Matt Murray of Roll Call (sorry, subscription required) has a great piece out on Larry Kissell. I wish I could give you the entire article. He actually ventured (via phone) to NC to get quotes about Larry and his run against Robin Hayes this cycle.
It opens like so:
Kissell, a high school teacher, was defeated by textile mill owner Hayes in November by 329 votes. And while largely ignored by the DCCC in the waning days of the 2006 cycle, Kissell is fast becoming becoming its darling.
“They sent us a cheesecake on election night,” Kissell recently recalled of his 11th hour pleas for DCCC cash that he believed would have put them over the edge. “We honestly thought we were going to get some help. What I’ve heard since is that [the DCCC] did a couple of polls in the last couple of weeks and the demographics were wrong.”
“They missed it,” he added.
Now doted over like a child whose parents just forgot his birthday, Kissell is in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with committee officials and fundraising among major Democratic donors.
"Doted over like a child whose parents just forgot his birthday...." Bwahahaha.....that's a good one.
Murray then describes some of the more attention-grabbing events the campaign held - like selling gas at the price it was in 1998 when Hayes first took office. He also mentions the hilarious Chinese Take-out meal the campaign sent the Hayes' staffers so they could stay up late figuring a new spin on Hayes' CAFTA lie.
Murray then interviews a Republican who....big surprise.....says Larry doesn't have a chance.
Then I get a shot at it:
He has moved beyond ‘[Hayes] lied to his constituents when he fast-tracked CAFTA,’” said Betsy Muse, a Democratic political blogger in North Carolina. “He’s moved beyond that to ‘How do we fix the problems [Hayes’ vote] has caused?’”
“That’s the maturing into a mainstream, frontline candidate,” she said.
But Kissell’s coming of age, according to some Democratic bloggers in the state, may put him at odds with some of the more liberal national net roots, the prominent liberal Web sites he actively courted in 2006.
I think I meant to say front-runner....but that's OK. Oh and who is that "some Democratic bloggers"? Heh...why it's our very own Gregflynn. :)
Greg Flynn, another Democratic blogger in the state, agrees that Kissell’s DCCC debut may isolate him from some national online liberal activists, but with a catch: Some distance from the MoveOn.org crowd actually may help him in a mostly unwired — and liberal-activist-averse — district.
“It’s kind of like a ratchet: He may not gain any more progressive support ... but I think he’s going to gain more in the district,” Flynn said.
Greg and I apparently said about the same thing....only Greg said it better. Murray had asked me if the word "liberal" was a negative in the 8th District and I told him that it was - even among many Democrats. I also told him that a Netroots affiliation wouldn't hurt Larry simply because the folks living in the district didn't know who we were and probably didn't care. Back to me:
For now, Democratic blogger Muse said the national blogosphere is reacting well to Larry Kissell 2.0. For example, she said, a recent DailyKos.com post drew few criticisms of the DCCC’s help.
Then....James wraps it up nicely:
James Protzman, another Democratic blogger in the state, said Kissell likely will be mindful of his new DCCC stripes — a sensitivity a party official confirmed by noting that the committee will tread lightly in Kissell’s home territory.
“They’re helping him dig out of a hole they helped create,” he said. “The fact that they backed down in the last election ... they figured he was a schoolteacher and what’s he going to get done? But he’s tapped into a sentiment in the state that’s real.”
Protzman also suggested that what’s right for Connecticut or Pennsylvania doesn’t always fly in the Piedmont. And liberal activists should recognize that reality.
“If you pay attention to DailyKos as a national barometer, then that’s not a very good barometer,” he said. “Most of us out here are realists, we want a guy with D after his name and Larry’s got the best shot of doing that.”
Man....what a great piece. Greg, James and I couldn't have written it better ourselves.
Y'all have a great day. I'm heading over to the Kos event on Second Life. It's all day. I'll report back in. For now....I'm late.