Last Saturday I attended part of the Liberty Forum at the Mpls. Radisson Hotel. Why attend? I believe it's always a wise move to learn and the key speaker, Steve Sutton, Vice President of Development for the Leadership Institute, is a knowledgeable friend of mine.
I first met Steve when he was Congressman Kline's Chief of Staff and campaign manager. Simply put, Steve knows what he is doing. I'll summarize the key points of his presentations - excellent food for thought for all conservatives.
Regarding liberals: there are two types - those who really want to help (and believe government is the way to help); and those who KNOW their policies do not work but they want power. There is no way to "win over" the second type. They need to be stopped. (And the people they convince they're "helping" need to be educated.)
The left will never concede that conservatives want to help people - they take two tactics (and if you know Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, particularly #12, these will sound familiar): The left will attempt to marginalize someone first (look at the attacks already starting on Senator Marco Rubio); then they will ignore whatever doesn't fit their agenda (MSM behavior). They will never debate - why? They will lose the debate or resort to name-calling and attacks. Their goal is always control and collectiveness.
Thus, for a conservative of any ilk to win, the following steps must be taken. Have a theme, get organized, present a positive you, compare and contrast. To succeed in this, you MUST have:
1 - The fire in the belly - be tough
2 - A winnable district
3 - A vulnerable opponent (note, timing is key - coupled w/ #2, upsets occur - Chip Cravaack in 2010)
4 - A good name/reputation in the community - even with money, if no one knows who you are, you won't win. Principles are fine but you need recognition to sell them.
5 - Gather the necessary resources (money, supporters, organization) for your cause - preferably BEFORE you announce.
In summary, if a candidate cannot bring together money and volunteers, it's the candidate's problem. Ideals are fine but reality must be included.