Rob job

I've been hoping Rob Christensen at the N&O would weigh in on the 2008 US Senate race for some time now, thinking he'd dig in behind the scenes of one of the biggest contests to hit North Carolina in a good long while.

Well, he did weigh in today, but it was a waste of time and ink. Not only did Christensen have nothing interesting to say, he dutifully parroted worn-out GOP talking points about Liddy's legendary prowess on the stump. From all I can tell, Rob is either a secret member of Senator Dole's campaign staff, or he left his brain back in 2002, when our very senior Senator could actually walk and chew gum at the same time.

The Liddy Dole that Rob Christensen wrote about in this column doesn't exist today. And that's a fact.

Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole is the only Tar Heel politician who passes the waitress test. Any politician worth his or her salt can gin up a crowd on the rubber chicken circuit. But Dole is the only North Carolina political figure who, after the dishes have been cleared, attracts a crowd of waitresses wanting her to pose with them for photographs. That is one of the reasons most of the heavyweights of the Democratic Party -- including Gov. Mike Easley, Attorney General Roy Cooper and State Treasurer Richard Moore -- are declining to challenge Dole next year.

How can I say this politely? This is total fabricated bullshit. Easley is choosing not to run because he's tired of working and doesn't want to settle for a demotion to United States Senator. Cooper, who was looking closely at running for governor last year, wants to run from a safe seat, which he can do against Richard Burr in 2010. And Richard Moore? He thinks he's presidential material and needs to get his "Governor" ticket punched on the way to the White House.

No candidate is unbeatable. But Dole is a formidable candidate -- a function of celebrity, a deep resume, gender appeal and a huge Rolodex. Then there are the state's Republican leanings in Senate races. Dole may look like the candidate from Southern Living magazine, but she also has political smarts. In recent days, she has been repeatedly calling for tougher enforcement along the U.S. border, tapping into public discontent with illegal immigration.

Political smarts? I guess by that Christensen means "she knows how to pander." But the truth is, Dole is deeply vulnerable because she's a sold-out tier-one Bushbot. Christensen uses one short paragraph to barely acknowledge these shortcomings after all that gushing about what a dynamo Liddy is.

But Dole has weaknesses. She has closely tied herself to an unpopular president. There has been grumbling that her constituent services have not matched that of her predecessor, Sen. Jesse Helms. And she has spent a lot of time away from North Carolina. And unless things turn around in the Iraq war, 2008 could turn out to be another Democratic year.

Unpopular president? Ya think so? Constituent services? Liddy doesn't even know where North Carolina is and hasn't lived here for 30 consecutive days in the past 20 years. To my knowledge.

Christensen goes on to dismiss Congressman Brad Miller with a personal attack for which he should be fired from the News and Observer:

Miller, a Raleigh Democrat, is being courted by the national party to run against Dole. While smart and hardworking, Miller was not the party's first choice. He has never been seen as the Democratic Party's rising star -- too shy and awkward.

Shy and awkward? Is Christensen on Art Pope's payroll along with Sponge Bob Orr? I know Brad Miller, and I can tell you for certain, awkward he is not. Shy? Maybe a little, but I find that refreshing in the face of egomaniacs like Dole.


The other fact Christensen gets wrong is his statement that Brad is being courted by the national party. Brad is a grassroots/netroots candidate with strong on-the-ground support here in North Carolina. The fact that he has finally attracted the attention of DC insiders does not make him someone being "courted" by anyone - besides us, of course.

And more to the point, Brad is not the only contender who could take on Dole. Many of us are also excited by the possibility of Grier Martin running against Dole if Brad decides to stay in the House. Grier is a major in the Army Reserves who has fought in Afghanistan. He could put Liddy Dole in her place with one hand tied behind his back.

Between Miller and Martin, we're in a great spot to cover all the bases, no matter how the chips fall.


The days when DC consultants drove decisions about candidates are coming to a close. The days when incompetent incumbents like Liddy Dole could coast to victory after six years under the microscope are already history.

Liddy Dole is worse than vulnerable, she is a basket-case who is failing miserably to serve the needs of We the People. Her record is indefensible on every front: the OLF, fiscal responsibility, fighting terrorism, supporting the troops, environmental stewardship, personal freedom, government accountability, constituent services and more.

I don't know of anyone who's afraid of Liddy Dole, nor should they be. She's a washed-up has-been who could hardly care less about North Carolina - and it shows.


Back To The Future 2 with Rob and Libby!

From all I can tell, Rob is either a secret member of Senator Dole's campaign staff, or he left his brain back in 2002, *A

No doubt about it! Either his Viagra order got mixed up with Libby Husband recent order or he has been admitted to a Senior Citizen living center proving what a circle jerk he is.....

Christensen doesn't like to rock the establishment

He likes to wine and dine with those in power and so he errs on the side of praise of those in power. He rarely offers insight in NC politics. When he makes predictions for future elections he's often way off. At least he's not Rick Martinez...

That's right

You've said this exactly right . . . better than I could have.

He likes to wine and dine with those in power and so he errs on the side of praise of those in power.

Otherwise known as sucking up?

It would be interesting

to know how they feel now. They were big supporters of Brad's and had a huge fundraiser for him in the fall of 2005. John Edwards was the guest speaker. Rob was pro Brad when the Daniels were in charge. He even came to DC when Brad was first sworn in and he came to the party we had in DC. He was very good at faking. He can bite my whatever.


Thanks, A

I have been fuming all day.



Here's my advice to Brad: Cut off Rob Christensen. Period - and permanently.

No help Liddy

In 2005 I learned that it was a mistake to work for a republican and in early 2005 I learned that it is a mistake to expect help from one of "them". I encountered some problems with the U.S. Dept of Labor and thought our senator and former Labor Secretary would be of some help. I could not have been more wrong!!! I hope that we will elect somebody in '08 who will pay attention to the needs of N.C. citizens.

A - I think the article had lots of insipid writing, BUT ...

... the DSCC has been courting Brad, and this won't be a cakewalk.

Dole's skills have declined, but she does have campaigning skills, and she has run a statewide race. Now, Rob should have been clearer with the following passage:

There has been grumbling that her constituent services have not matched that of her predecessor, Sen. Jesse Helms.

He should have compared the franking, or been clearer that Dole was no Helms or Sanford when it came to constituent service. She is definitely a different Dole than the image sold to NC in 2002 when she beat the former "101st Senator." Though you're dead-on about the first (two) paragraphs - since we all know a simple fact Rob ignores (state money does not easily become federal money) - Dole is formidable in spite of her weaknesses.

This is going to be a really, really, really hard race to win, and Brad Miller won't be the easiest candidate to win it with. I think that the vast majority of our BlueNC brethren are behind Brad because of the potential he has as a senator ... but winning this race is going to require the utmost commitment and hard work from day one. We have to build an organization statewide in less than 18 months, and educate the state about a great guy who is nonetheless a virtual unknown west of Greensboro. It can be done, but I'm beginning to tire of the notion that we're going to have an easy time in 2008. BlueNC watchers and potential donors don't need to learn a lie; they need to know that the candidates that we support are going to have a strong, skilled, and dedicated base. Saying

"XYZZY" is a grassroots/netroots candidate with strong on-the-ground support here in North Carolina

doesn't mean much without the boots and wallets behind the words ... and unless the next week is really good, we're not going to look like a major force in the state come July 15.

16 months - that's how long we have to close the deal. Until then, I'm leaving nothing to chance or assumption.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

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

Half full

I appreciate your sentiments, Sam, but I couldn't disagree more. Nothing big ever gets done when you start with the proposition that the glass is half empty. Of course Dole will be tough . . . but really, really, really tough? I don't think so. Sure she'll cheat and go dirty and have a ton of inside the belt-way crooks helping her.

You're worried that the boots and wallets won't show up when it's show time. I'm not worried about that yet - but I am anxious for us to get a candidate into play.

I understand Brad's reluctance, but I don't sense that it's because of fear of Dole. He's doing great work in the House and the fact is Dole might win, depending on what the top of the ticket looks like. So he's thinking it through and I admire him for that. I'll support him no matter what choice he makes.

If Brad goes after Dole, there will be an immediate scramble for his House seat. Grier Martin is the person I'd support, and I suspect he'd have pretty smooth sailing. If Brad doesn't go after Dole, I hope Grier would jump in with guns blazing. His family name is well known all across the state, his base of fundraising support would grow exponentially, and Major Grier Martin could take the military vote hands down. Because the truth is, this election is going to be about the occupation in Iraq.

Will Grier do it? I don't know, but if he doesn't, it won't be because Liddy Dole is a "formidable" anything. More likely, he's weighing the pros and cons of being away from his family for a long, hard campaign.


People have asked me "why these two?" Well, the reason is simple. They are competent, capable men of character with good progressive instincts and solid mainstream values. They have strong work ethics. And more to the point, they understand what a disastrous course our country is on and they are committed to making a difference.


Final note: No matter what happens, our early work is the same: spotlight the many failings and incompetence of Senator Elizabeth Dole. We need to convene a Manhattan Project to do just that. Jerimee at NCDP is getting the ball rolling, but I want to raise the stakes. I want us to write the book on Dole. My current working title is:

Missing Inaction: My Life as a Bushbot . . . by Liddy Dole

I wasn't saying the glass was half-empty

But you were saying that it was more than half-full. And in this situation, saying "Dole might win" isn't accurate.

Of course, the person this is going to be hardest for is the candidate, and I want to deter any candidate that isn't in this for the long haul. I don't want to help out someone who is not 100% committed to doing everything it takes to win this race. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure if Brad enters that's what he's going to do - as for Rep. Martin, our families have known each other for over fifty years, and I have complete confidence in his abilities. But when we talk about too many races with unbridled optimism, we run into the problem Kissell ran into last year, with this sample conversation recurring numerous times:

DCCC/NCDP Guy/Big Donor: Wow, that race was really close! I feel dumb for not supporting you.
Kissell Supporter: Well, we told you all along that it was going to be close.
DCCC/NCDP/etc: Well, that's what you said about every race.

I think we should embrace the fact that Brad isn't the easiest candidate to win with, since it demonstrates a commitment to changing our party from the inside and electing the right candidate for the job. But it's not going to be easy.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

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

Interestd in a specific example of Dole's unworthiness?

I do live in the 13th and think Brad is an all too uncommon example of a true gentleman serving his district with all his energy. He would make a great senator, and I would have worked my butt off trying to get him elected as our senator. He's just having too much fun being in the majority. I don't blame him a bit.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Thanks for linking

Also feel free to cross post anytime you like.

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

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


Thanks for connecting us to your blog . . . and welcome!


Like your blog, persondem.

Thanks for sharing. I just got around to opening some old email and found this post at earthportal. Included is this gem that just jets right past me like a 747;

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R), in a June 14 floor speech, said it would not be feasible for utilities in the South to generate enough power from solar, wind or other renewable power sources to meet the RPS goal. He made his case using data provided by TVA, its power distributors in north Alabama, and the state’s other dominant utility, Southern Co.

“In my home state of Alabama, solar is not effective in our area,” Sessions said. Wind power, too, is a non-starter, he said, because the state lacks sufficient wind to drive large turbines.

“I just don’t like to see us require wind turbines where it is not going to work, or solar panels where it won’t work,” Sessions said.

Forgive my ignorance, but where, pray tell would solar "work" if not in fraking Alabama? Bill Clinton insists solar works great on the roof of his presidential library in Arkansas. What does Jeff Sessions know about the sunshine levels in Bama that I don't know?

"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."

Alabama has a different sun

than the rest of us. Theirs is a lot farther away, and even though it gets hotter'n blue blazes down there, the rays from their sun are fickle, and bounce around a lot. This makes it hard to capture and tame them, and then you have to post guards so they don't get away. It's just not worth it.

Did anybody listen to

Christensen's interview on NPR this afternoon?

He went on and on about Liddy's "star" appeal, and he mentioned the "waitress factor", or some such nonsense, which is (apparently) based on nothing more than his personal observations of the number of people, waitresses especially (I guess it's a new demographic), who clamor to have their picture taken with certain candidates. Apparently Liddy has many more of these than other candidates he's followed around, giving her a substantial edge over any and all competitors.

I kept waiting for him to say, "Besides, she smells like a fresh bouquet of flowers; not the cheap stale arrangements, mind you, the kind that evokes memories of Christmas and skimming stones on the creek right after a rain."

Nice folks here ...

Betsy, James and Leslie H,
Thank you for the kind words and nice welcome.

... and Pullease will somebody with an ounce of name recognition run against Dole in '08?????? Pretty please??


I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?