Feet First

23 02 2011

Getting prepared for my return to Tallahassee. First since the election. It will be interesting to gauge the political climate there. A newly elected Governor, unhappy State workers and a feverish Tea Party spirit lingers across the Sunshine State.

The Republicans hold their greatest majority in the State Legislature since the days of Reconstruction. The also claim the Governor’s Mansion and all of the elected cabinet positions. Simply put, the GOP’s power in Florida has never been stronger.

What’s a Dem to do?

“You need to write a book,” the Foot Doctor told me.

Ah yes, the Foot Doctor. Yet another of Panama City’s colorful characters. I met the Doc early in my run. He was a short, round man and a classic New Yorker — full of pomp, ego and stories of his service as a State Committee Man for the Dems and he dismissed me right away.

“I wouldn’t want to be running right now,” he said.

Roseanne, my dear motherly campaign manager, said to forget about him.

“He’s not going to support you,” she said.

And she was right. Although my research turned up checks the Doc had written to other Democratic candidates, he like most of the Party establishment, were going to sit my race out — and watch. For their own amusement no less.

Such is the case with a newcomer. Throw in the fact, I was running against a recent party switcher, who still had friends amongst the local Dems, it made it hard for any person of good standing to back my cause.

So when I ran across the Foot Doctor, tanning on the Beach, on a beautiful Autumn afternoon, his suggestion to me was to do what I do best — write.

He already had the title picked out for me, “How I ran against the establishment, in the Reddest of Red America, during the rise of the Tea Party, as a Democrat, with little-to-no money.” The Doc got a good chuckle at this title as he soaked up the sun in his Jersey-styled beach chair.

We chatted some about the campaign that day. Ramil, one of my housemates, had accompanied me to the Beach and for fear of boring him with politics, I made my conversation with the Doc short. Before we parted ways, the Doc asked to see Ramil’s feet.

“They look good,” he said, leaned back in his beach chair. “Strong bone structure.”

Ramil seemed slightly embarrassed. He was very modest about his appearance. We related in this way. Part of my struggle during the campaign was with the constant remarks about my figure. Not knowing for sure if people were being complementary or cruel. This is something I’m sure all politicians have to overcome.

As I embark on an important weekend in Tallahassee, I am now more confident about my stature. I have recovered well from the stress of the campaign and feel stronger than ever.

Meeting influential people is a priority this weekend. I realize, if I am to be successful in this new political career, I must expand my base of support beyond the Beach.

And I will follow the Foot Doctor’s advice. I will continue to write.

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One response

24 02 2011
Don Harris

The book sounds like a good idea. I like the title, although it’s kind of long. Maybe part of it could be in parenthesis, with an asterick?

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