Love for our Democratic candidates

This started out as a comment, but since I knew I needed to blog about what I did this weekend, I decided to expand my comment on TrueMeckDems post and just go ahead and write up a little something ... imperfectly thought out, though it is.

We have had a question posed here about why Democratic candidates for state wide offices have not been to blueNC to post or dialog with us as they have plummeted deeper and deeper into general election mode.

I would submit that our Democratic candidates are very busy right now touring the state so they can win their elections. Many, if not all of them are out there at public events all over the state nearly every week. So, I have a few different questions I think we would do well to ask of ourselves: What are WE doing to help them? Do we care to help them?

If we do want to help them, why aren't we going to their events, covering their speeches, and blogging about them?

If we don't care to help them, then I think Robert P. may be right, why should they come here?

I'm as guilty as anyone -- more, in fact. I ran up to the library in Brevard this past Saturday to hear/see Kay Hagan. I was in town with my daughter and had a long enough break at lunch that I could do that. I was going to blog about it, but realized that I would have to write from a different angle than intended.

No time like the present, I guess ...

My problem last Saturday was, I got lost and got confused and went to a Dole event that was going on in town at the same time. Consequently, I got to the Hagan event fairly late. I was really mad at myself. (They had closed off a block of Main street in front of the Municipal Building on a busy Saturday -- and sold food/lunch at lunch time -- in a tourist town for Dole's thing ... terribly inconsiderate of local businesses if you ask me.)

Hagan had invited folks to come out to the library downtown on a Saturday and sit and have lunch with her and her family in a quiet place where two way communication could actually take place. She gave a policy speech (which I missed, having been diverted by the lure of balloons and cacophoney on Main Street) and she answered a number of questions from the crowd.

Dole, on the other hand, had set up a mini-carnival of balloons, streamers, food booths and noise. All flash, no substance.

Wish I had a camera. The visual difference between the two events was truly remarkable. One was about community and communication. The other was about Bread & Circuses. It was a meta-lesson.


Wow, Leslie

What a contrast.

I haven't had as much access to candidate events since I'm no longer as centrally located. It takes me twice as long to get to places like Greensboro and Charlotte and you can add an hour - hour and a half to trips to Raleigh, etc. I miss it, terribly. I loved writing about Larry Kissell's fundraisers and I've been assured that they will have some that are geared more toward the small dollar donors and I do plan to go.

I do have more candidate pieces planned for BlueNC and will start posting them again but they won't be on the scene reporting of speeches/events. Linda Cockman has encouraged us to start cross-posting again and I think that's a good idea, so I will put my Hayes piece up at the national sites tomorrow.

Kay's got guts and I know she'll be back, but after the vitriol that has been directed at her here I wouldn't blame her if she marked BlueNC off her list.

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

Yeah, about "vitriol"

I think "vitriol" as applied to Hagan's treatment here is a bit of an exaggeration, but I do think that the more we demand of candidates, the less likely their visits will become. This is not to say that we shouldn't all demand as much as we can from anyone who wants our vote, but it is to say that it helps to be mindful of strategy for our long-term interests.

I think Hagan has been pretty sharp about her strategy thus far, and I can't fault her for that.

You don't want your candidate to fall on his or her sword for a given issue unless that issue is dispositive of any larger battles yet to come. I guess that's the question we all wrestle with, and making the call on those issues is always going to be an individual's responsibility.

I say this as one who hates bearing witness to what might be called "expediency," but who hates even more the idea that a candidate doesn't have the sense to survive -- especially if the alternative is as bleak as I think our alternatives in the current high ballot races are.

This is the bandwagon I'm riding

I don't know why folks think candidates owe us anything. It's our job to find out everything we can about them and then support them or not.

For example, I invited Walter Dalton here a half dozen times. He can't be bothered to respond, which is completely his prerogative. He owes us nothing. If his competitor weren't a complete Neanderthal, I'd be voting Republican for LG. As it is, I may yet abstain. We all make our choices and Dalton's made his.

When it's clear that this forum has benefits they need, they do and will show up. That's why Munger was here - he needed some visibility - and he got it.

On the other hand, I've actually discouraged some candidates from wasting time here. Unless there's a tangible value we can offer in terms of buzz, fundraising, idea-generation, or whatever, they should be out doing the grunt work on the ground.

Most North Carolina Democrats could care less what the left wing of their party thinks. In the long run, that'll be a problem for them. But in the short run, they can safely blow off progressive voices.


Jesus Swept, this December