The morning after

The politics of hope can be a hard road sometimes. One step ahead, one step backwards. The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat. What a crazy world we live in.

What's on your mind this morning?


To every candidate who

To every candidate who entered a race in this primary cycle, I offer my most heartfelt appreciation. It is a generous act to put yourself out in the public arena for all to judge. We are all indebted to you.

Having come up short in two elections myself, I know the feeling of personal rejection that can settle in on the morning after. To those who didn't prevail, I hope you will see the glass half-full and recognize that for every door that closes, another opens. And just think, you won't have to sit through all those endless committee meetings!

And to those who won, I have a simple request. Remember that you are running in November to represent everyone, not just those who voted for you in the primary.



And Amen.

And I add my deepest appreciation to what James said. I sincerely hope that all our wonderful Democratic candidates who did not prevail will be called upon in some other way to serve our state or our nation. You are all amazingly smart and strong and if there was ever a time that we needed smart and strong in the halls of government from DC to Raleigh to Main Street, it is now.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Thanks from Hamp

Dear BlueNC Friends,

I just wanted to drop a quick note of thanks for your interest in my campaign. Every time I stopped by I learned something (and I’m still convinced no one knows more about the LG’s office than Robert P.).

I enjoyed getting to know Dan, Walter, and Pat, and I look forward to supporting the Democratic ticket in the general election. I wish them and their families all the best.

I’m not sure what the future holds for me, but I do know that NC is a better place thanks to BlueNC.

I look forward to seeing you -- virtually or otherwise -- soon. I wish everyone all the best with your future endeavors.

Yours, Hamp

Thank you sir.

Thank you for stopping by, Hamp. And thanks for the kind words.

The LG race has been a heart-breaker.

And a follow up..

To those of us who backed less successful candidates, please remember the overall goal: Making the system better.

Get out there and give the victors your support to help make sure these folk get their place in office.


Remember, helping one race with organizing or GOTV helps all the races that are down ballot. If you are working hard for Obama, then every race down the ticket will benefit. There is a very large number of campaigns this cycle that all need help. Pick one. Let's really shock the Council of State and Judicial candidates. Let's get energized for them!

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Lt. Gov.

Well, exactly what we feared happened. The three progressives split the vote and gave it to Dalton.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

I know.

That was a hard one.

I'm guessing Dalton figures progressives have no choice but to support him against Pittenger, and he's probably right.

But it's more than a little disappointing that he hasn't even acknowledged that there's a progressive movement in North Carolina. I've invited his campaign to participate at BlueNC several times and haven't even received the courtesy of a response.

Why should he take Progressives seriously?

The endorsed candidate of the PDNC got 7% of the vote. Dan started out behind the eight ball, ran a great campaign, got out and met the voters, had a great message but only got 7%.

What does this say about the progressive movement?

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

The Progressive Development Office

We need one.

Like in a University, the Development Office would present a streamlined message in an attractive form and raise money from existing donors while aggressively courting new ones.



I don't see a big correlation between PDNC and progressives in North Carolina.

The progressive vote in this race was more like 40 to 50% ... as you say, split between three strong candidates.

Maybe Dalton thinks he can write of 40% against Pittenger, but I doubt it.

I disagree

Except for Obama, Goodwin and Taylor, the candidates that were pushed the hardest on BlueNC were pretty much trounced last night. Our candidates ran good campaigns and worked their butts off but that did not translate to votes. The three mentioned above were able to transend the progressive community and had broad appeal.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

"Our" candidates?

As I've said to media types who think of BlueNC as an entity with a will of its own, there is no "our" candidates that I'm aware of.

In the LG race, Dellinger and Besse were clearly favored among most community members. For US Senate, there was strong support for Neal, though Hagan had supporters too.

Who else do you consider "our" candidates?

PDNC failed because they didn't do anything.

Let's make one thing clear, PDNC didn't follow through. They came out in support of Dan Besse. I emailed to offer my services to run small donor phone bankingj - something I had done with JRE4President. No response. I emailed again, no response.

PDNC sent out an email to its members about the precinct meetings and didn't mention their support of Dan or ask their supporters to reach out to their precincts about Dan.

So, I ask. If PDNC's endorsement doesn't mean phone banking, or fund-raising, or GOTV efforts. What good is it?

We just saw in this election that money talks, and values walk. If progressives want to win, then they need to get off their high horses and raise money. Lots and lots of money.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

And my frustration too.

Critical mass, it's the tipping point when you get enough of an army together that things begin to happen. PDNC has never reached that tipping point that I can tell. It seems we have been focused on trying to hook up with other groups like the NAACP hoping also to swell our ranks but it really hasn't worked that way.

I'm discouraged that Robert's attempt to connect with his offer to help fell on deaf ears but I can't say I'm surprised. My own efforts to add a blog to our website was met with group inertia until I made myself into a squeaking wheel. Now that we have the blog, it's easy to post new material but there is no gravity that pulls people toward it.

Even worse for me; our local group is losing its chair and no one seems to be willing to step up to replace him.

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

PDNC has/had a great opportunity.

To be a place of synergism between various progressive groups. But, I have a feeling the group subscribes to the philosophy that raising money and dealing with money is somehow undemocratic. Just my belief. Which means that they will not become the focal point that we need in NC to help turn elections, local, state elections.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Robert, I don't think PDNC has an aversion to money

they just aren't any good at raising it. No one in the organization is paid for their work at this point and you know fund raising can be a full time effort.

Anyway, it's not a static entity. It is only as good as we progressives make it and we will have a chance to make changes to it this year.

My great hope is that some of us from BlueNC will get involved and run for office in 2008.

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

Upset about Hampton

I guess I am still a little upset about Hampton not winning. We felt like it was such a sure thing.

I guess all we can do is move on and look ahead to a brighter future for our great state.


Dellinger should have run for Durham District Attorney. By not doing so, he kept Durham voters in a least-of-evils situation. He also guaranteed Dalton's victory in the primary. And wasted a lot of people's money.

same could be said of Besse and Smathers

Dellinger came in second so he obviously had the most support of the three. If Besse and Smathers had dropped out (not saying they should have, just if) then Dellinger would have had a better chance at beating Dalton

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy


IRV has problems. Real problems that have been seen in real elections.

Now, don't get me wrong, it does a better job than FPTP, but why undertake the trouble of educating people about, and legislating the implementation of, a new election method if you're not going to pick the best one available?

Instant Round-Robin Voting, a.k.a. a Condorcet Method, is something all IRV fans should grapple with.

relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

But would we change it?

At one point yesterday, camped under the tent at our tiny little precinct, I had the iPod going. As if on cue, the cars started arriving in bigger numbers, people started going in and waiting, not long, for their chance. Most went in hurriedly, but they came out with smiles. In my ears Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" was playing, heralding each new arrival and each triumphant ballot cast.

Common man celebrating common rights exercised for the common good.

Nothing crazy about that.

Beautiful thoughts

and inspiring. Thanks for the smile, Grace. :)

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

What's on my mind:

Johnston went to Clinton by ten points, but we had 21,786 Democrats turn out to vote in a primary. The Rs only had 10,995. That is amazing.

Now, we just need to figure out how to unify, lock arms and ride this wave to get Johnston County some real representation of the people in the NC Legislature and the county Board of Commissioners.

I still love this line that is stuck in my head,

Let's go change the world.

The beautiful thing is, while we're at it, we can change Johnston County, too.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Day after - cleanup signs!

I just got back from a repeat of yesterday's sign posting to retrieve all the polling place signs. Whether you are celebrating, wailing or, like me, doing a little of both, remember to show respect for our communities and the places that host the polls by removing signs.

Less than six months to go!

Ed Ridpath

Ed Ridpath

Reality sets in

because the results stare you in the face. Election day is always about hope and expectations. Election night and the morning after is always tough for somebody.

Since 1981 I've been a candidate in 14 elections, and won 10 of them (Mayor of Franklinville, 1300 people). Lost two of those Mayor elections, one for council, and one for state senate. It's always hard to lose, especially after standing in the sun outside the fire station for 16 hours or more.

As party chair in Randolph this time, it was also a mixed bag. We had no local candidates in contested races (few local Dems will even file). The Dem turnout was under 30% despite our expectations. The Obama volunteers, who worked VERY hard, were disappointed because Clinton won the county. I thought that was to be expected after they sent the Big Dog in to speak (Bill was a great show- if he'd been a candidate, NC might have voted for a Clinton for sure).

But the Obama registration drive in Randolph, their early vote drive, and their GOTV activities were textbook examples, and I really think that what they've done will help us recruit new experienced volunteers in future elections. We let both campaigns use our headquarters building, and we've got their volunteer lists, which are golden.

The Obama people were disappointed in their Randolph showing, but I told them that 36% in a county that has only an 8% African-american population and even fewer progressives and liberals is a strong showing. 77 counties in NC have fewer Democrats than Randolph, so any statewide campaign has to run a decent show here just to offset some of the single-minded conservative vote. (Randolph Repugs went heavily for Fred Smith, and our Dems call themselves moderate but are conservative in comparison to the bigger counties).

The sad races for me personally were 6th district Congress (Jay O ran behind both opponents-- anyone who came to a debate and heard the candidates actually answer questions were stunned) and Lt. Governor (yes, obviously NC as a whole prefers someone more progressive than Walter Dalton, and as usual progressives shoot themselves in the foot by demanding ideological purity over electoral strategy).

Another big question that arises for me is the money that was spent in the Governor's race, given Moore's lopsided loss. I would rather have kept him as Treasurer, where he was doing a great job.

So was this election a step forward for the netroots in anything except application of technology? I'm not yet sure how...

I am still in shock over Union County

I went to an event for Barack Obama and out of 55-60 people there were only 3 whites. He apparently had silent but strong support from many whites in this community. Our voters went for HIllary at 50.37% and Barack at 48%. I can't wait to see the turnout numbers broken down when they get them posted. I think that's where a lot of Unaffiliated voters come in to play. Maybe we aren't as polarized as some folks think. Maybe there is hope that this community will get behind Obama instead of voting for McCain or sitting out in November. I've been tearing up at the thought all morning. That 2 point spread means so much more than what it is on its face.....a simple 2 point spread. Democrats outnumbered Republicans at the polls yesterday and Republicans outnumber Democrats in registered voters. If Republicans are going to sit it out in the fall and we have no state initiatives on the ballot to bring them out in droves, this county could go for Obama. It could happen! (It might not be likely....but never say never.)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Where do we go from here?

For those not as pop cultured - that's the title of a song from the musical episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" that I'll have playing for the rest of the day...

I'll admit I was only supporting (strongly) a few candidates, but I think 90% of the results were no surprise, and actually reflected poll results from months ago. I think for most people on this blog, there's alot of disappointment today (though you certainly have alot to be happy on the presidential front).

But what does it mean? Do we just say, "well, we tried our darndest, we'll fight the good fight next time"? I don't think so...

I'm more of a "lessons learned" person myself, so I look at the results of last night, and see it as indicative of "politics as usual" (i.e. money and media buys win elections, from president on down, the candidate with the most money won), and I examine what can be done to help "real" progressives, who are notoriously "poor" candidates, win.

The most obvious proposal is a progressives PAC. If not a PAC, then some 527 or something which can raise money and do targeted media strategy and placement. Like, if we could have given Frank $500,000 this cycle, would the results have looked the same? That's why it's my earnest hope that those candidates who were defeated last night do not simply slink off to the political graveyard but can show their leadership qualities outside of a personal political campaign. If they REALLY believe in their causes and their people, they will stay engaged in the process and try to build an organization which can help their causes both inside and outside the campaign process (think along the lines of DFA, but just for NC or a region).

But last night was in many ways the same old story...and we all know that the definition of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results can be the definition of insanity. I know some of us don't want to hear that we have to "play the game," but it's the hard reality that simply walking door-to-door (as important as that is! don't get me wrong!) is not enough to win elections. There needs to be consolidation of efforts instead of having small individual pockets of "little revolutions."

To be perfectly honest, I almost feel like I need to "retire" from politics for another two years, b/c, other than Kissell's race in November (my district), I just don't see any campaign that I will give a ~blank~ about. I only work on true believer-ism, I haven't yet developed to be a political hack...though I'm always available to give free strategy to any Democratic campaign...;) But nothing looks like it'll stir me much.

For those who wake up disappointed and are walking around in a daze today, just look inside yourself, ask what you really want in politics and your government, and what can be done to ensure victory the next time around...

When I get back from picking up signs....

I'll have an assignment for you that could get you energized. I've already started.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Progressive PAC

There already is a progressive PAC, it is a part of the Prog. Dem of NC organization but it could never get progressives to donate to it.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy


See above.

The PDNC could use a little walking around money. They need to think of Development as the priority and primary function of organization for a year or two.

I'm not saying "no" outright, but

The most obvious proposal is a progressives PAC. If not a PAC, then some 527 or something which can raise money and do targeted media strategy and placement.

I see a whole lot of potential for conflict with this. For instance, would this organization (theoretically) have given to Besse, Dellinger and Smathers, or would it have chosen one and pressed forward?

I'm not trying to start up another "who's the most progressive" argument, I'm just trying to figure out how this PAC would dispense limited funds without alienating progressives that would make up much of the donor base.

I'm open to suggestions...

In fact, I would encourage money to go to all the candidates that actually NEED it, not the ones who already have it. But I'm sure that's something people could quibble over.

But I'm interested in other thoughts about how to built an infrastructure to support candidates who have truly progressive and outsider ideas (with the caveat that there's not necessarily anything wrong with moderate, "insider" ideas...I have more than a few of them myself sometimes!). Or it'll just be the same old song again and again.

What would you suggest as an alternative or modification?

I've got an idea that's been churning

around in my little monkey brain all day, and unless I determine that it's el stupido (distinctly possible), I'll probably write a diary about it tonight.

voter turnout was the big winner

I am with Leslie - look at how many people voted for Democrats. In some races, the losing Dem won far and away more votes than all the Republicans in the same race.

My son is a bit sad today, but he learned a lot about the campaign process, as I did, working as a volunteer on a campaign for the first time in 56 years.

There is no "perfect" campaign and I guess people learn each time what works and what doesn't and what details were missed. I think Pam covered this with more understanding than I have about NC and the way it works.

Still, I feel my time was spent well, and I supported a candidate who said exactly the same thing, was appalled by the same old "business as usual" politics when the door was closed and the voters weren't listening. In a world where we get a lot of politicians who are pious on the stump and who knows what when no one is looking - I worked for someone who genuinely wanted to make a difference, and who DID, for many people.

As Howard Dean emphasizes with the 50 state campaigns, if progressives don't put candidates up to talk about OUR beliefs, then no one gets that side. On the issues, Jim Neal spoke to our better angels on equality, justice, not being satisfied with an economy that helped only part of the country. That was important, even if some voters took the safer road.

My husband was very disappointed to learn that some people he respects let their fears rule their votes. People who were well-informed and agreed with Jim's views still could not vote for him because they did not think he could win. For those, all I can say is that the future belongs to the fearless. The next few years are going to be a messy cleanup of the ruin done on all fronts by the policies and neglect of the Bush years. It is a little bit late to 'settle for the safe".

Good points!

People also have to remember that change is not about leaps and bounds. It is a process of slow, visible progress. We need more to stand up for what they feel is right and to encourage more people to vote for what they want, not just what they feel they can have. First-timers rarely spring to victory in local races. But time has shown many get elected on their second outing. So people like Jim Neal, Jay Ovittore, etc. - those not known outside their small areas before the race - now is the time to stay active and build for a second, more successful run. And we'll be right there by their side.

Done Picking Up Signs

I just got back from picking up all of my Hampton signs. I want to congratulate Walter Dalton on his clear victory. We will live to fight another day.

Well I lost my Primary, but I met all of you......

Thats a net GAIN.

Thank you all for your friendship and support. Anyway... I am still here.



Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

Wish I could have voted for you, Marshall!

The whole district issue kind of got in the way. You were impressive when I saw you at the BlueNC gathering a week-and-a-half ago. Maybe next time!

Next time, Marshall.

You certainly have what it takes, now just keep your name out there and please do it again.

Thank you for taking the time and putting in the extreme effort to get this far. Not many would be able to get anywhere near where you did.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!