I was up late last night working when word came to me about what Mike Arcuri did yesterday. I wrote a long, furious article as a result, and just then, through some quirk, my browser quit mysteriously. It's probably a good thing, as that article may have been a little bit over the top. Now, in the morning, I can't quite remember, but I think I called Michael Arcuri the son of some kind of farm animal. I'm glad now that , in the light of day, I have the chance to try again, and be a bit more fair this time.
After all, I don't think it's right to insult farm animals.
You don't know what happened yesterday? Well, yesterday, Michael Arcuri was supposed to go to Herkimer to take part in a debate. What actually happened is that Michael Arcuri never showed up.
The Arcuri for Congress campaign has known for four months that this debate was coming. Michael Arcuri had confirmed that he would attend. He had time to prepare. He had time to clear his schedule. Rumors are that he was in Washington D.C. meeting with Democratic Party insiders. I haven't seen any official news sources confirming that yet. Arcuri had a representative say that he had a "previous commitment".
This is something that Michael Arcuri has never understood: When it comes to running for Congress, there is no such thing as a previous commitment. All other commitments go out the window.
Not showing up to a political debate is like not showing up to a job interview. What's amazing to me is that Michael Arcuri has the chutzpah to not show up - and then still ask for the job. When you don't show up to a debate, you don't just insult the debate organizers. You insult the voters, especially the Democrats who have been sticking up for you.
Imagine if, during the 2004 presidential election, John Kerry had simply decided, with no warning, not to go to one of the debates he had against George W. Bush. The election would have been over with then and there.
So, is this election over with here and now? Can Michael Arcuri possibly win?
The only way that Arcuri can win this election is if he proves that he is willing to change his ways. So far, Michael Arcuri has been outlandishly lazy, acting as if he can win just by being a Democrat, and not doing much. He has tried to simply ride the wave of anti-Republican sentiment in our district, supposing that people will vote for him even if they don't know who he is.
Now, people know who Michael Arcuri is. They know that Michael Arcuri is the guy who didn't bother to show up. That's a pretty good description of the entire Arcuri for Congress fiasco, come to think of it. Michael Arcuri is the candidate who never bothered to show up.
If Michael Arcuri were a strong candidate in other areas, he wouldn't be in trouble. But, Arcuri has no particular strengths to fall back on when he so tremendously screws up.
1. Michael Arcuri has alienated groups in the Democratic base
2. Michael Arcuri has no strong online campaign with which to get support from outside the district
3. Michael Arcuri has demonstrated an inability to work with the media to get his story out
4. Michael Arcuri appears invisible in the district, even when he goes out campaigning, keeping his campaign calendar secret so that few people show up to his events
5. Michael Arcuri has still not communicated a coherent message about his political identity
Honestly, I don't think that the Arcuri for Congress campaign will read this article. His campaign has been dangerously insulated from outside voices from the start. But, if someone from Mike Arcuri's campaign did happen to come on by, here's what I'd advise.
1. Take a leave of absence from your job as District Attorney, or quit the race.
2. Personally visit each and every Democratic County Chair, and anyone else that can be brought together from each county committee on short notice. Apologize. Grovel. Explain to them how you're going to make it better
3. Do the same, with a bit more dignity, for the Democratic voters of the 24th district. We all deserve an apology, and a damned good explanation, from you, Mr. Arcuri.
4. Shake up your campaign committee. It has not served you well. Put new people on the committee from around the district, and make sure the people from outside Oneida County are at least equal number in number to the people from inside Oneida County.
5. Organize a real online campaign. Put someone on the committee who will be devoted to coordinating work on the web.
6. Fire Quadsimia, and get a corps of 10 Cornell University students who can put up a new web site by themselves, as a team, and make changes at a moment's notice.
7. Reach out to the Democratic base groups that you've alienated, like the NAACP, and local antiwar activists.
8. Hold a one-day intensive brand seminar with a group of political, policy, and marketing veterans from around these parts. Use this brand seminar to develop a clear identity for the Arcuri campaign, a central theme that is relevant and motivating to the voters around which everything else will be organized. No more of this "When you know Michael Arcuri, you'll want him representing YOU in Congress!" garbage. This new Brand Arcuri has to be a based upon a credible point of differentiation from Ray Meier, as well. Saying that you'll work to create jobs isn't good enough. Everyone running for Congress says that.
9. Get out on the road, every day, to meet with voters. Let them know well ahead of time that you're coming. Put it in your new online campaign calendar. And then SHOW UP!