Monday, March 17, 2008

Joe Trippi joins Joe Garcia campaign

Our campaigns for Congress in South Florida are not just for their districts, important as they are. They are for Florida and the United States and the wider world, and we’re getting confirmation of this day by day.

Monday’s news: Joe Trippi joining the Joe Garcia campaign as senior media adviser. This is a development with national punch. We now have one of the top campaign people in the United States. I like to think of Joe Garcia as inhabiting the same rank: campaign thinker of national impact, due to his work with NDN directing its Hispanic Strategy Center, so this is a pairing that should be a multiplier of effectiveness.

We will still have to think small from time to time – the detail of a district campaign is where the votes are won – while also working on national momentum to contribute to a Democratic landslide in November.

Joe Trippi ran Howard Dean’s campaign in 2004 and was widely acclaimed for innovative use of the Internet. And he was named a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In 2006 he was consultant to John Hall’s winning campaign for New York’s 19th Congressional District and for Jerry Brown’s winning bid to be California attorney general. He was senior adviser to John Edward’s presidential campaign this year.

UPDATE: Trippi had a diary on DailyKos recently, and here's the link.

And I forgot to say: Statement of interest: I'm on the Garcia media team.

The Garcia campaign statement said:

"Our campaign is proud to count with the experience and support of someone as talented and committed as Joe Trippi," said Joe Garcia. He went on to add that "this campaign is gaining both local and national attention because we are talking about the issues that all Americans care about like revitalizing our economy, greater access to affordable healthcare and confronting the challenges of global climate change."

Last week we had more national attention as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced strong support for Joe Garcia in FL-25, for Annette Taddeo in FL-18 and Raul Martinez in FL-21. This came in the form of letters to the three campaigns signed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and four of her DCCC leaders.

At the same time, the DCCC put the three candidates on the list of 90 races of top national priority, another indication that these districts – so often in the past forgotten by the Democratic Party leadership – are in play and winnable.

The full DCCC list can be seen at Swing State Project along with some useful comment.

For starters, let’s note that Florida has a total of eight targeted races on the offensive side, meaning that we see ways to take away half of the Republicans’ current 16 seats in the U.S. House. In addition to our three in South Florida, the DCCC targets Ric Keller (FL-08), Gus Bilirakis (FL-09), Vern Buchanan (FL-13, in “Red to Blue” status), the open seat in FL-15, and Tom Feeney (FL-24, also in the “Red to Blue” category).

On the defensive side, Florida has two Democratic seats on the DCCC list, Tim Mahoney in FL-16 and Ron Klein in FL-22, both seats won in 2006. Nationally, there are 32 seats on the defense list, 58 on the offensive list.

Let’s say the 2008 election has a result like the 2006 election. What was that? Democrats gained 31 seats in the U.S. House, to a total of 233, while not losing a single House seat to Republican challengers. Let’s do that again, up 30-40 seats – impossible? Why not? Is Republican leadership getting more popular?

In case your Republican friends say the Dems are losers, you can mention the fact above about the U.S. House, and also cite the fine 2006 gains on the state level, where there now are 28 Democratic governors against 22 Republicans, and many more state legislatures have moved to the D side, too. Look it up in Wikipedia,, and navigate to U.S. general elections.

One of the Swing State Project commenters noted that Texas doesn't have a single seat on the DCCC targeted list and opined that this shows a Democratic party in poor shape. In Florida, we have half the Republicans on the targeted list; this looks pretty strong to me, but what kind of a picture do we get from local media? Well, Monday’s Miami Herald, for instance, has a p.1 headline “Democrats unable to agree on do-over.” Well, is that quite it – unable to agree? Us? It was a Republican legislature and Republican governor that put us in this pickle. Maybe they should be asked to agree on something, too, huh?

No, though the lead story in the Monday Herald features the Republican plight: “Sinking bank rescued in sale to a rival.” There’s typical Republican performance: corporate welfare on a scale most vast.

Or how about the NY Times’ lead story on Sunday: “For Democrats, increased fears of a long fight.” Wait, I thought that fear was a Bushite monopoly, but no, here’s the Times trying to inject fear into an election contest between two strong candidates. You can read the whole nine yards of that story and look in vain for someone who actually fears what’s going on. Be brave, my friends. We can deal with this.


Anonymous said...

Not to take away from the fact that our state party is in the best shape it's seen in a long time, but some of the recently elected Texan incumbents lucked out, with top tier challengers dropping out or posing little threat.

Larry Thorson said...

That's some special knowledge about Texas. Anonymous must be a smart cowboy.