Richard Grayson: Supporters Call to Urge Him to Re-enter Presidential Race

On the eve of the first primary in New Hampshire, phone records indicate that Richard Grayson is tantalizing his remaining supporters with suggestions that he might resuscitate his Presidential campaign.

Mr. Grayson’s name seems certain to be on the ballot in Arizona’s February 5 Democratic primary, according to Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News, a San Francisco newsletter. Mr. Grayson maintains a campaign office in the state to support his unopposed candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in Arizona’s Sixth Congressional District.

A reduced but nonetheless sizable band of volunteers remains ready to do his bidding. He pops up frequently on television to plug his new book, Write-In: Diary of a Congressional Candidate in Florida’s Fourth Congressional District, a memoir of his 2004 campaign, and also to scatter hints that he may revive his aborted Presidential candidacy.

“If my supporters said, ‘It’s a dirty job but you’ve got to do it,’ I belong to them,” the charismatic writer said on Friday on a call-in program on C-SPAN to discuss the results of the Iowa caucuses. “Let’s try to get the other candidates step up to the plate. If they don’t, we’ll do what we have to do. But there’s no plan for a mid-January surprise. There is nothing planned.”

Mr. Grayson can be bluntly plain-spoken when he wants to, but all of his recent comments about his intentions have been as clear as mud. There is method in his murkiness, says one of his oldest, most intimate associates.

“Keeping his options open until the last conceivable moment has always been Richard’s M.O.,” said the associate, who asked not to be named. “There’s no need for him to make a decision for a week or two, and I don’t think he’s made one. He could still go, and he could still not go.”

“He hates the fact that people called him a quitter,” said the associate, who was hired to help run the Grayson campaign late last year but resigned in disgust just before Mr. Grayson pulled out of the race.

“The only way he saves his reputation is to jump in again, and there’s nobody left in Arizona to tell him not to do it,” the associate said. “Richard knows he isn’t going to be President now, but he wants to be able to say, ‘I stood up, and I laid out the tough agenda.’ “

But few political professionals believe he could do that well after the waves of negative publicity generated by his pullout from the race. Candidates with no real prospect of winning the Presidency almost inevitably fade in the final weeks of a primary, and a Grayson victory seems wholly incredible now.

Mr. Grayson’s political strength appears to be concentrated among four or five relatives and friends in metropolitan Phoenix and a lone mental patient in Tucson who plan to hold a $1,000-a-plate fundraising dinner this evening.

Richard Grayson: Breaking News

Richard Grayson withdrew from the race for the Presidency yesterday, changing the 2008 Arizona Democratic presidential preference primary campaign back into a 23-way race and sending other candidates scrambling to fill the space he left on the political map. The announcement in Apache Junction followed days of turmoil and division in the campaign of the handsome writer.

Political professionals in both parties struggled to figure out who was helped and who was hurt by Mr. Grayson’s withdrawal. Some argued that his presence in the race would have simply divided the vote, and thus his leaving would inevitably help the other morons running; there were polls this week that seemed to back that up. Others, however, argued that Mr. Grayson’s withdrawal helped no one because they believed Mr. Grayson’s strength, at its core, was nonexistent.

What was clear was that Mr. Grayson’s abrupt announcement reconfigured the rules of a game that the forty-eight candidates on the Arizona ballot were just beginning to learn. His reluctant candidacy, which surged in the polls last month before fading from boredom, had raised a host of strange and new scenarios.

Chief among them was an election in which no one candidate would garner more than 5% of the vote in the February 5 primary. Mr. Grayson cited that possibility yesterday as the main reason for his withdrawal although he also had said he had withdrawn after hearing that other candidates were scheming to smear his daughter with a computer-altered photograph on Facebook and to disrupt her wedding.

“The fact that I don’t have a daughter and she has no plans to get married apparently didn’t stop these political dirty tricksters,” Mr. Grayson charged. “They’re worse than Nixon.”

Mr. Grayson offered no evidence, only quoting friends and an anonymous comment on an obscure blog.“I can’t prove any of it today,” he said on the CBS News program “60 Minutes.” “But it was a risk I did not have to take,” he added, “and a risk I would not take where my daughter is concerned.”

A spokesman for the Arizona Democratic party dismissed Mr. Grayson’s assertions as “all loony” and questioned the spelling of the word “withdrawal” in the cartoon panel above.

Richard Grayson: I am really running for Congress in AZ-06 and got on the presidential preference primary by mistake

This won’t be easy,
you’ll think it’s strange.
When I try to explain how I feel –
that I don’t need your vote
after all that I’ve done.

You won’t believe me.

All you will see is a guy you don’t know,
although he’s campaigned – well, sort of –
on this blog to be read by you.

I had to let it happen.
I had to change.
Couldn’t stay all my life in the desert.
Looking out at iguana and cactus,
staying out of the sun.
So I choose freedom.

Running around, trying everything new.
But nothing impressed me at all.
I never expected it to.


Don’t vote for me, Arizona.
The truth is I want to leave you.
All through my wild days
My mad existence
I kept my promise, now please keep your distance.


And as for fortune,
and as for fame,
I never invited them in –
though it appeared, to the world,
they were all I desired.
They are illusions,
they’re not the solutions they promised to be.
The answer was here all the time.
I love you, yeah right, and hope you love me.

Don’t vote for me, Arizona.
The truth is I want to leave you.
All through my wild days
My mad existence
I kept my promise, now please keep your distance.

(Except for voters in the Sixth Congressional District.)

Richard Grayson’s Platform: #4 Comprehensive Immigration Reform

We need our immigrants, especially the superheroes among them. Let’s pass comprehensive immigration reform that will give hard-working undocumented aliens from Krypton and elsewhere a path to citizenship.

Richard Grayson’s Platform: #4 Comprehensive Immigration Reform

We need our immigrants, especially the superheroes among them. Let’s pass comprehensive immigration reform that will give hard-working undocumented aliens from Krypton and elsewhere a path to citizenship.

Richard Grayson’s Platform: #3 Impose a $1 Patriot Tax on a Gallon of Gasoline

We need to tax each gallon of gas one dollar to diminish our transfers of wealth to the Russian, Venezuelan, Saudi and Iranian treasuries and to spur innovation in energy efficiency by U.S. manufacturers.
This “patriot tax” would offset some of our payroll taxes, pay down our deficit, strengthen our dollar, stimulate energy efficiency and shore up Social Security.

Richard Grayson’s Platform: #3 Impose a $1 Patriot Tax on a Gallon of Gasoline

We need to tax each gallon of gas one dollar to diminish our transfers of wealth to the Russian, Venezuelan, Saudi and Iranian treasuries and to spur innovation in energy efficiency by U.S. manufacturers.
This “patriot tax” would offset some of our payroll taxes, pay down our deficit, strengthen our dollar, stimulate energy efficiency and shore up Social Security.