By Lloyd Omdahl
WANTED: Gubernatorial candidate with no previous political experience to defeat a man who has been governor for four years. Any young man, resident of the state, preferably a veteran, fair education, no political strings or obligations and possessor of a few ideas for betterment of state at large may apply for the job. Applicants to be reviewed by 100 interested citizens who will guarantee support but will not obligate the candidate in any way.
This is the verbatim advertisement, with a few changes for the North Dakota task at hand, run in 26 California newspapers that attracted Richard Nixon who was still in the Navy.
The North Dakota Democrats are in as bad a shape as the 100 California Republicans were in 1946 so they are considering following Nixon’s winning model. Several Democratic leaders have talked vaguely about outstanding candidates waiting in the wings but politics are already running red so it’s time to get some Democratic blood in the race.
Dead or Alive
Candidate for governor
Prior experience in government not desirable. Legislators past or present need not apply no matter how little experience they have.
Need somebody with a grandfather who carried 50 pounds of flour 14 miles from the nearest country store and died in the blizzard 20 rods from the house. Or died with Custer at the Little Big Horn. (That will get the Native American vote.) Or saved the wagon wheels in a prairie fire that took the tar paper claim shack whether anyone was in it or not.
No talk about abortion, guns, big oil, coal industry, earth warming, land posting or other issues that incite rioting and stoning. Will focus on hating the government while cashing that safety net check which of course is much too small. Bad mouth Washington and other foreign capitals
Shun minorities unless you are one. Then attack an even smaller one, like Estonians. There are all kinds of good examples in history.
Promise warmer weather, a campaign promise that will be kept at the speed most campaign promises are kept.
Get more votes than the incumbent.
Accept help wherever it can be found, even in the Ukraine, China or North Korea.
Campaign on family farms, if any exist. (The incumbent has already captured the towns with his Main Street Initiative.)
Denounce legislative defiance of laws passed by citizen initiatives. Threaten legislators with term limits to keep them quiet.
A big issue will be whether or not the ethics commission should bother with the ethics of public officials since they are all so honest none have been caught yet. (Having served on the parole board, I can tell you that we have a penitentiary full of innocent folks who meant no wrong.)
Now is the time for the opposition to strike, with the governor sliding downward from 87 percent to 86 percent in three years. There is no doubt that rigor mortis is setting in and the resistance of status quo government is wearing the governor down.
The general strategy is to round up Independents, grumbling Republicans, the Nonpartisan League, the Elks, the Bison, the Lions, the Knights of Columbus, the Moose and that will be 27 percent of the vote needed to capture victory on November 3, 2020.
Let it be known that anyone answering this advertisement and running for governor will be responsible for her/his own expenses. Student loans will not be available even though running for governor can be a great educational experience.
There are no safety nets for politicians even though they need the nets more than farmers.