On Tuesday many mailboxes here in Franklin were hit with a campaign lit piece from Mayor Steve Olson who is seeking re-election.
Olson’s piece was large and eye-catching. Multi-colored. Nice photos. Positive message. A good look. Olson focused on themes most voters would find to be priorities: holding the line of taxes and spending, economic development progress, public safety, new housing.
I’ve read a gazillion of these and have worked with a ton of folks who’ve authorized or written such flyers. Most political observers without a personal axe to grind would more than likely concur that Olson’s mailer was sound, impressive, and effective.
Olson’s timing in his distribution couldn’t have been better. Alan Greenblatt on Governing.com writes that is an election cycle like no other.
Politics in normal times is a contact sport. Candidates attend endless events, hoping to convince voters of their good nature and great ideas by looking them in the eye, shaking their hands and kissing their babies. They’re natural extroverts, secretly or openly looking to emulate Theodore Roosevelt’s ambition “to be the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral, and the baby at every christening.”
Now even family members aren’t attending weddings. With the coronavirus leading to bans on large gatherings of all sorts, campaigns have canceled their own rallies. They’re having a hard time getting their messages out when the virus seems to be all anyone can talk about.