Tag Archives: Ellen Tauscher Weekly

Ellen Tauscher Weekly 2.01

Ellen Tauscher Weekly, V2.01

On St. Patrick’s Day 2005, then Congressman Rob Portman was tapped by President George Bush as U.S. Trade Envoy. The progressive blogosphere paid attention within two hours and the very next day, Swing State Project publisher DavidNYC wrote the following on the front page of Daily Kos:

Portman’s district is very Republican – it voted for Bush over Gore by a 63-35 margin in 2000. I’d say this makes it extremely unlikely that we’d win this seat. As I understand things, the most Republican district represented by a Democrat is PA’s 17th, where Tim Holden sits. His constituents went for Bush over Gore 56-42,  but the district was much Dem-friendlier when Holden was first elected. In any event, a 63-35 margin is quite a bit worse.

But I don’t think this is only bad news, and I don’t think we should write this seat off. Rather, I think an off-year special election (which will likely take place either in August or November) for a seat we have little chance of capturing is the perfect time to get creative and try out new ideas.

As Atrios is fond of observing, being in the opposition can be fun. Similarly, it can also be freeing. I’d love to see local, grassroots/netroots-type Dems get behind a candidate willing to be bold – to do things like Jeff Seemann’s highly successful “Campaign Manager for a Day” and whatever daring ideas lie beyond. We can use this race to experiment – to see what works and what doesn’t – in plenty of time for the midterm elections next year.

Back then, the OH-02 race had all the numbers going against it, but the initial things that made it worth fighting for were the facts that the major national bloggers were willing to link to good stuff on the race, some pioneers were willing to fight to the point of (actual) potential lawsuits, and there was a vacuum effect because the GOP thought they had it easy and DC Dems indicated little interest in getting involved.

So we fought and learned a great deal. Not only did we fight, but we played the expectations game so effectively that our loss dominated the national media as a win. And the netroots decision to fight despite the odds invigorated the local grassroots to the point where in 2006 Vic Wulsin did better than the Hackett results that were a nationwide story. But nationally, many of the tactics refined during the Ohio 2005 Special Election were used successfully across the country during the 2006 general election. I would suggest that we think of the inevitable primary in California’s 10th district along the same lines.

It makes sense for the netroots to decide to fight in CA-10 — against Ellen Tauscher in the primary.

The netroots may win or may lose, but because of the support the local blogs will receive from national supporters, we will be able to test and pioneer new tactics that Democrats everywhere can re-deploy against Republicans in the general election.

While many Californians are prominent national bloggers, there has never been a single race to force the teamwork that in other states has resulted in a unified group that coordinates offline to win online.

Another benefit is that high profile early races draw people from around the country who believe in themselves to the point where they think they can be an asset in the all-hands-on-deck battles. During Hackett’s campaign, a young volunteer drove to Ohio from Florida because she knew deep down inside she had game and was looking for a place to prove it (she is now the chief blogger for the DNC).

So let’s take Web 2.0 out for a test drive in California’s 10th Congressional District. Let’s test and if successful refine the tactics we need to redeploy during the 2008 general election in races nationwide. We have the talent, the national bloggers’ links will give us the platform, and even if we don’t win the primary we will help win more seats for Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2008 if we decide to test the next generation of online politics against Ellen Tauscher.

Today is My Birthday

Here is what I would like:

1. Please keep writing about Ellen Tauscher and encourage others to share their stories and ideas by starting accounts at Calitics.

2. Please sign up for an email subscription to the Ellen Tauscher Weekly so that you can see how each week developed even if you don’t have time to read everything, everyday.

3. If you have a blog, please add the following links to your blog roll (and start your own tag for ‘Ellen Tauscher’):

Ellen Tauscher Weekly, V1.02

If last week was defined by Katie Merrill catapulting a primary campaign against Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, this was the week that Tauscher tried in vain to distance herself from Joe Lieberman.

The following is how the week developed…

ellen tauscherSunday, December 17, 2006 – Sunday morning began where late Saturday night had left off. Before dawn, Crooks and Liars posted with five links to the continuing fallout from Representative Tauscher’s federal staff scrubbing her official government website of “The Caress” picture.

Rain Storm said the picture was, “definitely worth a thousand words” while pointing out, “In case anyone hasn’t been paying attention, the 2008 election cycle has already begun.” A short time later, skippy the bush kangaroo said, “if you enjoyed the lamont run against lieberman, pull up a chair, grab some popcorn and feast your eyes on california district 10, where ellen tascher, aside from being terribly out of touch with her constituents, made the unfortunate gaffe of knocking blogtopia (and she didn’t even acknowledge that yes! we coined that phrase!).”

That afternoon, a front-page post on Calitics looked at Tauscher’s internet blunders and concluded, “the larger problem is that her campaign should lack the ability to hire a netroots consultant who knows better. Working for Tauscher would be a career killer for a blogosphere coordinator and while the money might be good, it would be likely to cost other clients”. A post at Left in SF agreed, “Hiring an internet consultant for the very purpose of insulating the candidate from the internet is a pretty good way to end someone’s career. You’d have to be awfully cynical about politics and pretty contemptuous of the netroots to take that job.”

Monday, December 18, 2006 – Headlining CA-10 as, “Just One Ned Lamont Away From Being The Next CT SEN”, the Hotline Blogometer reported, “Rep. Ellen Tauscher’s (D-CA) vote for the Iraq war, her perceived coziness with K Street and Pres. Bush, have already made her the netroots number one target for ’08’s primary season.”

ellen tauscher joe liebermanThe week’s bombshell came Monday afternoon at Fire Dog Lake. You see, not only did Tauscher’s congressional office scrub photos of her with George Bush, but two pics of Ellen Tauscher with Joe Lieberman were also scrubbed. FDL noted, “The days when you could hire the idiot nephew to run the netroots component of your campaign are long gone.  It should be very interesting to see who might be willing to stand in the line of fire currently being aimed at Tauscher”.

Not surprisingly, getting caught scrubbing Joementum pics was the fastest route to permanently brand Tausher as getting Liebermanned in 2008. A FDL reader set up a new home for the pics and the story hit the front page of Calitics with quotes from Tauscher on why Lieberman was rejected by primary voters during the 2004 presidential campaign. And then the story rocketed to the front page of Daily Kos, “for those who want to know the full case against Tauscher, it will be laid out over the coming year in full.” Ruck Pad suggested anyone thinking of doing netroots outreach for Tauscher, “would be well advised to think twice” and declared the fiasco, “a textbook example on how not to head off a netroots fueled primary.”

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 – The National Journal Blogometer starting things off with, “The samecircles that got such mileage out of naming Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-CT) SOTU embrace of Pres. Bush “the kiss” have now labeled the pre-Iraq-war picture of Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) sitting with Bush’s hand on her lap “the caress.””

Josh Richman won the prize for the first reporter to ask for a comment from the Congresswoman, but he failed to pin down who in Tauscher’s office did the scrubbing or whether the Representative sanctioned the cover-up.

Calitics covered “The Caress” and posted two videos from Tauscher’s town hall meeting with Rossmoor Democrats.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 – The Berkeley Bubble started the day off with a post headlined, “Ellen Tauscher: The Caress, the Iraq Mess, Forgetting her District’s Address?” and a short time later it was read by a house.gov I.P. address. The House Race Hotline reported, “Emboldened by their role in the Dem sweep, liberal bloggers are now targeting Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA 10), a Bay Area centrist, pro-business Dem in the mold of Joe Lieberman. Her crime? Bloggers perceive her as too cozy with Pres. Bush and big business. And as chair of the New Democratic Coalition, she’s been a proponent of free-trade agreements to the ire of the populist crowd.”

A front-page post at MyDD said, “Calitics is doing good work tracking Ellen Tauscher (including video).  She’s a real problem for Democrats, and should face a serious challenge.” A Calitics diary looked back at the type of candidate who has run against Tauscher in the tenth since redistricting.

Later that day, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Spun Cycle Blog offered a hyperlink-free post that was widely mocked and Carla Marinucci was quickly refuted at Ruck Pad.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 – A Calitics diary looked at Tauscher’s endorsement page from 2006 and notes that neither Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi nor Senator Barbara Boxer made the list.

A MyDD diary (that remained recommended for more than 48 hours) looked back of the major, public feud between Pelosi and Tauscher, “In the end, Tauscher’s two blunders ended up with Burton creating a new 10th District that would remove any fear of Tauscher losing in a general, but one that was specifically designed to allow her to lose in a primary if she kept undermining Pelosi. Tauscher wasn’t redistricted out of a seat, but was given a clear shape up or ship out choice.”

D-Day disputed the Tauscher/Lieberman link, “there’s NOBODY like Joementum when it comes to arrogance, false victimhood, dishonesty, and condescension.”

Friday, December 22, 2006 – The internet tubes were quiet on the last weekday before Christmas, but the 18 year-old high school student we mentioned last week posted his second diary on Calitics and the Rescue Rangers bumped the Pelosi/Tauscher Feud to the front-page of Daily Kos.

Saturday, December 23, 2006 – On Festivus Day, there was but one airing of grievances. A post at Calitics using the Way Back Machine to see Tauscher’s thoughts on her nomination speech for Joe Lieberman.

There should be much, much more next week in the Ellen Tauscher Weekly.