Let’s file this under “total waste of time”

So, this guy I went to college with is running for Mayor of Orlando. Orlando is a run by Buddy Dyer, a guy who had to step down while he was investigated for election fraud. He was cleared of the charges (he’s a Democrat) and is now the Mayor again. (Wait, you mean Democrats allegedly engage in voter fraud?)

If you live in Orlando, I can tell you that Mike Cantone is a nice person. He’s a very nice person. He is actually somebody I am not facebook friends with, hard as that may be to believe.

Orlando residents — should you vote for Mike Cantone? No. But if you’re 100% in disagreement with things I have blogged about, well, maybe Michael is your guy.

Why? Cantone was part of a group of SLU college Democrats who were loyal followers of the now-disgraced Jeff Smith. Jeff Smith had views too crazy for St. Louis, and Michael Cantone has views too crazy for Orlando.

Now, Jeff is a nice guy who made a ton of mistakes. He went to jail and served his time, and his political views are insane. I would have a beer with Jeff Smith, just as I would Michael. They’re both perfectly nice people. While I do not believe that Michael Cantone is a corrupt or evil individual, I do think he just has  political views that are multiple deviations outside of the mainstream. Especially for Orlando.

He ran a no-chance Congressional campaign, and had pictures of himself taken standing on what are presumably stolen campaign signs.

Even if legally acquired from their opponent’s headquarters, which is doubtful, this just exhibits judgement. Really. Bad. Judgement. People do stuff like this all of the time on both sides, but really? Getting photographed like this? Total lack of foresight.

And while some of his videos concentrate on actual issues of importance to some people, there are instances in which things fly in from left field, like this. 

Orlando has a 9.5 percent unemployment rate?

Pssht.

The Mayor is bad on gay issues.

That gay city commissioner that supports him?

She’s a sell out.

(This is me paraphrasing for effect.)

Or, since he is a HUGE union advocate, accusing anyone and everyone of being anti-labor in a right to work state? That will win an election!

Remember how Rep. Bachmann got (rightly) mocked for not looking at the camera?Watch this.

Yeah, that’s a way to win a campaign or make a difference. Not.  Is this a winning strategy? No. It’s suicide.

The idea of running in a campaign, well, is to win them. Picking a left-leaning city in a very conservative state can sometime yield results, ask Alan Grayson. I will admit that I respect that he is running a one in a million campaign. That takes guts. However, he has a better chance of winning Mega-Millions of Powerball than he does winning this primary.

I know two other people from my college years who have run for elected office. Another was a gal who ran for mayor of a town in Florida as a Republican. Her views weren’t as outside the mainstream as Michael’s, but her chances were equally as unlikely. It was a waste of her time. Another is Stephen Webber, a college friend and former Senate colleague who won a Missouri House race. Even though he’s a Democrat, I have donated to his campaign and would advise friends that he is an acceptable candidate to vote for. In his case, it wasn’t that the stars aligned for him — he was a hard worker who shared the views of the majority of voters in his district. Relatively simple formula, really.

I guess my point to my political friends/acquaintances from college is this: Running for office when you have no chance takes balls. Nobody disagrees with that. I ran for student body president under similar circumstances. However, four years from now we’ll be at our 10 year college reunion talking about that crazy campaign you ran for whatever. We’ll think it was stupid and crazy.

Until you get to the point where you have a reasonable shot at winning, futile attempts just look crazy in the grand scheme of things. Plus, we can’t all be as awesome as Stephen Webber.

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