At this time, three months ago, I was wrestling with a decision. A decision as to whether or not to run in a special election to fill the seat vacated by the new secretary of the Army, John McHugh. If you had told me 90 days later I would be penning an op-ed piece for the New York Post, I would have laughed in disbelief. I would have laughed even louder had you told me that I would be receiving endorsement and support from political leaders like Fred Thompson, former Majority Leader Dick Armey, or Sarah Palin . . .Read the whole thing. What Hoffman says about not being a "professional politician" is very important. Doug Hoffman's campaign has been likened to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but it could also be compared to Revenge of the Nerds.
You see I’m not a professional politician; I've never sought elected office. I grew up poor in Saranac Lake, in the heart of the Adirondacks. My siblings and I were raised in a single-parent household by our mother. We worked to help her pay the mortgage. But, like so many others in this great land, I worked hard, got a good education, did a six-year stint in the military, married, landed a good job with a "big eight" accounting firm and started living the American dream.
It's funny what can happen in America, when you are able to dream and have the courage to follow your dreams. . . .
Watching Hoffman get introduced at events Thursday by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey -- gregarious, extroverted, a natural-born Texas-style storyteller -- was a stark contrast. Hoffman is a quiet man who has never had any direct involvement in politics, and it shows. His speeches aren't a memorized list of talking-points and well-timed applause lines.
If it's slick speech-making and "charisma" you're looking for, that ain't Doug Hoffman. I've said before that some guys (e.g., Bill Clinton) go into politics for the same reason teenage boys learn to play guitar. IYKWIMAITYD. And that ain't Doug Hoffman, either. If he's elected to Congress, Hoffman will instantly become No. 1 on any list of "Washington Politicians Least Likely to Be Involved in a Sex Scandal." The guy's an accountant, for crying out loud.
However, if you study his life story -- Hoffman took a job pumping gas at age 14 to help support his family -- you understand that, beneath his nerdy exterior, there is a man of real character. And his willingness to step up to the plate and take on the GOP Establishment in this special election is another example of that.
Conservatives nowadays often complain that we don't have "another Reagan," but maybe that's not what we need. Maybe what we really need is a grassroots movement so powerful, so energized, that it doesn't have to wait around for the next Ronald Reagan to show up. (See "Memo to the Grassroots.")
Maybe what we need is a grassroots so fired up it can elect a real conservative, even if he isn't a telegenic media superstar or a dynamic public speaker.
HOFFMANIA: CATCH IT!
UPDATE: Linked by Pat Austin at So It Goes in Shreveport, by Donald Douglas at American Power, and by Al B. at Free Republic. Meanwhile:
- I blogged about Rachelle Friberg's question of where 2012 GOP contenders Tim Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee stand on the Hoffman campaign.
- The Politico reports that the national Republican Party "leaders" are planning to spend big bucks attacking Hoffman, with a "top GOP official" derogating the Hoffman campaign in a way that Erick Erickson finds insulting.
- Please see my latest Hot Air Greenroom post, "Ordinary Americans Make Miracles Happen -- Start Doing What You Can!"