I was given a copy of the Latas CD. It’s a nifty strategy for getting a candidate’s message out and I believe it’s the first time this has been done in Arizona politics. A tip of the hat to the Latas campaign.
Salette Latas, who also appears on the disc, is an excellent spokesperson for her husband’s campaign and would make an appealing candidate in her own right. Will the disc make up for a shortfall in other advertising strategies? Probably not, since I imagine that bulk mailings in sufficient numbers would be prohibitively expensive.
The disc is a nice compilation of video clips we’ve pretty much seen before and lays out positions we already know.
Both Latas and Weiss inveigh against “professional politicians” and offer themselves as “citizen legislators.” Of course once they are elected they will be professional politicians…the job, after all, that they have been campaigning for. I would certainly hope that once elected that they would stick around, season politically, rise in seniority and wisdom and serve the district for more than a term or two.
This “citizen legislator” pitch is pretty, but nothing more than a rhetorical flourish.
The Arizona Republic has endorsed Gabrielle Giffords to be the CD 8 Democratic candidate. The Republic had this to say about Weiss and Latas, her two most prominent opponents:
"Patty Weiss has high name recognition after three decades as a news anchor with Tucson’s NBC affiliate. Her views on the issues are thoughtful but not substantially different than those of Giffords. Her work as a journalist has made her an informed observer of Arizona government and politics, but there is significant difference between reporting the issues and crafting public policy to address them.
"Jeff Latas, is a pilot with a hero’s record in the Air Force. His stridency about the Bush administration’s handling of Iraq may appeal to angry Democrats in the primary, but he will lack the necessary appeal to moderates in November."
With less than a month to the primary election it’s time to speculate about what will come after. Let me cut to what I take to be the heart of the matter, as unhappy as Data Porters of whatever camp, may be.
I’ve noticed that there is an assumption amongst Democrats here on TDP that when the hurly-burly’s done, and when the battle’s lost or won, the Democratic Party is going to pour money on the anointed head. Doesn’t matter who it is, or how much money they’ve raised, all shortfalls will be overcome and we can press on to victory with other people’s money.
Well, it ain’t going to happen. Yes the party has money, and some will find its way in support of various campaigns, but after the election the DCCC will evaluate the winner of each campaign and only on the basis of that evaluation call major donors and say, “Listen, you have to send Jones 2100 bucks.”
Simply winning the primary will not be enough. What is the candidate’s fund raising record? Can he help us out with the financing of the campaign in the general? What about breadth of support in his community? Are organizations representing a variety of interest groups supporting him? How does his political record, if any, measure up against the general demographics of his district? And so on, and so on, and so on.
Disappoint the DCCC in some category or categories and suddenly the race in your district, which before was one of the leaders, will drop down toward the bottom of the list of possible winners and eyes will be turned elsewhere.
Suppose for a moment that Patty wins. She wasn’t endorsed by Emily’s List, for whatever reason. Do you think those folks are now going to ask their members to send money to Weiss? I don’t. I think they’re going to think they have many other candidates they like better.
Remember that no matter how much money there is, there is a limited amount of it.
I believe that Giffords, by virtue of her background, temperament, experience, and fit with the people of Congressional District Eight, is our best chance to beat the Republicans in November. Vote your heart, vote for anyone you like, but remember that this is a fight to control Congress, a fight to defeat the New American Century people, and remember that winning in November is all that f-ing matters.
Now what about the losers after the election, whoever they may be. My guess is that Latas doesn’t want a state job. He might want to take a shot at Congress in two years, when incumbency has not yet become an advantage that is so hard to overcome. Kolbe came back and defeated McNulty the second time around.
If Patty doesn’t win, I’d like to see her run for Mayor. She would make an ideal spokesperson and front man for Tucson. I have no idea what Gabby might do, run again for Congress would be my hope. But, who knows?
Whoever the losers are, does anyone think they will put their shoulders to the wheel and hit the campaign trail? No, me neither. Maybe Francine would God bless her.
This has been a very long post. Sorry…now let the blog wars begin.