Last night I got this from a friend in the campaign. It’s from NDP Campaign Manager Brian Topp to his campaign staff, although it was sent through Jan O’Brien rather than directly from the KoolToppGuy himself.
His letter makes one thing clear. This man isn’t taking any of the blame for the worst major campaign ever run in this province and arguably in the country.
From: Jan O’Brien
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 1:02:35 PM
To: All Staff – Canada Way; All Staff
Subject: FW: The morning after
Sent on behalf of Brian Topp:
This isn’t the note I was hoping to write to you this morning, and I am very sorry indeed that that’s the case.
So let me get right to it: this heartbreaking result had nothing to do with the work of our campaign team.
Stop right there. “Had nothing to do with the work of our campaign team?” Just think about that for a second.
“Nothing?” As in not at all related? Or completely separate from?
Would you say that’s the right word? Not me.
The wrong campaign. The wrong strategy. The wrong ads. The wrong polling. The wrong debate prep. The wrong emphasis on social vs. mass media. The wrong get out the vote strategy. The wrong…
Isn’t it simpler to ask, just what was right?
Now, while this makes me very angry, I do get what Topp is trying to say. He’s saying: ‘Thank you for your work. You worked unbelievably hard and did a good job. And with such a disastrous result – amongst the worst in Canadian history – few will recognize your contribution.’
Topp should then have added, “the disastrous result had everything to do with the leadership of the campaign team.”
Here’s the letter Topp could have and should have sent to his staff:
‘Many of you worked in the centre of the 2009 campaign and in the space of four weeks took us from 13 points back to 3 points down, with momentum. You did that with half the staff and a quarter of the money we had this time.
‘Last time you helped run a campaign that defined the Liberals.
‘This time I ran a campaign that didn’t lay a finger on the Liberals and allowed them to define us.
It also failed to inspire people to vote for us.
‘Because of that the Liberals took a 20 point deficit and turned it into an election day rout.
‘You’re still as good as you were in 2009.
‘The difference was the leader and me. Our strategy was a disaster. It was experimental and founded on naive and delusional fantasies about politics. We let you down. Just as we let the party down and the province down.
‘For that I apologize and promise I will never darken your door again.’