Ribaudo column: Notes from the front row | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ribaudo column: Notes from the front row

Carl Ribaudo
Tribune Opinion Columnist

Local Musings

This election was brutal at the federal and local level. I can’t remember an election that was nastier than what this country and community experienced. Part of the reason was the stakes were so high. Locally, if the city council elections hold up, Brooke Laine and Jason Collin will be elected to the city council. One can only speculate what message the community was sending with their votes, but here are my thoughts and observations.

The community was tired of JoAnn Conner. At this time, Conner is an incumbent and fourth in vote totals, which clearly suggests the community was tired of her actions. Her vote totals are over a thousand fewer votes than her election in 2012. Big message.

The community has grown tired of the California versus Nevada division put forward by candidates and their supporters, including the South Tahoe Chamber and the Tahoe Mountain News. The voters were clear; this was a political loser

For years, the traditional voting blocs have included the seniors and the public unions. That has been realigned with the business community and the millennials playing a decisive role in electing Laine and Collins.

The Political Action Committee formed by the Tahoe Chamber had an impact. Over the years different groups have played a role in elections. The teachers union, the police and fire departments as well as environmental groups have all supported candidates. The business community supporting candidates is right in line with these others.

There is no question the playing field has shifted to social media. While traditional advertising and election signs have always been important, digital and social media played a much more important role. Facebook was crammed daily with posts and reposts from different candidates and their supporters.

The Big Picture

I am fascinated by the strategy used by each Presidential candidate. By every measure Clinton should have won, but didn’t. Why not? The answer as it always does lies in how each campaign and opponent saw the chessboard. This is what makes strategy interesting. If all you do is have the same exposure to the same input, the same people, the same data and the same perspective, you in essence limit your options.

If on the other hand you are continually looking for new ways to see things, new perspectives and new cuts of data, it is only then you can find new insights that can lead to new opportunities and options you might not have imagined.

When Bill Clinton ran for president it was James Carville who saw the chessboard differently. He was a risk taker and beat the conventional strategy of the Bush campaign. He innovated, crated a war room, used rapid response to respond to opportunities and focused like a laser on the economy. David Axelrod who ran Obama’s campaign did the same by implementing the most sophisticated technology marketing campaign ever. Trump and his team innovated and did the same. Conventional wisdom — be it in politics, business, education or running a local government — can be deadly.


Check out the new Lake House Restaurant. I had a dinner that was mighty tasty.

It’s a wrap

Sad to hear about the passing of Leon Russell. Lucky for me, I saw him several times in the past couple of years. Last time he was here he played Harrah’s, and one of the stories he told was being backstage at the Concert for Bangladesh and meeting this young curly-haired kid named Bob Dylan. Several years ago he talked about how grateful he was Elton John rescued his career from a ditch. His version of “Hard Rain is Gonna Fall” sends shivers down my back. Rest in peace, Leon.

Carl Ribaudo is a columnist, consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reached at carl@smgonline.net.

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