Conventional wisdom these days is that you write a book and then run for office.
Jean Hay, in her typical fashion, did it the other way around. Having twice run for office, she's now put together a book.
If you are a believer in recycling, her way makes sense.
If you understand the way she works, it also makes sense.
Before, during, and after two campaigns – one for the Democratic nomination for Congress in 1994, and one for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 1996 – Jean thought a lot, and wrote a lot, about the issues.
She didn't write just to have something to say during the campaign, she campaigned because she had something to say which wasn't being said by anyone else. Her positions on issues were not formed by polling data, her beliefs have been molded by her life's experiences.
As such, she doesn't worry about what's politically correct, socially popular, or likely to enhance electability. Her positions come down to questions such as ''is it fair,'' ''is it just,'' ''does it promote respect for diversity,'' ''is it sustainable?''
Always inquisitive, always questioning, Jean looks, listens, considers, and only then speaks – or, more commonly, writes. In a time when political campaigns are increasingly sound-bite oriented, when the press often doesn't think it has the time, energy or expertise to dig out the details, being a candidate who writes, rather than speaks, might be seen as a disadvantage.
But Jean, as she is fond of saying, has turned that lemon into lemonade. By producing speeches designed to be read, not performed like theater, she has ended up with thoughtful statements which still stand up, even though it's long after the last deflated balloon has been swept from the convention hall.
The other thing which sets Jean apart from most candidates is her frugality. Right up front she announced her campaigns would run on big ideas, not big money. She refused to spend half her waking hours soliciting funds, and what she lacked in contributions she made up for herself or did without out.
Thus the only person owed money by either Jean Hay campaign is Jean Hay. This book is an attempt to recover some of that debt. It's printed in a very limited edition. The first edition carries no price, and won't be sold. It will be given in appreciation of an additional contribution to either of her campaigns.
Jean is just what she calls herself, a patriotic liberal. She rejoices in the Declaration of Independence. She celebrates the U.S. Constitution. She was doing that long before she got involved in political campaigns.
Some of the pieces printed here are word-for-word the way she wrote them when she wrote them. Others are a combination of parts of two or more works which fit well together, and which if published in total would have been repetitious. Taken together, they include samples from each phase of her life, so the reader can see her wonderful liberal mind at work.
Anyone who's ever been involved in a political campaign knows it's impossible to thank everyone who helps out. Keeping track of volunteers is difficult enough, and you can never know the names of all the folks who put a sign on their lawn, a sticker on their car, or a mark next to your name on the ballot.
So we make no effort here to acknowledge the thousands of people who deserve thanks for the campaigns. There are, however, four folks who have been instrumental in the production of this book and who must be given their 15 bytes of fame.
The list starts with Olga Hay, Jean's mom back in Ohio, who is always ready to provide a mother's wisdom on any project her daughter undertakes; thanks also to Linda McRea and Hazel Littlefield, for not only reading the drafts of this book but for honestly saying what they thought of it; and finally, thanks to Bruce Littlefield, the technical and financial wizard who has always kept not only the books, but the faith.
Book and Original Posting
Authorized and paid for by Jean Hay for Congress and Jean Hay for U.S. Senate
Bruce Littlefield, Treasurer.