Merkley Interviewed by TPM

The folks at Talking Points Memo have traveled to Austin to cover Netroots Nation, and one of the first interviews they've conducted is with Jeff Merkley.  It's a fairly extensive discussion, ranging from Smith's recent failed TV blitz, Merkley's lead in the polls, Barack Obama, the primary with Steve Novick, the current ads by the DPO, the politics of Oregon, and more.  Have a look:


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    I don't know if this interview or any parts of it will get picked up by the media here in Oregon. But if so, Jeff's pitch for tourism to the Oregon Coast could turn out to have been a stroke of genius. All the more because few Oregonians are presumed to be the real target of this video interview. Meaning that he can't reasonably be accused of pandering for votes with that off-hand pitch.

  • Daniel Spiro (unverified)

    Nice to hear Jeff speak well of Steve and the primary campaign he ran. Jeff must smile every day when he thinks that he already beat a candidate who ran a campaign about ten times as well as Gordon Smith's campaign has been run to date.

    But when you think about it, what is Smith supposed to say these days? That's he's been a pro-Bush Senator until recently, when he's tried to pander to his Democratic-leaning constituents? That he's the type of Senator the country needs to get rid of if they hope to end the gridlock in Washington?

    Frankly, if Smith were as smart as Steve, maybe he could think of something to say that could get him re-elected. But he's not as smart as Steve ... so I say he's in trouble. Still, Smith does have plenty of money, and that alone gives him a shot. I hope everyone keeps that in mind despite the trends in the polls.

  • Pad (unverified)

    Rachel Maddow (of all people) had the best slam last week on what is wrong with the navel-gazing, over-ego'ed, under-brained, "netroots", and why they are not good even in the near term for the Democratic Party and progressive politics in general.

    She was interviewing air-head David Bender right at the netroots conference. In rough paraphrase, she pointed out that what is so wrong is that the netroots is no different from other "movement" politics we've seen in recent times. They are mainly just interested in gaining power --- by embracing Republicans in-all-but-name who will only win because this is a "Democratic-year" --- rather than actually standing up for progressive values. Bender offered up the typical dishonest, diversionary propaganda that support for progressive values and working people will come after these kind of people win, as if they aren't always just focused on gaining more power and the next step in their political careers.

    Blue Oregon is a prime example of this phenomena. Kari's recent hyping of Sean Tevis provides a case-in-point: If one scrolls down through the comments responding to Sean's position on immigration (his use of the term "illegal immigration" should raise an eyebrow)

    After reading your very lightweight and vague manifesto it’s clear that you’re no Democrat. You’re a confused liberal leaning Republican. Your website design is very modern and appealing, I hope you pursue more realistic goals in the future!

    Merkley's latest commercials, pandering on meth amongst other things, are good examples of Merkley cynically going red to get elected. Off course, this is what we've learned over the years to expect from a self-serving opportunist like Merkley, whose has NEVER been anything but a politician that never has stood for anything except adapting his principles and his votes as he needs to get elected.

    For those who haven't yet heard of it, a good site for tracking election progress, started in 2004 by a famous professor who is a bona-fide Democrat is:

    One part of his comment about Merkley sums up nicely about what a vote for Merkley isn't, as outsiders with intelligence and perspective so often do:

    Jeff Merkley (D), could run the same campaign against him that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) ran against former senator Lincoln Chafee (R) in Rhode Island: "Smith is a nice guy but do you want Mitch McConnell to be majority leader?"

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    Oh my! It looks like "Pad" here is vying to dethrone TorridJoe as my reelection campaign's Chief Enabler - er - Chief Fellator

    Make some room under the desk there buddy, looks like a new friend wants to join in the fun!

  • Delusional Floyd (unverified)

    Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    Jeff Merkley for Oregon

    I agree we have serious problems related to meth and all other illegal drugs yet I do not agree that more cops, jails and/or mandatory minimums will be any more effective than they have been in the past. We already have more people in prison, per capita, than any other nation and over 50% are non-violent "drug offenders." The cost and lost years of productivity have fallen hardest on the poor and minorities but also take funding away from everyone’s education, healthcare and programs like Head Start and after school activities which have been shown to do more towards helping at-risk young people stay off the streets and away from the drugs and our unregulated, often violent, drug market.

    At any rate, it's a very big issue with lots of details and nuance. An issue I've been interested in for a long time. So I read your (Mr. Merkley's) proposals related to drugs and public safety and as you might surmise, respectfully disagree with you.

    I do not want to put you off, yet I think that if you really want to escalate what we collectively call the War on Drugs and put more people in cages, an obvious question needs to be asked: Have you ever used meth or any other illegal drug? And if you have I think you owe us a detailed explanation about your drug experiences and how you can justify punishing people for something you also did?

    Of course your possible past (or current) drug use should not be held against you. As you know Sen. Obama himself has been very candid about his past drug use and this openness is one of the things I most admire about him.

    I look forward to your reply and thank you for your kind consideration.

    Floyd Ferris Landrath 3221 SE Belmont Street Portland, OR 97214 503-236-2310 Mysite

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