Monday, March 12, 2018

Conor Lamb's Congressional bid in tomorrow's Pennsylvania special election

I forced myself to listen to Trump's whole, long, rambling, narcissistic speech from Saturday, campaigning in Pennsylvania for Republican Congressional candidate Rick Saccone, who is running in a special election that takes place tomorrow. Trump unscripted and unleashed in Pennsylvania stump speech 03/10/2018:

TPM's Caitlin MacNeal notes of that race, "Republicans are unhappy with Saccone’s performance, and conservative groups have been forced to dump money into a race for a deep red district." (Report: Trump Criticizes ‘Weak’ Penn. House Candidate Behind Closed Doors 03/12/2018)

This is why the Democrats need to be regularly running a 50 state strategy. To build the strength of the party, it requires running campaigns in Republican-dominated districts even when a Democratic loss looks highly unlikely. Because at the very least, it will require Republicans "to dump money into a race for a deep red district." It also builds up the party's infrastructure, gets a positive version the Democratic message in front of more voters in the district, and gives actual electoral experience to potential candidates and party activists.

Here are Joe Scarborough and his panel on Morning Zoo talking about the speech, President Donald Trump's Worst Instincts In Display In Speech MSNBC 03/12/2018:

David Ignatius in a different Morning Joe segment talks about the Democratic candidate, Conor Lamb, as like a "Scoop Jackson Democrat," referring to the very hawkish Democratic Senator from Washington who played a big role in developing what we now call the neoconservative foreign policy perspective. Jonathan Swan in Axios observes, "Lamb is running effectively as Republican Lite. He's pro-gun and says he personally opposes to abortion (though he supports abortion rights)." (Trump privately trashes Rick Saccone 03/11/2018)

It's a good sign for abortion rights if the position of being personally opposed to abortion but supporive of women's choice is staring to be considered by the media as Republican Lite. That for decades was considered the "safe" Democratic liberal position. It was notable that Hillary Clinton straightforwardly defended abortion rights in her campaign for the 2016 Presidential election. For years, she used the slogan that she wanted abortion to be "safe, legal, and rare," her version of personally-opposed-but-want-it-kept-legal position.

Elaine Swensen in This Democrat Is Running for Congress — but Not Against Trump The Atlantic 03/05/2018 talks about how Conor is campaigning on local issues and not emphasizing attacking Trump.
Lamb calls himself a “Western Pennsylvania Democrat,” which seems to him to mean focusing on things like labor issues, the opioid crisis, and the need to protect entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security. Lamb’s emphasis on these particular items is an effort to endear him to the same voters who supported Trump—perhaps the same people Trump referred to in his 2016 victory speech as the “forgotten men and women of America.”

The congressional district has more than 87,000 union members, and Lamb is leaning heavily into labor issues. ...

The other issue on which Lamb appears laser-focused is the opioid crisis. More than 4,600 fatal overdoses occurred in Pennsylvania in 2016. The former federal prosecutor said his years spent working on heroin cases inspired him to run for office in the first place. He’s pushing for longer and more-affordable treatment programs. “It’s not easy, and it’s not cheap,” Lamb told me, “but we should expect enough from our government that they should be able to get that done.”
The danger in a 50 state strategy is that the current Democratic leadership will seek out Republican Lite candidates.

But I'm not at all sure that Conor Lamb's campaign can be called a Republican Lite campaign.

No comments: