What happened to the ‘MYOB’ rule in party primaries?




I learned a lot about what I know about politics from my late grandfather — who was a political boss in southeastern North Carolina for decades.

I’ll never forget a conversation I had with an elected official my grandfather frequently aided and abetted.  The official was griping about another official in the area, from his same political party. I asked this guy why he didn’t just find a primary opponent for this fellow who was getting his ire up.  He responded:

“Getting involved in someone else’s primary is basically inviting them to get in the middle of yours. The number one rule in party politics is — Mind Your Own Business.”

  I’ve heard that repeated — time and again — from politicos in both parties.  You may need THAT guy or gal’s supporters to vote for YOU the next time around.

That’s why the flurry of GOP heavyweights publicly jumping into other people’s primary fights this year is puzzling to me.

If you are a leader in the legislature, and you bet wrong in a primary, you are ensured of at least ONE new enemy in your caucus for the upcoming session.

In this Tea Party era of grassroots anger, how valuable is it to you in a primary to be endorsed by a bunch of establishment types and elected officials from DC and other states?  It would appear that the best position to take in a primary is one of ‘The Outsider.’

Having a bunch of DC heavyweights inv0lved in your campaign can raise questions among your voters and potential constituents.  Who is this guy or gal going to answer to if they win — those guys or US?

I would think an endorsement from a major employer or civic leader in your district would be much more valuable at the ballot box than one from Mike Huckabee or Steve Forbes.  Neither Forbes nor Huckabee can vote in North Carolina. 

Some politicos are just really good at reading the tea leaves.  They like to be associated with the winning side.  A lot of this endorsement / involvement stuff could be tied to these heavyweights recognizing who the inevitable winner is.

Some of these endorsements can be tied to these establishment types seeking an antidote to the Tea Party.  They don’t want boat-rockers and hell-raisers.  They want team players. (THAT takes the people back home out of the equation. )

“Team Players” in DC or Raleigh are — in the end — not all that good for you and me.