For the losers, 5 lessons learned in junior high about running for political office


Don’t let this picture fool you, I was a serious candidate, btw.

I know something about running for political office. I ran for Treasurer back in junior high. This is my advice for all the losers in today’s elections. It’s the least I can do for democracy.

Please feel free to pass this blog post along to the losers of today’s elections. I sure do hope it helps them move forward.

1. Be gracious – When I was running for Treasurer back at Jefferson Junior High in the 1970s, I learned to hold my head high as I walked past those who did not vote for me. And I did so in bell bottom jeans no less. Yes, I wanted to burst into tears upon the news of my failure. Sure, in addition, I was dealing with hormonal issues, what 12-13 year old girl isn’t? Yes, I had body issues, poor posture and pimples but did I seek vengeance on my opponents? NO! It probably crossed my mind but I chose higher ground. Dear losers, be nice even when you lose.

2. Work on your public speaking – I found speaking into the intercom during school announcements absolutely terrifying. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I lost. Not sure. My fellow classmates probably detected the quiver in my voice when I spoke into the microphone. So what did I do about it? Did that stop me from ever speaking again? NO, my friends. After college, I had a career teaching executives public speaking across the country and in three countries. Later, I spoke to over 50,000 kids about super private stuff like waiting to have sex. If you work on your presentation skills, you can channel that skill set into other endeavors. If I can do it, so can you.

3. Stand for something – With nearly three decades to ponder the reason for my unsuccessful bid as junior high treasurer, I think my platform might have been weak. I should have outlined clearer goals and strategies.

4. Campaign ads don’t always work – Trust me. I spent HOURS working on stenciling my campaign slogan on poster board. I bought neon poster paper plus I used brand new, smelly magic markers. WIN with WINTER was my catchy phrase, how perfect but guess what? I lost, people! You can pour yourself into your campaign, develop the slickest designs out there and still not rock the vote. It’s going to be ok.

5. Pursue other dreams. Try other things. If you would have told me as junior high Cindy and that in just two short years, I would make history, I wouldn’t have believed you. But sitting in front of me as I type, I hold the title for being Gala West’s MOST IMPROVED BOWLER – 1974-1975. The trophy sits proudly in my office next to my computer. I’m looking at it right now. Dear losers, may my story inspire you. My dreams were not dashed only diverted.

The coveted Most Improved Bowler trophy, yeah, I got insurance on this.

My Soldier, myself and my trophy. Btw, You can order your own doll at

Interesting side note – two of my three olive shoots have also run for student body political offices. I’m the mother of two former class senators (Nate and Aaron) and the mother of the student body President (Aaron). Furthermore, as the mama of a West Point grad (Nate), a comparative politics major no less, my public service aspirations or that of my olive shoots will not be revealed but here’s a hint. We will not rule out a future run for office. Stay tuned and be encouraged all you winners and losers out there!

Do you have any suggestions for the losers based on your junior or high school government days? I’d love to hear them! Check out if you’d like a super cool homemade gift for the holidays!

An Army/West Point mom angry about orange beards


On the afternoon of November 5, 2009, I called my Soldier, then a yuk at West Point to express my sympathy. A yuk (or yearling), btw, is a second year student at the United States Military Academy.  Choking back tears, I left a message on his mobile phone when I learned of the shooting at Fort Hood.

Obviously I’m a fan of hair dye. And my precious olive shoot.

Nate called me back but he didn’t know what I was talking about. He hadn’t heard the news. For some reason, I thought that since he was at West Point, this kind of news traveled through the barracks and classrooms. It hadn’t yet. I was the first person to tell him about how Army Major Nidal Malik Hassan while dressed in Army uniform entered the Soldier Readiness Center and killed 12 soldiers, one civilian and injured 30 other people. It was a miserable conversation, Nate wasn’t sure what to say, I was emotional, we awkwardly changed subjects unable to deal with the information. I was trying to comfort my boy and he knew nothing about it.

We all have phone calls we remember. Usually, my memories revolve around a bad phone call of someone relaying sad news. This is one of them.

Sickening in every way

Instead of calling Nate today, I’m writing. As a military mom, my radar is heightened, my ire struck. My brain thinks differently because it has no choice. Figuratively speaking, my heart even beats to a new rhythm – I have a son in the Army.

This might not be something that has grabbed your attention but I’m wondering why Nidal Malik Hassan still has a beard? Why he is allowed to have it orange? My neck gets splotchy (a sign that I am nervous or angry) every time when I hear that this monster still hasn’t shaved.

My kid now an 2nd Lieutenant in the Army could get in trouble if his hair is too long according to military standards. He told me about times when as a cadet at West Point, he told someone he needed to get his hair cut. Nate has to keep it high and tight even if his girlfriend begged him to look like Fabio!

And to add insult to injury, since Hassan is being denied henna, he has resorted to making his own hair dye. In case you haven’t heard, Hassan isn’t mixing urine with another biological product to color his stringy beard (that’s what I’d recommend), instead he’s using the juice and berries that he gets served during meals.

More neck splotches…Why are prisoners getting juice and berries? Really? Ok, we need to feed them but can’t this individual be served a bologna and bacon sandwich on vitamin depleted white bread instead? Couldn’t that juice and berries be used to feed hungry families and not served to a person who was responsible for the worst mass shooting ever at a U.S. military installation? Yes, I realize he is innocent until proven guilty under our laws but come on.

He’s still an officer in the United States Army and therefore still held to the dress and hygiene standards required by the military, right? If so, then he shouldn’t have long hair. He had short hair at the time of the shooting when he shouted “Allah Akbar” and opened fire. Dude shouldn’t have a beard either. These are things that can make a Soldier mom’s heart break and blood boil. Don’t mess with a West Point/Army mom.