Now that I’m a private citizen, I feel even freer than usual to say what I think:
- To my donor who wrote that he was “dispirited,” I suggested “disappointed” is the better way to feel. It was disappointing not to win — was it ever! — but (read on), that disappointment should fuel our resolve, not slow us down. .
- Everyone did his or her best, and should be lauded for that. But it was ridiculous to spend $25 million Democratic dollars on this. Understandable — everybody wanted an outlet to help — and within days of Ossoff’s announcement, I sent $1,500 myself. But once it was apparent he was raising vastly more than could be spent effectively in a single CD, I stopped. There were better, more leveraged ways to help fuel a sea change for 2018 — funding Tom Perez’s new DNC, prime (very possibly first) among them. .
- To my knowledge, the DNC wasted not a dime of our contributions adding to Jon’s $25 million. Instead, they sent 12 staffers to work on the ground in his district: a sensible, cost-effective way to help. .
- Nor did the DNC choose the candidate. Jon is terrific and my God he worked hard at this. We should be grateful to him and everyone who helped him. But as Joe Scarborough noted the morning after, a young guy without a family and without decades of local roots was not the best way to win the seat Newt Gingrich and Tom Price long held by huge margins. I don’t blame the DCCC either. It is they who work to recruit and encourage the best possible Congressional candidates; but this was a snap election with no time to prepare. No one could have known in advance Trump would pluck Price out of the House to join his Cabinet.
So my bottom lines are: hats off to everyone for trying, but going forward we need to be
- as STRATEGIC as possible (just $15 million of those $25 million would have allowed the DNC to quadruple the $7,500/month it sends to strengthen each of the 50 state parties, allowing each to approach the kind of operation Nevada ran last cycle — where we won the Senate seat, 3 of the 4 House seats, and flipped both chambers of the state legislature blue); .
- PUMPED, not discouraged — we can ABSOLUTELY win back the House in 2018 (and the Senate and state chambers) even if we don’t prevail in deep red districts. And by the way? With more time to encourage the most competitive candidates to run . . . and, especially, with more time for the voters to realize, 16 months from now, no they did NOT get “great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost” — and all the rest – we might even win THIS Georgia seat, too.
And in any event: “Don’t agonize — ORGANIZE.”
*Don’t be put off by the huge amounts on that page — there’s a box for “other,” and it’s the millions of “other,” human-size contributions that are what we are really about. It’s just that this is “my” page, so I’ll see what you do, to say thanks.