So, earlier today, I noted that Paul Akers has entered the US Senate race against Sen. Patty Murray, joining an incredibly packed field.
It has since been noted that I left him off of my list of strong contenders for the seat (I pretty much talked about actual and could-be contenders Hutchison, Reichert, Rossi and Widener). But, it turns out, Dick Morris was hyping Akers on Hannity and the audio is now up on YouTube for all to hear:
I hear Akers himself has been touting this mention, and he's right to. He's got a lot of work to do to convince party activists, leaders and the grassroots that he's the right one to take on Murray, and one mention from Dick Morris (or, frankly, 25 mentions plus a bunch of other stuff) isn't enough to do it. However, this lends a small bit of credence to the idea that Akers might be someone to look at as a serious candidate. I'll reserve judgment on that until I see the following from him:
- evidence of a solid campaign structure, involving credible staffers with a track record of success;
- more particularly, a new media presence that covers the basics at least adequately: A fuller website, social networking presence, online advertising (note to Paul, when I search "Paul Akers" your Senate website isn't even one of the top ten results), etc.;
- also, a robust communications effort-- because Murray has the ability to get press for doing just about anything, and she'll need to be rebutted;
- and also, an aggressive research team: There can be no shortage of opposition research on Murray and anyone who is serious about taking her on will need a crack team of researchers to dig up the dirt;
- good fundraising-- according to Real Clear Politics, Murray starts this year with $5.2 million in the bank, so raising a couple hundred thousand each quarter won't cut it, especially given his entry to the race just now;
- consistent evidence of positive interaction with potential supporters and voters;
- good polling results; and
- the avoidance of gaffes and crazy statements-- without wanting to in any way suggest that Akers holds any particular views without me knowing hardly a thing about him other than a) he's running for Senate and b) Dick Morris thinks he has some chance, things to not say/do include lending credence to birtherism or giving cover to birthers, calling Obama and/or Murray a communist, discussing the Cascadia movement in any sort of positive terms, alienating core Republican constituencies like veterans, using terminology that is explicitly offensive to any bloc of voters, and suggesting the Seattle Sonics are still around.
It's a long list, yes, but shouldn't demoralize Akers. A Dick Morris mention is a nice thing to start off with, and he has that in the bag.
Full disclosure: Before mentioning Akers in this clip, Dick Morris also says Carly Fiorina can beat Barbara Boxer. Carly Fiorina is, as many readers know, my client (I handle her online media outreach and blogger engagement). For those previously unaware, now you know. I actively try to avoid blogging about current Hynes clients, and when I do (even inadvertently, as here), I do my best to say so, so everyone knows what the deal is.