The day after the election, I went out for breakfast at Chris' Pancake House near my home. I dropped the family off and parked and so was walking in alone when I saw a friend, a prominent guy in the local Democrat organization.
"Hey, you're a loser," he said with a big grin.
My face must have registered the shudder my insides felt because he quickly added "Hey, sorry, just saying. And, well, don't tell folks but I voted for you."
This reminds me of a political truism that John Ashcroft told me soon after that encounter: he said that if everyone who told you that they voted for you actually voted for you, you'd win a landslide every time.
So, a few days after the great election, allow me, a two-time loser, to offer a few thoughts on losing an election:
First, it really is terrible. No two ways about it. No Pyrrhic victory can soften it. It just plain stinks.
Second, it takes real courage to lose. I mean that it takes courage to file for office and run at all. You put a lot on the line.
Third, when a campaign ends and you lose, everyone disappears. Gone in an instant. Staff, volunteers, supporters, all seem to fade away. It's like the clock runs down to 0:00 and the next second everyone is gone. Very disorienting.
Final point is this: "It is better to have a list of rejections than a list of desires." We need to go for it more often and damn the costs.
All of this email is to ask you a favor: Will you please look around your county or town for the folks who lost their races on Tuesday? Find their phone numbers. Call them. Wish them well. Help them get reoriented. Remember to recognize them at the next party function. In a word, show them love.
Thank you and remember: it might be you someday (if you have the courage to try!).
All the best.