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Betsi Shays: David and Goliath

Betsi Shays, wife of U.S. Senate candidate and former U.S. Congressman Christopher Shays, lays out the case for her husband.

Through the years I’ve been a generally well-behaved political spouse. But this year, because the choices in the Republican primary are so stark, and so much is at stake, I may be a little less well-behaved. I’m going to write a series of short blogs from the perspective of 35 years and 21 elections by Chris’ side in the political arena. You can expect straight talk.

Here’s the fourth entry:

David and Goliath

When we got into this race, we knew it would have a David and Goliath quality to it.

Goliath, as you may remember, seemed to have all the obvious advantages (formidable reputation, prodigious size, dressed in armor from head to toe, looking for a fight, and totally confident in his invincibility). This terrified his opponents and sent them running for the hills. . .sometimes before the fight.

David, on the other hand, was a simple shepherd boy – a seemingly laughable match for such a formidable opponent. Armed with a sling and five smooth stones, trust in the worthiness of his assignment, and confidence in the ultimate triumph of good, he ran – eagerly – to face Goliath.

We know how the story ends. The shepherd boy with the sling prevailed. It turns out – despite all the hype – it only took one smooth stone to bring Goliath down.

Through the ages, this story has given courage to many an underdog heart and venture. Including ours.

Underdog in This Race

When we thought about getting into this race, Chris knew he would be the underdog at the convention and in the primary. He knew he would be outgunned in terms of resources and organization. He jumped in anyways. You could say, he ran toward the challenge.

Why? Because he has spent a lifetime committed to a few core principles:

1. HOW you get things done matters.
2. Straight talk matters.
3. Respecting the intelligence of the voters matters.
4. Constant listening and learning matter.
5. Finding common ground to get things done matters.

(Goliaths tend to operate by a very different set of principles – especially those in the political arena.)

When you feel those principles are being compromised – as Chris did when he watched the 2010 U.S. Senate race unfold – you can either sit on the sidelines in 2012 or jump in. He jumped in.

Get Out

Last summer one of our opponent’s top strategists explained to me how, in considerable detail, his candidate was going to win the general election. The message seemed to be: “Get out of the race before you even jump in.”

Then, when Chris announced, informally, in October he was in the race, our opponent’s team went around saying, “When he realizes what he’s up against, he’ll be out of the race by the end of the month”.

In November, they said the same thing.

Again, in December.

In January, Chris made a formal announcement he was in the race. At that point their message changed to: “We will be the inevitable winners”, and so it continued up through and after the convention in May.

Since the convention, there has been a flood of advertising to rebrand their candidate as a grandmother, a sweet lady, the woman next door (even Goliath might have blushed at such a bodacious PR campaign!)

Armor

When you are outgunned in terms of money and resources, you better have some armor and a sling.

Here’s what armed Chris though a lifetime of public service:
1. Integrity
2. Respected experience
3. Deep knowledge of the issues
4. Proven leadership
5. Guts

If these matter to you, you can help defeat a political Goliath.

Roll them all together, you have a candidate in Christopher Shays who is ready to go on day one to help move our country in the right direction, get our fellow Americans back to work, and restore the promise of America.

When you think about it, it shouldn’t even be a contest.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Anonymous Internet Person August 10, 2012 at 04:26 PM
All I can think about when it comes to him is when you were teaching my 7th grade class and said he was home in CT and realized that Congress was still in session. Admittedly you also told us he flew down to DC as soon as possible, but that's a pretty big mistake to make. If he can't remember when he's supposed to be at work how can we trust him to do anything right? Flying home when you're supposed to be on the job is the sort of thing that could (and should) cost most people their employment. Why should he be rewarded with another chance for what may well have been 35 years of mediocrity, going on what you kept hammering into us that year?
J Bauer August 10, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Betsi, I appreciate that you are going to try your best at helping your husband to win the election. I think that your opening letter is a little generic though and it does not really help undecided voters to make a decision. We get it, his wife believes that he is a hard working guy with a lot of integrity. We would expect you to say nothing less though. My suggestion is that if you are going to help him, the best way you can do it is by trying to explain to voters how he would be able to win the general election. Because, it seems to me, that the biggest criticism he receives right now is his inability to win the general election. In most instances when Chris has tried to explain how he would do that, he really only ends up attacking McMann's campaign by pointing out that they are even less capable of winning. I can imagine that Republicans are ultimately going to vote for the person they think can win the seat and Chris has left a very big question mark there.

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