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Sow's ear Senate hopeful whines of getting ignored

Welcome to the real world, Josh Pellerin, where you have the right to throw as much of your own money as you want at trying to win elective office and people have just as much right to dismiss you.

Democrat Pellerin, a businessman political novice, runs for the U.S. Senate, by his own admission anointed to do so by Pres. Barack Obama. He’s dumped $300,000 into the contest (well beyond the nearly $120,000 he reported out the door at the beginning of July, of which he had lent half from himself) and says he’ll go higher. His reward? According to the latest independent poll, 1.7 percent of the intended vote.

According to him, this comes from a conspiracy of pollsters and those who commission their products. Apparently, not enough of them put his name into consideration for respondents, so when candidate forum organizers go looking for contenders to invite from a crowded field of two dozen, he doesn’t have a chance to attain a high-enough average for inclusion. He thinks they need investigating, presumably yet another thing government must stick its nose into according to his prevailing political worldview.

Which really explains why he has garnered so little support. Candidates appear all the time with overinflated senses of self-worth who pour much of their own money and/or have the personal resources available to let them spend huge chunks of time pursuing office, somehow thinking the money and/or effort expended in campaign events automatically entitles them to consideration in the first tier of contestants. It doesn’t work that way.

Another liberal Democrat that never has held elective office has done much better in the race than Pellerin this cycle, lawyer Caroline Fayard. She ran statewide before, in 2010 for lieutenant governor, and while she lost big in the runoff, she did make it, climbing past a veteran liberal Democrat officeholder as well as a veteran Republican officeholder and a celebrity Republican past candidate who never has held elective office. She did it because she took advantage of her family’s intimate connections with state and national Democrats and hustled for their support. And after her defeat she didn’t stop, knowing she would run again someday for some significant office. She registered 11.2 percent in that latest poll, good enough for third place.

So if you’re going to waltz into the statewide political arena without having laid the groundwork, thinking money and your ideas will catapult you into serious consideration, you had better spend a lot of it and have some great thoughts. Pellerin has spent a lot of money; $300,000 will reach enough voters that will respond to an attractive agenda to become a significant candidate noticed by pollsters and everybody else.

The problem for Pellerin is his ideas stink. The enthusiastic leftism of his platform plays poorly especially to a center-right state electorate. And for those part of the liberal minority to which it might appeal, they’ve already got a proven article in the form of Fayard, or if they want more of an emphasis on fire-breathing populism and elective experience, there’s Democrat Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell.

Pellerin needs to understand that he, not any cabal of pollsters and debate organizers, has created his own predicament. And to realize that even if he made it onto a televised debate stage, that won’t magically vault him into contention as few people watch these and the reporting on these typically conveys little information that makes an undecided voter want to jump up and run through a cheesecloth curtain for a candidate.

No amount of money or effort can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse of a candidate. Right now, Pellerin is a sow’s ear of a candidate, and only when he makes himself into a quality candidate will he attract more financing and the attention he craves.

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