Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy

Hey Big Daddy,

I went into Tuesday night with some high hopes. I knew that Prop. 76 was
going down, but I really did believe we had a chance with Props. 74 and 75
up until the bitter end. I know I’m not the only one to work on a losing
campaign, but this was my first, and I had never worked so hard for
something, and come up completely short.

Unfortunately, I spend a little too much time drowning my sorrows in the
hotel bar, and found myself a few hours later in, let’s just say, the wrong
hotel room. The experience just added to the self-pity from the night
before. Do you have any suggestions on how to avoid these types of messy
situations in the future?
-Down and Out in Beverly Hills

Hey Down and Out,

We all make our share of miscalculations, be they political, professional or
personal. But yours is a particularly common infraction in the political
rulebook. In fact, you’re what you are describing, and currently trying
desperately to forget, is a bona fide political syndrome–Post Political
Stress Disorder.

This is a common malady, particularly rife in Sacramento. After the votes
are counted, the speeches are ended and the cheering–or weeping–is over,
the doors to hotel and motel rooms on election night open wide, sometimes
too wide. I’ve even heard of Election Night stands between reporters and
political pros–a truly frightening combination

It’s not just the losing that does it, by the way. People have been known to
make similar miscalculations drunk on a cocktail of vodka tonic with a
splash of electoral euphoria. The highs and lows of an election can, and
often do, lead to similar swings in our sense of good taste. Take solace in
the fact that the whole thing is now over. Odds are you’ll never have to see
this other person again.

On this one, you would be well served to take a pointer or two from our
governor–do as he has done with this special election, and just pretend the
entire thing never happened. As long as you’re not married, don’t beat
yourself up over it. But understanding that this is in fact a disease is
part of helping you prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future.

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