GOP shooting self in the foot with excessive debate schedule

I hope you like debates, because the Republican Party is going to stuff your debates with more debates, and before you can debate you’ll be presented with a side of steaming hot debates.

The GOP just released their tentative debate schedule, which includes 12 — count ’em, TWELVE debates over the course of the next year.

One per month, or perhaps one for every marginal candidate who decides to enter the race to sell a few more books at the Lubbock Costco.

even though all the cameras are on Joe, still struggling to select the right pound cake

You think the GOP would’ve learned in 2008 or 2012 that a glut of debates allows parody-worthy minor candidates a stage to spout off their nonsense in a public forum.

Remember the amount of air time and media attention Ron Paul received for his inane ramblings by playing half-microphone-grabber and half-victim when they didn’t allow him to grab the mike anymore? Get ready for that times twelve.

Don’t get me wrong — I appreciate good debate. It should be done skillfully, in strict format, with an adherence to fact. One person wins, ideas are spread, and everyone learns a little something.

But this is not an airing of ideas. We’re not debating policy. We’re debating personality. It’s not an intellectual exercise, it’s a firing squad formed in a circle. It’s the equivalent of the Human Centipede — a graphic spectacle that shouldn’t be possible but somehow inhumanly is.

Apparently 2008 and 2012 weren’t enough, and the GOP intends similarly to create another, even bigger sequel to this unholy franchise.

Remember GOP — you’re likely facing a candidate in 2016 that simply doesn’t do debates.

She thinks they’re beneath her and acts as such.

Hillary’s lost every debate she’s been in from a policy and idea standpoint, but won the Senate in 2000 by portraying herself as a victim of her young, dynamic Republican opponent, Rick Lazio, who walked across the stage and handed her a piece of paper.


Hillary will be avoiding debates like the plague.

Do you think she’s going to agree to allow real potential challengers like Martin O’Malley or phony potential challengers like Bernie Sanders dare question her in front of an audience?

Or if she gets the nomination, to speak improvisationally against her Republican challenger?

She will limit debates as much as possible much as she’s limiting media exposure as much as possible. Sure, she’ll say it’s because she wants to talk to “real people” and so forth. But she’s smart enough (unlike the GOP) to not open herself up to any kind of situation where she’ll have to talk off the cuff – she knows her weaknesses.

if you want to keep your membership, you’ll buy the book

I see that CNN is on the schedule not one, not two, but three times.

It’s as if the GOP suffers from a case of collective amnesia.

Have we forgotten the disastrous Candy Crowley spectacle last election where she stepped in as moderator to criticize Romney on behalf of Obama — to make a point that was later found out to be completely factually incorrect?

announcement: this whole spectacle is all about me!

Why has CNN not been banned from moderating any Republican debate for a full election cycle? Are those 7 viewers really that critical?

Speaking of networks being banned — why is ABC, a network who just piped up to defend their major political personality, George Stephanopoulos, who claimed to forget that he donated $75,000 to the Democratic candidate’s foundation, who employed Hillary’s campaign manager, not banned from this cycle as well?

the nepotism is strong with this one

Apparently, the GOP is comfortable letting every single major media network trot candidates out like show animals just to be baited with biased questions from moderators who have literally worked for and given money to the opposing party’s candidate.

The GOP apparently cares about one thing and one thing only — getting airtime. They’re turning into the Courtney Stodden of major political parties and it’s sad and sick to watch. You win by controlling your image, not leaving it wide open to public interpretation.

Hillary gets it.


Why don’t Republicans?

How 2016 looks from the Right

The 2016 election needs to be considered as follows:

Hillary wins by being a victim. It worked as First Lady when people thought she was a mean battleaxe, during the Monica affair, and in every election for her except for the last one. That’s because she waited too long to pull the card. If she did it 3 weeks earlier she’d have been wrapping her second term now. She knows it and her advisers know it and her supporters aren’t bright but implicitly they also know it.

She crushes weak candidates easily (strong Hillary) and strong candidates even more easily (victim Hillary). So from now on, every candidate has to be seen as how they would face one on one against her, and I don’t feel like anyone is doing that even though they probably feel like they are.

Hillary would destroy:

  • Paul
  • Santorum
  • Perry
  • Rubio
  • Graham
  • Snyder
  • Bush
  • Walker
  • Pataki

Hillary would struggle with:

  • Huckabee
  • Cruz
  • Trump
  • Carson
  • Jindal
  • Fiorina
  • Christie
  • Bolton

Hillary would lose to:

  • Kasich

What one needs is the right balance of smarts, guts, and detachment to get the job done.

Most of the ones on the “struggle” list have the guts and a few have guts and smarts.

She anticipated Obama’s smarts. She quickly learned of his detachment. But she wasn’t prepared for the guts. That was the Mortal Kombat move that finished her.

Voters don’t want to vote for a try-hard. You have to have a cool form of detachment from the process while remaining gutsy and involved.

Few have that combination and fewer still combine it with smarts.

That’s where Kasich becomes formidable.

And to steal a quote from Airplane — “the best chance we’ve got”.

Spoiler alert: here’s what happens in the 2016 election


Hillary does the opposite of before where she jumped in early and hangs back, says a bunch of BS about “being a new grandmother” and such.

Biden, Martin O’Malley, and and Jim Webb try to get a head start on the campaign, and they all smack the s**t out of each other over the course of months while Hillary hangs back and laughs.

Cuomo promises to stay out because Hillary promises him a Vice-Presidency (until she pulls the rug out from under him and sticks Julian Castro in instead–besides, what could Cuomo do to hurt Hillary when he outlives his usefulness?)

So you have this historical Clinton/Castro ticket which runs up against the Republicans…


Reps are feeling good after taking back the Senate (barely) in 2014. Establishment consultants take the credit and wait and see. Huckabee jumps into the race early, claims “the Lord told me to save this nation” or some BS like that.

Bachmann enters the race and of course is hindered by having no political or marketing skill whatsoever but exceptional conviction and an insane work ethic.

Peter King enters as well, but he’s bats**t and couldn’t be more unlikable, playing the Newt Gingrich of the race and laying it on thick at odd intervals.

Speaking of Newt, he takes the position of “kingmaker” and negotiates a deal for something, ANYTHING, even expressing interest in being a cabinet secretary for a new department of his own design (he proposes elimination of DHS and DOE and replacement with DOI–Department of Innovation) in a new administration.

Chris Christie keeps people waiting and expresses consistent interest, takes many public swipes at Huckabee and it’s a fight of the ex-fatties. He smells blood, and enters, and fizzles.

Ben Carson remains statesman-like but secretly just wants to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Perry jumps in late, instead of his early entry and popcorn fart exit from last time, and this time he’s Rick Perrier than ever–gliding between campaign stops in his all-black wardrobe like a ghost of candidate-past, promising “Real Talk”, pushing immigration reform or criticizing Republican Senate efforts on it (he’ll take whatever position is most expedient, honey badger don’t care) and he gets a lot of serious consideration.

But overall, nobody has done much of anything thus far and it’s embarrassing–which is further compounded when Santorum makes his candidacy known, which literally nobody could give a lesser s**t about. He and Huckabee also fight mercilessly.

Huntsman threatens third party, even coming up with a running mate for a bi-party ticket–Maggie Hassan, Dem Governor of NH. So now you’ve got a complete mess of a campaign and no winners.

Jeb Bush thinks it’s his moment now, but is hammered and becomes the modern-Perry–much ballyhooed, big failure, and family scandal becomes an endless timesuck.

John Bolton stays loud–too loud, and in this election, enemies become friends, with him picking up the phone and contacting Condi Rice, who would rather be left out of everything altogether. Both approach a Romney campaign and offer themselves as SoState (Bolton) and VP (Condi)–but Romney keeps his distance for the moment.

Jindal makes VP noises, and then you have Rand Paul and Ted Cruz in a game of who’s on first.

I’d make the audacious bet that there’s a huge likelihood neither run and disappoint the s**t out of everyone, but the longer the campaign goes with no solution the more likely one would jump in, even considering a P/VP situation with Cruz at the top that would be an automatic win. but if they both stay out, then Romney slides in beautifully and wins an election against a haggard, beat-up, old-looking and backwards-policy Hillary with an unknown VP and a fresh-faced Romney/Condi ticket–a mirror of 08–under the following campaign of:

1) I was right (about Putin, Iraq, Syria, everything else)

2) Illegal immigration hurts minorities

3) This is what happens on Day One of my administration (list of 10-12 major principles that are consistently repeated and messaged)


Obama is like LBJ or GWB in this election–everyone would appreciate his endorsement, but could you stand over there please? As far away as possible? Thanks.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg steps down on the Supreme Court after Dems lose the 2014 election–Obama won’t be able to get another nominee in there before the end of his term.

Barbara Boxer, who couldn’t stand the thought of stepping down from her seat despite her age, wants to be appointed to replace her good friend Ginsburg on the Court, which would shock the political classes since no non-lawyer has been appointed to the Court in 75 years–not since Robert H. Jackson in 1941.

However, Obama appoints another Californian–Kamala Harris, giving the Supreme Court its youngest member, its first female African-American member, and even more of a minority to replace Ginsburg.

A defeated Barbara Boxer is begged to run for just one more term by her fellow Senator, Dianne Feinstein, who is now 83 years old, the oldest member of the Senate, and ready to retire herself. Boxer agrees to one more term and has already chosen her replacement–up-and-comer Joaquin Castro.

By 2018, Dianne Feinstein is 86 years old and simply finished. She only steps down on one condition–a very specific individual replaces her.

That individual is Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama has ruled out running for Senate in Illinois, but hey, how about Hawaii? Michelle eyes the seat in 2020, which would be a sure win against an unknown like Schatz. But that’s too far away.

The Obamas have made the choice to abandon Chicago for good after a brief stint in the city, and while they have the Hawaii vacation house, their disdain for Washington is clear.

They set up shop in Los Angeles, putting the Secret Service on edge, who compromise with them on a Palm Springs area residence that is high-security, functioning as a safe city escape, a “Camp David” of sorts that’s close to the golf course. Another residence is maintained in the Bel Air area for their infrequent trips into town and more-frequent trips as the 2018 election nears. At some times, they stay in separate residences–Sasha is already in college (and considers a West Coast private school like Loyola to stay close to her parents) and Malia is ready to graduate high school, so the Obamas are getting ready for empty-nester life.  Former-President Obama writes his memoirs, helps his Organizing for Action continue to fundraise for candidates, and jockeys for a Supreme Court nomination further down the decade under a Dem admin a la Taft.

California Democrats, embarrassed at the lack of up and coming leaders not named Joaquin Castro, leap at the opportunity for a Senator Michelle, with celebrities beating the crap out of each other to campaign for her.  She wins handily thanks to O4A, as California is one of the last states that, outside of the traffic they cause, is still in love with the Obamas.

This may be the most unintentionally hilarious campaign ad of the year

Does the name Sean Eldridge ring a bell?

He’s a Democratic candidate for Congress in New York’s 19th District, located north of NYC and including Woodstock. It’s a district that has been redistricted in recent years, and has been represented by a Republican for 16 of the past 20 years.

However, the Cook PVI is D+1, and the district went slightly in Obama’s column in 2008 and 2012.

Eldridge is a former Obama community organizer, founding Students for Barack Obama in 2007 and he served as a Democratic Party delegate for the district in 2012.


His ties to the NY-19 run deep.

In fact, he’s lived there since January 2013, waiting a whole six months from the purchase of his $2 million mansion to clear to announce his congressional candidacy.

Previously, he was a two-year resident of the neighboring district, NY-18.

He abandoned the $5 million estate he purchased there because winning the candidacy of NY-18, an R+2 district with a young and vibrant Democratic representative, was simply “unattainable”.

But this isn’t much of a problem. See, he’s married to someone of means.

Does the name Chris Hughes ring a bell?

He’s the co-founder of Facebook, and worth around $500 million.

However, with all the money to run a campaign and the support of billionaire hedge fund tycoon George Soros and Napster co-founder Sean Parker, Eldridge is having a little trouble trying to appear as a local:

He raised an impressive $300,000 in the first three months of this year, but only a small fraction of the donations came from individuals in the district. And Mr. Eldridge’s voter registration, which he applied for in January, was placed on the inactive list after a confirmation postcard sent to his new home was returned to the local board of elections marked: “Return to sender. No mail receptacle.” His registration has since been reactivated.

That hasn’t stopped Eldridge from pumping as much money into the district as he can to gin up support:

Since late last year, [Eldridge’s] firm has provided at least $800,000 in loans to businesses in the district, including Bread Alone bakery and Prohibition Distillery. And Mr. Eldridge has dug into his own pocket, donating $250,000 to a $1 million effort in the district to build a 3-D printing technology center at SUNY New Paltz.

Without the support of any major Democratic Party organizations, Eldridge has turned to the election year classic, the campaign ad, to introduce himself to members of his district.

What follows is nothing short of embarrassing:

ELDRIDGE: I grew up in a small town. I went to public schools. My dad was, actually, the first person in his family to graduate from high school.

I’ve been very fortunate in my life. My husband Chris was one of the founders of Facebook. So I have the independence to reject special interest contributions and do what’s right.

To fight for our environment, for a woman’s right to choose, and to reform our broken campaign finance system. I will be an independent advocate. And I won’t represent anybody but you.

I’m Sean Eldridge and I approve of this message.

Mind you, all of this is being said while an unusually-diverse, equally bored-and-confused crowd of local yokels sit and emphatically, overactingly nod.

Jodie Foster lookalike who nods precisely when Eldridge says “fight for a woman’s right to choose”

One woman even mouths “that’s right” to complete the spectacle in the round.

she receives her cameo right when he says he’ll reform our campaign finance system

Interesting how “independence to reject special interest contributions” is a euphemism for “I am extraordinarily wealthy” and “reform our broken campaign finance system” is an equal euphemism for “I am receiving millions in donations from my wealthy friends from completely outside the district”.

The “small town” Eldridge grew up in is Ottawa Hills, Ohio, a wealthy Toledo suburb with a median household income over $100,000 that is “ranked 13 out of 1065 political subdivisions in the state of Ohio by per capita income”.

small town living

The “public schools” Eldridge attended were ranked 1st in the state of Ohio.

Eldridge attended Deep Springs College in rural California, a highly-exclusive private all-boys school with a Vanity Fair profile (“the most successful experiment in higher education in U.S. history!”) and a student body of 26 (women were finally admitted in 2013, so until 2013, women did not have the right to choose to attend Deep Springs College).

Eldridge graduated with a degree in philosophy from Brown University (also not a public school) and attended Columbia Law (not a public school).

His dad, the “first in his family to attend college” is Dr. Stephen Eldridge, “chairman of the radiology department at St. Luke’s Hospital and executive vice president of Consulting Radiologists Corp” who graduated from the University of Ottawa, one of Canada’s top medical schools.  Dr. Eldridge is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Radiology at the University of Toledo.  

And Dr. Eldridge is not the only Dr. Eldridge in the family.  Dr. Sarah Taub (Eldridge) is Sean’s mom, and she’s a dual-board-certified physician who is also a graduate of the University of Ottawa.

Sean Eldridge has little in common with his new neighbors/sought constituents.

But that isn’t stopping him from pretending as if he’s “one of the locals”.

just don’t use this photo, that’s at the old mansion in the 18th district

In the old days, they would call someone who determined where they’d buy real estate year to year depending on which elections they could enter and win a “carpetbagger”.

Even the New York Times calls Eldridge “Young, Rich and Relocating Yet Again in Hunt for Political Office” in a 2013 profile.

When the New York Times is onto the fact that you’re moving between mansions to win elections, it’s game over.

Kathleen Sebelius Resigning to Run in 2016?

Kathleen Sebelius resigned as Secretary of Health and Human Services today after the disaster that has been the ObamaCare rollout.

Her speech was a disaster as well, as she paused partway through and said that, “unfortunately, a page is missing”.

Before that, she spoke candidly about:

the folks who approach me, the strangers who approach me, at a meeting, or pass me a note on a plane, or hand me a phone with someone on the other end saying thank you, their stories are so heartening about finally feeling secure and knowing they can take care of themselves and families.

Remember, this is a woman resigning a post as a cabinet secretary, giving a speech that sounds oddly…presidential.

After the missing page fiasco, Sebelius speaks off-the-cuff about her father’s legacy in Congress, Medicare and Medicaid, how ObamaCare is “the most significant social change in this country in that 50 year period of time” between the passage of the Civil Rights Act and now.

Her speech has gotten rave reviews:


The audience laughed and Sebelius immediately transitioned to a more informal, off-the-cuff style of speaking. All in all, a minor hiccup. But in the sense that Sebelius’ stewardship of the HHS will be defined many as a story of incompetency followed by a recovery that surpassed expectations, the moment had a certain poetry to it.


That allowed Sebelius to end on a high note in the Rose Garden. But, in some cruel cosmic jest, there was one more glitch for Sebelius. Her going-away remarks were missing a page. She paused, noted the problem for the audience and continued off-script. It was an impressive recovery.

While most people will laugh at Sebelius missing a page, liberals aren’t laughing. They see this women as a hero. By 2016, ObamaCare will be completely rolled out, and few will remember the rocky start. Sebelius will be seen as the turnaround artist.

Sebelius has executive experience—she was Governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009, not to mention head of Health and Human Services since then and was nearly chosen as Vice-President in 2004 and 2008 (with Kerry, and Obama’s campaign bought the domain

According to ABC News:

Sebelius, a former governor of Kansas, was among Obama’s earliest supporters back in 2008. Her endorsement — over Hillary Clinton — came at a critical time in his first race for the White House.

Needless to say, she has no love for Hillary Clinton, so running in 2016 would not be a problem.

If Hillary runs, Sebelius will be the alternative who outpaces Hillary on every issue:

  • Hillary advocated for universal healthcare, Sebelius actually implemented it
  • Hillary champions women’s and children’s issues, Sebelius expanded HeadStart and women’s health initiatives
  • Hillary has cabinet experience as Secretary of State, Sebelius stayed in the cabinet much longer as Secretary of HHS

Not to mention the fact that she comes without any of the controversy of other candidates. She’s more moderate than an Elizabeth Warren and yet still has the liberal credibility, which Hillary struggled with in 2008.

Sebelius resigned today for no actual reason. ObamaCare is supposed to be successful now, with 7 million signed up. She didn’t give an excuse that she wanted to “spend more time with her family”.

While Hillary has been using her time since her resignation to give speeches around the country and dodge shoes, Sebelius was holding on just long enough for ObamaCare to be deemed a success. She gets to leave on a high note, and gets a shot to start running on the race to 2016.

Joe Biden launches 2016 kickoff tour, according to GOP

A Biden candidacy would challenge the “inevitability” of a Clinton nomination.

But here’s the really fun part: Biden has a good shot at playing the spoiler. Because there’s a fact that Biden’s detractors and Clinton’s groupies are loath to acknowledge: Biden is the much better politician. It’s not that Biden is a fantastic politician; it’s that Clinton is a very boring one.

But that’s not all. Vice presidents have a terrible record of getting elected to the Oval Office on their own. George H. W. Bush was the first president since Martin Van Buren to be elected straight from V-POTUS to POTUS. (Also ominous for Democrats: 1988 was the only time in the last half-century that a party has won the White House for the third time in a row, a fact attributable to Ronald Reagan’s popularity and Michael Dukakis’s Dukakisness.) But vice presidents have more success securing the nomination. You have to go back to 1952 and Alben Barkley to find one who sought but failed to win his party’s nomination.

I’d be stunned if Biden actually beat Clinton in the primaries, but he doesn’t need to win to ruin things for her. Simply by running, Biden would contest Clinton’s claim of entitlement and light a match on the Hindenburg that is her “inevitability.” He would encourage others from outside the establishment to run against them both and to portray them as a pair of old-guard retreads who want the presidency out of a sense of entitlement.

The Left is warming up to Hillary.

“Obama by definition has lowered the bar of expectations for progressives,” says Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California, who backed Clinton in 2007 and plans on supporting her again. “It’s clear to me she’s running.”

Clinton seems to have largely rehabilitated her image in the eyes of liberal primary voters and interest groups, a remarkable feat given just how bitter things got in 2008. Back then, many on the left flank of the party villainized her husband as a reckless narcissist who foisted NAFTA and financial deregulation on the nation, and skewered her as a calculating hawk who had cheered the Iraq War and helped pass George W. Bush’s regressive 2005 bankruptcy bill, among other alleged evils.

Chris Christie removes possible Republican advantage in Senate Race with election decision

This is a blow for the GOP and here is why:

The term for Lautenberg’s vacant seat runs until November 2014. Christie had two options in how to fill it. Option one: Simply appoint someone to serve out the rest of the term and let voters elect a new senator on schedule next year. Assuming Christie appointed a Republican, that would give the national GOP an extra vote in the Senate for almost 18 months — granted, likely a moderate vote, but that’s still preferable to a liberal Democrat. Maybe the appointee would impress Jerseyans with his Senate record and would stand an incumbent’s fighting chance to hold the seat against Cory Booker next year. Or maybe he wouldn’t intend to run against Booker at all, which would free him up to vote as a conservative for the remainder of the term. Jersey Democrats threatened to sue Christie if he went this route, but as Ed Krayewski noted at Reason, he had cover from the state’s bipartisan Office of Legislative Services. Reportedly, they issued an opinion earlier today stating that the 18-month appointment would be just fine legally. Option two: Christie could throw all of that away by appointing a very short-term replacement for Lautenberg and scheduling a special election for sometime later this year. That would give Booker all kinds of advantages. Not only wouldn’t he have to face a GOP incumbent with more than a year’s experience in office, he also wouldn’t need to worry about his opponent having lots of time to fundraise. The risk to Christie in choosing this option was that it would bring all sorts of Democratic voters out to the polls on election day who might otherwise have stayed home. And that means Christie, who’s cruising to victory at the moment, could suddenly see his own gubernatorial reelection bid jeopardized by the big surge in Democratic turnout. All of which makes this a no-brainer, right? Appoint a Republican to finish Lautenberg’s term and trust that Christie’s big lead in the gubernatorial race won’t suffer too much for it. How angry could Jersey Democrats be if he appointed a Republican as squishy as he is? So which option did Christie choose? Option two, of course — except that, in order to protect his own ass electorally, he decided to schedule the Senate special election in October, not on election day in November. Now he gets the best of both worlds, all but handing the seat to Booker ASAP to burnish his “bipartisan” brand while ensuring that he himself doesn’t have to face the extra Democratic voters who’ll turn out to vote for Booker.

“I don’t know what the cost is and I quite frankly don’t care. I don’t think you can put a price tag on what it’s worth it have an elected person in the United States Senate and I will do whatever I need to do to make sure those costs are covered because all the people of the state of New Jersey will benefit from it. And we’re not going to be penny wise and pound foolish around here,” said Christie at a press conference.

Christie of course denys the politics of the play:

“There’s no political purpose. The political purpose is to give the people a voice,” Christie said in announcing his decision today.

But there is political impact.New Jersey will elect a new senator Oct. 16 — a mere 20 days before the state’s gubernatorial election, in which Christie is the undisputed frontrunner for a second term.

That means Christie’s race will top the ballot Nov. 5, instead of a Senate race that could well feature Newark Mayor Cory Booker. The intense interest in the Senate race — in solidly blue New Jersey, in a race that could feature an African-American Democratic rising star — would have almost certainly siphoned votes from Christie.

Democrats are attacking the decision as well:

Democrats teed off on Christie after his announcement at a news conference. The governor’s 2014 Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, called the governor’s move “cynical and arrogant” and said Christie “made it clear that he does not care about wasting taxpayer money.”…

Matt Canter, deputy executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, made that point when responding to the special election dates.

“Republicans have not won a Senate race in New Jersey in more than 40 years. Their only shot was an appointee who had a year-and -a-half to establish themselves before an election in 2014,” he said. “With this news I assume operatives at the NRSC are busy planning Christie’s defeat in Iowa and New Hampshire right now.”

Mia Love assures a conservative bounce-back in 2014, readies to run for Congress again

Saratoga Springs Utah mayor Mia Love asked the crowd “are you tired yet?” when beginning her adress at CPAC. When cries of “NO” responded, she said, “I’m not either”. Little did the attendees know however, that further implications may have been present in the statement. Watch her speech which contained other alluding to comebacks and bouncebacks…

Via Roll Call:

In preparation for a bid, Love has hired former state GOP Chairman Dave Hansen, who was widely heralded last year for successfully managing the re-election campaign of Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Love and Hansen sat down with CQ Roll Call for an interview Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where she was scheduled to speak.

“We are looking at it very seriously,” Love said. “We are trying to get people engaged and going, and let them know that we have to start early so that we are not starting from behind.”

Love is reaching out to donors now, some 20 months before the election, and putting in place a campaign team far earlier than last cycle. Love didn’t formally enter the wide, 4th District Republican field until January 2012. She shocked Republicans by emerging from the April state party convention with the nomination in hand.

“Getting that message out takes a lot of effort, a lot of funds, so we want to make sure that we are defining ourselves before the opposition does,” Love said.

As the nominee, Love quickly gained national attention – including a coveted speaking slot at the Republican National Convention – for her unique background and potential to become the first black Republican woman in Congress. That looked to be a strong possibility in Utah’s redrawn and Republican-leaning 4th district, much of which was new to Matheson.

While Love held Matheson to under 50 percent, she underperformed compared to Mitt Romney, who was wildly popular in Utah, by nearly 20 points on the ticket. Some Republican strategists criticized her ads and poorly run campaign, while Matheson credited his established brand and own strong campaign team.

With Hansen on board, Love believes she has now assembled the best possible team.