Saturday, April 21, 2007

Steve Olsen's new book

As you might expect, one of the big questions I've fielded the last few months is, "Are you going to run for Congress again?" I'm honored by how many people have followed up the question with, "I really want you to." I do believe fervently in Wayne Holland's current message to Utah Democrats that we can't take our ball and go home after just one defeat.

I am open to the idea. But as I've explained to Wayne, there are a few basic issues we need to resolve before I can answer the above question:

1. Teri and I can't afford to bankroll the campaign next time. To be frank, we'll still be paying off the 2006 race when the next one starts. We need to ensure there will be sufficient financial support from sources outside the Olsen family before I can commit.
2. I learned a lot during 2006, and those experiences will, I think, help make me a better candidate next time. But I'm still a relative newcomer to politics. I need a few good mentors, people who know how the process works, and more importantly, people who know other people and would be willing to let me into their "networks".
3. Despite last year's race, my name recognition is not that good. I have occasionally run into old high school friends who live in Utah, but still express surpise when they learn I was a candidate last year. As difficult as it is for us political junkies to understand, most Utahns are very disconnected from the political process, so having been on the ballot once doesn't come close to solving the name recognition problem.

Among other ideas we're working on, one that falls into the "hail Mary pass" category is publishing a book. Starting with my booklet last year, I've completed a draft of a book called "American Liberalism" . A few copies of this are floating around. For anyone interested, I'd like to send you an E-copy of the draft. After you've read it, I'm looking for suggestion for ideas, examples, even additional chapters, to improve the text. Also, feel free to pass it along to whomever.

Although getting a book published is a difficult endeavor, it might help address the name recognition thing. And I've committed to Wayne that I would be willing to use any net profits from the book towards another congressional campaign.

If you're interested, please send me an E-mail at, and I'll shoot you a .pdf file. I look forward to your comments!

thanks, Steve

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