Common Ground for the Common Good? Nope. takes a look at the theme of Gordon Smith's re-election campaign:

Gordon Smith rolled out his re-election platform over the weekend.

"’If you check the record,’ he said, ‘you will find that I have found common ground for the common good.’"
(The Oregonian, 3-2-08)

So, let’s take Smith at his word and check his record.

The post questions the two parts of Smith's theme. First, common ground:

On the important issues facing Oregon, Smith cancels out Oregon’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden’s vote. On Iraq, climate change, health care, and a host of other issues, Smith pushes Wyden and Oregon backward.

Although Oregon went Blue in both 2000 and 2004, Gordon Smith consistently votes with President Bush.

Oregon’s most prominent political pundit noticed that Smith tries to paint himself as more moderate than his voting record indicates. Not much common ground there.

Smith finds more common ground with the special interests who contribute millions to his campaign and control his votes than with Oregon families.

Smith hasn't done much for the common good, either:

Other than reminding special interests that Oregon has a Republican U.S. Senator who accepts their checks, what has Gordon Smith achieved for Oregon?

Let’s ask the columnists and editors who cover him closely:

“The larger question is what Smith has done with his appointment with history. While Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has authored a tax bill and a health care reform bill, Smith has turned in no work product of that heft and weight. It has been a largely cosmetic performance. That has caused us on prior occasions to wonder why Smith bothers to serve. At this point in the life of the nation, a senator from Oregon ought to be offering serious solutions to major problems.”
(The Daily Astorian Editorial, 4-10-07)

“Give Smith credit: He just illustrated the dramatic difference between sitting in that seat and actually filling it… Gordon Smith? He sat on his hands when it mattered.”
(Steve Duin Column, The Oregonian, 12-12-06)

“By contrast, Sen. Smith has little accomplishment to show for his two terms. He clearly lacks the legislative gene, which causes me to wonder why he serves, except for the prestige of the job.”
(Steve Forrester Column, The Daily Astorian, 10-3-07)

Read the rest and comment at


connect with blueoregon