First of all, I want to commend Chris for stepping up to the plate and not pulling a “Brown” at Meet The Bloggers. If you know anything about blogs, you realize it’s a no brainer. Do MTB and you might get roughed up a bit for an hour. Don’t do MTB and you will get roughed up for months.
Let me first give you my first impression of Chris given this interview. I don’t know him personally or politically really. This is just me commenting off of the interview with MTB itself and nothing more. Redfern is a politico in the breed of snake oil salesmen. He has that slick talking way about him that turns me off about politicians. You know: Tell them what they want to hear, duck, dodge, survive – that shit. That said, what he says for the most part is fine. Growing the grassroots, blah, blah – yes, we know. All fine. But, as Russell said at the event, perception is reality.
Chris did indeed confirm the reported identity of the High & Broad blogger. He did so after stopping Tim numerous times so as to get through his obviously coached schpiel. Talking points, that is, sit a spell. Take your shoes off. Ya’ll come back now, hear? Politico. Lever puller. Machine operator.
When asked how to funnel people from issue groups into the party he gave the standard build the grassroots answer. Good answer, but I wonder how we empower people at the local level when our primaries are decided for us by politicos and we elect party chairman in the fashion that we did he. I am beginning to regret not being there even more, because that would be a good question to ask.
There was big tension at the beginning that seemed to ease until Tim Russo and Chris were heads up. This tension was palpable and must have seemed like a giant cloud over Scotty McBean’s. Several time Chris ended his answer of Tim’s question with a terse “…TIM!” Kinda gives you a flavor of why Giese called him a “snot nosed little kid“.
Testy with Tim:
Paul Hackett came up of course. Whoa Nellie! Chris starts his answer with, of course, dripping political gobbledygook – basically saying “I knew Paul Hackett before you guys – nah nah nah”. Contends nobody at the state party had anything to do with Hackett’s offing. We’ll reach out to all Dems…build bridges…I’ve asked Paul to travel the state with me. I swear while listening to this some of it sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher on the phone.
The basic claim is that it was all Reid and Schumer and Chris was not given a heads up. Plausible deniability I say. You expect me to believe someone didn’t give the call upwards that the field needed to be cleared? Who might have called in such a hit? The person responsible for the strategic direction of the ODP maybe? It is widely held that Redfern was Strickland’s pick and some even claim there was intimidation involved in the process. Why am I not to think the Brown-Strickland-Redfern camp did not at least TALK about Paul Hackett and the implications of his race? Of course they did. And about the Mallory premature press release: “I don’t know”. That’s it. Right.
Later the question is how do we bring the Hackett disenfranchised back? Answer is, of course, use Paul Hackett! How about speaking out about the type of campaigning that was done by the Brown camp? I’m guessing you won’t hear that one. What about stepping up and taking a stand on the swiftboating of Paul? Or maybe about how outside interests dried up the funding of one of your best and brightest Dems in years? Nah. Chris won’t be doing that.
There is more, of course, including a great question by Tim Ferris on money in politics – to which Chris replies that Fingerhut and Hackett were both about money and if we had public financing they’d both still be in. Fingerhut maybe, but Hackett was not purely about money – unless of course you are willing to criticize a marathon runner for dropping out of the race because someone strapped her with a lead belt.
My take is this guy needs to be watched and watched closely, but hey, at least we have volunteer information cards now!!! Woohaa!