I want to share some of my thoughts from our recent live interview of Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Jennifer Brunner. I was tied up trying to get the streaming stuff to work and run the regular video camera as well. I did manage to think of the drone question which Brian asked anyway. Great minds think alike and so do ours.
Jennifer was very gracious allowing us the time. We were obviously supporters but very critical of her Afghanistan stance and flip flop. I was glad she reached out in the way she did and clarified her position. Despite what we thought of her answers, for her to even do this was a big statement. I think she gets it.
I’ve not spent that much time around Jennifer at all. We’ve met once before in passing I think during the run up to the 2006 elections, but I’ve not spent any time in conversation with her. I came away from this experience realizing how authentic she is. I don’t get an ounce of phony vibe that is prevalent among elected officials and candidates alike that I’ve met. I’m sure as a politician she can pour that stuff on, but none was to be found on Friday. She has this weird combination of toughness and kindness. I think I described it to Tim as being “cute tough”. There is a true innocence about her and a wonder of things possible. Her amazement over the recycled plastic seed starters was great. We talked about those and a kinetic energy device Tim is familiar with from a company in Cleveland after the interview. (Green technology talk coming in another video from the interview)
She even invited us to see her Profile in Courage Award at the SOS office. What struck me about the award was her comment that she considers it an award for Ohio, not just her. Her leadership was indeed the reason for the award and it’s very much deserved. Her dedication in the face of ugly opposition to right the ship that Ken Blackwell sent sailing into partisan hackery is admirable.
Jennifer is the real deal. There’s a reason the old guard is scared shitless. There is a reason her grassroots support is so wide and bottom up. I hear stories of people raising their own money and printing their own promotional materials to support her. None of this stuff will show up on a financial report, but it shows up in the hearts and minds of voters.
I get the feeling that Jennifer is in this for the long haul and has felt political pressure before. Given the inept nature of the Fisher campaign to date I’m not sure a ton of money will help. It’s like giving them more rope to hang themselves with. That said, Camp Brunner has some tightening up to do as well. A campaign relying on grassroots support and bottom up activism is a tough one to steer. I’m hopeful that Dettman and company can pull it off.