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Richard Burr: The New Jesse Helms

In the 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 sessions, Burr was ranked the sixth most conservative senator. He is currently ranked as less conservative than only Sens. John Ensign of Nevada, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.


Dole has certainly moved to the right

according to those ratings.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I have a question...

and I hope I get an honest answer.

Why/how did Burr win?

During the election, I was stationed in California, so I never went through the campaign w/ Bowles v. Burr. I mean, I know Burr was a congressman, but certainly he didn't have the name recognition that Dole enjoyed when she ran. And Bowles had already run two years earlier.

So how did Burr win? What was his message/issues that won the day?

Just curious.

Great question

I think he won because Bowles lost. Bowles is an intellectual. He is smart and insightful and does not pander to ignorance. Which makes him a great University president, but not such a great political candidate in a state where "elite" is a derogatory term for "intelligent."

Good answer

I didn't volunteer for that campaign and don't know it from the inside. This pretty much describes my feeling about the campaign from what little I know about it.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

IIRC, Burr's campaign also did a good job of

hammering on the link between Bowles and the Clinton administration. The tv ads were constant. They made the 2004 Senate race a repeat referendum on Clinton's character ... "the company you keep", etc. that the Dole 2002 campaign had used well just two years before.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."


I volunteered a bit for Bowles. It was organized well at the top but seemed to unravel at the bottom. I had an epiphany when I found myself driving out of state students around to canvass. There was something missing. Burr was/is such a non-entity that there was nothing to rail against. Erkine had institutional support from unions and old-time Democrats but the campaign didn't get traction with regular folks. He couldn't ditch the geek image. At rallies he'd wear a union T-shirt over his button down blue pinpoint cotton shirt and tie. He should have ditched those glasses for some classic aviators. It didn't help that Mike Easley kept to himself that year and didn't show for the Convention or the big Kerry Edwards rally in Raleigh.

I have a theory that people vote, to some extent, for someone that helps them visualize themselves in office or at least visiting the office holder. That's why people like Burr and Bush get elected. It's why Bill Clinton got elected. Erskine Bowles is in the job he was meant to be. From first hand accounts he is great at the action oriented management that would be stifled on Capitol Hill.

I would like to ascribe

I have a theory that people vote, to some extent, for someone that helps them visualize themselves in office or at least visiting the office holder.

I would like to officially ascribe to this theory. Is there like a membership card or something I can fill out?

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

Laundry List

Many Reasons ... this isn't an exhaustive list, and a few of these are more theory than fact:

- Kerry/Edwards lost badly in NC, and the national mood was against Dems.
- The Breast Cancer Ad. Bowles ran an ad with a Breast Cancer survivor talking about Burr's terrible voting record on the issue. Burr responded with his own breast cancer survivor - his sister. Bowles dropped 10 points within a week in one poll.
- The Bowles campaign spent money in a top-heavy way, sort of like how Dole is doing right now. Too much, too early; too little, too late. This theory may or may not be true; we'll see how Dole does.
- Burr effectively tied Bowles to then-unpopular Bill Clinton through a barrage of very effective ads.
- Bowles didn't capitalize on an early lead.
- Burr effectively increased his name ID.
- Bowles spent the last week of the race in Eastern North Carolina to try and counteract the good press Burr received after the national GOP gave him a contrived role in the tobacco buyout. It didn't work.

I ♥ NC General Statute § 163‑211.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

I remember the breast cancer ad

Wow, that list stirred up some memories.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Since it is an open thread...

I was just watching the National Popular Vote video in the bottom left corner.

I have to say I completely disagree with it. Do I think the system is "broken" when the person with the most popular votes loses to the person with the most electoral votes? Well...I'd say that the system is "flawed" not "broken."

But I think a national popular vote would cause campaigns to be urban-centric and would not change the fact that the REAL map is of the United Media Markets of America. I don't see how if fixes anything, and I do see how it causes more problems.

The problem with not being a swing state is not the Constitution's problem, it's ours. If we want to be a swing state, then it means 50-state strategy, etc. We all know what we need to do, we just need to do it! We've seen alot of "traditional" red races go blue here in NC...we're just beginning to turn the tide.

The only reform that I'm TOTALLY behind is proportional voting of the electoral college. I'm not a fan of a winner-takes-all system. And a proportional electoral vote allocation has the benefits of the popular vote system, in that a red state suddenly has blue stripes or blue spots or ... a blue rash of some sort. I think it's a fair reflection of the voters' intention.

And I say this even though a proportional system may not be political beneficial, e.g. think of California going proportional. And the Democratic primary's proportional system certainly didn't benefit my candidate! But I think it's the only system of fair reflection, and changing to a proportional system is completely in the power of the General Assembly.

So if anyone really wants presidential election reform, call your state legislators and ask them to pass a proportional electoral vote allocation bill.

Acutally, we will have a thread for this very soon

I sat in on a conference call and hope to have a live-blog set up with Matt Gross or one of the folks leading this movement. I haven't decided yet how I feel about this, but am very curious to open up a conversation to see where it goes. Make sure to copy/paste your comment onto that thread as well. I'll have it up in a bit.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Bush coming to Raleigh

To help Pat McCrory. Meeting in secret, behind closed doors at Kane's house.

I wonder how it feels to sell your soul to curry favor from a pathological liar and arguable war criminal? Do you pay extra to get your picture taken with a man who has single-handedly bankrupted a nation and destroyed its moral leadership?

Pat McCrory isn't wearing a lapel pin

He obviously isn't fit to be governor.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I don't know...but there should be a law or something

against politicians not wearing lapel pins. Hehe

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

C'mon, that's this year's GOP strategy...

Have private fundraisers with the President to build up the base and get their money/support, and then, in public, be a "new" Republican with "new" ideas and reaching across to everyone. Set yourself up as a "change" agent.

...actually that's a good strategy. Hmmm...(figures how to counter it)

And why are these people laughing?

It's all a big friggin' joke to Myers Park Pat and Sue "W" Myrick. So a few thousand Americans get killed in Iraq because of Bush's lies. He's the kinda guy you want to have a beer with, right?


I think in that photo, the President is saying, "Hey, Sue-y, Patty Cake over here just said he's thinking about running for governor. Ain't that funny, heh-heh?!"

Bowles vs. Burr

Burr raised enough money to be competitive with Bowles, but held onto it until October when he went on a huge advertising blitz. This helped him chip away at the 10 point or so lead Bowles had up to that point a lead he sort of took for granted. Burr also had the advantage of running in a presidential election year and NC has not elected a Democrat to the US Senate in a presidential election year since 1968.

Burr still has his work cut out for him for 2010 though. Not only is it the "jinxed" seat (no one has been reelected to it since Sam Ervin in 1968) but a poll a few months ago indicated that roughly 1/3 of all North Carolinians don't even know who Richard Burr is.

See that ad up there

about "increase global AIDs funding? That's the same stupid abstinence program I diaried about a few months ago.

Looks like they're scrambling to keep this alive. Good.

Clark for VP

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"


Some of us Babylon 5 fans have always been wary of a "Vice President Clark"...

School of the America's Watch hiring

I am on the national board of SOAW and we are hiring for our DC office:

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.


"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy