Calling the Blue Dog

I tried to engage the Blue Dog, Steven Sisson, after his Bacon’s Rebellion column on campaign contributions, but the dog wasn’t hunting just then. I’m going to try again.

Howard Dean is poised to become the face of the Democratic Party. Two major political observers, Mickey Kaus and David Brooks, are seeing a connection between Democratic positioning on the issues and the fundraising Dean pioneered. As Brooks explains,

Many Republicans are mystified as to why the Democrats, having lost another election, are about to name Howard Dean as party chairman and have allowed Barbara Boxer and Ted Kennedy to emerge unchallenged as the loudest foreign policy voices.

The answer, as Mickey Kaus observes in Slate, is that the party is following the money. The energy and the dough are in the MoveOn.org wing, which is not even a wing of the party, but the head and the wallet. Only the most passionate and liberal voices can stir up this network of online donors from the educated class.

My question to the Blue Dog is how Tim Kaine maintains his “centrist” credentials in the 2005 gubernatorial race when he’s getting so much money from a Democratic Party financed on the left? If he disavows the liberal wing that controls the purse strings, does he risk alienating them?

Bark at me, Blue Dog.


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  1. Will, I agree somewhat. But Dems and Pubs are both raiding the PAC cookie jar — and word is, the nationwide 527 groups will join in soon. I’ll cover the funding topics in the Blue Dog Tales column — in the coming weeks.

    About Kilgore and Kaine: I’m just warming up!

    After Friday’s Blue Dog Tale column in the Augusta Free Press : No Amway Christian

    http://www.augustafreepress.com/stories/storyReader$31336

    … a political buddy, who is a Republican operative for Kilgore, wrote the Blue Dog: “Moderate to conservative? Give me a break Steve. Gun Control and Suing gun manufacturers, pro-choice, anti-death penalty, pro-gay adoption, pro-tax, pro-lawsuit, pro-John Kerry. This guy is the most liberal candidate for a statewide office since Henry Howell. I am sure Tim appreciates your participation in his extreme make-over to a ‘moderate-conservative.’”

    LATER, he sent me this gem of a news clip from the Richmond Times Dispatch, reporter Tyler Whitley wrote: “But Kaine said that when he was a missionary in Honduras, he witnessed orphans who were treated ‘hellaciously.’ As a consequence, he would favor allowing individual gays or lesbians to adopt, so long as they create a loving environment, he said.”

    Holy Moses! … I replied, “Missionary ‘Choirboy’ Kaine sanctions ‘Hellacious Honduran’ Orphan Adoptions by Virginia’s Gays & Lesbians?”

    That sounds like a National Enquirer headline — or better yet, a Republican direct mailer to me.

    It’s interesting that Centrist Kaine is against gay and lesbian marriages (and civil unions), but in favor of gay and lesbian INDIVIDUAL adoptions of foreign orphans.

    As long as they create loving loving environments? That’s political bafflegab!

    That’s not traditional, pro-family philosophy with voters in the Commonwealth. It’s not being a Centrist either. He can’t play Captain Silent with the valley’s conservative voters — or for that matter, Virginia’s either. He needs to come clean on the social issues

    Kaine’s stands on Guns and the Death Penalty are well-documented on the ‘Net and matter of fact, extremely liberal. That’s going to hurt him in the general election.

    That Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine quote in the R-TD is reminiscent of Northern VA Democratic Blogger’s email who requested “Tips” and “Pointers” about God — because he was planning a trip this month to visit Jimmy Carter Sunday School Class in Plains, GA.

    Holy Moses Deja Vu!

    Here’s a TIP, buddy: “Believing in GOD would be a good starting POINT.”

  2. Barnie Day Avatar
    Barnie Day

    Don’t over complicate this match-up. Both start with 30%–their bases. The race is for the middle 40%. The winner only needs half plus one of that. So, what it comes down to is this: the winner will need to target–and get out–only 21% of the vote. The rest will be there regardless. If Virginia Democrats sometimes seem to lack a defined direction, Virginia Republicans have several. I’m not sure which is worse. There are clear divisions in the Republican ranks. If you ask yourself who is likely to pick up the most crossovers–Kilgore picking up Democrats or Kaine picking up moderate, pro-tax Republicans–given these divisions, I think you have a crystal ball look into what happens in November.

  3. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    I’d hate to see a race that turned on whether the Republicans tied Kaine to Deaniacs or the Democrats tied Kilgore to Falwellers. There will be a lot of that, but I think the candidate who comes up with a big idea and gets it to fit on a bumper sticker will win.

    Hopefully the big idea will be something positive, doable, and uniting.

  4. Complicate the race? Who zoomed who …

    I’ve read campaign material from both sides — It’s a social issue free-for-all. The managers are determining the issues. It’s not the media, it’s not the Bacon Rebellion bloggers and it’s certainly not the public.

    At this point, the Gubernatorial polling is not even close —

    According to sources with the GOP, Tim Kaine is consistently down 10/9 points in the polls — and he’s not getting traction with the public (so the Kaine race goes negative early because their playing catch up).

    With the out-of-state contributions flowing from the DNC, Mr. Kilgore decides to resign in order to raise matching funds and allows the GOP to select next Attorney General.

    After two years of nonstop barnstorming, I’m glad citizen Kilgore is finally campaigning away from the AG office.

    Make no mistake, Jerry Kilgore is obviously the front-runner — and will probably win the election with the same polling results as Bush. Unless something earth-shattering happens.

    In Friday’s article, I said some favorable things about both campaigns. I’m trying to arrange an interview with Mr. Kilgore and talk about undocumented immigration and gang & drug related activities. Those are big issue in the valley.

  5. I suppose the comments above could be distilled into the following “mathematical” expression: (Tim Kaine + Howard Dean + Democrat base) – (independent middle of electorate) = Governor Kilgore.

  6. Barnie Day Avatar
    Barnie Day

    I think it looks more like this: Tim Kaine + Mark Warner Republicans + John Chichester Republicans + (Steve Baril Republicans x .25) + the Transportation Republicans of Northern Virginia + Linwood Holton Republicans + the Democratic base – (everything Kilgore can do) = 51%.

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