Saturday, August 9, 2014
While You See A Chance, Take It: Good Dems Need to Step Up in Tennessee
The wins have been significant. Barack Obama in 2008 taking Indiana over John McCain was the first time Indiana turned blue since LBJ won the state in 1964's landslide. In 2012, both Joe Donnelly and Glenda Ritz broke through and won a seat in the U.S. Senate and the Superintendent of Public Instruction's Office, respectively. 2010 and 2012 were not kind to Indiana Democrats in the General Assembly. Right now, the Democrats aren't even needed to conduct business in the legislative body of Indiana.
As bad as things have been for Democrats, we keep bringing forth good candidates. The same can't be said for Democrats in Tennessee. In 2012, anti-gay activist Mark Clayton won a statewide primary for U.S. Senate to take on Bob Corker. In 2014, Charlie Brown, a man who raised no money and who wants to put Governor Bill Haslam in the electric chair, is the Democratic nominee for Governor.
The state party that gave us Al Gore and Al Gore, Jr...the state party whose most famous Democrat, Andrew Jackson, is now in the name of fundraising dinners for state and countywide Democratic organizations nationwide gives us an embarrassment as a nominee for Governor. Unacceptable.
This is what happens when hope leaves and good Democrats pass on running for office. It's also why we must step up and seize the opportunities even when the odds are stacked against us. You never know what might happen.
As Joe Donnelly started the 2012 race for U.S. Senate many pundits thought he should just stay in Congress. After all, who could actually think Richard Lugar would be defeated in the Republican Primary by Richard Mourdock? Joe knew better.
Joe ran, and Joe won. He took the chance and put himself in the Senate.
Glenda Ritz looked at Tony Bennett's mountain of money and went to work. Through social media, her campaign targeted those upset with Bennett's reforms and teachers across the state. She even targeted teachers-to-be. Glenda Ritz knew that she could win. She took a chance...and she won.
Tony Bennett never saw it coming.
So Democrats, don't do what I've done in the past. That's right. I've passed on running for something because I didn't believe I could win. 2015 is different. I don't know if I can win, but I'm going to try my hardest. I'm going to advocate for issues, and I'm going to make people feel that a vote for me isn't a protest vote or a wasted one.
To quote Steve Winwood, "While you see a chance, take it." Otherwise you end up with what's happening in Tennessee.