Monday, April 28, 2008

There is No Candidate Fairy

There's been a good bit of chatter today about the robo call the DPG commissioned to solicit candidates for some targeted races. I've had several calls, and no one who called thinks it was a good idea. People used words like "embarrassing" and "desperate" and in general made fun of the effort. Truthfully, I could've written the press on it before it ever happened. The spin was predictable, but it points to a larger problem.

We need a systematic program to identify, train and elect Democrats. While the party has a role in this, I'm not sure that this can really be accomplished through the DPG. Some entity needs to have the freedom to focus only on recruitment, and they must have the latitude to be selective about who they support in primaries. It needs to be someone's full time job. I have some thoughts about this, but, that's a discussion for the day after qualifying.

Right this minute, we all need to understand that there is no candidate fairy-there is no pipeline, (though there needs to be a pipeline and there can be a pipeline.)And, frankly, the way to make gains in the House and Senate is not by simply fielding a candidate-any candidate-in every race. It's probably better to have nine candidates in districts we have a great chance of flipping than to have 20 candidates in races where success is unlikely. This isn't just true for Democrats. When we're done with qualifying on Friday, there will be a lot of incumbent Democrats who are unchallenged. Neither Democrats or Republicans will invest a whole lot of money in races they are unlikely to win. Add to that, when you're in the minority, it is no small task to find qualified candidates who have the time to both campaign and serve, especially in districts 250+ miles from Atlanta. The bottom line is that if we want candidates in these key races, we all need to be reaching out to whomever we know in these key districts.
So, get on the phone and call your friends or family in places like Cordele or Camilla.


A New Direction said...

There are no candidate fairies, but people should realize its their responsibility to be a part of the process. Its a shame that people are too apathetic toward the very thing that impacts their lives (government), to be a participant.

One wise person said it best. "We get the government we deserve."

Thanks for making a difference in your world.

Tina said...

I don't think the problem is as much apathy as opportunity and feasibility.
When we had an agricultural society, winter was a good time for politician-gentleman farmers to spend some time making laws. The number of farmers in the Georgia legislature has decreased, but the very nature of the job still pretty much rules out anyone who has to show up for work every day whether that person is salaried or self-employed an an activity which requires his or her presence. The Democrats at this point have a small pool to select from anyhow, and the pool is made even smaller by restrictions imposed by the person's employment or family responsibilities.