The Fix Choses "The Best Senate Campaign of 2008"

Chris Cillizza from The Washington Post has chosen his Best Senate Campaign of 2008...I think you see where this is going.

Drumroll please.... And the best Senate campaign of 2008 is:

Kay Hagan of North Carolina -- Hagan, a state senator, got into the race against Sen. Elizabeth Dole after a number of better known candidates including Gov. Mike Easley and Rep. Brad Miller took a pass on the contest.

More after the break.

Hagan got into the race as a virtually unknown candidate both in North Carolina and nationally, but quickly showed a capacity to raise money that opened the eyes of many people in Washington. On her first trips to the nation's capital, she wowed even the most cynical of party operatives with a charisma about campaigning and a no-nonsense approach to what needed to be done to beat Dole.

Hagan got a major boost in her efforts by a significant amount of spending by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's independent expenditure arm -- including an ad featuring two men on rocking chairs debating Dole's effectiveness and closeness to President George W. Bush.

But, she proved a strong -- and on-message -- candidate in her own right. When Dole went after Hagan in an ad for attending a fundraiser with the Godless Americans political action committee, Hagan was quick to respond with an effective (and cutting) response.

In the end, the race wasn't close. Hagan beat the seemingly unbeatable Dole 53 percent to 44 percent.


Congrats to Kay Hagan and her Campaign

I look forward to seeing a similar article in December 2010 talking about how Democrat X defeated Dick Burr.

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

I like to hear this about a politician

"she wowed even the most cynical of party operatives with a charisma about campaigning and a no-nonsense approach to what needed to be done to beat Dole."

Proactive vice reactive. Showing up in the heat of the fight, vice arriving when the dragon is dead for "death blow" photo ops.

I hope she does not fall into "politics as usual" but stands to the principles that got her elected. The poor performance of our politicians over the last few years provides a fertile group for any elected official to REPRESENT folks vice be their politician.

Dole was a politician and look what it got here. No respect. The list of politicians in my eyes in North Carolina, the "thankfully soon EX-Governor Easley (mickey), EX-Dole, and soon to be EX-Burr.

I hope politicians are striving to be representatives vice politicians. A representative strives to listen to the people they represent and support them. A politician follows lockstep the party they represent regardless of what the people desire.

I'm rereading parts of 7 habits right now

so I'm wondering if that is where your proactive versus reactive comes from?

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

While covey got me to think

about proactive vs reactive, I have been doing that long before I read 7 habits and attend that course.

Send the "smile" to Liz

Hagan is smiling in your photo thanks to one person....Lizzie Dole. That bonehead ad questioning Hagan's faith Dole's campaign put out while still leading in the polls? Pure idiocy.

She should be required to see this very picture you've presented here every day when she wakes up in the morning and just before going to bed at night.

Geeezzzzz, Lizzie................

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Actually....Liddy was behind in the polls at that point

That is why she was so desperate and put out the ad. It was a last ditch effort. Hagan had been leading in the polls for weeks at that point.

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


to all the volunteers who made it possible

One thing that bodes very well for NC

is that Kay Hagan is clearly a very capable leader and a very quick learner. In my opinion, her speaking skills improved over the course of the campaign by leaps and bounds. I think that's very significant. Makes me feel like we have a Senator representing NC who will be able to handle anything that's thrown at her. If she doesn't know how to do something now, then by God she'll figure it out and get it done. That is a rare and valuable talent.

"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 agree

Kay Hagan responded to both opponents and supporters in ways that impressed me more than I expected.

Her 'we'll get it done' attitude will serve her, and all of us, very well.

And in 2010, we can send her a Democratic colleague to help her get her work done.

Dole was a poor candidate, but it's not why she lost

Liddy Dole was a poor arguement. I'm confused why she even ran again in the first place simply because of her age...and I'm an old bird myself so I can say that with impunity.

But, Dole didn't lose because Hagan was a better candidate. Dole lost for two reasons. 1). She didn't have an effective campaign and 2). Obama's campaign rallied the troops for any and all demos running for office.

All other reasons she lost are just "na na na na na na" kinda thingys and "hey, look what we did" stuff.

Every democratic candidate that had a really tough campaign against a sitting/popular republican candidate and won needs to send a HUGE thank-you card to Obama....and a dozen roses to Prez Bush who gave the demos a reason to give to voters to vote against any and all republicans.

Careful now, lib/dems. If the repubs can regroup correctly, it's not gonna be as easy next time.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

If the Republicans can regroup correctly?

Barack the Magic Negro

'Nuff said. I'd say we're safe for a good long while.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own. about shooting oneself in the foot

We repubs sure know how to step in it, don't we? HAHAHAHAHA...I mean, first this ludicrous campaign ad by Liddy during the campaigns....then this WAY over the top parity on Puff the Magic Dragon (Barack the Magic Negro) and THEN...THEN...trying to pass it off as political satire !!!

Like I said..."IF"....biggest word in the dictionary.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Dole would have lost anyhow

She failed miserably (epically!) in representing NC over the past 6 years. That's why she lost.

Yep. She would have lost anyhow.

Liddy really had no desire to represent NC. She was always just an RNC plant. Sure she was FROM the Old North State, but her home since graduating from Duke was most definitely Washington, DC. Once folks heard the quip that Liddy and Bob had "vacationed" in NC to visit NC voters ... it was aaaaalllllll over for her. That told citizens all they needed to 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."

Should I dare to disagree??

One thing is for sure and that is that Liddy was a poor candidate (oops, I repeat myself...again!). But, in my opinion (we all have one, don't we?), the true reason for her loss was because of the very same reasons so many democrats won election this year over notable republicans. Bush, economy, Obamamania. Liddy made the bonehead "faith ad" because she knew she was in trouble. That certainly sealed her fate..My GAWD what was that woman thinking !!!!! But, her fate was actually sealed with or without that ad because of such a horrendous past 8 years under a totally inept president & staff & republican congress earlier on. "Change"....that says it all. And, repubs didn't have anyone running for any office I know of (other than possibly the senate seat in Ga.) that could present that.

So, as much as the left (especially here on BlueNC) wants to show that Hagan was this bright and wonderful candidate and that's why she won...I take issue with that, to be honest.

Yeah...I do hope she does spend more time in the state than Ms. Dole. And, I do hope she does provide some kind of leadership that specifically helps North Carolina in her dealings while sitting in her chair or on her committees in Fantasyland (D.C.).

The best thinking is independent thinking.

You're welcome to disagree

but the statistics speak otherwise. Incumbent candidates have a HUGE advantage:

"Since 1914, incumbent U.S. senators running for reelection have won about 78 percent of the time," said Gowrisankaran, assistant professor of economics at the John M. Olin School of Business and research fellow with the National Bureau of Economic Research.

True normally, LoftT

But, this is an exception to those statistics.

All of that you've presented just doesn't fit in this year's election.

But, if it makes ya feel better to use those facts/figures to prove how what I'm saying wasn't true...then, go for it, my friend.

I'm betting that in your heart, you know what I'm saying.....even though I doubt you'd ever admit it here.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Smitty, it was a combination

of factors, and I'm not sure the Obama effect was even the primary of those factors.

Consider this: Hagan beat Dole 53% to 44%, an almost ten point spread, but Obama barely took the state over McCain. So...a whole lot of people that voted for McCain also voted for Kay Hagan. Or they voted for McCain but couldn't bring themselves to vote for Dole, and skipped that part of the ballot. Whatever.

My point is, Dole did not have the (overwhelming) support of Republicans, Independents or conservative Dems. Because a lot of them realized she was a neocon fake, and not a true conservative. And her staunch free-trade positions pissed off a whole lot of (former) factory workers, regardless of their party affiliation.

At the end of the day, Liddy Dole could not maintain the illusion she constructed six years ago, so we gave her her walking papers.

I hear what you're saying scharrison

Look, my whole contention is now and has been throughout this discussion that Hagan didn't win because she's like this super representative and candidate. She won for a NUMBER of reasons, many of which I pointed being the "Obama factor", another being the "Bush factor", another being a terrible candidate in Liddy Dole, another being the state of the economy.

I understand your logic in that Hagan beat Dole even by more than Obama beat McCain...but, those were two separate races and obviously there would be a difference. I know folks that said they voted for McCain and not for large part because of her age, her last-ditch ad, your reasons cited above etc.

Somehow this whole thing got misconstrued. I'm TOTALL of the opinion, though, that take away the Obama factor and take away the anti-republicanism (that a word?) prevelant then....and Hagan doesn't pull ahead, the stupid ad doesn't happen and Dole wins.

We'll never know. So, guess this whole thing is moot.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

You are right in general, but maybe not about Hagan

Look, David Price lost back in the anti-Clinton 1994 election if I remember correctly. THAT was certainly a tidal wave loss, because he quickly won back his seat in a "normal" year. We're hearing about a lot of Democrats who might lose their seats in two years because they were "just" tidal wave candidates. I believe that, after all District 4 lived through it. Also, didn't the guy who won DeLay's seat LOSE this time around?

It happens.

But, I don't think that is the case with Dole. In my opinion, the thing that killed Dole were those commercials talking about how she was 92 and 93 and how she only spent 7 DAYS in the state one year.

It might have been closer, but I think Kay Hagan would have won.

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

Rack up another minority party on the trashpile of history

Careful now, lib/dems. If the repubs can regroup correctly, it's not gonna be as easy next time.* Smitty New Year's prediction

Careful for what? The Republican party is in total chaos with idiot little factions of it running in all directions to get out town. It has become a minority party with the present leadership of Sara Palin and few other cast off conservatives who couldn't find their way out of a Rick Warren closet.If the Democrat party does not solve the economic chaos of the United States, it will be headed south like Republican party and forever forgotten on the state of affairs why empires fail with currency that has no value nor the assets to settle it's affairs with it's citizens. You will be returning to 5 th world barbarism of the past and it will be a long time if and when a civilzation with justice and liberty ever returns.....And don't count on Jesus saving your ass at the last moment with magic tricks of myths by a program state religion who couldn't find Paradise in Disney World........

Max prediction????

Is your memory that short? The republicans became majority congress/presidency in recent history, mi amigo. They screwed it up because of a quest for power and because of an inept and incapable president.

Now...hopefully that's not going to be the case going forward for the demos. But, don't get too secure just because of one particular election.

But, hey, if demos do make that point V E R Y careful.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

They screwed it up because

they followed that inept and incapable lockstep.

Democrats are not so good at that ;-)

I listened to Congressman Butterfield

the other night and he has everything lined up and by his description, the Dems are going to have an easy run around here.

While it is acceptable to get excited, no one party is going to have all the answers. The repugs did not, and the Dems will not because even if the repugs are a minority, they are a group. They represent somewhere around 43% if you use the last election. Dems had 52%. So the dems, just like the rupugs cannot make decisions for all the people and do it down party lines. That will piss off people. Those pissed of people will get together and generate support and those in power will fall into a laxidasical attitude with a "you cant touch me" swagger. Ask the swaggering repugs what happened.

They are off their horse. They have not gotten up yet and rubbed their backsides yet to sooth their butts, or to knock the dust off them. But as a nation, we do it all the time. Do not get complacent, I doubt BlueNC folks are going to get complacent, but our politicians are going to. They will get knocked off their horse. It happened before, it will happen again because people will not look back at history and do what is required to stop the cycle.

IN my opinion, the dems need to take the next true step toward change and replace Pelosi and Reid. They will be rallying points for the repugs. They are going to become a liability for dems.

Max predictions are a 100%

Is your memory that short? * Generic History Smitty

Nope! In fact it is brilliant on ancient and modern history. So name us the major political parties in American history that have fail when they control the majority interest in American Government?

No cheating now! You should be fiquring out how you are to make it in the next few years instead of believing in Republican myths.....

There ya go again, Max

Um.....sorry for not recognizing your "brilliance" on ancient and modern history. Politics is cyclical, Mr. Ego. What goes around comes around in our country politically and it's been that way for a very, very long time.

But...if you can muster up some "facts and figures" that show your particular party or cause in a favorable light....more power to ya.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

You can't touch me Smitty?

Is your memory that short? * Smitty

Nope! But you appear to be having senior citizen republican moments, I never said that.....In fact I was part of the Republican revolution of 94 big time and was at center of the republican universe of power with Newt.........In 1994 my dog could have run for congress in a majority democrat district and won without a problem.......

The Republicans lost because of their quest for corrupt power and the M.C Hammer slogan.........." You can't touch me"

They had it coming and the faster the Republican party becomes a minority party and destroy, the more freedom or liberty will be given to those who work for it.........Big Time Chaos is coming.......I hope I am wrong......But, you can't live on printed MO money paper currency with no real wealth or assets behind it and expected a civilzation to be maintain as a Barbarian Colony.....'s gonna work out,

Yeah...those times when Newt & Co. was in his hayday and we repubs had it going on big time were like THE BEST. It's why I know what the demos are feeling right now. They're on top of the world feeling indestructable. Some say they know they have to "watch it"...but I can just see the tone.

You're dead on with your presentation on living on printed money with no wealth or assets behind it. It's why I put out the thread questioning just how in the heck we're gonna pay for all these fabulous-sounding programs and initiatives while still fighting an expensive war in Afghanistan, sending hundreds of billions of dollars to citizens in an effort to jump-start our economy, create just millions of new government jobs and so forth.

But, somehow I think it's all gonna work out. Just a gut feeling.

Senior moments? HAHAHAHA...guilty !!!!

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Dang....she really missed a chance to

get in Obama's face. Now Secret Service will never let that happen. :D

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

She's definitely playing defense.

But I've always wondered if there's even a ball on this shot. There could be, but something about Barack's hand makes me think that he wasn't really shooting.

Ever see Shaq

on the free throw line? Need I say more?