The morning after

12 Aug

Making it to the finish line in the mayor’s primary feels both great and lousy.

After chugging for 26 many months, tired and worn, you stumble across the finish line only to now have to do it once more.

Honolulu’s mayoral primary is only a complete win to the runner that gets a clear majority of the votes.
That’s 50-percent of the total plus one vote.

It didn’t happen last night.

And so, Ben Cayetano (45-percent) and Kirk Caldwell (30-percent) will have to go back to the starting line and race over.

This time whoever crosses the finish line first wins.

Six more weeks of speeches, rubber chicken dinners, 16 hour days meeting people, listening to them say the same things over and over while trying to look interested and not exhausted.

And how many hands will you shake today?
A hundred, five hundred?

Each one has to be just right lest you be judged as not open and friendly.

Votes are collected one at a time – and you are starting over.

All the while your mind is dwelling on how many hours to go before you can be home – and finally alone – until you do the same thing again tomorrow.

You’re tired this morning after.
Exhausted, really.

Everything is sore and your bones ache with a weariness that is almost painful.

You didn’t sleep much as adrenaline and phone calls kept you up most of the night.

Friends want to say congratulations.

But you know you didn’t really win anything.

You just survived to try again.

Part of you feels excited about how you did and the realization of the possibilities if you go all the way.

Part of you wonders how you can do this again for six more weeks.

The primary is nothing compared to what the general election will be like.

Those who sat on the sidelines will come out in force.

The special interest groups that disagreed with you will once again marshal their forces and redouble their efforts to protect their territory.

The volunteers who are the heart and soul of your campaign are tired and need to go back to their lives.

After all, this is your dream and you’ll be the Mayor if you win, not them.

How to motivate and add to their legions is foremost on your mind.

Or would be, if you weren’t so tired.

And you need to go back to the same people asking for money, again.

Sometime today you’ll want the other tired, exhausted members of your core campaign to meet with you to plan ahead.

Can’t lose momentum.

You look at yourself in the mirror and wonder who that tried person staring back is.

The phone starts ringing again and you put on your campaign face and go answer it as you mentally walk back to the start line again.

It’s lousy.
And it’s great.

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