Thinking things through

Unlike lots of other political blogs, BlueNC is not a forum that's obsessively focused on the 2008 presidential race. Yes we have folks who are strong and vocal supporters of individual candidates, but by and large, we lean more toward state politics than anything else.

All of which leaves me in a swivet when I get calls asking from people asking me to support this or that candidate. As a person who has flushed a boatload of money in primaries over the years, I'm up in the air about what to do right now. For example, I think John Edwards is a great guy who would make an awesome president, but I haven't jumped on his bandwagon because I haven't yet been able to make the case that it's the highest and best use of my resources.

The call I got today, however, triggered some new thoughts about the relationship between presidential politics and state politics. In particular, I'm trying to think through what kind of top-to-bottom ticket we might have in 2008 - and which collection of candidates would most likely result in a victory for progressive politics. For example, the wrong presidential nominee could undercut all sorts of North Carolina races and make it harder for progressive candidates to win in the NC House and Senate - and in the governor's race.

I don't know who the absolute best presidential candidate will be, but it may very well be John Edwards. My own personal favorite, Wes Clark, does not appear to be near the front of the pack, which is a shame. The 2008 elections will be even more about national security than the 06 cycle was, and Clark has had the most cogent and consistent views on those issues of any candidate in either party.

All that said, there is one candidate who I believe would be devastating in North Carolina. Her name is Hillary Clinton. Don't misunderstand me, I think Clinton is good on lots of issues. And it's exciting to see a powerful woman taking on the Boys Club mentality that dominates US politics. Plus she's doing a great job as a New York Senator.

But in the disastrous wake of the Child King's rein of error, two things will be of critical importance for our nation and the world. First, the new president will have to pull America back together again. And second, he or she will have to reach out to the international community and repair the untold damage done by the American Party of Greed. Hillary may be able to pull off the latter, but she cannot deliver the former. If she were elected, she would be the second most divisive president in history right out of the blocks.

I don't know who would be best in doing the two jobs I'm describing, but I do think this is a productive way to look at it. Not just for what it means for the country, but for what it means for each and every state as well. We're building strong momentum for progressive policies in North Carolina, and we cannot afford to lose it.

Final thought. Does anyone actually know a real live person who thinks Hillary Clinton should run for president? I've asked far and wide, all around the country, and I have yet to find a single soul who supports her candidacy. I'm sure their are some, but I don't know them.

Comments

State house

Keeping the governor's mansion and the council of state would be tougher because of hillary.

We would lose the House and come close to losing the Senate if she runs. No matter how hard anyone works.

HelpLarry.com

"Keep the Faith"

We won't lose the House

(Not that I'm voting for Hillary)

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

Disagree

I have seen what Hillary's name does to people in other parts of the state. Having met a lot of the people who vote Democratic out in areas like Murphy I think we lose 2-5 points in every district that is not "safe dem".

HelpLarry.com

"Keep the Faith"

You idiot

Haven't you ever heard of magical thinking?

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

We won't lose the House

(Not that I'm voting for Hillary)

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

I'm going to post this on the national blogs.

Thanks for your recommendations.

Daily Kos.

____________________________________

We are not amused.

reccd

and commented.

HelpLarry.com

"Keep the Faith"

And at

MyDD

____________________________________

We are not amused.

yeah...

I dont post at mydd. Well, I didnt, then I saw two straight Matt Stoller posts that pretty much attacked Edwards and were nothing more than him making shit up, and decided not to give them the time of day.

HelpLarry.com

"Keep the Faith"

Strangely enough...

the only ones I know of who are actually supporting Hillary! in the 2008 race are conservatives, and that's only because she's such a polarizing figure in American politics and that they figure people who are on the fence will run screaming toward the Republican candidate.

I like Edwards for President, but I gotta be honest here - at this point it's only because I'm not completely frickin' sick of him yet.

The Thornsetter Project

Actually ...

I know quite a few Hillary supporters, though few from NC. Many people in Carolina circles are mum about the Presidential races and are focusing on the Guv 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

Recc'd you at both sites

Thanks for posting this A, we really do need to have more conversations like this!

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

Only Republicans want Hillary to run

If she gets nominated, I'm starting a new party.

Sounds like a job for my Candidate

First, the new president will have to pull America back together again. And second, he or she will have to reach out to the international community and repair the untold damage done by the American Party of Greed.

Hillary can't do the former. Edwards simply doesn't have the experience, relationships, or expertise to do the latter. The same goes for the Obamanation that would be the junior Senator from Illinois’s foreign policy – and he actually has more concrete FoPo experience than Edwards. Edwards’s denigration of Foreign Policy experience in recent interviews has added to my worries that Edwards would be a great Vice President, but not a great head of state.

I think Biden has the humanity to do the former as well as anybody except Obama, and the ability, experience, tact, finesse, relationships, gravitas, and respect to do the latter better than any candidate in the field. I had many interesting experiences as a Senate FR Committee intern, but one that persists in my memory is how much respect all the European ambassadors and other foreign leaders I met had for Biden.

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

You know Sam, I HAVE heard quite a few

of my friends and family claim to be in the Biden camp.

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

We have a wealth

of really good candidates. I like Edwards, and I think Clark for VP would really strengthen the ticket. But I think everyone who has been mentioned - Edwards, Clark, Obama, Biden, even Hillary Clinton - has what it takes to be a good president. Actually, my pet cat would be a better prez than W but that's another story. We do need a uniter, to pull our country together and make amends with the rest of the world for W's stupidity. I'm afraid Hillary would not be able to overcome the divisiveness the right has painted her with. Besides, I think she has taken politically convenient positions instead of standing on her principles a few times, and that bothers me.

At the Martin Luther King event on Monday, the pastor prayed for peace - peace within ourselves, among ourselves, and in the world - and he said, "Our country will tear itself apart from within if we do not learn to live together in peace and harmony." I think we need a leader who can help us get there.

The NetRoots will decide

Whomever has the most support of the NetRoots, that would be the people using tha InterWebs, will be nominated. Can the NetRoots give a Dem candidate the ability to beat the Republican candidate in '08? In a election after the worst US President in history? Hell yes!

I agree with Ruby. If Hillary or some such old guard Dem (ex. Biden) is nominated I'll stop voting for and supporting national Dems. I think allot of average non-techie type people will too. We're tired of their similarities to Republicans.

THANK Jebus for Orange County Dems!

How would Edwards run in NC?

Across the state, would he help bring out Democratic voters? Would he help more independent voters swing left? Can he win the state in a general election? Would he even campaign here? We can surmise all we want, but I'm not sure anyone has a good answer to these questions.

I think the Democratic candidate for Gov will influence turnout as much as the presidential candidate. The exception to that is a Clinton candidacy. In that case, I agree with A - all of the right wingers come out to vote.

adf

Politics is serious business.
Dodd has given himself a HUGE chunk of change to help his presidential bid by saying he wont run for Senate in 2010. Will end up being a check to himself for over 1.5 million.

HelpLarry.com

"Keep the Faith"

As usual, you come up with thought provoking

posts. Being relatively new to North Carolina I feel unqualified to intelligently comment on state politics and the people who may or may not run for statewide office here. Nan and I actively supported and fought for Senator Julia Boseman and against Al Roseman. We got involved in the Shuler campaign and contributed to Kissell's campaign. In each instance we did so because we believed in the candidate first and foremost. I believe many others, regardless of formal party affiliation, did the same. Based on my analysis of our local races and the votes cast, I'd guesstimate there are 25-30% of the voters who are hardcore Republican, and about the same for Democrats. The remaining 40-50% (who may or may not vote) are going to decide based on their personal assessment of the candidate regardless of party. So...what does the Presidential candidate mean to "down-ballot" candidates? IMHO, not much...to those who regularly vote. What it may influence, however, is the turnout at the polls.

There are a lot of permutations and combinations one might ponder...i.e., the Hillary effect...or the Obama effect, etc. I'm not going to go there except to say I feel certain Hillary would bring out NC Republicans in droves and a lot of Dem's would still be so sick from throwing up night and day they wouldn't be able to wobble to the polls.

I'm an unabashed Edwards supporter. I like Clark a lot. Richardson has good diplomatic credentials...and I think I could find something good to say about all the rest. On the other hand, I've started to apply a litmus test to candidates for just about anything, but particularly the Presidency. That test is: Is she or he a professional politician? If the answer is clearly yes...I'm not gonna give 'em my support...because they haven't lived in the real world for years. Biden is in his 6th term. He hasn't the faintest idea of what it means to be a "common man" or to struggle. Obama is younger, but politics have basically been his whole life. Vilsack...the past 30+ years in public office...Clinton...same deal. In a nutshell, I don't trust these people to have felt, anytime in the recent past, what it feels like to be John or Judy Public...or to have any real empathy or fire in their belly to change the things so wrong in this country. Kissell knows. Shuler knows. Edwards knows Jim Webb knows. Yeah, Shuler and Edwards are wealthy...but they EARNED it, and like most the rest of us, they don't have a tax-payer paid health care plan and a lucrative pension plan...and on and on.

As far as committing now or waiting...Edwards didn't announce an "exploratory" committee so he could see how much money he could wring out of folks before he decided to run. He just did it. He put his heart and his beliefs out for all to see...and people are responding...and if a million good folks can each give at least $100...he won't need to twist any arms or be beholding to anyone. Is he perfect? No, but I believe he's our best hope for a better future because he has integrity, a strong sense of fair play, he's damn smart (as is Elizabeth Edwards) and he has proven himself to be a persuasive advocate for what he believes...proven in the court room. He believes in the America we all want...and that has been ripped from us by professional politicians who have never suffered a moment for their own feckless leadership and often self-serving actions.

Sorry...but I needed to say that!

Stan Bozarth

good rant

as proof of your conviction about the million people giving 100 bucks, Edwards is up to 546,000 on ActBlue. DraftObama has 7000 and is second.

HelpLarry.com

"Keep the Faith"

Woah, doggie

Biden is probably the poorest of the serious presidential candidates. He was no less middle class than Edwards when he grew up. He rides the train almost every day, ever since the 20 years he commuted home from DC almost every night to raise his children after his wife and daughter died in a car crash right before he was sworn into the senate. Edwards hasn't been "middle class" for over 25 years either.

It needs to be made abundantly clear that none of the presidential candidates are anywhere close to knowing what it's like to be Larry Kissell. Jefferson Smith isn't running for president, and while we have quite a few people who are a far cry from Kerry or Bush's wealth, these presidential candidates are not mythic characters. It's better to recognize that sooner rather than later.

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

Nowhere above

did I use the term "middle class" nor did I imply anything about wealth being a factor except to acknowledge that Shuler and Edwards were, unlike many they represent, wealthy...but that they had earned it. My point was and is that professional politicians (of all parties) live in a world foreign to our own...and that they have little idea of the realities most of us deal with....and that the privilege they enjoy is paid for by thee and me.

I believe in term limits...and that political power wielded for too long is corrupting. These folks start to believe their poop doesn't stink. Congressional pension plans, health care, and a host of other privileges they've voted for themselves prove my points. But, they continue to try to convince us they're just common folks.

Take a look sometime at Harry Reid's web site and read his bio. He's happy to talk about how he was born dirt poor, walked to school barefoot in the snow...up hill both ways...and how he and momma still live in the ole shack in Searchlight. Then go read his Senate financial disclosure...keeping in mind he has been a "public servant" all his life. It will blow your mind. Ask yourself how it came to be that he could pay $700K cash for a condo in Las Vegas...even on a Senator's salary. Kinda like Hillary and her futures trading. Ever done any of that? I can tell you a novice will get his/her clock cleaned in a heart beat. Not Hillary...she made a $100 grand without even knowing what she invested in. Wonder how that happened?

Biden may be a sweetheart...but he's been too long at what he does. He's out of touch with the real world.

Stan Bozarth

I've spent a good amount of time with both men

Biden was never "out of touch" with me, and he didn't have to be "in touch." And while you may be able to classify him as a "career politician," he's not Harry Reid. And he hasn't made a "career" out of running for president.

I'm well aware of all of your "facts," but all you have is this career politician myth to base your claims on. There are a lot of bad career politicans, and a lot of rich politicians, but you're making a baseless claim about Biden. I'm no fan of the establishment, but I'm not so blinded by a meme that I can't see through it from time to time.

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

Your closing remarks are insulting.

You're a little wet behind the ears to decry other's opinions as unworthy or "mythical," and to make accusations of blindness induced by faulty information passed along by cultural evolution. If you plan on a career in politics you're off to a good start...

Stan Bozarth

And your last comment wasn't?

If you're going to use an assumption backed up by facts about other politicians to caluminate a politician, and you don't have anything to say about the other politician other than pure, factless opinion, then you have to be prepared to be challenged.

I'm sorry if I get less diplomatic after my intelligence is insulted. I usually believe the words of Senator Mike Mansfield; "our job is not to ascribe motives but to find that one thing in our colleagues that is admired." But when you say something like "Biden is in his 6th term. He hasn't the faintest idea of what it means to be a "common man" or to struggle," it gives me the impression that your bias goes beyond the opinion that power held too long is corrupting. And when that becomes the only premise for everything that follows, it's pretty weak. If you had any real things to say about Biden, you should have said them in place of going off on a condescending rant about Harry Reid.

I find all of this surprising with the striking similarities between Joe's and John's personal histories. They've both had as much if not more struggle in their lives than any of the other presidential candidates.

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

With Hillary on the ticket

can't see Shuler getting reelected.
 
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

nor can I see

Joe Sam or John Snow getting reelected.

And that is just the Senate side.

HelpLarry.com

"Keep the Faith"

I think this point is settled

So now lets get not-Hillary elected.

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