As some who keep up with campus politics may know, I recently ran, and failed spectacularly, in a bid for the presidency of GUSA (Goosa). I plan to share with y’all, my dearest readers, the lessons I learned in the pursuit of Georgetown’s highest office. You might ask, “Cannon, why in the world are you telling me any of this? I don’t give a flippity-floppity-fudge about GUSA.” In response, I would argue that these lessons are extremely relevant to you—yes, you. I cannot stress enough that the most important thing I learned was that everyone should run for the presidency. So consider this column a debriefing on how to, or how not to, run your future campaign.
But before we get into the nitty-gritty of campaign strategizing, I am going to try and sell you on why you should run. Above all, it is a lot of fun. Instead of your 15 minutes of fame, it’s a full two weeks. The campus media will interview you, and they will more or less publish whatever you say (well The Hoya sucks and takes itself way too seriously). So if you have an issue with Leo’s, or maybe just with an ex-boyfriend, campaigning will give you the soapbox to get your point across to the whole campus.
The debates are also lots of fun, and are practically free lessons in public speaking. GUTV is even polite enough to record your performance, and furthermore trolls online will leave free commentary. For some strange reason, the election commission explicitly states that drinking is not allowed for candidates in the debates, which probably has the late Christopher Hitchens, a prominent public drinker, rolling in his grave.
However, I am lobbying to change this rule because, logically, it would only be to the disadvantage of the drunken candidate if they choose to down a brew or two. And on a serious note, the debates are two hours long and often coincide with local happy hours. Lastly, perhaps the best reason to run is that there is an off chance you might even win, and how wild would that be if you were President?
Well, now that you have decided to run, you need a running mate. From my experience, I learned that Logerfo was the best running mate possible, but as he will be a senior next year, I guess I actually have no advice for you there. Just make sure your names sound good together.
The second step is to decide with your vice president whether or not to run a serious campaign. If you decide in favor of seriousness, stop reading this article now, but if you want to know how to throw a good ol’-fashioned joke campaign, I’ve got you covered. The key is never, and I repeat, never let on to anyone that it is a joke campaign. If you do, you will have to spend half of your debate telling people you are super serious. So remember to keep a straight face when advocating turning the Car Barn into a 24-hour petting zoo and contracting Quick Pita to run Leo’s.
Next, put some actual thought into who your campaign manager will be. Do not just pick the closest person next to you when filling out your candidacy form. Even though your roommate might love you, you need to make sure they are just as hyped about campaigning as you are.
Choosing a slogan is also critical. I went with “Let’s Get Weird,” but if I had to do it again I would have thought of something that makes fun of all the Obama-knockoff slogans shatted out by other candidates: “Hope in the One Pulse of your Georgetown,” “Join My Movement,” or “Georgetown is Only Big Enough For One Dick-tator”.
Becoming proficient in Photoshop is key to running a humorous campaign, and it also might be worth recruiting a film major who has a lot of time on their hands. I really wanted to spoof the Metta World Peace music video “Georgetown Girl” (look it up; it is absurd) but I was too lazy to get around to it. Maybe you can! Lastly, do not be afraid of breaking as many campaign rules as possible. The more you break, the greater the sensationalism and the more press you will get.
Wrapping up, I had a lot of fun running for President, and hopefully I made the awful campaigning season more interesting for all involved. My only disappointment was that 42 people still voted for Chicken Madness, a demographic I thought I had locked down. Still, this was a humbling experience, reminding me that no man can be Chicken Madness.