UPDATED: The Senate Race: Substance and Style

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Kay Hagan and Jim Neal are going to be asked all sorts of things by all sorts of people during the course of this campaign, about the substance of issues, as well as on their campaign tactics. In today's news, both are in the spotlight.

On Hagan, via the Dome:

State Sen. Kay Hagan said she does not know whether she would vote to approve Michael Mukasey for attorney general. The Greensboro Democrat told Dome that she has "not had the privilege" of hearing his testimony before Congress on torture and the Bush administration's policies. However, she did say that she thinks he is "a reputable individual that has great credentials."

"I don't have a vote in this right now, so I'm going to let the sitting senator decide that," she said.

My take: This disappointing response sounds a lot like Mukasey's own equivocating to the Senate committee, with echoes of "I don't recall" from Alberto Gonzales. The proper response would have been: "Based on what I know about Mr. Mukasey's reluctance to take a stand against torture, I would not vote to confirm him as Attorney General." Hagan's willingness to give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt does not bode well.


On Neal:

Gary Pearce questions Neal's plan to hit all 100 counties as impractical and unproductive.

But some counties have fewer voters than precincts in Raleigh and Charlotte. It can take a full day to get in and out of them. And you’re not going to change many minds in them. The vote is always the same, year in and year out. Every day a candidate wastes on the 100-county tour is one less day seeing more undecided voters in a bigger county. Or raising money for TV ads that go to all 100 counties.

My take: I tend to agree with Pearce. Hell, I doubt Liddy Dole has visited every county and she's been in the Senate for what seems like a lifetime. To be fair, what Neal actually said is this:

I intend to visit all 100 counties. As far as Sen. Dole's name recognition, a great deal has been built on what Sen. Dole has done in the past. This election is going to be about what she's not done during the six years that she's represented the people of North Carolina.

At least he's smart enough to say "intend" instead of "will." Words have consequences, or at least they're supposed to.

I'm looking forward to hearing Neal's response to the same question the Dome asked Hagan about Bush's AG nomination. And I'll be surprised if he equivocates.

UPDATE: The Dome reports Neal's position on the AG nomination:

"I believe if we tacitly acknowledge torture as an option for interrogation techniques, we only magnify the likelihood that members of our armed services will be subject to torture," he told Dome.

Neal said that the United States needs to "restore its image in the world community."

Previously: State Sen. Kay Hagan, Neal's opponent in the Democratic primary, said she was not sure if she would vote to confirm Mukasey or not.

Comments

So clear and simple

My take: This disappointing response sounds a lot like Mukasey's own equivocating to the Senate committee, with echoes of "I don't recall" from Alberto Gonzales. The proper response would have been: "Based on what I know about Mr. Mukasey's reluctance to take a stand against torture, I would not vote to confirm him as Attorney General." Hagan's willingness to give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt does not bode well.

It isn't rocket science. The guy believes waterboarding is not torture. Most intelligent beings I know believe that waterboarding is torture. Hmmmmmm. Not a hard call here, Kay.

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



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

Maybe Kay needs to be Blackwater board to get a straight answer?

Based on what I know about Mr. Mukasey's reluctance to take a stand against torture, I would not vote to confirm him as Attorney General." Hagan's willingness to give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt does not bode well.* A

Sick and stupid answer! America is crying out for real change and we are getting another corporate fascist establishment answer.......What part of Torture you do not understand Kay??????????

Seriously?

Didnt we have a long discussion about the 50 state project and how important it was to bring to North Carolina and have a strong party structure with good candidates in every county? The reason the votes never change is because Democrats dont run or they run races where no candidate does anything other than put their name on the ballot.

If Gary Pearce was running the DSCC the Senate would be without Tester and Webb.

I am extremely dissapointed in Hagan. One question, Do you support torture? If the answer is no then supporting Mukaskey is impossible. If you cant answer that question why should anyone vote for you?

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Seriously.

I agree that it would be a good idea to visit every county. No question about it. But if push comes to shove and opportunities arise, I wouldn't want to be handcuffed to that promise.

In other words, I wouldn't hold it against the guy if he visited 96 counties instead of 100.

Yes we need a strong party structure in every county and good candidates too. But I'm not sure that it's the job of a Senate candidate to make all that happen.

So yeah, I agree with you in principle. I'm just being a literalist here. Words have consequences - or at least they're supposed to.

I think there are ways of doing this.

For instance, "border" parties where Jim holds rallies/fundraisers/meet'n'greets at the border of four counties. Invite all the Democratic establishment and/or anyone who wants to come from the four counties and talk about the problems common to them all.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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

Neat idea . . .

There are many areas where the issues are very much the same . . . where counties really do cooperate instead of compete. Good thinking.

I disagree

The first version of this got eaten by the internet. The tubes were clogged.

I disagree because I believe that a Senator is elected to serve every constiuent. They arent elected to serve the people who live in Raleigh and Charlotte just as much as they arent elected to serve the people who live in DC and spend millions lobbying them. They arent elected to serve the people in Greensboro more than the people in Avery county.

Right now Elizabeth Dole represents huge corporations and George Bush. She doesnt represent the people of this state. I want a Senator who will represent everyone who lives here, no matter where they live.

And A, which 4 counties arent worth his time so that you could justify him visiting 96 instead of 100?

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

This isn't simple

I like the "visit all 100" as much as anyone, but make sure you know what you're asking...

Visiting a Wake County is, of course, an absolute necessity. Visiting Johnston is a no-brainer -- it's an easy side trip. Iredell county is a pretty good idea. Stanly County's a day's jaunt out from Charlotte. You can probably do Davie County pretty easily with a stop-off on a trip down I-40. Avery County is a nice vacation. Stokes County starts to be off the beaten path, but is doable with some weaving. A well planned weekend could hit Macon County, and some real focus and creative planning could work in Pamlico County.

But just how much effort, in a season where time and money are scarce, do you put in to hitting Graham County, population 8,000? Is it easily doable for a campaign to make a wide detour to hit Hyde County, pop 5,800, AND Tyrell County, pop 4,000? Is getting to 100 worth the long (albeit beautiful) haul out to Clay and Cherokee counties, over two hours of driving west of Asheville?

I say yes, but let's give them real props if they accomplish this. It's no mean feat.

(Mega-bonus points to anyone who can name, without looking, two of the four county seats out of Graham, Hyde, Tyrell, and Clay.)

It's easy to sit in Durham County and say that.

I'll give you odds that the candidate that visits those smaller counties has a better shot at winning -- no matter how difficult it is to get there.

Is getting to 100 worth the long (albeit beautiful) haul out to Clay and Cherokee counties, over two hours of driving west of Asheville?

If you lived in Clay or Cherokee county, you'd think so.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Yup, it is. :)

typed it out quite simply.

However, it's rare that candidates visit here - they generally want to go to Fayetteville or Raleigh.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Don't feel bad -- they don't come here either

Except maybe to fundraisers with RTP bigwigs. The rest of us are either apparently too scary or just too reliably Democratic for them to think they need to bother.

Visiting 100 counties is possible

There are some you spend more time in than others.

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



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

Moore County is a must

if only because you're there.

I'd encourage you to contact both campaigns and extend the invitation.

My brother-in-law, a die hard Democrat, lives in West End.

I would love to bring him around to see Jim speak in Moore County. Maybe I could even get to meet "icloud" there! ;-)

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

You betcha!

Probably could meet Momoaizo, too.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

That would be sweet!

I'll have to keep my eyes open for a Moore County speaking engagement for Jim.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Smaller counties and media

Some smaller counties, like Lee County (my home turf--and hey, Neal could hit Moore and Lee all in one day) also allow for more free media than you bigger counties. Neal can get front page coverage in smaller newspapers just for visiting for an hour; you bigger counties might give him a mention in the Local section somewhere. Also, if Neal, Hagan, or whomever plays it right, they can "double-dip" with the Dem running for the House in that area and make it a noteworthy gathering. Erskine Bowles meet with Etheridge here in Lee County and had a great turnout, for example (yeah, yeah, I know that Erskine is not the best example since he lost, but you get my drift).

chatham, lee, moore, richmond

Done easily in one day.

And you're absolutely right about media coverage. Teaming up with the congressional candidate is a great idea - and it would be great for any local candidates. And to be fair - I'd drive to Sanford to hear a statewide candidate speak. But 100 counties is definitely doable.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

On an issue like torture, we must be yea or nea

Kay, evidently feels more comfortable walking this fence, which may be indicative of what she may do regarding issues of much lessor importance relative to human suffering and Democratic values.

Her comments, if accurate, are very telling indeed and should give us all pause.

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

note to isabelabadone

We are not calling Kay Hagan a torturer. Heh

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



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

Heh, indeed!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Heh my ass

see below

Agreed, Marshall.

That was a very disappointing answer from Kay. Just as the Bush's AG appointee, Mukasey does not need to have any security clearance to know waterboarding is torture as Bush maintains, Kay does not need to use the old "hypothetical" and I'm not voting for it routine to tell us what she thinks on a subject.

We have enough parsing in politics already. I'm not going to be kind to any candidates that I have an opportunity to vote for that are not up front with their answers. I would hope we all have learned that lesson by now.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Note to self:

When Kay comes by for a live blog session here, don't forget to ask her this very question and explain how disappointing the answer was. If she parses her answer here, call bullshit immediately.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Hagan does nothing to alleviate my concern.

I've taken the word of a few posters here that Hagan was behind at least this past budget and perhaps the even more horrid one before. They are, in my mind, disqualifiers for my support. Supporting torture, is, well, somewhere beyond that.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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

She wasn't in charge

Basnight runs the show, from all I can tell. But the inner sanctum includes three others, and Kay is one of them. Maybe she argued like all heck against the tax cut for the rich, but that didn't show up in the final analysis.

Schumer apparently had a hand in encouraging Kay to run. I wonder if her response to the AG question is tied to his own endorsement of Mukasey? It seems strange that she'd say something like that when the vast majority of Americans are against torture.

Just three?

I think Tony Rand and David Hoyle remain very much in the small circle of power that Basnight leads. There is no question about Kay's inside status. Without having a strong impression of what Kay would be like were she to move from that circle to a new one, I have to admit to a certain distrust of the insiders of late.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Well

#1 Basnight wasnt running this most recent show as far as I can tell. It was very clear that Rand had a much bigger hand than in years past.
#2 We wont know if she argued one way or the other because she was complicit in making sure that all budget decisions made by the senate were made behind closed doors.
#3 Schumer is dead wrong on this. I wouldnt be surprised to find out that Kay is confused on the issue because she is probably smart enough to realize where most Americans stand, but with all the top people at the DSCC giving the finger to the American People and the Constitution I am sure she is getting some bad advice.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

The DSCC doesn't have anything to do with policy

they only really care about getting Democrats elected. They don't care about where you stand. Last year they supported a far-left liberal in Conn and in Virginia they supported someone who's almost a Republican.

You may be thinking of the DLC.

no im not

The DSCC doesnt set policy. But you can be damn sure that they are helping all of their candidates choose policies. Policy and Message are part of the package needed to win.

And FYI, they didnt support a far left liberal in Connecticut (I assume here you speak of Lamont, who was barely supported by anyone, and certainly not by the establishement who helped Lieberman and then cleansed their hands post primary), and Jim Webb is a moderate populist who is more anti-Iraq war than most of Congress. He is nothing close to an "almost Republican"

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

scharrison was a Republican up 'till a few weeks ago

He's further left than I am, so being a lifelong Republican really doesn't mean so much in some cases.

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



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

The damned liberal media brainwashed me. :)

The thing that everybody needs to remember is the Republican ideology was turned upside-down by the Neocon influence. And this didn't just happen overnight, it's been working its charms for decades.

There are a few elements of the Neocon ideology that directly conflict with "old" conservatism. What initially began as rabid anti-Communism soon turned into "Spreading Freedom", a far cry from the isolationism of before. Along with that, a certain amount of sympathy for oppressed peoples had to be factored in. In comparison to established Conservatism, these ideals were liberal and radical.

When the smoke cleared and the "spreading freedom" ideals died, the symapthy and compassion for the poor and downtrodden was still there. For some of us.

So, what you are saying is

Republicans suck?

I'm not going to argue.

;-)

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

My, you do have a way with words. :)



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



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

Oh absolutely!

I pegged you right away as having majored in English Literature. Yessiree.

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



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

Did you watch the veto override vote

on the water bill last night on C-SPAN? I can't recall the exact vote count, but a good 2/3 of House Republicans voted "yea" to ignore Bush's veto and move forward on an expensive but necessary action.

The Democratic majority (in both houses) needs to pursue a progressive agenda, and sell that agenda to everybody. Progressive doesn't automatically equate to liberal, and (I think) some Republicans are beginning to realize that.

A good idea is a good idea, but partisan rhetoric often clouds the issues.

If McCarthy was still making lists,

I'd be near the top of the "strong Socialist tendencies—bears watching" one. :)

I was born into Republicanism, and have been retreating to the Left since the early Reagan years. You can cover a lot of distance in a quarter of a Century. I'm so far left now I think most Democrats are too conservative.

That's because they are.


"If boiling people alive best served the interests of the American people, then it would neither be moral or immoral." Max Borders, Civitas Institute

they are too conservative.

As my husband said when he registered Dem for the first time last year: "I had to take a huge step to the right to join you guys." It was at a precinct meeting. Everyone laughed, but he was serious. I only hope that staying with the Party and continuing to be a voice for liberal progress makes a difference. It gets very frustrating at times.

As for being on lists - my dad found out he was on Nixon's "enemies" list. He was delighted and threw a party. It was similar to the Resignation Day party he threw.

I grew up with this stuff, and I've got to say that one of my previously unexpressed cherished dreams is to wind up on a list that says

"strong Socialist tendencies—bears watching"

.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Basnight was limited this year

Basnight had all kinds of personal issues, from family illnesses to his restaurant burning down, and so on. He spent a lot of time away from the Senate.

Tony Rand was running the show. I've already stated what I think of him, but just to sum up...

WORST. DEMOCRAT. IN. NORTH. CAROLINA.

i disagree

Hoyle is worse.

But neither is as bad as Jim Black. Because corruption bothers me more than bad politics.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I forgot about Black...

Somehow the ones in prison don't worry me as much. But yes, definitely.

Hoyle is indeed, much worse

He seems to have succeeded in part on the pure strength of dollars and the advantage of having no apparent conscience. He makes up for not being particularly bright by toadying well to Basnight.

Amen on the matter of corruption. It, too, bothers me more than bad politics, but it doesn't seem to bother the electorate -- much. It took some doing to undo Black.

I'm sure this matter was hashed out thoroughly before I started visiting BlueNC, but I would like to see more Democrats calling out the members of their own party who think corruption is just part of the dirty work of "serving." Joe Sinsheimer demonstrated that it isn't impossible.

Basnight is an extremely effective politician. He is an excellent speaker, has a terrific presence and knows how to keep his constituency. And, unlike Hoyle, he's whip-smart, so I guess it's no surprise that neither he nor any member of his coterie will stick his or her neck out for a matter of principle when back door deals, looking the other way, and other such practices have been so rewarding.

It may be unfair of me to judge Hagan by the company she has kept -- and that has kept her. But I'm not giving anybody in that circle the benefit of the doubt these days.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

I would suggest that she explain her answer regarding torture

In the event she cannot, then this race has no issues for me. I will support Neal.

That being said, I do belive that she should have the opportunity to back away from what may have been simply an answer not fully thought out.

There are many issues Democrats may differ on as a matter of degree because we understand the common sense fact that we are "Democrats all" from every corner of the American Landscape. It is that very diversity and our common acceptance which makes us such a great party.

There are certian fundamental beliefs held by Democrats. Human Rights is a common thread amoung us. We (Democrats) respect Human Rights. Period!!

Torture and the holding of Political Prisoners, or prisoners of conscience is unaceptable to our core beliefs. Any wavering on these issues is generally unacceptable to individual Democrats.

Kay should repent from her comments regarding torture. I say "regarding torture", because the underlining issue with confirming this attorney general is "torture".

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

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