4 min read

Welcome to Operative Wisdom

An alternate title for this blog could have been: "Stuff I wished I learned in my political science classes."
Welcome to Operative Wisdom

I started this blog for basically two reasons:

1) I like to write, and I wanted to do more of it.

2) I think there is a lot about politics and campaigns that people don't know about but wish they did.

I remember when I first started working in politics more than a decade ago. I had done well in my Political Science classes. I had read every book I could get my hands on about campaigns of all sizes. I thought I already knew everything there was to know about politics and elections!

And then when I started actually working on campaigns, it became evident how little I actually knew. And as I worked on more and more campaigns over the years, it was clear that there weren't a lot of resources out there dedicated to how campaigns actually work, especially at the local level – the level that the tens of thousands of elected officials throughout the country operate at.

And so the goal of Operative Wisdom is to share a perspective that potentially hasn't been shared before.

An alternate title for this blog could have been: "Stuff I actually wished I learned in my political science classes."

I hope these writings have a little of something for everyone. If you're a first-time candidate, I really hope you learn something. Or if you're just an outside observer interested in politics. Or if you're someone who one day wants to work in politics. Or if you're an organization hoping to grow your political influence. Or if you're just an annoyed voter who wonders why you keep getting buried in direct mail every other November.

And to give you an idea of what type of topics will be covered, here are a handful of posts that are already available:

What makes a candidate a good fundraiser?
When I first started getting involved in politics as a prospective career, I remember often hearing about how certain national politicians were good fundraisers whereas others were mediocre. It was entirely unclear to me what could possibly make one person a good fundraiser and another person a med…
Please don’t (immediately) spend all your campaign money
There is a tragedy that plays out from time to time in politics, and it nearly breaks my heart every time I see it. A hardworking, dedicated candidate will launch their campaign early. In this example, let’s say a year head of time. They’ll work tirelessly raising money. They’ll put
Do lawn signs help win elections?
Most people who work in politics would say “No.” Some might even say “No!” I would say “Kinda.” On the surface, the concept of the lawn signs seems pretty simple. As a candidate, you want people to be aware of your name, and hope that awareness remains until Election Day.
Minimizing campaign regrets
When Jeff Bezos was deciding whether or not to start Amazon or not, he had a conundrum. He had a good idea (selling books online) he wanted to pursue. But he also had a great job that paid well. He had to decide what to do. He gave himself 48
Should you hire a political consultant?
Should you hire a political consultant if you are running for office? Probably! But it depends. Before you decide, you should understand what a political consultant is for, because some candidates do misunderstand the purpose of a political consultant. The role of the political consultant is fai…

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