What does Joe Trippi think?

Michelle Neumann

I'm always asking myself that question. Well, not really. But I did come across several comments by Joe Trippi, posted on MyDD, expressing his thoughts as to why the junior senator from Oregon is beatable in 2008. Torrid Joe is apparently everywhere - he also adds his comments to that discussion. Together they identify some key reasons that Gordon Smith has his work cut out for him:

1. Trippi (paraphrased): Gordon Smith can be beat. He doesn't handle the pressure of a tough campaign well. He won because his Democratic opponent would not go negative and Smith's attacks went unanswered.

2. In 2002, Smith rode the Bush-9/11 wave. Times have changed.

3. In 2002, Smith received 56% of the vote, as an incumbent spending twice as much as his Democratic opponent.

4. Smith's current record is a lot less appealing than his 2002 record. Now is the time to start exposing that record.


5. We have the blogs to help get the message out.

6. Trippi (with edits): [When Smith lost to Wyden, w]e were relentless in making two cases against Smith. First, that he was supported by Oregon's far right OCA. Second, all our messaging that mentioned Smith ended with "Gordon Smith -- He knows how to make the system work...FOR HIMSELF".

Read the entirety of their comments here.

The other thing I might add is that the more information you know about the candidates, their votes and their positions on the issues, the easier it will be when you start phone-banking and canvassing for our Democratic candidate. A good reason for an early start.

  • THE WOLFE (unverified)

    Joe Trippi thinks that who ever runs against Gordo they should never yell into a microphone.


  • (Show?)

    Incidentally, it's worth noting that Joe has some credibility when it comes to Oregon. He was a consultant on John Kitzhaber's '94 campaign, Darlene Hooley's '96 campaign, and the Ron Wyden '96 campaign.

    When he ran the Dean campaign, of course, Oregon gave more money per-capita than any state except Vermont. And today, Joe Trippi is working again with John Kitzhaber - this time, on health care.

  • JohnH (unverified)

    "He won because his Democratic opponent would not go negative and Smith's attacks went unanswered."

    I never could fathom why Bradbury wouldn't flog the Enron-PGE connection to some of the highest electricity rates in the nation. Smith was the US Senate's #3 recipient of Enron largesse.

    Posters who worked on Bradbury's campaign say he wanted to stay positive. But positive is a relative term. To have any value at all, a candidate's ideas must be compared and contrasted to something. Informing voters about Smith's record, connecting the dots if you will, is not necessarily an exercise in negativity, particulaly when compared to the depths reached by swift boaters.

    For most of us, simply exposing Republicans' pro-war, anti-consumer, anti-worker, anti-environment record should be enough to be convincing. Unfortunately Democrats feed out of the same trough as Republicans, so this totally "duh!" strategy is not necessarily one they'll follow.

  • Chris Andersen (unverified)

    All the talk about the vulnerabilities of Smith will matter for sh*t if there is no viable candidate to run against him. Until such a candidate emerges all this talk about Smith being endangered is pure theory.

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)

    Here are my thoughts. I believe Smith will run for governor in 2010. He may even not seek reelection in '08. Why?

    His business, Smith Frozen Foods, has to be less financially profitable due to, ironically, Free Trade Agreements and other Republican policies. Smith is restricted in managing the company due to his Senate job. As examples, he can't put his name on a company loan or line of credit and his receiving federal government subsidies and contracts would bring controversy.

    As governor, little to no legal restrictions would apply and he could operate every aspect of Smith Foods, perhaps putting it in better shape during the two years while simultaneously having much more time to run for governor.

    He's also in the minority party and so far it looks like Democrats will gain senate seats in '08. No committee chair for Gordy!

    Senate incumbency has huge advantages at the polls while he'd have less advantage in a run for governor. If he was a senator in 2010 and ran for governor, he’d upset many voters. If he didn’t run in ’08 he’d have time to mind fences with Republicans and neo-cons if a Democrat got his seat. He’d be the most well known Republican in the primary and would play that up to gain support. R’s want the governorship really bad after decades of defeat.

    There’s more power in governorship than being one of one hundred and being in the minority party.

    Democrats in control means more time spent in D.C. That means less time for Smith to be with his family.

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)
    <h2>I forgot to add this. Smith's positions of late - such as his views on Iraq and his sudden vocal support of continuing the rural county payments program - play better with voters if seeking the governorship.</h2>

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