Tag Archives: Political Theater

The Oklahoma Governor’s Race

My View from the Cheap Seats

I have had my eye on the Oklahoma governor’s race for quite some time and in my opinion, there is a very real likelihood that seat could change hands. Let me explain.

I first met our Governor, Kevin Stitt four years ago when he took out two well known political candidates in the Republican primary. I wrote about my first encounter with Kevin and his wife Sarah, HERE and I stand by that account. He was going to be the breath of fresh air that Oklahoma desperately needed. Successful businessman, no political experience but quick thinking and a visionary. His goal to turn Oklahoma into a top ten state was admirable and he could articulate what needed to change in order to move that ball down the court. 

But politics and state government are a far cry from the boardroom and Stitt made some initial political missteps that have now come home to haunt him. I have narrowed it down to these four, fatal mistakes: 

1. He appointed his friends with little or no political experience to cabinet level positions. 

While it is smart to appoint qualified people you trust to high level / key spots in government, if they lack a fundamental understanding of how the bureaucracy works, they are bound to make mistakes. And they did.  Here are a few: 

Tourism Controversy

Covid Relief Controversy

More Covid Controversy

Cabinet Controversy

CLO Controversy

2.  He picked a fight with the Tribal Nations who call Oklahoma home .

When Stitt decided to write an op-ed in his home town paper (July 8, 2019) shredding the tribes and the gaming compacts, he made some powerful enemies. Oklahomans take pride in our native heritage and history. It is a part of who we are as a state. There are countless community partnerships where the tribal nations are involved and committed to making our state better place to live. We live together and work together. There has always been a symbiotic relationship between the state and our tribal nations, until Kevin Stitt severely damaged that tie. The smart move would have been to invite the Tribes over to the Capitol for a critical conversation about re-negotiating the gaming compacts that were set to renew…just saying. 

3. Primary Endorsements

Why in the world would a sitting Governor get involved up and down the ballot of a Republican Primary. Stitt campaigned and/or endorsed at least four candidates in the Republican Primary. Not only is this bad form, but you anger those Republicans who might be supporting “the other guy.” I believe they used to call it the Reagan rule? and Stitt broke it.

4. Campaign Malpractice

It is a fact that there were multiple outside entities who have spent around $20+ million dollars running negative ads against Kevin Stitt. That is a LOT of dark money.  Regardless, a candidate can not allow their opponent to define them – even if they happen to be 18 points ahead in the polls like Stitt was last Summer. Polls are simply a snapshot in time, and the initial silence from the Stitt campaign provided his opponent an opportunity to define him and close the gap. I don’t know who is running the Stitt campaign but they called in the calvary. Can’t remember a time when the Republican Governor’s Association had to spend money in Oklahoma!

Election Day in my state will be interesting to watch. I wonder if the the red wave happening across the country will be big enough to pull Kevin Stitt across the finish line… the Senator and I have a bet on this. Will let you know who wins! 

My Little Experiment

Back in 2016, I had the unique opportunity to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.I had never been to a political convention before, nor had I been involved in party politics, but the Senator was a delegate at the convention and I tagged along for the ride.

When I wasn’t acting as Cliff’s personal photographer, I became starstruck by all the members of the media we had rubbed shoulders with in the convention hall.

During the opening ceremony that first evening, I sat up in the rafters and decided to follow the media on Twitter. I figured it was the place where all the cool kids were hanging out and it would be helpful to follow what was going on down below on the floor.

I was also curious about how Twitter was being used for political messaging.  Trump had recently pioneered the platform for this purpose and I remember sitting up there, following what was being said in the arena and reading what was being reported on Twitter and thinking, huh? Is this for real?

What was actually happening on the floor and what the media were tweeting as a result were night and day! So much of the commentary seemed clouded in personal bias or twisted to fit a narrative being promoted, but it certainly wasn’t an honest or accurate depiction of the event. It was a fascinating experiment to watch live and read about it simultaneously.

I still follow the media on Twitter and it has become like a sport for me.  It is a place where I get my news and fake news. I can tell when the narrative is damaging to one side of the aisle based on the twitter feed of various “reporters” or if Twitter censors a certain story or individual.  I read about all the current trends, polling data, and mini dramas on my Twitter feed. This may or may not be a healthy habit, so if you know about a Twitter 12 Step program, I am probably a good candidate.


Political Prom

Last Saturday evening was the Speaker’s Ball in Oklahoma, an event that signals the Legislative Session is drawing near. I penned a few reviews of past Speaker’s Balls we attended while Cliff was in the Legislature. You can read about those HERE, HERE and HERE. The theme, venue and beneficiary of the proceeds changes with every Speaker of the House, which keeps things interesting.

We did not go this year because I was in charge of another event benefiting the Oklahoma Contemporary Museum of Art. So, still had a chance to play dress up and momentarily feel like a princess just at a different venue!  It was fun and my Senator in a tux did not disappoint.

If you read this and attended the 2020 Speaker’s Ball, please send me your pics!! Dying to know what I missed!

The official start to the legislative session in Oklahoma begins next week and the Governor appears to be on a goodwill tour speaking about his agenda and providing people with a glimpse of his goals for our state. Honestly, he needs all the goodwill he can get considering he is still in a dispute with the Tribes…but, I’m not gonna go there. And, it’s also rumored that his Senior Advisor, (Donelle Harder), the individual who is writing the State of the State is resigning. Oy!

My Senator will have an opportunity to hear the Gov. speak at Rotary today.  Did you know, that Rotary Club 29, located in Oklahoma City, is the largest Rotary Club in the WORLD!?  Who would ever guess that to be the case considering the size of our City…unless you know the people who live here and their dedication to serving others. Can’t wait to hear about today’s meeting and kinda of bummed I didn’t get the invite to go as his guest haha.