Why Doesn't Cooper Get More Consideration for 2008 Senate Race?

I’ve read BlueNC a lot, but haven’t posted much at all. But I’ve seen a serious gap in discussion here of the 2008 U.S. Senate race.

Rep. Brad Miller is great – don’t get me wrong. But I don’t understand why we haven’t seen more of an outcry for Roy Cooper to throw his hat into the U.S. Senate against Liddy Dole in 2008.

Again, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I think Miller would be great. And I know that Cooper has said he’s running for AG again in 2008. But we all know that such promises can be adapted/ignored if plans change. And the 2008 Senate race might be a good time for Coop to reconsider.

Consider the resume: a well-known prosecutor who’s won two statewide races for attorney general. As a tough-on-crime attorney general, Cooper is in the best possible position for a federal candidate in the South. Assuming that Gov. Easley isn’t willing to run, Cooper is the only potential Senate candidate who’s won statewide more than once – including Dole herself.

Throw on top of this the attention and headlines he’s grabbed in dealing with the Duke lacrosse case. He’s quickly established a national profile for himself – one that would set his name recognition far above any other conceivable Senate candidate and that could set up a national fundraising presence.

Consider the praise from Tom Campbell’s conservative-leaning NC Spin, which practically swooned over Cooper’s handling of the lax case:

“We watched Roy Cooper come of age during his press conference announcing the conclusions of his department’s investigation. He refused to duck from sensitive subjects and announced obvious conclusions, took a bold stance in declaring innocence, and deftly handled a national media eager to point out inconsistencies or to get him to make statements he might later wish to retract. He sounded just the right tone and had the right words throughout the event, as befitting a senior leader of our state.

Years from now we will look back at this event and realize this was a turning point for our Attorney General. It almost assures his re-election in 2008, but also sets the stage for a bigger role in future days.”

From a pure electability and name recognition standpoint, this could’ve been Cooper’s version of Easley’s USA Today moment (Easley’s title as one of the nation’s “top drug busters” helped fuel the statewide recognition that set the stage for his U.S. Senate run, and terms as attorney general and governor). He’s getting a ton of attention – from 60 Minutes and everywhere else.

As I said, I’ve got no dog in the 2008 Senate fight. I’m just curious as to why Cooper hasn’t earned more discussion as a potential opponent to a vulnerable Dole.

Front-paged by Anglico


Great points.

I'm something of a fan of Roy Cooper and have thought about him often regarding the Senate race. But I recall something about him saying he liked being Attorney General just fine. That was back when he was thinking of running for Governor and he - wisely I think - decided to opt out of a three-way battle with Perdue and Moore.

Do you have any indication that he's now looking to other pastures (other than the rumors started by Laura Leslie)?

I'm glad you brought this up. Roy's recent shining in the spotlight has been good stuff.


PS Seriously, I appreciate this post and would simply point out that the way discussions happen around here is always the result of one person writing something. In this case, we have you to thank.

PPS Swooning by Tom Campbell wouldn't necessarily be a plus in my book. Whenever the dark side gets all gushy about a progressive candidate, my first instinct is to look the other way.

Its not Roy's fault

a bunch of racist conservatives are thrilled that these "Upstanding Young Men" got off.

He just did his job, and got rid of a case that was handled worse than the OJ case.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

I'm thrilled for them too.

You must be a member of the New Black Panther Party, or some Evangelical who believes young men deserve false charges of rape as God's punishment for drinking and hiring a stripper.

God did it.

God put these young men in the public spotlight to teach us all a lesson.


PS I think this is the same god who told George Bush to invade Iraq and lie about Pat Tillman's death. That's one hell of a god we all get to worship, wouldn't you agree? Whatever happens . . . it's god's will. The Bible tells me so.

LOL true, Anglico

The same God they spoke of on the anti-Duke lacrosse site (now defunct) Our Hearts World, who told them the DNA evidence was just more of Satan's tricks. (The same God who told them which of 1600's Salem's residents were witches).

You really need to think before you type

These kids might not have deserved a false accusation, but they were no saints.

You have no idea who Blue South is and you obviously lack any understanding of the context of his comment.

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

dont feed

the troll. after the last thread I am not responding to this guy, and I hope no one else will either.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"


I figured it would be Lance who would remind me to avoid tossing out chum........

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

Troll power!

I guess the Southern Dem and Blue are going to take their toys and go home. Okay. (Incidentally, I've never deified the Duke boys. But, comparatively-speaking, when you look at the criminal element in Durham County from Nifong down to all the real rapes last year to NCCU students blowing each other away, those Duke boys ARE saints).

Escargot and Mushrooms

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 large clove garlic, crushed and minced
12 large mushroom caps
2 cans snails, about 24 snails
1 to 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Combine butter and garlic. Spread half of the butter mixture in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Place mushroom caps in pan, dotting each equally with remaining butter and garlic mixture. Fill each mushroom cap with 2 snails; sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese and the parsley. Broil 5 inches from heat for 5 minutes, or until snails and mushrooms are heated through.
Snails recipe serves 4.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Me? I'm a compulsive troll feeder

I like a fight (so long as I can fight kicked back in a comfy chair with a nice cup of coffee nearby).

I can't say I'm unbiased

Cooper would make an unbelievable candidate in 2008 against Dole. I'd bet a lot of money that he would win that race, and I've said any number of times that I'd love to see him run that race.

However, I don't think he will. He seems genuinely happy as AG, he runs a great DOJ, and he is a shoo-in to be re-elected. I'm just not sure what would motivate him to run.

Having said that, I think Chuck Shumer and Bill Clinton and Jim Hunt ought to pull him into a room somewhere and try to talk him into it. If they can't convince him to run, I suspect no one can.

When the NC Dem Chair Jerry Meeks asked

who should he tap to run against Dole, Cooper's name was suggested many, many times. It always came back to the fact that he wasn't interested. I love Brad and would work to get him elected if he chooses to run. But if Cooper ran and Brad bowed out, I would get behind him 100%!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Thanks, I wondered when I typed it

but didn't take time to check. I'll remember now. : )

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Cooper's political calculus

A part of me believes this was Roy Cooper's original plan, and has been discussed as "the truth" in several circles for the last couple of years. Dole's numbers were good (and are pliable, more on that later), she was a female, which has been hard to beat lately, and was in a position to make connections nationally that would enable her to raise the kind of money needed to win. On top of that, Cooper could win the AG seat in a walk and then have a safe seat from which to run against Burr. If he lost against Burr, no biggie; he's still AG, ad naseum.

The reality of the present, however, is a little different, as opined here and elsewhere. Dole, depending on who's poll numbers you believe, can be seen as vulnerable, and she is now in the minority after tanking in her role in Republican rainmaker. Cooper has been in Newsweek, on TV, at the dinner table with Katie Couric...everywhere a potential Senatorial candidate should be. This all leads me to believe that Cooper at least should be running the political calculus on the race. I'm not sure the end result of his equation comes out any differently, mainly for two reasons:

1. If he loses, he's now out of a job. Running against Burr, as mentioned, wouldn't cost him that. He'd be right back as AG (assuming he wins in 2008).

2. Dole is not as weak as people think she is. Maybe I've drank the kool-aid, and yes, I know Elon's poll did not narrow their universe to likely voters, but I'm not convinced Dole is down and out, especially when I start looking at the numbers outside of the Super 8 counties (Buncombe, Cumberland, Durham, Forsyth, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, and Wake). Anyone who runs against Dole is in for an uphill battle, both in terms of money and votes. This lady has been in politics longer than Moses walked the desert and has degrees from Duke and Harvard. I'd bet she knows how to move her numbers like a pro. She branded herself into a rock star status in 2002, and while she won't get there again, I do believe she can get to 50% + 1 faster than anyone (with the exception of Mike or Mary Easley).

Cooper will steal any and all attention the minute he says anything other than a flat out 'no' about this race. The lack of consideration given to him as a candidate makes me think that while he's been busy in front of the cameras playing Savior of Justice, he's not doing much behind them.

I consider myself a Roy Cooper fan

I was disappointed when he dropped out of the race for the Governor's office. I don't think Cooper has been playing at "Savior of Justice", though. He didn't swoop in and force the case into his office. Nifong asked Cooper's office to take over the Duke case. If Cooper had sought publicity, I think there would have been a lot more of it. If he were using the case to elevate his chances with voters there would have been a great deal more publicity. Your sarcastic swipe at him is uncalled for. He wasn't playing at anything. Roy Cooper was doing his job.

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

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

No sarcasm here

He was playing Savior of Justice, pure and simple, and professionally. If anything, it is a title of honor. Come to think of it, I wish I could use that phrase about more Attorney Generals.

I was disappointed when he said he wasn't running, too.

He would have had my vote (and still would) for Governor in a heartbeat. I really like Roy Cooper, and I can't wait to see what's coming from him. If Brad Miller doesn't run for Senate in 2008, I hope he does. But I'd really like to see our Senatorial Delegation be Miller and Cooper. (And if Edwards wins the White House - I swear, I won't know what know what to do with myself.)

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Look at what Hillary did.

Raised a bunch of money for a cakewalk race, then used it all as a stepping stone. While Roy's "bunch of money" would be several log orders lower, he certainly could do the same thing.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


you cant transfer state funds to a federal fund.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

No, but he could use that money

to do whatever he can legally do to support a strong bunch of Democrats running in this state. All of that helps in a campaign.

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

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


There is another prospective candidate out there who has also won 2 statewide races, has a progressive record born of small town NC experiences, was a grass roots favorite, and would make a great US Senator. Lt. Governor Dennis Wicker.

Don't get me wrong. Brad and Roy are shining lights for this state. I'm just not sure this race is right for either one at this time.

The stable contains at least one more thoroughbred.

No offense to Wicker intended at all

but six years out of the game and his name rec will have suffered. Granted, Brad Miller has to work to extend his name rec outside his district, but the race against Vernon Robinson probably publicized Miller's name more than most district races would.

I don't disagree with what you've said about Wicker, just pointing out a weakness.

Edited for really poor sentence structure.

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

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

Elaine Marshall, too

She's won statewide three times. And she wouldn't lose Democratic women to Dole.

She would be formidable if she decides she wants to go through that again.

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

But she won't

I would surmise Sec. Marshall's response to "Will you run for Senate again" would sound something like "It will be a cold day in Hell..."

I can't blame her after the DSCC's treatment of her (they typically like candidates that can self-finance, unless there is no one else in the race).

I love Elaine Marshall

Mom served as her Meck. Co. chair in that race

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

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

She's the best

She's accessible, she's "real", she's electable...what is there that is not to like? I wish the DSCC would have seen that as opposed to Erskine's personal fortune.

He doesn't want in

I, too, think very highly of Cooper, and I think he has a bright future. The reason he doesn't get mentioned in the 2008 talk is because he stated pretty unequivocally that he will be running for re-election as AG in 2008, and that's it.

My guess is that he's waiting to take on Burr in 2010, which is safer bet for several reasons. First, Burr is more vulnerable when it comes to the polls. Second, Burr holds the cursed seat, which means he's due to get beat. Third, it won't be a Presidential year, which makes it easier for a Democrat in NC.

If I'm Roy Cooper, I stay put for now, cruise to re-election, then get ready to whip Burr's ass.

Now there's a plan

And a good one at that.

This is a fine strategy, but...

... can we PLEASE stop talking about the cursed seat?!? That's the kind of nonsense that keeps serial losers at the roulette wheel because their number is "due" to come up.


I'm working on post right now (literally) on this very topic. I may still post it...I haven't decided.

NY Times Article: A Team Community Gains Strength From Its Weakened Coach

There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

How about tomorrow

for Women on Wednesdays? We could use another post and I'd love to see this fleshed out.

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

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

I can't comment


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

psssst, Sam

you just did.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

The Diarist did a pretty good job

I can't think of anything to say that immediately comes to mind.

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


Roy A. Cooper, III (born 1957) is the current North Carolina Attorney General. He is a member of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Born in Nash County, North Carolina, Cooper was raised in a rural community and worked in tobacco fields during the summer as a teenager. He received the Morehead Scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and there earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.

After practicing law with his family's law firm for a number of years, Cooper was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1986 and named to the North Carolina Senate in 1991. In 1997, he was elected Democratic Majority Leader of the state Senate. He continued to practice law as the managing partner of the law firm Fields & Cooper in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

Cooper was elected North Carolina Attorney General in November 2000 and took office on January 6, 2001; he was re-elected for a second term in 2004. Cooper was mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for North Carolina governor, but he has decided to run for re-election as Attorney General in 2008, instead. [1] The current governor, Mike Easley, succeeded to the post of governor after serving as state attorney general.

In January 2007, when Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong asked to be recused from dealing with the Duke lacrosse team rape case, Attorney General Cooper's office assumed responsibilty for the case. On April 11, 2007, Cooper dismissed the case against the Duke lacrosse team players.

Aside from this Wikipedia summary, Roy has also garnered attention thanks to his suing TVA for polluting the mountains.

As far as I've heard...

it's still ongoing. TVA filed a motion to dismiss, which North Carolina survived (that decision was handed down in July, I think). I haven't seen a decision on the merits yet, though. I know some people who were working on an amicus brief in February, but I'm not sure what they were briefing or which court they were filing it in, so I don't know how far the case has progressed. Someone else who has kept up with it can probably give you a better idea than I can about the status.

North Carolina v. Tennessee Valley Authority, etc.

First and foremost (and this isn't in response to you, Jerimee, but to the numerous folks who have pointed out that Cooper doesn't seem interested in the Senate seat), a lot has changed since he last stated his AG intentions. Not to say that he wouldn't say the same thing today if asked, but his profile has really taken off just in the past few weeks. And for that matter, Schumer would be a fool if he wasn't making sure that Cooper's phone is ringing off the hook.

As to the TVA case, here's good background from NPR. This is actually really interesting to me, because I'm taking an Environmental Law course right now. Cooper sued for public nuisance, saying that air pollution emitted from coal power plants in Tennessee (and other states) was affecting the quality of life downwind. The case appears to still be in court.

Back to outlining for that environmental law exam...

Nate Denny

Nate Denny

Cooper has done a lot more than that bio states.

I first became aware of him when he was campaigning to raise the minimum wage in NC - and he became one of my heroes, then. Later, as I was working with a sheriff's deputy here, attempting to contruct from scratch a program for parents on Cyber-Safety for children, we found that Mr. Cooper's office had already done it, and was offering a video, free of charge. Go Roy! His office is very much in tune with the needs of real North Carolinians.

Hmm. Perhaps he should be responsible for Mental Health Care.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

you should add to his bio

You should edit the wikipedia article. Wikipedia is for anyone to edit, and it is about as easy as submitting a comment here on BlueNC. What's more, Wikipedia articles rank very high in google, so people that are looking for info will find whatever has been contributed to Wikipedia. Feel free to message or email me if you have questions, but I don't think you will.

I have a look

at Brad's potential as a statewide candidate ready to go up in the morning.

But I think your point about Cooper already being voted on statewide is important. However, his vote total is almost insignificantly different from the other statewide candidates. Obviously the races where Republicans won are different, but here are some vote totals from 2004:
Easley 1,939,154
Perdue 1,888,397
Cooper 1,872,097
Long 1,934,076
Marshall 1,911,585
Moore 1,812,201

It is important that he has won statewide, and its obvious that not everyone is voting straight ticket, but I think that his (relative) down ballot status makes it less important.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

Some other numbers of importance, and general musings

I think you need to compare some other apples. State race totals are important, but so are federal races, as that's what this will fall into:

Kerry - 1,525,849
Bowles - 1,632,527

The point: These numbers are significantly lower than state races, so low they're losers (in an electoral sense)!

This is where the calculus gets tricky, both for Cooper and for Miller (moreso for Miller). Cooper crosses the divide; he's run in two statewide races, meaning he can somewhat avoid the connection to the national Democrats which has traditionally been a sinker for races in our state (at least back to McGovern). As I said above, if he waits and runs against Burr from a 3rd term as AG, he still has a job if he loses, which when accompanied by Sen. Dole's prowess, leads me to believe he won't do it.

Onto Miller. Miller will have the political fight of his life, and probably a challenge twice as big as what Cooper would face. I hypothesize Miller's name ID, and more importantly his accomplishments, are not known in the Mountains or Coastal Plain, the two places where Democrats running for national office get skewered. He's behind in the money race from the starting gate by more than what he raised in his fight against Vernon Robinson ($1.7 million) and has to realize there is likely no way he can outraise Dole. According to the N&O's report on what our elected officials are worth, he does not have the family fortune, of say, Erskine Bowles, and thus can't pitch in $6 million in the closing months when things get hairy. So when Dole is painting him as an uber-liberal in the East, where there was a 500,000 vote swing to Bush over the voter registration numbers (390,000+ Dems in the East, Bush won by 105,000+), Miller has to hope he has either a)saved his pennies, or b)hired the best fundraising team known to mankind.

It's not all bad, I promise! There are two great points that work in favor of whoever is brave enough to throw their hat in the ring:

1. The mood - We are way on top when it comes to general poll numbers. For a good source, I reccomend www.thepoliticaljunkies.net. TPJ has tracked Bush's and the Repubs' poll numbers for a while, and as long as nothing changes in Iraq, their hands have blood all over them, and Americans have had more blood than they can stand. Dole is a Ruburr stamp, and her hands have blood on them too.

2. Where in the world in Sen. Dole? Not NC. This is a point that is easy to make and should be repeated by whoever runs over and over and over.

Cooper is the best choice if we want to win the seat

Let's see if the people who are courting him get him into the race.

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