Monday, February 27, 2006

Nelson vs. Cruella

Went to a small fundraiser for Bill Nelson (D-Fl) at the Law Offices of Kohn, Swift, & Graf., PC this evening.

It was actually quite interesting. Nelson's not one who does of a lot of national media, and the few times I did see him I wasn't quite sure what to think. He's been in the Senate since 2001 is running against Cruella Harris since Rove failed to push her out of the race. Early polls look good for Nelson, but there's plenty of time for Harris to gain some ground. If that happens justice requires doing everything we can from preventing Senator Harris from becoming a reality.

Nelson spoke directly and without condescension to the small audience, which was refreshing. It struck while listening to him that we currently have two main types of Democratic senators. First we have the national Senators. These are people who for the most part have safe seats and don't worry too much about getting re-elected. What they do worry about is pleasing the people who can help raise their stock price nationally, the Beltway Media constituency. In other words, they're the ones who focus on kissing Tim Russert's ass.

Then we have people Nelson who don't play in the national media much but who are intimately aware of the politics of their state. It's easy to forget that these people didn't get to where they are by being idiots, and Nelson has a firm grasp of the issues he discussed as well as the political situation in Florida.

The problem is that neither type of Senator is concerned enough with the national Democratic message. Biden's looking out for Biden, Lieberman's looking out for Lieberman, the state-focused Dems are looking out for their seats. We don't have enough of the third type - the safe seat Democrat who is concerned with helping bring the party along with him/her.

Someone like Nelson has to be focused on local politics. We need more safe seat senators to be focused on the good of the party instead of on getting backslapped by Russert and the gang.