Refreshing Difference

rnc2016Like most Americans, Cliff and I have spent the past 24 hours glued to the t.v. watching the coverage of the tragedy in Nice, the attempted military coup in Turkey and wondering what the heck is happening in our world!  Seriously makes me want to hug my almost grown babies a little tighter and pray for our world.

But, sandwiched in-between the international news coverage was a media narrative that caught my attention, a narrative that belittles and bashes the presumptive Republican nominee for POTUS. Imagine that!   Republican bashing has been a sanctioned sport for members of the media as long as I can remember. However, since we are headed to Cleveland to the big event, I had to watch the talking heads pontificate this morning…so, just shoot me already!

A handful of reporters on a few of the cable networks doubled down on the ‘bungled’ roll out of the Vice Presidential candidate, mocking the new campaign logo, the list of people who aren’t speaking at the convention…you name it, they gave it their best shot to downgrade and denigrate.  Some of the words used were sloppy, strangedisorganized, rocky, to depict a superficial narrative they (the media) are trying to develop. Sure, maybe it was all of those things, but I would suggest a different one.  A narrative that addresses the why and how a political outsider (with a long history in the media and lots of baggage) rose to the top?  What was behind that rise and how does it correlate to the mood of the country? Clearly, there is something brewing and despite all the media bashing, and millions spent in unanswered negative ads by the other side, the race is virtually tied? Like I said – there is a story here.

I happened to catch an interview with Ben Ginsberg, a Republican strategist who has been around as long as I can remember…probably since Reagan….Anyway, he was funneling questions about the convention, Republican “dis-unity” and all the proported fumbles by the nominee on his VP rollout ….Ginsberg just chuckled and said he found (Trump) the nominee’s way of doing things to be ‘refreshingly different.’

Refreshingly different.  Exactly. Trump might not be doing things the way politicians typically do things, but it’s probably why he received more votes in a Republican primary than any other nominee…EVER!   He isn’t running as a politician, but rather as a businessman…someone who can clean up the mess politicians have made. That is the real story here…or, at least something to talk about anyway.


Late last spring and into the summer months I wrote a handful of blog posts that I never published.  I am sure I did this intentionally as we were in campaign mode and I was a little paranoid…or protective…. or tired of being in the fish bowl…. Anyway, none of it matters now that the Senator’s campaign has successfully come to a close, so I thought I would share some of my tales from the trail…

July 3, 2010

Every 4th of July, the City of Bethany, Oklahoma holds a parade to celebrate our Independence.  Let me first say that Bethany is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting and the people who live there are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Truly kind, salt of the earth type people.  Excellent schools, churches, businesses….it is old world and all good.  Unlike political fundraisers, I happen to actually look forward to participating in the Bethany parade… maybe because of my first parade experience eight years ago.

It all started when the Senator and I purchased the opportunity to borrow an antique fire truck for a day.  We bought this as a silent auction item at the Bethany Public School Foundation’s fundraiser and decided to ask the owner if he might like to drive it for the 4th of July Parade.  That wasn’t too much to ask, was it?  Anyway, it turned out to be such a wonderful idea and a huge hit on the campaign trail.  Of course, you can imagine the fire truck full of our friends and volunteers….men, women and children wearing campaign t-shirts and red, white and blue beads, throwing candy into the crowd.  The Senator and I walked behind the truck and were followed by two volunteers carrying our banner with the Senator’s logo and his eye-catching logo’d pick up truck trailing behind.

My college age cousin, who had been assisting the Senator out door knocking, was driving the campaign truck with another good friend who we shall refer to as ‘the mouth of the south’.  He earned this distinctive title during this actual parade experience for the following reason…. You see, the ‘mouth,’ had been sitting in the truck with a stereo and megaphone blaring Lee Greenwood’s Proud to Be An American for the crowd to enjoy.   In between, he would shout out ‘vote for Branan for State Senate’ over and over again.  It was loud and fun and effective.

The memories from that day still bring a smile to my face. Well, except for the fact that after the parade I was loading the kids in the car and noticed one of my earrings was missing.  Not just any earring, but a little diamond stud that the Senator had given me shortly before he proposed.  I opted to not mention this to him…..until he found it in his truck several months later.  I don’t think I’ll be wearing any jewelry this year….just comfortable shoes.

Here are some actual photos from this year’s Bethany Parade….toward the end it poured down rain.

  1. Group photo before the parade… 





Here comes the rain little darlin’……..
The Senator loves to stop and talk to folks along the way…..
Even if it is raining………
Until we took refuge in the covered wagon of our State Auditor……

Let’s just say I am extremely thankful that we will not be marching in any Thanksgiving Day parade this year.  The temperature in my great state is expected to reach a high of 24 degrees……..


More Tales from the Trail…

June 5, 2010

The Senator’s fundraiser was fabulously fun. They always are – but that will never change the fact that I am apprehensive each and every time.  I suppose in my eight years of being a Senator’s wife, I have realized that when a candidate has the support of many people, these events are enjoyable.  But, when the candidate is running and not many are following…that is when they become uncomfortable…at least for me anyway.

This week, however has been full of stress.  On Monday, the Senator officially filed to run for re-election.  The first time he did this eight years ago, we went to the Capitol all dressed up with our children and a camera. Once we got there, we quickly realized that the check which accompanies the document had to be a cashiers check and that the official paper he was filing had to be notarized.  Oops.  Of course we panicked and scrambled and ran to the closest bank where these details were quickly completed.

This time around, the Senator went by himself and turned the forms in without any pomp and circumstance. No wife, no children….no camera. Meanwhile, I was at home glued to my computer, watching the screen to see who else would step up to the plate and take the Senator on….

We knew there was a lady out there on the horizon planning on challenging the Senator.  We had heard about her back in March.  However, this year as with every election cycle there are winds of change blowing through the electorate which will motivate various individuals to enter into public service.  Eight years ago the Senator had just opened his own small business and was angry at the bureaucratic red tape that impeded economic success in our state.  He had no idea who he would be running against or why, only that the incumbent had chosen to retire and the senate seat was being vacated.

This year, there is a strong anti-incumbent mood in the air………we’ll see.

Regardless, the Senator is locked and loaded and ready to continue his fight for a more prosperous future. (Just a little political rhetoric for your amusement!)