Wednesday, August 9

Marking A Campaign Moment

Anyone who has ever worked on a campaign has at least one experience during the race that they consider the "most memorable moment." No, I'm not talking about election night or debate wins, though I have fond memories of those too. This time, I'm talking about something much more personal.

You'll probably never read about it in any newspaper, but during the 2006 gubernatorial race in Nevada, my most memorable moment will be standing in the hospital where my wife had just given birth to our daughter, three months early. Within an hour after the delivery, I received a call from State Sen. Bob Beers, Republican candidate for governor, after he'd received a head's up from campaign manager Andy Matthews about the unexpected news. I had called Andy a few hours prior to our daughter's birth, before we even knew how the events would unfold, to tell him that I may be out of pocket for an unknown amount of time. He, in turn, touched base with Bob Beers, who was touring rural Nevada.

Bob: Rich Becker? Bob Beers.
Rich: Hi, Bob.
Bob: How's Kim?
Rich: I'm with her now; she's doing fine. She just came in and is recovering from surgery.
Bob: Your son?
Rich: He's good. He knows what is going on … he's at his grandparents right now.
Bob: And the baby?
Rich: A girl. Two pounds. 13 1/2 inches.
Bob: Is she going to be okay?
Rich: She came out crying. That has to be a good sign. She's in the NICU right now. We're confident everything will be okay.
Bob: Good. Good. Andy just called me a few minutes ago. I had to hear for myself. What's her name?
Rich: Well, we considered Bobweena but decided on Jenna Elizabeth instead.
Bob: (laughs) Your daughter will no doubt thank you for that decision. So what happened?

After explaining the circumstances leading up to the early arrival, we chatted briefly about the gravity of the situation. I remember offering up some last minute campaign notes that I hadn't had time to share with Andy, but he said not to think twice about it. There are more important things right now, he said.

Bob: I hope you know you can call anytime if you need anything. Sarah and I will be happy to help.
Rich: I know that, Bob. You always have.
Bob: Is there some way we can help. Is there anything we can do for you?
Rich: Yeah, you can win this thing.
Bob: (laughs) You know I intend to. Give my best to Kim. You take care of her and your baby. We'll be praying for her.
Rich: Thanks, Bob. I'll call you in a couple of days when things settle down.
Bob: Sounds good. Take care, Rich.

As of today, the race remains a dead heat with a mere two points separating Bob and his opponent. It's a huge jump from the polls conducted earlier this year, which originally gave Bob's opponent a 40-point lead. Sure, anything can happen come election night and some people have already said that Bob's win will be a miracle. Yeah, I know something about those. For the last seven weeks, I've seen a miracle in the corner of NICU every day.

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