Angela McGlowan’s Self-Inflicted Wounds
Before the precincts came in and even with a 25th hour endorsement from Sarah Palin (via Twitter), it was greatly believed that Angela McGlowan’s fate was sealed. At the end of the day, the former FoxNews contributor and best-selling author managed 15 percent of the vote in a three way primary and was never a factor. She managed a second place finish in just one county (Lafayette) where she won about one-fifth of her vote total for the entire district. So what the heck happened on a campaign that had potential last summer when she publicly began hinting at a Congressional run?
The first that comes to mind when you think of McGlowan’s trouble was her August Gallo interview where she expressed support for federal gun registration. An audio of the interview made its way to the Internet- and websites such as Politico and RedState- less than a week after she formally declared her candidacy in February. At that time, I asked if McGlowan could recover from possibly the biggest blunder any candidate in MS-01 can make. Obviously that answer was no. But her problems were bigger than the Gallo interview.
McGlowan’s underlying undoing was her inability to listen to others. One political strategist who I spoke with who has in-depth knowledge of McGlowan and the GOP primary said that was probably her biggest fault. It was McGlowan’s way or the highway. When it was recommended that she get media and campaign training a year ago, she declined. She was told to speak with issue experts to get a full handle of the facts. If McGlowan had done so much as that, she would have obviously been more widely versed on the facts- and the Gallo blunder never happens.
Under similar cover, McGlowan never truly connected with the voters in a way Henry Ross was able to. I have previously opined that she ran a national campaign (see Palin, Sean Hannity, FoxNews, national Tea Party appearances) which will never fly in a low turnout North Mississippi primary. She has been speaking at Tea Party events throughout the district, but didn’t go further by speaking with local groups like the Chamber or Rotary clubs. And the fact that she drove around in a Mercedes with Virginia tags didn’t do anything for her out-of-touch or out-of-state image.
McGlowan also came up short on the fundraising front. The strategist I spoke said the Alan Nunnelee camp was truly worried about the threat a candidate McGlowan posed. Part of the nervousness came from the potential for McGlowan to self-finance. Or more accurately, her husband’s ability to finance the campaign. However, due to the separate filings on their tax returns he was not able to give more than the two $2,400 donations (primary and general election) any individual could make. I was also told McGlowan passed up on an opportunity for a national direct mail fundraising campaign that would have netted her the money needed. At the end of the day, McGlowan didn’t raise the necessary cash and never made it onto TV (her strongest platform).
If McGlowan had done things right a year ago, we may be looking a completely different ballgame today. But instead, we are just looking at misstep after misstep on the campaign trail. My impression was McGlowan thought she could come down and declare her candidacy and voters would swoon to her because she is Angela McGlowan from FoxNews- and that never happened because it doesn’t happen that easily.