Friday, August 04, 2006

But... But I Thought It Was Tinker Time

Actually, I was fairly sure it wasn't, what with this not being my first barbecue and all.

However, the guys over at Flypaper Theory, the West Tennessee Liberal, the Leftwing Cracker, Polar Donkey, everyone at the Cue, and even we here at Freedonian were inundated by semi-literate rantings of people who assured us that we were going to be facing some terrible punishment for having backed anyone other than Nikki Tinker. According to these rants, we were all "anti-black woman" or intimidated by her "beauty". Click here for their “greatest hits”.

We were assured that we would be crying come August 3rd. Instead, I think I speak for all when I say that we're all exhausted from the Cohen Victory Party.

Not that it was the first one I went to, mind you. Pesky Fly, Autoegocrat, and I went to the Tinker "victory" party first.

Not every campaign I've ever been on has been a successful one. There have been a couple of times that I've been inside campaign HQ as reality set in, and it became obvious that we were going to come up short.

And that's how I recognized what I saw last night at the Tinker party. It was desperation.

It was hard to gauge exactly what was going on there at first. No one was in much of a hurry to speak to the three white guys that walked in the door, and that was fine.

But once they did, we heard the excuse-making(They dusted off that old conservative meme and blamed the media--- More on that later) and the "if these two precincts come through for us, we're still in it". Well, that and some bizarre Michael Jordan analogy that I’m sure made some sense in the guy’s head as he was coming up with it, but didn’t translate quite as well to spoken words.

We didn’t hang around for a concession speech, but we knew it was coming.

Of course, the tone at the Cohen party was decidedly more optimistic. We hadn’t been there terribly long when word reached us that Cohen had indeed won.

I don’t mind telling you that I was thrilled. All of us have watched Harold Ford Jr. creep a little further to the right with every term that he’s served, and it will be a joy to finally have a genuine progressive occupying his seat. Steve Cohen won an election last night, but the biggest winners are the people of Tennessee’s 9th District.

You have to wonder how long it will take, now that Tinker has lost this primary, to leave town. I give her six weeks.

Now, I have a little something to say to one of the Tinker partygoers from last night. I was informed that they didn’t feel like the Memphis Flyer and Jackson Baker in particular had been fair to them. So I’m going to reiterate what I said last night and expand on it.

There is a reason that people of all political stripes, be they Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, white, black, or even purple speak to Jackson Baker. It is simply that he is fair to all and swayed by none. That’s how he gets the best access to the best stories--- People know they’ll be treated fairly, so they call him when they have a story to tell.

I realize that fair coverage isn’t as favorable as coverage provided by a sorority sister who used the biggest newspaper in the district as an infomercial for your campaign, slanting the coverage to make the guy that was on the receiving end of attacks from no less than five campaigns sound argumentative.

So in reality, what you wanted was not “fair” coverage--- You wanted the coverage slanted your way. A rain forest worth of mailers, an attack piece by a friendly lobby group, half a million dollars of TV time, and hit pieces by a Tinker supporter embedded in the Commercial Appeal cannot make up for the absolute lack of substance in the Tinker campaign. Television advertising is a great tool--- If you actually have something to say.

The Tinker campaign had nothing to say. So if you can’t figure out why the reporter that treats everyone fairly doesn’t cover you quite the way you want, then maybe you should look at the candidate and the campaign that’s being run.

Now, I’d like to give a shout out to Kevin, Liz, Dabney, Kate, Vanessa, Anne Marie, and John from the Cohen campaign for a very nice evening. We should hold a party like that again sometime.

How does November sound?

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aw ... I made the blog. Freedonian - I will party with you any time, any place. I am so glad y'all came out with us last night. Victory is sweet, even if that mean no internship for you.

Dabney

Glen Wellington said...

Cohen 23,570
Tinker 19,132
JFJ 9,329
Bolton 8,050
Stanton 6,920

Couple of observations

MySpace Jr. pulled 9K - how the hell did that happen?

Stanton - my...my...how the tide can turn. He had so much momentum coming out of the straw poll etc., and he pulled a mere 7K.

I am disappointed that Lee Harris didn't have a better showing. Did he stop campaigning?

Boy, did I underestimate the power of name recognition based on overspending. Would someone like to explain to me how in this lifetime someone who didn't discuss issues until the last minute and ran such a negative campaign towards the end pulled 19K. It shouldn't have been that close.

Looking at these numbers - I am sure that some people are kicking themselves.

It will be interesting to see what all of these people decide to do next.

Anonymous said...

Lee Harris didn't stop campaigning. He knocked on my door about a week before the election. I think his poor showing is result of voters being overwhelmend. Tinker, Mitchell, Stanton and White had commercials. Harris did not. I voted him. I liked him. I wouldn't have known he existed if he didn't know on my door and I wouldn't have remembered that he existed had he knocked on my door months before.
I just really hope that Memphians who are democrats rally around Cohen. I don't want to live in a city where a sizeable group rally around Jake Ford.

Anonymous said...

Congratualations to Cohen. I will for the first time in my 22 years of voting be voting for a Republican in November. I'm glad you all think this is over and are celebrating; but I think everyone just handed the Ford family another 30 years. Really, congratulations.

Glen Wellington said...

Anon @11:52

"[You] will for the first time in my 22 years of voting be voting for a Republican in November" because....? Not that you need to explain, but I definitely am curious as to your reasons for crossing the line for the first time. Is it that you don't like Cohen and would prefer that the seat go to a Republican? Who do you think should have been the Democrat to stop the continuation of the Ford trainwreck. Besides, if Indy Ford wins, then Memphis got exactly what it deserved!

(FWIW, I wasn't in the Cohen or Tinker camp)

Freedonian said...

Dabney,

Of course you made the blog! You're partially responsible for giving us something to celebrate into the wee hours of the morning. Pat yourself on the back!

Just imagine the blowout we'll have in November!

Freedonian said...

Glen,

MySpace Jr. pulled 9K - how the hell did that happen?

I guess some really cool people added him to their friend list, and once people answered his questionnaire entitled "I'm new to the city. Can you help me find my house?", it just snowballed.

I am disappointed that Lee Harris didn't have a better showing. Did he stop campaigning?

I thin we were all disappointed by that. No one I know has anything too bad to say about him, and most of us are hoping he'll run for something else soon.

Boy, did I underestimate the power of name recognition based on overspending. Would someone like to explain to me how in this lifetime someone who didn't discuss issues until the last minute and ran such a negative campaign towards the end pulled 19K. It shouldn't have been that close.


I think about it this way. McDonald's undoubtedly has the most famous burger in the world. It became the most famous not because it's the best, certainly not because it has great substance (In fact, I think it's unidentifiable substance). In fact, my burgers are better.

Candidates with no substance can still buy their way into office. Thankfully, it failed here.

Freedonian said...

Congratualations to Cohen. I will for the first time in my 22 years of voting be voting for a Republican in November. I'm glad you all think this is over and are celebrating; but I think everyone just handed the Ford family another 30 years. Really, congratulations.

Okay, you sound like you don't like the Fords... Yet you seem to think that the city made a mistake in not voting for someone whose political rsume consists exclusively of working for the Fords? Doesn't really make a lot of sense, does it?

If you switch your vote, you're helping the Fords a lot more than we are. That's something to think about when you're making that kind of threat.

Anonymous said...

I think the 19k that voted for Tinker and the 9k that voted for Ford represent why Memphis will never get good leadership.

Everyone says that they are tired of the same old names and the same old faces. Everyone says that they are tired of being tricked and really just want honest and smart newcomers with fresh ideas.

The numbers from last night show that a lot of Memphians don't care about issues and they don't care about a good honest respectable leadership.

Why would the fresh and delightful newcomers like Harris, Whitman, Mitchell and Kyles run for something again? I don't think that their one or two percent showing will inspire future runs.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Harris, Whitman, Kyles, and even Stanton packed up and moved to a new city. Why would you talented people want to live in a city that doesn't value their ideas and their drive.

It takes guts and commitment to run a campaign. And I saw Harris, Whitman, Stanton, and Mitchell out there until the very end. Voters like the likes of Ophelia Ford and Kathryn Bowers. It is just pitiful.

I am disgusted. I don't know what will happen with Cohen/Ford/White. I don't anticpate party unity over Cohen. I hope COhen doesn't take the November election for granted. He needs to win over the blacks who voted for someone else.

I am so tired of Memphis politcs ...it just makes me sick.

Lisa said...

OK, a few observations, questions and thoughts the day after:

Is anyone else having trouble accessing Pesky Fly? I’m jonesing for some of that Fly.

I'm still not sure that the vote counts in Commercial Appeal are final/accurate. I saw some different numbers on WREG. The "election results" page on SC Election Commission web site hasn't worked all day, even though all the media outlets have posted links to it. I would really like to see the "official" numbers.

Has anyone heard anything about candidates challenging any races in the election? I know there was some blog talk about it last night but haven’t heard anything more.

Is it just me, or do all the local TV news programs suck? I never watch TV news, but did so last night in hopes of seeing election results. Turned to channel 3 first b/c I read they've won last three ratings periods. But their coverage, or lack thereof, was disturbing. They mostly just plugged themselves and their weatherman anytime they broke away from programming for election coverage, and I didn't feel at all comfortable that they were giving me reliable information. I think when they ended 10 p.m. newscast, Norm Brewer said Steve and Debbie Stamson, Bill Key and Chris Thomas had all lost (not that they were trailing or in danger of losing, but that they had actually lost). Also watched channels 5 and 13 for a minute, but all were so focused on Senate and District 9 race that they hardly discussed any others (after Wharton and Luttrell were determined winners).

I thought most of the judicial races turned out the right way. I was somewhat surprised that Newman didn't win, that Nahmias didn't have a better showing and that the Republicans did so well with Massey against Alexander-Best, especially because Alexander-Best got so many other endorsements. But the biggest surprise of the night for me was Karen Webster beating Donn Southern (if indeed she did; still not satisfied with that end result). Southern had endorsements across the board and excellent ratings, and I don’t think Webster even ran a campaign. I’ve heard that she was on Ricky Peete’s ballot, but I never saw the thing. And some of the other candidates who I heard were on that ballot got beaten my lesser opponents.

I don’t know Southern or Webster, but this outcome just doesn’t make any sense to me and I hope someone can help me understand how one of the highest rated, most respected judges in Shelby County gets beaten by someone who not only is unqualified but doesn’t appear to have even ran a serious campaign.

vibinc said...

Good meeting you last nite at DL. I've posted about the Cohen win on DK. if you get a chance, let me know your thoughts on my thoughts.

Cheers,

Steve

Kate said...

You want to know how much of last night I remember? Yeah, well me too. My head hurts...

Freedonian said...

Everyone says that they are tired of the same old names and the same old faces. Everyone says that they are tired of being tricked and really just want honest and smart newcomers with fresh ideas.

The numbers from last night show that a lot of Memphians don't care about issues and they don't care about a good honest respectable leadership.


That's absolutely true. If it was the issues that voters wanted, this election would have been the most one-sided since Reagan vs. Mondale. Of the handful of big time contenders, only one addressed issues in any substantive manner.

Voters say they want the issues. They don't. They want to want to hear about issues. It's all projection. By the same token, voters always say they want clean campaigns with no mudslinging. Yet they usually reward the most notorious mudslingers with perpetual job security.

It's a horribly cynical way of looking at things, but it's the only thing that makes sense. It's what they know is the most admirable thing; They claim to want it. Yet they reject it every chance they get.

Why would the fresh and delightful newcomers like Harris, Whitman, Mitchell and Kyles run for something again? I don't think that their one or two percent showing will inspire future runs.

I can understand that. But by getting their names out into the public realm in a really big campaign, they make themselves known among political circles for the next run. Hell, if Lee Harris runs for a local office, I want to help him get elected. From the sound of things, I imagine you would too. Would we know who he was if not for the 1% he got in this race? Maybe, but it would take a lot longer for him to appear on our radar screens. Personally, I think that most of the "lower tier" (In turnout, not quality) stayed in the race to get that name recognition.

I am disgusted. I don't know what will happen with Cohen/Ford/White. I don't anticpate party unity over Cohen. I hope COhen doesn't take the November election for granted. He needs to

You can count on him not taking the campaign for granted. I suspect that he'll be aggressive in pursuing black voters. He has a lot to offer them. The great thing about him never counterattacking the candidates that played the race card was that he burned no bridges with the community. In fact, in the press conference he held last Friday, he generously made Stanton sound a lot better than he really deserved to sound. It was a smart move.

I think Jake will pull about 5-6% of the popular vote. The Ford family isn't in a great position to alienate the Democratic Party by going balls to the wall for a nephew. Not when Jr. is in a Senate race.

Good talking to you.

Freedonian said...

Lisa,

I've traditionally had trouble getting The Flypaper Theory to load in Internet Explorer. There's a problem with the Raw Story links on their page. For the longest time, I kept Firefox on hand just to view their site with; I downloaded the newest version of Internet Explorer I(They've cloned Firefox) and all's good now (I have to use IE because it's sometimes in my best interest to use the Adobe PDF button to do a quick screen capture).

If there are going to be any official challenges, I've not heard of them yet. The problem is that if they challenge, it leads to a recount; And there's no paper trail with our current machines. The votes are stored on a memory card, so it's simply a matter of retabulating the results using the same programs and the same algorhythms. There's no reason to believe they'll show anything different this time.

And you bet--- Our local news is weak. WMC is actually the worst. I think Media Matters could have a field day watching Jason Miles alone, and much of their coverage is just as bad. I wrote a piece here a while back about their newscast--- Their teaser alleged that Steve Mulroy's wife had committed "voter fraud" despite never actually having cast any vote while she was misregistered. It was a hit piece, and not a subtle one.

Freedonian said...

Steve,

Nice to meet you too. I'll be checking in on Kos later tonight. I'll be looking forward to seeing what you wrote.

Freedonian said...

Kate,

Probably for the best. But I do feel like I dodged a bullet--- I drank a river of booze last night, and I'm not hung over. In fact, I'd be in great shape if not for getting home after 3 and waking up at 6.

Good to see you.

nut-meg said...

Does anyone really have to ask Miss/ter Silly Anonymous why s/he's voting Repug for the first time in 22 years?

It is either his/her hatred for Jewish people far outweighs party loyalty, or just another Tinker Toy, meaning s/he is a Republican anyway and no big loss.

Of course, it could be both.

At this point, a vote for a Republican, any Republican is basically a vote for more and more war and death worldwide. It's a vote against healthcare for anyone other than the wealthy. It's a vote against education for anyone other than the wealthy. It's a vote against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and any and all civil rights. We really don't need those kinds of "Democrats". We have enough with Lieberman.

Formerly Considered Moderate said...

Well said, Nut-meg. Can't add a thing.

PeskyFly said...

I removed Raw Story etc from the sidebar.

Blogrolling can still snag things, but the site should load better.

Freedonian said...

Excellent, Pesky. I'm glad to hear that. Your site is too good to not be seen.

FCM, Nut-meg, it's good to see the two of you over here.

Serrabee said...

OK, I'm late to the game, but FYI:
The Pesky Fly loads fine in IE 7, which is badass, although I am a Firefox user.
AND:
I think [Harris'] poor showing is result of voters being overwhelmend.
I would say it's the fact that 90% of us who agree w/Harris wanted to throw our support Cohen's way.
Plus, BOO! again to all the anonymous commenters. I will never understand why bloggers don't disable them.

Hi, Freedonian, see ya at some point on Thurs.

Freedonian said...

Serrabee, better late than never!

As far as the anonymous posters go, I can't speak for everyone, but I find them entertaining. A lot of people say things behind a cloak of anonymity that they wouldn't have the guts to say if they had to attach a name to their work. And I believe that, if what they have to say is stupid, they have just as much right to be insulted by me as anyone else. :)

Looking forward to Thursday, Serrabee.

Freedonian said...

By the way, I was using Firefox for a while, but I had trouble with the Adobe PDF button when I was trying to do screen captures, and I couldn't find a reasonable workaround. IE7 is terrific, though.

Ironic, isn't it? When Microsoft finally gets it right, it's because they've copied someone else's source code.