Our paths first crossed over 18 years ago when I was a mere 31 years old and running for secretary of state. I was in need of a campaign manager willing to work for cheap. Preferably nothing. And no one seemed interested until our mutual friend David Hale introduced Jonathan and me.
Jonathan was a Lexingtonian who was a super high achiever who had graduated from Harvard and Harvard law and was working at a top DC law firm but pining to move back to his home state of Kentucky to settle down. He had also caught the political bug and just finished working in a congressional campaign in TN and was looking for something to do next in politics. Helping my campaign seemed like a good excuse to get back to Kentucky and satisfy his political itch.
David introduced us by phone and Jonathan and I talked for 45 minutes. I hoped I had impressed him. A few days later Jonathan sent me transcripts for two TV commercials and then helped make them and served as my campaign manager. He never charged me a penny. And I will never forget that life changing gesture.
Here are the two ads he created that helped me win.
And the picture on top of this post is of us on election night. Much younger than 50 and 46. I’m guessing if my math is correct, 31 and 27.
We aren’t as competitive as we once were but I’d like to point out that my book (at 366 pages) is bigger than his book (at 206) pages. And that when it comes to book length, I believe size still matters.
He’s a good man and friend and I hope he has 46 more of these, at least. And hope I am around to wish him happy birthday for each. And Lord knows what new idea he’ll be pitching for me to work on him with next decade. Although I can already see him creating a national shuffleboard league during our 80s in which Jonathan creates an international shuffleboard tournament in Boca Raton and gives half the proceeds to develop new houses powered by solar energy on planet Jupiter and transforms the first Jupiter house into a satellite office he dedicates to No Labels.org and promotes both announcements on his Recovering Politician blog.
Because although that will be 35 years from now, Jonathan will never completely recover from politics and the political bug. And I’m grateful for that.
Happy birthday, youngster.