Why, Rachel Payne? Why?

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Payne: In the race.

In case you missed this, we now have a 12th (yes, twelfth!) Democratic candidate entering the race to oust Dana Rohrabacher in California’s 48th congressional district.

Rachel Payne, an Aliso Viejo-based technology executive and entrepreneur, declared her candidacy a couple of days ago, and we here at crazydana.com would like to welcome her to the race by saying …

Stop.

Everyone, stop.

This is not about Rachel Payne. Or Omar Siddiqui. Or Harley Rouda. Or Laura Oatman. Or  Hans Keirstead. Or even the one-of-a-kind Boyd Roberts. What this is about is winning a shockingly winnable election. It’s about a moment in time when Democrats can grab ownership of Orange County. It’s about a message finally being heard. It’s about a wounded incumbent. It’s about optimism. It’s about values.

Right now, we have a legitimate 50/50 shot. We truly do—and that’s not something I would have said a year ago, when this blog began. But (and this is a huge but) we can’t screw this up.

A week or so ago I sat down with Paul Martin, the longshot moderate Republican who also entered the election. And a big part of his strategy (a smart part of his strategy) is to have so many Democrat entrants that they cancel one another out. And, truth be told, that may well happen. We’re becoming a little Lord of the Flies-ish here, where so many people think they’re the one that, well, no one winds up the one.

Hell, take a look at Rachel’s website. She’s terrific. Optimism. Liberal platform. Good experience. Then take a look at Harley’s website. Then Laura’s website. Then Omar’s website. Then Hans’ website. Then Michael Kotick’s website.

Notice something? They’re all pretty much the same. Yes, some a nudge more to the left, some a nudge more to the right. But, mostly, what you’ll get with one in congress is what you’ll get with the other in congress. And that’s awesome, in a sense, because they’d all be far superior to Dana Rohrabacher.

But (and, again, this is a huge but) … ego is a motherfucker. And what happens in politics is those running become addicted to the hype, to the speeches, to the applause. And (words be damned) they wind up convinced that they need to be elected. It’s no longer about change, but about their placement in guiding that change.

At some point, sooner than later, many of the 12 need to ask themselves whether this is hurting or helping.

Whether it’s about the win, or their win.

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