Thursday, March 03, 2005

Clear the decks! (or not?)

As Bob Casey continues to mull a Senate race against Santorum, other less laureled Democratic candidates are chomping at the bit. I sympathize with Casey's desire to have an uncontested primary (given that he (a) otherwise faces two hot races in one year, and (b) has already been through a run for office every ten minutes in the last half-decade), but I also see the hubris to the request that the party jump through hoops (and forego public debate) to get him aboard.

The latest developments in this back-room drama?
  • Barbara Hafer declares her defiance of a brokered primary. She intends to run, whatever other candidates may join.

  • the folks at MyDD argue that a contested primary is critical to Democratic success in the general election. Quite the opposite of the conventional wisdom, but they make some interesting arguments, including the importance of building up the new(ish) grassroots and netroots efforts (rather than closing them out of decision-making) and raising the profile of Democratic candidates statewide.
I find these discussions interesting. Certainly, people have criticized the Hoeffel campaign for blowing off the primary and the opportunity that it represented to reach out to constituencies that didn't already know him (as well as to remind them of what a real progressive looks like, to put Specter's "moderate" status in perspective). I don't know that people really pay that much attention to primaries (although this one is obviously interesting to many already), but in a battle of name-recognition and issue-framing, any opportunity for exposure of the minority party has to be considered good, and worth a little expense to the candidates involved.

Anyway, looks like the decks won't be cleared, whatever the wishes of the Big Dogs might be.
On with the debates!

Update: took me a day to refind the link: with or without Hafer, there will be some primary, because Chuck Pennacchio has no intention of going away... Perhaps this will embolden the higher-visibility candidates too.


Blogger PSoTD said...

I tend to see a heavyweight primary being a good thing as well, particularly if each focuses on how they would approach the Senate differently than Santorum.

2:37 PM  

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