Email Insights: Alan Clendenin says Dem drubbing not an end, but a beginning

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In a new email post mortem/pep talk following the drubbing his party received on Election Day, Florida Democratic Party vice chair Alan Clendenin offers a simple admonition for Democrats.

Politics is not a spectator sport, he says; it requires commitment, responsibility and a good deal of fearlessness.

It is an missive from a true believer to the cause, a leader with an eye on the long game.

“True change comes from courageous people making personal sacrifices by putting their lives into a fishbowl by running for elected office to represent the voices of others,” he says.

Clendenin’s vision is of Democrats as a big-tent party, which calls for a sense of shared values to thrive.

“To all candidates who were on the ballot,” he says, “from the school board to the state house, thank you for your courage to stand for our values.”

Warning that Democrats cannot be “consumed by disappointment, or drown in the past” over Tuesday’s overwhelming defeat, Clendenin calls for the party faithful to “grow together.”

Florida Democrats lost six “champions for education, healthcare, and the environment” in the State House, the Governor’s mansion and Cabinet, as well as valuable union, and organizational resources.

Nevertheless, he says that the party must not lose its morale.

True to Democratic principles, Clendenin warns the faithful of special interests that have crippled democracy.

As the Party celebrates its (partial) victories, and mourn the defeat of “so many friends,” it is not the end, but a beginning, he says.

Clendenin brings just the right words at just the right time, particularly from someone ready, willing and able to bring his party to greater heights — all while realizing that 2016 will be here sooner than we know.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.