The Washington Post published it’s article today regarding now-independent candidate for Clerk Of The Court Lucy Beauchamp, and essentially has thrown away any opportunity to have her grievances given serious consideration. I’ve rarely ever seen something so badly mismanaged as this campaign announcement, which comes across in the article as whiny and pathetic. Given that there’s been some recent controversy regarding the process of establishing conventions in Prince William County, there was a good opportunity to broaden this discussion and permit some serious reconsideration as to how candidates should be selected in the county. Instead, Beauchamp has pretty much ended those discussions.
Complaining that Chairman Tom Kopko hasn’t given fair consideration to having candidates selected by primary rather than convention is a loser of an argument. Under the bylaws, the method of nomination is entirely up to the chairman unless the incumbent happened to previously been selected by primary in the previous contest for the nomination. He can be “fair”, if that’s what it is, to have a primary, or “unfair” and choose another method, and it’s entirely at his discretion. In the article Kopko gives a pretty solid basis for his decisions, and since he’s at least been entirely consistent in those decisions claiming that him selecting a convention over a primary is unfair to a candidate is on it’s face absurd.
That’s not to say there isn’t potential for argument on this, but that argument would have to be based on discussions between the candidates and the chairman about the method of nomination and how that decision might have actually been made. Beauchamp hasn’t talked about process at all, only the result of the process, and that isn’t only a weak argument, but it looks whiny. To then go pick up your ball and go home as a result hardly looks like the kind of leadership that a candidate would want to demonstrate. Lesson for future candidates: don’t complain about the result of a process when that result isn’t what you wanted, talk about the process itself, and how that process may have been flawed, leading to a flawed result. If Beauchamp hasn’t figured this out yet, she doesn’t deserve to be in politics.
When Michele McQuigg was contacted by the Post, her immediate response was to laugh. That’s probably going to be the reaction of most Republicans, not only for how this has all ended up looking, but for how Beauchamp just threw away the only real opportunity she had to inspire any meaningful discussion regarding her concerns.
UPDATE: Charles has transcribed much of the Post article and has his in-depth analysis posted here.
UPDATE 2: James Young wonders in his latest post what will happen with Beauchamp’s endorsers. This is a good question, and I’m looking for a lot of candidates and elected officials to seriously consider the implications of allowing their endorsements to remain while Beauchamp abandons her avowed principles and leaves the Republican party. The fallout from this will be considerable, and the blogosphere hasn’t really begun to consider what that might be.
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