One Way of Winning an Election in Three to Five Minutes
In an earlier blog, I suggested that there are four key elements to a successful stump speech. In this blog, I provided detailed explanations of why these were important, then I provide you with a sample stump speech you can model or adapt for your own purpose.
Every successful stump speech (and in much briefer form, every elevator pitch) should have these four key points:
1. A statement of "why" - Why YOU want to be an elected official ...
2. A statement of "who" - Who YOU are and why being you qualifies you for the job ...
3. A statement of "what" - What YOU want to accomplish when you are elected ...
4. A statement of "why me" - This is your wrap-up, your close ...
A standard short stump speech really doesn't need any more.
But there's a world of difference between knowing these four guidelines, and crafting an effective standard stump speech. What I hope to do here (below) is create a sample stump speech, assuming the following six factors are true ...
Of coures, they're not true - believe me, this is purely hypotheticalThe hypothetical background points that guided the development of this speech are:
* I'm the candidate
* I'm running for a state senate office
* This is a contested primary
* My opponent, a Republican, currently holds the office as incumbent
* My opponent is an old war-horse, in office for 22 years now
* My opponent is widely regarded as something of a RINO, at least among some conservative, libertarian and Tea Party Republicans
PS - as I said above, I am not now running for office - I will never run for office - this is not a Shermanesque Statement! I mean it!
Disclaimer: The key elements of this mock-speech here can apply to any candidate, for any position (again, see my earlier blog for the reasons why). This stump speech is not only for Tea Party Republicans, and by setting up this sample, I'm not "officially" encouraging anyone to oppose RINOs or to support Tea Partiers.
It is just a demonstration.
Warning and Permission: Every candidate's stump speech should be personalized to the speaker and the audience. Frankly, it would probably not be very smart to think that you (the reader) can just take my speech, plug in your name and go with it - though, of course, you're free to do so, and with my blessing. If you do decide to borrow-with-permission my speech, please personalize it, following the four keys noted above.
So, here goes - a five-minute mock-stump speech:
Good Afternoon, fellow conservatives, and thank you for joining us today at our Tea Party Meet the Candidate Event. I am Ned Barnett, tea party activist since 2009, and I'm here today to ask for your support in the upcoming primary. I am running for the Senate Seat in District 12, and I am running to fulfill a lifelong dream. My father served in combat in World War II, and his service has inspired my entire career, and my entire life.
That dream began in college with ROTC service, and with elected leadership at the Methodist Student Center at my university. This was during the civil rights era, and I am proud to have worked as one small cog in the wheel of freedom for all Americans. Since then, I've worked for both government agencies - including hospitals and colleges - as well as some of the largest Fortune 500 companies, and some of the smallest and most boot strap start-up companies you can imagine.
I tended to work behind the scenes, letting others take the public credit. I started that by being an economic development speechwriter in South Carolina for two Governors, including one who later became a Reagan cabinet secretary. I worked at the state level, handling strategy and media for the Ford for President campaign - and I worked at the top of the team on two other Presidential campaigns, along with a dozen or so congressional, senatorial and state-level campaigns.
I also represented hospitals, back when we still had some freedom in America. I even testified, twice, before Congress - speaking against the kind of healthcare mess our President has given us. I was able to help stop the Carter plan and Hillarycare, but when it came to Obamacare, the deck was stacked, and no Republican could stop it.
In Nevada, I was both the state party's and the Clark County party's communications director during 2009-2010 - the peak of Tea Party activism in the state - and I had as a client the Tea Party Express. I've paid my Tea Party dues, and continue to hold its values close to my heart.
My wife, when she lived in Arkansas, was a personal friend and political supporter of Governor Huckabee's - she, like me, is a devoted Constitutional Conservative. However, I'm not running on my family portrait or how wonderful my kids and grandkids are - they are, but that's beside the point. We also share a strong faith, but again, I'm not running on my belief in God.
That's about it when it comes to who I am and why I'd like to be your next Senator. Now I'd like to briefly explain what I plan to do when I represent you in Carson City. As a truly constitutionally-conservative Republican, I have three goals I will accomplish.
First, I plan to replace our current State Senator. He's been in office for 22 years - by now, he believes that seat is his by divine right. In his 22 years, though he still claims to be a Republican, he's made it a point to go along with the Democrats - so much so that he might as well change his affiliation from "R" to "D", from Red to Blue.
There's a word for for that - RINO - Republican in Name Only. If you look that up in your Webster's Dictionary, you'll see his photo next to the definition.
But that's not all I intend to do. I will propose and push a law by which Nevada can take back from the Federal government all land claimed by the Bureau of Land Management that is not currently being actively used by the government. I'm not talking about the Nellis Air Force Base bombing range, or the Nevada Test Site. But the Feds hold title to 84.5 percent of Nevada land - more than in any other state, with no justification, no reason, no excuse.
When this law passes, the Federal Government will challenge it. This law will go to the courts. We cannot expect equity from Congress or the Administration, but we do have a fighting chance for equity coming from the courts. This is a fight worth making, a fight worth winning.
Finally, I will push legislation to fully fund the State/Federal Matching Grant program for funding Nevada's skilled nursing facilities - what used to be called "nursing homes." Nevada has the sickest group of seniors in nursing homes of any state in America, but we pay less to support them than we do to house prisoners.
For our seniors to receive the respect they deserve, we must sufficiently fund their care. The Federal government - which has a printing press for money - will match whatever we put into the program. If we truly care about our seniors, we will give them a "living wage" just as we give our state's employees a living wage. We'll all be older some day - look at this as an investment in each of our futures.
Now let's talk "bottom line." Why should you vote for me in the primary? First, I've worked both for and with the Tea Party - I'm not a RINO, I'm one of you. More important, I've owned businesses, I've met payrolls and I've paid personal and business taxes. I've worked for and with non-profits and government agencies, along with the world's largest hospital company and some truly remarkable small start-ups. From this experience, I know that the engine of commerce is what makes America run - and I know that freedom and a government policy of "hands off" is what lubricates that engine of commerce.
When I represent you in the next legislative assembly, I will be a strong voice for limited government and APPROPRIATE expenditures - no waste, no boondoggles, no back-room deals. I will first represent our interests here in the 12th District - I will then represent Nevada's interests, and - whenever the occasion arises, I'll represent America's interests.
Vote for me and you will put that 22-year-old RINO out to pasture, and bring in a young bull, ready to charge into that china shop of Nevada's "business as usual" legislature.
Thank you - and remember, Ned Barnett, Senate, District 12.
That's all it takes to give a stump speech. For some venues, you'll have to shorten it from five minutes to three, and you do that by trimming the hyperbole, not the solid meat on the bone. In the best of circumstances, you have just a few minutes to explain who you are, why you're right for the job, what you'll do, and why they should vote for you.
Anything else is superfluous.
Good luck, and if you need help with your campaign's speechwriting, position papers, website copy or political campaign strategy, contact me at email@example.com or 702-561-1167. Thanks!