This article chronicles a failed presidential campaign of a colorful Congressman, which ends with the Congressman writing a TV pilot to "get over" the failure, and then having to resign his Congressional seat amid a fraud investigation. I created the article two years ago, and have worked on it since. It was promoted to GA status last year. I believe it meets the FA requirements, but it recently failed an FAC due to a lack of reviews. To account for this, this time I am seeking reviews from editors involved in similar articles. William S. Saturn (talk) 17:41, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Seems pretty close, just a few comments.
"was first speculated as a potential presidential candidate" I am uncertain you can use "speculated" that way. Possibly "suggested"? or "mentioned"?
"A month later, he resigned from Congress in order to fully assist with the petition fraud investigation, and to find a new job." Glancing at the source, this is coming from McCotter and should be taken with a grain of salt and inline attribution.
Did any of the other candidates ever discuss him, or was he beneath their notice.
I'll have to do more research to answer that question.--William S. Saturn (talk) 19:32, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Checking back in, let me know (my talk, preferably) when you are ready for me to take a second look.--Wehwalt (talk) 07:25, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I've looked and I cannot find any other candidates who mentioned him.--William S. Saturn (talk) 21:48, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Image check All images appear to have acceptable free licenses.
That's all I've got.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:00, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Support Comments from Hamiltonstone
"McCotter participated in the first-ever Twitter debate..." This makes it sound as though it was the first time Twitter was used for a political debate. In any case, it isn't what the source says: it says "The first-ever Twitter presidential debate" (emphasis added). hamiltonstone (talk) 03:49, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
"He was the only presidential candidate to approve the bill in Congress since both Bachmann and Ron Paul voted against it". I don't get this. The previous paragraph listed a whole bunch of presidential candidates, whereas this sentence only refers to two who opposed this bill. That being the case, how can he have been the only one who supported it? Where were all the others?? hamiltonstone (talk) 23:52, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Paul and Bachmann were the only fellow members of the House of Representatives. I now see the ambiguity of the phrase. I will insert "in the House of Representatives" after "candidate" and then add "fellow members" after "both" to make this clearer.--William S. Saturn (talk) 05:32, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Links inside quotations are generally best avoided, per WP:LINKSTYLE. A link to Conservatism in the United States somewhere in the article is a good idea, but not underneath "the Detroit Free Press described him as a 'conservative's conservative'" because we have no idea if what the newspaper writer was thinking of matches what the WP article says. In the case of "The Detroit News asked McCotter whether he enjoyed his presidential campaign, he replied, 'No. It was the worst 15 minutes of my life.'", we really don't know if this is a reference to the Warhol phrase, since in actuality he didn't get any fame out of his run. Just leave the 15 minutes unlinked and the reader can decide for themselves. Other instances of links inside quotes include "running mates", "American Dream", "Beijing", and "Communist". Some of these are common terms or places and don't need to be linked, and the rest can be fixed with reshaping the text or paraphrasing the quote.
Removed some links and paraphrased some quotes to avoid linking in quotes.--William S. Saturn (talk) 22:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
If he had five core principles, and if we list all five, why not say "These were:" instead of "These included:"?
"Reportedly, after the announcement, he moved campaign funds of about $480,000 from his congressional to his presidential campaign account." – aren't things like this part of the FEC public record? Why do we need the "reportedly" weasel word here, as if we're not really sure this happened or not?
Fixed. It turns out the $480,000 was available to use in the Congressional account, but only about $468,000 was actually transferred during the course of the campaign, as noted in the Aftermath section.--William S. Saturn (talk) 22:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
"he received media attention for his hometown newspaper's reaction to his run." – needs a cite that there was media attention.
"Campaign spokesman Randall Thompson commented that ..." – "stated" would be better.
Changed as suggested.
"McCotter answered, "Obama's ... – you've got two opening quote marks and only one closing mark. Moreover, this is a pretty commonplace stance – is this really the most memorable thing McCotter said during this debate?
Not much memorable in the transcript. I added it the Israel bit to show his foreign policy views. For more on this, I added his response to the Libya intervention question.--William S. Saturn (talk) 22:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
"He finished last among ten candidates, receiving 35 votes or 0.21 percent." – needs a cite (not clear that the next statement cite covers this).
I think I figured this out now. The debt is what was owed but had not yet been paid. So it's not listed as having been spent. See  starting at p. 125 is a list of debts and obligations.--William S. Saturn (talk) 22:10, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
In that case, was the debt ever paid off? It's approaching two years since when his campaign ended, so the article wouldn't quite be complete if there is outstanding info. --♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 22:11, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
This still makes no sense to me. If he had sufficient funds to pay off his obligations, why would he intentionally delay payments so as to run a debt on almost 20 percent of the amount, and still be in debt two years later? Failed presidential candidates usually are ecstatic to be able to exit a campaign without debt looming over them. Wasted Time R (talk) 02:59, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I think I misunderstood what you were saying - maybe the problem is the word "spent". He really spent $651K, in terms of acquiring goods and services for the campaign, but could only pay for $541K, leaving the campaign $110K in debt. Is that it? If so, you should reword it to make this clear. Also, I'm not sure these ultra-precise amounts with eight significant digits are necessary. Maybe round off with statements like "He raised about $549,000 ..."? Wasted Time R (talk) 11:23, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
If I did this, I would have to repeat the word "about" five times in the first paragraph of "Aftermath". To me, that wouldn't sound good. I changed "spent ..." to "paid ... on expenses". Hopefully that clears up any confusion.--William S. Saturn (talk) 06:32, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
That's better. But how about dropping the cents? Also note "$110,5367.24" has an extra digit in it. Wasted Time R (talk) 13:47, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I rounded to the nearest dollar on the figures and removed the extra digit. It turns out the figure was actually $105,367.24.--William S. Saturn (talk) 06:10, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
"He initially hoped to wage a write-in campaign, but decided against it, finding that he could not run the campaign while cooperating with the investigation and serving the remainder of his term in Congress." – What investigation? You need to briefly say who was investigating him and for what.
After the first sentence in the paragraph, I added, "An investigation of the campaign by the office of the Michigan Attorney General ensued." --William S. Saturn (talk) 22:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
The infobox has a date "(2012-6-30)". All the other dates in the article are mdy format, why is this one different?
If this was added, I'm not seeing it. Wasted Time R (talk) 02:59, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
At the beginning I split "Campaign speculation" from "Background." In "Background," I added a paragraph explaining his public perception. He was a "celebrity" on Red Eye, but according to Businessweek, this was no more than a "tiny cult following of insomniac conservatives." This directly relates to the last sentence I added to "Withdrawal," which summarizes the entire campaign as "a cautionary tale about what can go wrong when your average backbench member of Congress becomes a minor cable news celebrity and mistakes it for having a genuine national following." The reader can understand, he had only a small following, which he believed to be much larger. He appealed only to this small following, which was not large enough to push him forward.--William S. Saturn (talk) 06:19, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that, but it wasn't what I was looking for (although it did help satisfy the need for humor that I mentioned). What you say could also be said of Santorum and Gingrich and especially Bachmann and really especially Cain - yet they all managed to have sudden surges of popularity. What I'm getting at is that this was a campaign cycle in which no-hope long-shots often prospered, as the Republican electorate was searching for an alternative to Mitt, but McCotter was not one of them. That deserves a mention. For context, it would also help to mention Buddy Roemer and Gary Johnson as the two other 'name' candidates (governors or members of Congress) who had trouble gaining any traction. Wasted Time R (talk) 11:23, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
My personal analysis: Because Cain is black and Bachmann female, they were novelties for the GOP. As for Santorum, Senators are always given a special prestige (unless it's Gravel '08 since he had been out of office for so long). And Gingrich has always had a national following. I don't think any of these are comparable to McCotter's situation.
As my personal analysis, none of the above matters. I highly doubt there is a source arguing what I wrote above, altogether, and in relation to McCotter. Throughout the McCotter campaign, I received weekly g-news updates, and I do not remember anything of the sort. In addition, I cannot think of how I can fit Roemer and Johnson into the article. Any suggestions?--William S. Saturn (talk) 06:32, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
At the end of the "Three days after the straw poll ..." paragraph, you could mention Roemer and Johnson as two other candidates with significant officeholding backgrounds who struggled to get included in debates. The "Three White House candidates didn't make cut for GOP debate" story is one source for that. Wasted Time R (talk) 13:47, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Added. I introduced Gary Johnson during the Twitter debate (and added a title to each candidate). And I mentioned that Johnson was excluded from the debates mentioned and that like McCotter, Roemer was excluded from all.--William S. Saturn (talk) 06:10, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Was the signature failure fiasco a side effect of the campaign at all? I once read somewhere that someone thought it was, but I don't recall the exact linkage.
Yes. I found an editorial, which I will add. But the fraud had been going on for several election cycles so I don't think it was a consequence--William S. Saturn (talk) 19:28, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The article needs more humor, which is as you pointed out on your talk page is pretty much the only compelling thing about this campaign. I know that's hard to do in WP, but a few good quotes here and there beyond what you already have might help. Wasted Time R (talk) 00:06, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I rearranged some things in the paragraph about the straw poll debate and included the five percent bit in the second and third sentences of it. I've tried fiddling with the "Withdrawal" section to include the quote, but I can't seem to make it sound right.--William S. Saturn (talk) 06:10, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I've added it in the way I envisioned it, see what you think. Wasted Time R (talk) 12:23, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
In the cites, some of the publishers that should be in regular font, are in italics. These include Congress.org, Project Vote Smart, Fox News, Republican Leadership Conference 2011, Federal Election Commission, CBS News, WMUR-TV, and so on. Basically, if the WP article on the publisher is in italics, the cite should be, and if not, the cite should not be. Wasted Time R (talk) 02:59, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
In addition to non-breaking spaces still being absent, there is an extra space between footnotes 26 and 27.
I removed the extra space. I am unfamiliar with non-breaking spaces. When are they required? For dates? Italicized works?--William S. Saturn (talk) 00:28, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
See MOS:NBSP for guidelines. Usage varies, but at the least you can put them between numbers and units, for things like "1,542 votes" and "92 percent". If you look at some existing FA articles you'll see them in use. For example, John McCain has a bunch that use the method. Wasted Time R (talk) 12:04, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
I added it for the usages you suggested and a few other places it might be necessary. I used nowrap because I am more familiar with that.--William S. Saturn (talk) 19:55, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
The links in footnotes 17, 33, and 47 have all gone bad (Des Moines Register).
"The next month" - since you refer to dates several times in the 2nd paragraph of "Speculation" (which I think should be retitled to "Speculation of a campaign" or something), you should clarify the date here. Or at least when you say "Later that month". My rule of thumbs is to re-clarify the date at the beginning of new paragraphs.
Changed as suggested. Changed the section title to "Campaign speculation"--William S. Saturn (talk) 20:11, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
"aides said McCotter remained undecided about a run" - something seems slightly off. Personally, I'd love it written as "McCotter remained undecided about a run, according to his aides" to clarify whose aides they are.
Changed as suggested.
" though, he reportedly paid $18,000 for a prime spot at the August 13 Ames Straw Poll" - did he actually do this? If so, don't include "reportedly"
Changed as suggested.
You should say something before you just link Politico, like what it is.
For people who know nothing about US politics, you should include why Iowa is important. This is a featured article candidate for all of Wikipedia. It was crucial for him to go to Iowa, but someone from Australia might have no idea why they should care. You do well with New Hampshire, although I'd like a link to the New Hampshire primary.
Added "Iowa, the first caucus state," and linked to New Hampshire Primary.--William S. Saturn (talk) 20:11, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
" that included Senator Bill Frist's former chief of staff Eric Uelind - I think you have the order mixed up. It should say "former Senator Bill Frist..." - since Frist wasn't a senator at the time.
Thanks for the research, no prob. --♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 22:11, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
All in all, pretty good account of it. I loved the quote - "a cautionary tale about what can go wrong when your average backbench member of Congress becomes a minor cable news celebrity and mistakes it for having a genuine national following." Good way to end the campaign section. Just those comments from me. --♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 14:54, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Almost ready to support, but the info about the debt prevents me from doing so. --♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 22:11, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
According to the latest FEC report, ending June 30, there is still a debt of $105,636.24. I have added this to the article. I also added that his finish at the Leadership Conference was last among those considered.--William S. Saturn (talk) 07:03, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's a good idea to omit publishers, especially for less well-known news sources. Listing publishers helps provide more information to the reader about who is behind these sources. However, this is just my opinion. --Laser brain(talk) 20:01, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
So it is. Seems like I've been asked for them on web and news sources in the past, and I just assumed it was in the guideline. --Laser brain(talk) 20:19, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Ref 38 is fairly confusing. The site was 140townhall.com, but it reads "The Tea Party.net" at the top. Who actually put on this debate? Who was behind these organizations? We need a bit more information.
I can't answer this question. I can only post what is there.--William S. Saturn (talk) 19:37, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
If we don't know who was running a site or who was responsible for the content (especially a site that seems to have disappeared after the election season), how can we trust the content? --Laser brain(talk) 20:01, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
It appears 140townhall was a Twitter consultant group that produced the debate. TheTeaParty.net was the sponsor. TheTeaParty.net is not archived in the wayback machine so I cannot find what was posted there. But 140townhall did post it to the linked archived website. If there are concerns about reliability, one can search for @140townhall on Twitter and see all the same tweets listed on the archived page.--William S. Saturn (talk) 19:40, 22 August 2013 (UTC)