Primary Mistake: How the Washington Republican Establishment Lost Everythingin 2006 (and Sabotaged My Senatorial Campaign) [NOOK Book]

Overview

"When I ran for reelection as the mayor of Cranston, there was an independent candidate running whose only claim to fame was that he wanted to keep a thirty-five-foot inflatable gorilla in his backyard. He was endearingly referred to as Gorilla Man. I never thought to say, 'Why is Gorilla Man running? 'When the debates were scheduled, I showed up and debated him along with the Democratic candidate. I never said, 'I won't debate Gorilla Man.' I never thought he couldn't run. This is America....

The fascinating ...
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Primary Mistake: How the Washington Republican Establishment Lost Everythingin 2006 (and Sabotaged My Senatorial Campaign)

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Overview

"When I ran for reelection as the mayor of Cranston, there was an independent candidate running whose only claim to fame was that he wanted to keep a thirty-five-foot inflatable gorilla in his backyard. He was endearingly referred to as Gorilla Man. I never thought to say, 'Why is Gorilla Man running? 'When the debates were scheduled, I showed up and debated him along with the Democratic candidate. I never said, 'I won't debate Gorilla Man.' I never thought he couldn't run. This is America....

The fascinating thing about the whole experience was how pathetic the Republican establishment seemed. After all, they were supposed to be the ones in charge. Who was I? I was just the mayor of a midsize city in the country's smallest state, with only four years of political office under my belt I was the David to their Goliath, the 1998 U.S. Olympic hockey team to then Soviet Union machine.

Following my conversations with the aforementioned folks, I began to wonder: Is this what happens at the national level? Does power trump ideology and principle? "Of all the conversations I had with [the GOP establishment] not one involved a discussion about what I could offer them as a U.S. senator. They never talked about tax cuts, the war on terror, or spending cuts. These conversations were designed to convince me not to run. If anything, they had the opposite effect...."
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this passionate but meandering political memoir, the author reconstructs his failed 2006 bid to unseat then incumbent Lincoln Chaffee for the Republican nomination in the Rhode Island Senate race. Positioning himself as a political underdog fighting against the power-hungry Republican leadership, Laffey accuses the National Republican Senatorial Committee of an unprecedented negative campaign against him in favor of his more moderate opponent. The author holds a number of key Republicans responsible for his defeat, including John McCain, President Bush and especially NRSC chairwoman Elizabeth Dole, who he believes chose power over principle by supporting Chaffee in the primary. The text alternates between colorful anecdotes about the campaign and vitriolic attacks on his adversaries. Laffey's candid, sometimes playful tone is both charming and abrasive: when he talks about campaigning with his family, he strikes an appealingly human note, but when he imagines conversations between Washington insiders, he seems desperate to dramatize a conspiracy about which he can only speculate. The text ends with a "prescription for the future" in which Laffey calls on the Republican party to return to the conservative ideals articulated by Ronald Reagan. This overly brief postscript is the closest the book comes to offering the "primer for the Republican party of the future" that Laffey promises. (Sept. 13)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Fist-thumping critique claims the Republican Party has abandoned its values and vision. When Laffey, the mayor of Cranston, R.I., entered the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in 2006, he encountered every conceivable obstacle. In a two-pronged attack, he berates the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Republican National Committee for being a shortsighted, ego-saturated, old boys/girls club unwilling to unseat incumbents no matter how far they have strayed from party principles. "Ted Kennedy Republican" Lincoln Chafee, who beat Laffey in the primary then lost the election, is the author's prime example of someone who has strayed from the party's core, deeply conservative convictions. Laffey also lambastes the Republican elite for egregious pork-barrel projects, for sham tax breaks and a nearly indecipherable tax code, for a failed educational program (No Child Left Behind) with attendant elephantine bureaucracy. He sees the popular mandate as comprising tax cuts, privatizing Social Security, eliminating non-defense discretionary spending, reducing tariffs and simplifying the tax code. He stands for what he considers the essence of conservative Republicanism: opposition to abortion and gay marriage, a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning, strict immigration laws with zero tolerance and no amnesty. Laffey is forceful and avuncular, lacing his firm opinions with gotta-laugh stories from the campaign. Specifics about his programs are in much shorter supply. Many would take exception to his notion that school vouchers would boost quality by spurring competition within the public-school community. Beefed-up border patrols, supported by Laffey, have not been the answer toillegal immigration, nor does he say enough about health insurance beyond suggesting direct subsidies for seniors' prescriptions. And his call for "a new national energy plan that gets us off foreign oil to win the war on terror" is a stretch: Petrodollars may pay for the bombs, but they don't create terrorists. Heartfelt deep-conservative convictions, but little in the way of mechanics to make his agenda take flight in the public imagination.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101217825
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/13/2007
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • File size: 679 KB

Meet the Author

Steve Laffey was elected mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, in 2002, and reelected by the widest margin in Cranston history in 2004. Before entering politics he had had a successful career in finance, including a stint as president and COO of Morgan Keegan, an investment bank in Memphis.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     1
Introduction: Who Is Steve Laffey?
See Steve Run, See Liddy Dole Run Scared     11
"Laffey vs. Chafee: The First Skirmish in a Very Important War"     35
The Team: Two Guys, a Girl, and a Whole Lot of Pizza     49
Selling the Republican Soul to the Highest Bidder     65
The Important Issues: Pixelation, Monkeys, and Leather Seats     81
Ads, Ads, and Lies     97
Working Our Tails Off-Rhode Island Style     113
Rules of the Road     127
The Final Days: Desperation and the Invasion of Outsiders     145
A Prescription for the Future     163
Notes     197
Index     203
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