personal issues put to rest because the candidates had the guts to get up there and state their positions AND their specific solutions (Lonnie Spivak and Tracy Tarum are STILL tugging at my heart). But, WHERE was David Hall??? WHERE was David Hall at the Breakfasts??? WHERE is David Hall on the ISSUES???

    Davidson County is a Democratic stronghold. And Cooper KNOWS it. He can afford to be arrogant, politically suave and aloof - history alone supports him enough for the lemmings to follow him. But his opponent needs a STRONG voice and a STRONGER agenda - complete with concrete solutions. Rhetoric and mere political discontent will NOT defeat Cooper. Exposing his record,and debating him with strong, specific and conservative solutions is the only hope we have. If David Hall can step up to that task ... if he can prove himself to be something more than a candidate with an '(R)' beside his name and '$' in his coffers - then he will win the kind of support that can explode into a potential victory from the ground up.

    I am weary of the same old politics. I want a candidate that wins my heart, and my political passion - not just my vote.

    Is David Hall that man??? Time will tell ... but the clock is ticking!


  5. I agree with your analysis. The main concern I have with Mr. Hall is his FEC filing. He has broken a HUGE regulation by accepting, either in cash or "in-kind" contributions from a corporation of close to 200k.

    The letter to his campaign treasurer was dated, July 28th. On one of the blogs he reported that as soon as his treasurer came back from a mission trip in India, the issue would be addressed with the FEC. Strange that your campaign treasurer would be gone the week of the election.

    I dont want Jim Cooper to go back to Washington anymore than you do, but the lack of honesty and openness of Mr. Hall is going to hurt him against Mr. Cooper.

    Looking at the results, Mr. Hall did NOT receive 31,436 votes in the Republican primary. The total votes cast in the Dem's primary was 32,079. If registered Dem's voted in the republican primary, mainly because there was only one candidate in the governor's race on the Dem's side, the number's will be very skewed. Just an observation.

  6. “The AHC Group” to the best of my knowledge is not an incorporation. Not all businesses are incorporations. Thus I do not believe that donation was an illegal cooperate donation.
    If you have question you can call the campaign. The numbers from its facebook are home 615.730.8695 and cell 268.7555.

  7. I'll support David Hall in the general election for two reasons:
    1. Anyone to the right of Maxine Waters is preferable to Jim Cooper.
    2. The "libertarian" in the race is NO Libertarian.

    But he [Hall] certainly doesn't engender any passion within my Liberty-loving heart.

    In my post-election analysis of the winning candidates I walked through Hall's "issues" page and found it to be same-old, same-old run-of-the-mill republican talking points that never change.

    Most disappointing was his ardent support of America as the worlds police force (not in those words, but the net effect is the same).

    Personally, I supported Vijay Kumar, because he was the only candidate who recognized the damage done to us by the Federal Reserve corporation. However, I would have been [almost] as pleased with Cece Heil, because she supports getting the national(ist) government out of public education.

    All told, I felt like the voters of the 5th district (and Tennessee at large) went for the "moderate" instead of the principled.

  8. P.C., you seem to agree that the contribution would be illegal if from an incorporation, and we all know it would be illegal if from an individual. So are you suggesting that having the $200K flow from a small unknown unincorporated business makes it legal? Hard to believe the laws allow such a loophole. The idea reminds me of our Democratic leadership in DC.

  9. Part I

    I am not a disgruntled Republican, I am a disgusted conservative.
    Along with several of my fellow conservatives here I ask, "Where was David Hall?"
    You know, there is another option outside lucky name and working his butt off: that many Democrats crossed over and voted for the silent candidate, knowing that a man who couldn't face challengers within his own party will likely not be much of an opponent for Cooper.
    Across a scale, I believe that most of the Republican candidates were solid conservatives. In my view, Jeff Hartline was the strongest and most solid conservative, with the best chance. I believe the attacks on him for the positions stated on his website on energy and illegal immigration were mis-statements of his positions for political gain but perhaps also they weren't well-stated on his website. Jeff's explanations rang quite true. Cece Heil appeared to be another solid Constitutionalist, although her argument for concurrent resolutions to void unconstitutional laws seemed a little "out there" to me even as someone who understands Constitutional history. I believe Bob Schwartz is a pretty solid conservative, though his answer, to my debate question, about our weakening national defense sounded moderate at best when he responded that we need efficiencies in military procurement. In the end I concluded he is rather a "soft conservative" perhaps without the a grounding in a solid conservative worldview. Tracy Tarum, I believe, is another solid conservative in the Hartline/Heil mold who, IMO, simply needs more time studying but whose mind and heart are definitely in the right place. I wish I had gotten to hear Patrick Miranda more but the little time I heard him led me to believe he is another solid conservative. I like Lonnie Spivak and he sounded good, but not sure about his grounding; maybe it was there, just not sure. Jarod Scott: nice guy, but moderate (even identified himself at first on his website as a moderate voice, which he later removed when running in such a conservative field). I don't vote for moderates. I wish I had heard Vijay Kumar but it sounds like the auto accident unfortunately sidelined him. I hope he makes a full recovery. Bob Ries? HA!
    Personally, in a Congressional or Presidential election I'm looking for someone who can "talk Constitutional turkey", who can look at political issues through the lens of the Constitution and with a solid understanding of the Constitution's history, text, and meaning; someone who can look at the place of the U.S. in the world and is committed to the principle of peace through strength, who understands that we have enemies in this world who seek an America weakened and brought to her knees and understands that it will take resolution and strength for America to stand safe and strong. While I respect CONSERVATIVES, such as Mickey White above, who disagree with the PATRIOT Act, I believe they are in error (I don't have much use for its liberal opponents don't see an enemy of America they don't want to coddle). I want someone who understands that fiscal discipline means cutting spending first. And that the first filter for any spending proposal should be is it an Article I, Sec. 8 power of Congress? No, that doesn't mean that Medicare and Social Security are gutted--at least not immediately, who understands that they rest on some promises made and money people have had taken from them in taxes, but who also understands that the government can and should look for ways to get its hands out.

  10. Part II

    The governing and electoral philosophy of the Democratic party goes back to Harry Hopkins, FDR's adviser who is reported to have said, "Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect. The people are too damned dumb to understand." Buying votes and buying constituencies is the Democratic way. Republican PRINCIPLES at least are above that, those principles of Ronald Reagan, who understood that that government is best which governs least. RINO's like Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander sometimes have flashes of good sense but they aren't rooted deeply enough, if at all, in conservative principles.
    OK, I took way too long to say what I'm looking for in someone in Washington to represent me. My fear is that we had our chance with conservatives who weren't afraid to speak up and speak out and now we have an unknown. Like many of the others above, I can't get passionate about an unknown.

    Not sure I can even vote for one.

  11. Very, very well said, Rod.

    And a $200K in-kind contribution is against FEC regulations, regardless if it is from a corporation, individual or team of farm mules. Zach Hall has said the disclosure was erroneous and should have instead reflected a $200K in-kind contribution of personal money from Hall to the campaign, which was in turn spent on services offered by AHC. If so, then the poor record keeping is a very big concern and it still doesn't resolve the questions around AHC itself -- who owns it, what the heck it does, why no one else has ever heard of it, why the AHC web site came online only shortly before Hall's Q2 disclosure, etc.

    I just wish Hall would offer reasonable explanations about all these concerns.

  12. In addition to the Blackburn misstep and the AHC debacle, I would like to know more about the role of the Do Hard Things 2010 PAC in David's campaign. Specifically the Camp Nashville they ran from just before early voting thru election night. This PAC was founded and run by David's teenage children. It seems that a PAC with "To support federal conservative political candidates who are fiscally intelligent, above reproach, pro-family and support human life from conception" as part of their mission statement would let the cream rise to the top in primaries and support the winner in the general election. We had many candidates in this race that met their criteria. I would like to know if any of them were offered support from this PAC or were even vetted by it. I doubt It.

    We had an opportunity to nominate any number of strong conservatives to battle Cooper in the general election. Instead we got a candidate that refused to debate the issues and relied on gimmick campaigning to get nominated. Not exactly someone I'm eager to support.

    I am seriously considering sitting on the sideline for the GE and hope the rest of the elections this fall will mitigate Coopers impact. With the anticipated intensity of the 2012 election and congressional redistricting on the horizon we might actually be able to nominate someone I can believe in.

  13. I see NOTHING on Hall's website about abortion. Is the issue too controversial for him to take a public stand? Then is he a conservative with the courage of convictions? If he stands anywhere on that issue it seems to be silently.

  14. David Hall is pro-life. If I remember correctly he was endorsed by TN Right to Life in 2008. In any case he is pro-life.

  15. Then why won't he take a stand on his website?

  16. Gene

    Maybe this post by David's wife on the Fire Jim Cooper Facebook page will help answer your question.
    (second post from the bottom of the first page)

    To paraphrase David Hall= Moderate

  17. Gene
    I forgot to add the date of the Facebook post in my previous comment. the date was july 17th.

  18. Thanks, Anonymous, but when I went to that page and then went to the July 17 post, under Michelle Hall, there was something about the Wicked Witch of the West and the land of Oz, nothing about abortion. I must confess, though, that I'm not very Facebook savvy. I'm on there but I post very rarely; for me, it's mostly just a great way to find old friends, and then stay connected through email, etc. Even if I was able to find it it doesn't answer why Hall won't state on his WEBSITE where he stands on abortion. Why won't he take a stand on his campaign website, his public Internet face? Is he afraid of the issue? If not then he should take a stand on his campaign website.

  19. Conservative TN MomAugust 17, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    I think what Anonymous refers to is Michelle Hall basically saying that David Hall was/is playing as moderate as possible in order to get more votes, and that candidates that don't act as moderates are making a mistake.

    I believe that he is pro-life, but it seems he is trying to appear as centrist/moderate as possible as I mentioned before.

    I feel that if someone is solid and strong in his beliefs and values, then one's stated values should not change according to his audience at the time; it should remain constant based on his beliefs and character. I would much prefer someone that CLEARLY stands strong in his beliefs/ values -- even if I don't agree with all of them -- over someone that plays to the audience currently in front of him. It is unfortunate that he is NOT clearly stating where he stands on controversial issues, especially if he claims that they are important to him.

    Thanks for bringing this up, Gene. This along with the FEC issue is making me hesitant to vote for him, even though I am itching to oust cooper.

    PLEASE, David Hall, convince me that you are the right person for the job. Directly answer questions that people are asking, and give a specific account of the FEC issue.

  20. Conservative TN Mom, I am solidly unpersuaded by Hall. Someone who seeks to appeal to moderate votes is someone who doesn't care about winning conservative voters. If he is going to campaign as a moderate, why should we believe he will do anything other than vote as a moderate if he gets elected? I don't trust moderates to vote for the things that are important to me because frankly nothing is important to them. If Hall's strategy is to not stand up for those things then he is as much as rejecting them.

    I too am itching for Cooper to be gone. We moved from Blackburn's district to Cooper's and I got pissed off when I saw who was representing me. Folks who will vote for "Anybody But Cooper" will wake up to find themselves with a squishy moderate having slept through the illusion that anything to the right of Cooper is a real conservative.

    And at this point if Hall has to be PERSUADED to stand up for the unborn then was he ever/is he truly their advocate? Did Jesus say he would spew the lukewarm from his mouth (or something like that)? Someone who is lukewarm politically makes me gag. And, again, to me he doesn't even have to make abortion a central theme but he should have at least taken a stand.

    I can stay at home on election day and thereby also vote my conscience.

  21. Conservative TN MomAugust 18, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Gene your post is brilliant and describes exactly how I feel, except for one thing. The exception is staying at home on election day. I refuse to stay at home and I will cast my vote (by God!), although at this point I am unsure how I will vote. At the very least I will vote my conscious by writing in a truly conservative candidate. Perhaps if enough of us do this rather than staying home along with SO MANY others that simply do not care(unlike us!), it would send a real message. The message I want to send is "I want TRUE Constitutional Conservative candidates!!!!!!!!" -- and not "I don't care a thing about who's representing me, they're all the same to me."

    God bless you for taking the time to research and care. I hope you will change your mind and cast a vote, even if it is a write-in for "Constitutional Conservative".


  22. OK, maybe I'll show up and vote for Hartline. Better that than a Cledus T. Judd look-a-like moderate. I'm waiting for Hall to show up on stage singing, "Did I Shave My Back for This?"

  23. I haven't heard Hall speak yet but I hear he is a poor public spkr, may go hear him this Saturday morning at the forum at Spirit of Life Church. He is going to have to impress me. Having looked at his website I'm not expecting much...

  24. That was a very tacky thing I said about David comparing him to Cledus T. Judd. My apologies to David.

  25. I know David Hall, and I know he is a very intelligent man. He is also a very conservative man, maybe not a slick talker like some politicians who are able to lie and make you believe them. He is an humble person who loves his country and entered the race because he didn't like the way our country is headed. He is a lover of the constitution and has always been. He is not a person with an ego, or given to a quick temper.He absolutely does not believe in abortion. He may walk and talk softly, but carry a big stick. You can believe in what he says, because he will do it. He works very hard on anything he does. It is all for the "People" of his beloved country. Enjoyed all the comments, even smiled on some of them.

  26. Slick and street smart, maybe. Intelligent? No way. Of course I could be wrong on the street smart part...
    Why is it that the Hall's are now saying that "the camp" didn't happen when they hyped it through the entire Primary? Is what they were doing illegal? I really don't know but denying it now makes me wonder.
    Hall not coming to any of the bigger forums was carefully thought out and smart on his part. He would have compared very poorly to all the other candidates.
    I wish all of this were not so. I would have been very motivated to support a republican against Jim Cooper but this is one of two that I can and will do nothing to help.
    Merry Christmas Jim.