Friday, November 10, 2006

Learning from Lamont

I think the article linked in the title is a good one by David Sirota, who worked on the Lamont campaign the past few months. He's got an interesting perspective from there. Interesting and true, imo.

Here in the San Diego area there are several reliably Republican districts, currently held by entrenched Republican politicians. This is a conservative place, overall. In past years, Republicans have had a firm hold on their seats, and their Democratic challengers barely make a dent during the elections. The Democrats end up with 25 percent of the vote or less...sometimes a lot less.

This year was different. Even where they didn't win, Democrats....grassroots Democrats...presented a real challenge to the incumbents. The votes aren't all counted here yet. The paper ballots (which I expect to be overwhelmingly Dems) aren't included in the totals yet, and the races were much closer than I ever remember. I don't recall anyone getting over 30% in the district Duncan Hunter calls home, but Rinaldi did just that. Jeeni Cricenzo got over 30% against Darrell Issa, and Francine Busby has run a strong race against Brian Bilbray.

Maybe these good folks haven't won the elections, but they showed that grassroots Democrats have made inroads and are NOT the "fringe" candidates the MSM rail against. They're the public face of a whole lot of people who want the Democratic party to return to Democratic/democratic values. I think this is a great success on top of the overall success by Dems in this election cycle.

I feel much the same way regarding Lamont's campaign. He did respectably well facing the overwhelming obstacles of an entrenched incumbent, and forced that incumbent to move back toward the center (or at least to talk the talk) in order to win. Grassroots candidates forced the career politicians into the light,and I like that a whole bunch.


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