What Grier Martin can learn from Jim Webb

First, should he run? I was talking to an old state politics veteran the other day, and he said that Martin is “too smart” to get in the race. This fellow reasoned that Martin, a rising star in the party, would wait for a slam dunk. After all, he could just as easily flame out (see: Ballantine, Patrick). And a Senate race against a nationally-connected incumbent in a Presidential year is an uphill battle for even the most seasoned veteran. So why should Martin get in the race? I would argue that it’s precisely because he’s a rising star. Even if he loses, he will have spent a year and a half building statewide name recognition, building support with party activists, and talking to voters in their living rooms. He will have gone from obscure state legislator to one of the most prominent faces of the NC Democratic Party. Then, in 2010, he would have a number of options. He would be a frontrunner against Richard Burr, or he could run for U.S. House if Brad Miller decides to run against Burr. With a sizeable fundraising network and considerable name recognition, he could improve on his results from 2008. In other words, there’s no down side to running.

But how can he win? Dole won’t be easy to beat – she’s a well-funded, nationally-connected Washington insider in a conservative state. To me, it’s obvious that we need to take a page from recent history – say, 2006. A relatively unknown Democrat, Jim Webb, takes on a well-funded, nationally-connected Washington insider named George Allen. Remember, when Webb got in the race, Allen was making trips to Iowa and South Carolina to audition for the White House. A macaca or two later, and he’s packing up his office. The Webb campaign was a thing of beauty, and many of its strategies capitalized on peculiarities of Virginia politics, strategies we can’t field here in North Carolina. But there are, I think, some basic lessons from the Webb campaign that would go a long way towards giving us Senator Grier Martin (D-N.C.):

1. Be the populist candidate. Too often, Democrats let Republicans co-opt the language and ideas of populism for their silly “culture war.” We become mealy-mouthed and long-winded, while the GOP gasbags are claiming to speak for families. Jim Webb never backed down from his message of economic populism, and it resonated in Virginia. Economic populism can work in North Carolina, especially against some like Sen. Dole, who consistently votes against North Carolina’s families.
2. Be the military candidate. Jim Webb, a bona-fide war hero, made sure that every voter in Virginia knew that he was the only candidate who had put his life on the line for our country. When he talked about Iraq, he spoke as a decorated veteran and the father of a Marine. This message resonated with voters in Virginia, a state with a large military population. Like Webb, Martin has served in uniform, and can speak to the issues the concern military families. Elizabeth Dole has a consistent track record of voting against our veterans, and who better to call her on it than a veteran?
3. Be the North Carolina candidate. One of the most powerful narratives the Webb campaign developed was that of the absentee George Allen. Instead of listening to the people of Virginia and standing up for them, he was taking trips to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. He was more interested in being President than in being Senator, and Jim Webb called him out on it. Similarly, Martin should highlight the fact that Sen. Dole is almost never in North Carolina, and she’s more of a Washington insider than a North Carolinian. People feel very strongly about the cultural difference between someone from North Carolina and a career politician from D.C. Martin should never hesitate to mention that he’s the candidate for North Carolina communities.
4. Be the aggressive candidate. When voters are upset, they want their candidate to be upset. In 2006, voters were upset with the direction of the country. They were impatient about Iraq, disgusted with ethical scandals, and angry about Katrina. Accordingly, Jim Webb ran an aggressive campaign that held George Allen accountable for what was going on in the capital. He never appeared angry or unhinged, but he definitely seemed outraged. The mood may be different in 2008, but the approach should be the same. In 2008, I predict that the electorate will largely be looking for “freshness” – a new start. This is good news for all challengers, obviously. But the key is to stay on the aggressive, constantly pushing the ways that the candidate represents a new page in our history. With Martin, it could be his youth, his service, his philosophy, etc.

Seems to me that Grier Martin has no excuse for not getting in the race. And once he’s in, he has a very good shot of becoming a U.S. Senator, provided he follows the cues from the Webb-Allen race. So I say, “Run, Grier, run.”

Comments

Absolutely.

Recommended with enthusiasm! And I hope others will click on the five stars to keep this up on the recommended list. (Things stay there longer than they do on the front page.)


Be the military candidate.
Jim Webb, a bona-fide war hero, made sure that every voter in Virginia knew that he was the only candidate who had put his life on the line for our country. When he talked about Iraq, he spoke as a decorated veteran and the father of a Marine. This message resonated with voters in Virginia, a state with a large military population. Like Webb, Martin has served in uniform, and can speak to the issues the concern military families. Elizabeth Dole has a consistent track record of voting against our veterans, and who better to call her on it than a veteran?

Be the North Carolina candidate. One of the most powerful narratives the Webb campaign developed was that of the absentee George Allen. Instead of listening to the people of Virginia and standing up for them, he was taking trips to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. He was more interested in being President than in being Senator, and Jim Webb called him out on it. Similarly, Martin should highlight the fact that Sen. Dole is almost never in North Carolina, and she’s more of a Washington insider than a North Carolinian. People feel very strongly about the cultural difference between someone from North Carolina and a career politician from D.C. Martin should never hesitate to mention that he’s the candidate for North Carolina communities.

This is what scares Liddy Dole the most.

This is an excelent article.....

I love being educated.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

The best part about this

Is it is different, but dovetails perfectly with, the email that I sent Grier a few weeks ago.

At my training (second of 2) last week I saw Steve Jarding and Jessica Vanden Berg speak about the Webb race. The best story was when Steve recounted how at about the 3rd meeting or so, Jim Webb kept on pressing him for a number, saying "what percent chance do I have?". Steve responded with 15%. Webb's response: "So I have a chance".

If Grier has that type of mindset we will win this race.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Hey, Blue!

When are you going to post about your amazing new job and training and experience, etc., etc. Are you allowed to do that? Would you? Pretty please?

The training

would require me to have time to do it. On the job, Im not really allowed to post too much.

Honestly, the only reason I am even posting today is because I dont have to go in until noon today.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Add on

From the Wellstone training, which was amazing, I took 28 pages of typed notes. If anyone wants those let me know, you just have to promise to get this book to go along with them.

The thing that I keep reminding people about is that when Wellstone won in 1990 he stood up and called himself a liberal. He was running in a red state, a state that hadnt elected a Democrat for Governor or Senate in a LLLOOOONNNGGG time and he beat a very well funded incumbent. There are a lot of lessons for us in that story.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I bought that book before I filed

Read it in one night ... I didn't by chance lend it to you, did I? My copy is missing ...

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

Rec'd.

I seriously think that is a race we ALL would get so excited about and into ... turning out Democrats in droves at the polls.

"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."

recommended as well.

I think the Republicans take Liddy's seat for granted, especially after Brad Miller decided to continue to pursue his House seat.

Grier could learn from Tester as well

When I mentioned Grier to a friend who worked in a prominent position on the Tester campaign, he said "Get him in the race!" There are lots of parallels, and lots of people who would love to see Grier succeed and will help.

Fingers crossed that he jumps in...

Feel like you're spinning your wheels?
Get some Traction... turning energy into progressive movement

I like to hear that

The more veterans of the Tester and Webb campaign that call Grier and sign on to a campaign early on the better in my mind. Those are the races we need to emulate, and who better than vets of those campaigns to ensure that happens?

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I Hope They Do -

I think the Republicans take Liddy's seat for granted

That will make the victory that much sweeter.

Have I ever told you how much I detest a carpetbagger?

Well, I do. And Look Who She Hangs Out With!

Ew!

The main thing Grier needs to learn from Webb. . .

Is how to bitchslap a Republican, as Webb did on Meet the Press yesterday. I know Webb isn't the biggest lib in the world, but man was it gratifying to see him hand Lindsay Graham HIS ASS. Booyah!!!!!!!!

War is over if you want it.

War is over if you want it.

Not to mention

The best SotU response we've had in years.

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

Do You Have Any -

it gratifying to see him hand Lindsay Graham HIS ASS.

YouTube vid to go with that b****slapping?

I'd love to see that. heh.

All you gotta do is ask. :)

There's a lot more of it out there. This is the shortest one.


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

What a breath of fresh air. . .

I love the smell of pigs roasting on a Sunday morning!

War is over if you want it.

War is over if you want it.

Graham just looked like a fool

He tried the standard Republican tactic of talking over Webb.

It didn't work.


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

Yep.

And Webb hammered his ass when he said that "Let 'em win" bullshit. I'm thinking Webb should be our VP nom next year. I don't see any of the big three (I know Edwards has been fading in terms of $$$, but he's still hitting the streets with great effect) taking the #2 slot when they lose to the eventual nominee.

War is over if you want it.

War is over if you want it.

The thing is

That at this point in 2005 Allen was preparing for a Presidential run and everything that the Webb campaign used on him after macaca was things the press knew, but didnt care about. And yes, they did know about things like stuff like the noose in the window.

By contrast, while we know of little like that in Dole's past, her appearances on things like Meet the Press and her continued residence in DC show that starting out she appears more likely than Allen did to make comments that will lead to her demise

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"