RIP, Conen

by | May 31, 2023 | Editor's Blog | 5 comments

Losing someone as young as Conen Morgan is always hard. Conen was a 42-year-old political consultant who has worked in Democratic politics most of his adult life. I won’t say that I knew Conen well, but I’ve known him a long time. We worked on a few campaigns together and worked on a few against each other, most notably a hard fought U.S. Senate primary in 2010 when Conen was the political director for Cal Cunningham and I was the general consultant for Elaine Marshall. 

I feel a kindred spirit with people like Conen. We’re soldiers on a campaign battlefield, fighting for what we believe is right. We have faith that our system of government, for all its flaws, can make a difference in people’s lives and we think our system of democracy is the best way to choose its direction. We live in a constant battle of ideas. We believe so passionately that we can’t do anything else, so we build our lives in and around that battleground. 

Political consultants get a bad rap. Most aren’t getting rich off of insider deals or backroom payoffs. Most are middle class entrepreneurs like Conen who are figuring out how to make a living in a highly competitive environment in a cyclical industry. My father used to compare the work to growing peaches. As a boy, he worked from sun up to sun down in late June and early July picking peaches because they weren’t going to wait on anybody. In politics, we had to make our money when elections rolled around because they weren’t waiting on us, either.

While consultants can certainly become cynical over time, most are really idealists, no matter how crusty they might sound. Conen wasn’t hustling campaigns because he wanted to get rich or gain power. He was doing it to try to make the world a little bit better place. He wanted the next generation to enjoy the same opportunities he had and maybe a little bit more. That’s a noble cause, no matter how nasty the fight or combatants may be.

Teddy Roosevelt summed up the life best. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Rest easy, Conen, my brother in arms. 


  1. cocodog

    It is difficult to comprehend something that ignorance brought on by lack of maturity precludes respect. The phrase “rest in power” is a way to take back control of the narrative. Instead of resting in eternal peace, the deceased individual rests in “power” knowing that people are fighting for justice. “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. -Benjamin Franklin

    • ringlet86

      Thanks for the reply, but raises more question than it answers.

      “… is a way to take back control of the narrative…” what narrative is that? What narrative has control been lost?

      “…Instead of resting in eternal peace, the deceased individual rests in “power”…What power?, Whose power? You don’t you want eternal peace for them? If they do not have eternal peace what are they doing?

      “… knowing that people are fighting for justice…”Justice for what?

      “…Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are…” What is the context for this quote.
      everything I’ve looked up said its a meme and not attributed to Franklin. But I’ve found recently that they say that about every quote no matter who it is.

      • cocodog

        Ringlet, my only question is why you cannot find another website to play your immature games. I am sure there is another one devoted to trolls who lack common human decency and respect for others. Just say goodbye and move on before you make a bigger fool of yourself. You are an embarrassment!

  2. Bridget Wall-Lennon

    Great heartfelt tribute to our friend and colleague, Conen. He truly will be missed. Rest in Power, Conen.

    • ringlet86

      what does rest in power mean? I’ve never seen anyone ever say that.

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