It all started when Michigan state Senator Lana Theis (R) sent out a fundraising email that claimed that the forthright Senator Mallory McMorrow (D) would “groom and sexualize kindergartners.” McMorrow was incensed and responded on the floor of the Michigan capitol building.
Thieis’ email called McMorrow a “snowflake” and worse, MLive reported:
‘[Pprogressive social media trolls like Senator Mallory McMorrow (D-Snowflake) are outraged they “can’t groom and sexualize kindergartners” among other claims.’
McMorrow was incensed:
‘I want every child to feel seen, heard and supported, not marginalized and targeted because they are not straight, white, and Christian. We cannot let hateful people tell you otherwise to scapegoat and deflect from the fact that they are not doing anything to address the real issues that impact people’s lives.’
Almost immediately, the Democratic senator’s speech drew national media requests for interviews. And the Democratic senator raised one-third of her $1.2 million in the next few weeks:
‘I had no idea that the response would be what it was, and for the first week and a half or so. it was just like a nonstop firehose. [And[ recognized there was an opportunity to pivot and leverage this platform.’
Then the Michigan senator said she “got very strategic:”
‘I built up a political operation. I brought on some advisors and consultants and got very, very strategic about building out my digital fundraising, my emails, Twitter, fundraising, and building out a media appearance and travel and fundraising schedule.’
Professor of Political Science at Oakland University Dave Dulio said that the interest was integral to the situation:
‘I mean, we could probably find examples in Michigan about how others have sort of “gone national,” right? So I think with, the ease of the spread of information makes it easier for somebody to and more likely for somebody to make a name for themselves and then capitalize on that with the kind of fundraising hauls we were seeing from Sen. McMorrow.’
McMorrow’s contributors to her PAC A More Perfect Michigan included Steven Spielberg and George Soros, who gave her $250,000. The senator made a point of sharing some of that money with other Democratic candidates:
‘It was the best-performing fundraising email they’ve ever done by a longshot. Better than when they asked Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to write emails for them.’
Dulio said McMorrow touched a national nerve:
‘I think if it had been something if it had been an impassioned speech about PFAS in Michigan, we probably wouldn’t see the same result … when an elected official talks about a national issue, I think that might be the magic recipe.’
The Democratic senator intends to keep using her “communication skills:”
‘I ran for this job and left a career to do good policy work. And the only way we get to do that is being in the majority and that requires financial resources. So yeah, I do think it’s an issue. But you can either be frustrated that that is the reality or you can compete, and I’m going to use this kind of communications skills that I have to help the rest of my colleagues.’
Watch this space.
Christie is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions, her book written in her own unique style with a twist of humor on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress).