We had a fine July 4th Celebration yesterday. Roughly 175 people showed up, most eager to talk politics on the heels of Bush's latest act of imperial arrogance. Here's what I learned from some of our many "insider" guests:
I met my first bunch of real-live Hillary supporters, all women. We had interesting discussions about the likely down-ticket impacts if she were the nominee. And I was reminded why I'm generally staying out of presidential primary politics here in North Carolina. We have almost no say in the matter.
Everyone wants to know who's running against Liddy.
One insider said this: Chuck Schumer may still be holding out for Easley or Cooper, but most people believe neither will run. That will force the race to next-tier candidates who haven't been tested in statewide races.
Grier Martin is already on the national radar and would be at or near the top of that list.
Speculation continues that Liddy may not be able to run. Despite all the rhetoric that she's ready for the big fight, close observers say she's nowhere near the top of her game. Most Republicans are out of touch with reality, but in the case of Liddy, it may be even worse.
This could explain why she's been even more invisible than usual. Whether she runs or not, the DSCC is very much focused on North Carolina and Liddy Dole is seen as among the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation.
On the legislature.
Several people say the stand-off between the NC Senate and the NC House on the budget is becoming more entrenched, made worse by the interference of Republican special interest groups like Americans for Prosperity and Tim Kent of the NC Realtors Association. Colluding wit the Realtors, AFP is objecting to discussion of the transfer tax in the budget negotiations, while also pushing to cut the so-called temporary taxes.
Everyone I spoke with has great appreciation and admiration for how Joe Hackney is performing in the negotiations. I hope he'll continue to hold the line and represent We the People instead of Them the Corporations.