Hey Joe, Where You Goin' with that Gun in Your Hand? Or, Joey, We Have Some Moving Boxes in Our Basement - Take What You Need
A couple of years ago*, as I was finishing up my studies at the best University ever created by God or by man, I was trying to decide what to do with my life. I narrowed my choices down to three things:
Go to law school.
Go to campaign management school, get an MA in Campaign Management and become the next James Carville (only handsomer)
Get a masters in Public Administration and become a City Manager – preferably of a fancy city like this one.
I chose poorly.
But I digress.
Were I Jolted Joe Lieberman’s Campaign Manager, rather than struggling, rather than trying to find the words to say to him today, rather than turning to our campaign’s speech-writers seeking the perfect note to tell Joe the difficult thing that (apparently) must be told to him, what I would do is this.
I'd walk into the (lame duck) Senator’s office, put a gentle hand on his shoulder, give him a compassionate smile, a smile that said "dangit Joe," “yes, I understand,” “hang in there (emotionally, not literally),” “this too shall pass,” "thinkinboutcha," “thousand points of light” and “I hope you’re okay” all at once. Then, having secured cheap headphones many weeks ago, and having downloaded the right song weeks ago, I’d gently place the headphones on his funny looking little head. And then I’d press play, filling his ears, and thus his mind, with a message he desperately, desperately needs to hear.
I’d do what many a man has done in many a desperate time.
I’d turn to Kenny Rogers**.
And yes, I’d play a verse from “The Gambler”
“You got to know when to hold ‘em (not now, don't hold those cards)
Know when to fold ‘em (that's right, fold those cards)
Know when to walk away (sure, you could walk, but...)
Know when the run***…” (yes, run; run like mad, better to run methinks)
Then I’d give him a pair of running shoes, and pat him on the shoulder one more time. I’d give him a firmer pat this time. And, as I exited, I’d shake my head. I shake it in way that communicated “man, we almost had it.”
Even though I would actually mean…
Nope, we never had it.
I’d leave an address where he could forward my ample, ample compensation (including a small fee for the headphones).
Then I’d come home to Minnesota to work for her and against this evil, evil spawn of satan.
*Okay, okay, MANY years ago.
**As a product of Kansas, I know Kenny Rogers well. Back in my day, Kenny was a part of the Kansas High School Curriculum. I can sing most of the words to most of his big hits. “Lucille” – yep, I know it. “Lady” – in my sleep “Coward of the County” I can sing it, but I cry every time. But back home in Kansas people like Kenny a lot. He sangs good, and he looks like Moses.
***Here, "run" does not mean "campaign for office." Here, "run" means "run away from the poker table whilst the running is good." It's a metaphor which means - don't continue your campaign as an independent. Everyone already knows you don't stand a chance. Let it go. People who voted for you in the primary will throw their vote to your competitor in order to avoid sending a Republican to the Senate. Or worse, enough Democrats will vote for you that no Democrat will win. Don't complicate things. Hang it up.