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Friday, October 24, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: Reed blows it in debate with Harkin

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

When you step up to challenge a safe and popular incumbent, you have two options. You can make a straightforward case for your party and against your opponent's record. Doing so will earn you the goodwill of your political allies who are grateful to have someone on the ballot they can feel proud voting for (like David Osterberg, who ran against Chuck Grassley in 1998). If you are young, running a hopeless race with dignity will increase your name recognition and bring useful campaign experience for a future bid for public office. Alternatively, a candidate with no chance of winning can lash out at his popular opponent in an over-the-top way, while bitterly complaining about his own party not helping him enough. This path will energize partisans who hate the incumbent but will probably limit future political options. Christopher Reed chose door number 2 in a joint forum with Senator Tom Harkin yesterday. Iowa Public Television will broadcast the debate tonight at 7 pm. Judging from initial reports, I don't think we need to worry about Reed becoming a rising star for Iowa Republicans.

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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