Ron Wyden: Jeff Merkley is an "agent of change"

Over the weekend, Senator Ron Wyden appeared at a rally in support of Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate.


From the Associated Press:

Wyden, one of the state's most popular politicians, called Merkley an "agent of change," whose election he said would help Democrats get to a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority in the Senate, allowing them to pass progressive legislation on universal health care and climate change. Right now, Democrats hold a slim, 51-49 majority in the chamber, and Republicans have been able to successfully kill much of their agenda.

From the Oregonian:

"But just as Gordon supported my opponents in 1998 and 2004 because those gentlemen shared Gordon Smith's Republican values," added Wyden, "it is important I support the person who supports my progressive values, and that person is Jeff Merkley."

A year ago, there was quite a bit of concern in the blogosphere about whether Wyden would campaign actively for the Democratic nominee - given the widely-held view that Wyden didn't campaign actively for 2002 candidate Bill Bradbury. From the Oregonian:

Merkley's campaign manager, Jon Isaacs, who worked on the Bradbury campaign, said he thought Wyden and Merkley had a closer working relationship. The "stakes are higher" this year, Isaacs said, because Democrats see a good opportunity to win in Oregon and move closer to a filibuster-proof majority.

From the Merkley for Senate campaign, a brief four-minute video:


  • Mary (unverified)

    Wyden will go through the motions, just like his junior aid Josh is doing with Hillary. They both know that they are backing a loser, so they will be just going through the motions and the bare minimum.

    Wyden gains nothing by becoming an uber-partisan, raging liberal hack. And he loses his "bipartisan-statesman" status. Wyden will work twice as hard for Jeff than he did for Brabury. LOL.

  • (Show?)

    Listen up, paid GOP troll: Go away. And take your friends "Bill", "Sarah", "Jane", "Bob", "Fred", "Tom", "Mike", and "Carol" with you.

    Jesus, you people are obvious. I hope they're paying you well for your "flood the zone" and "blog attack" services.

  • Sarah (unverified)

    Yeah, what Kari said, you GOP bozo breath.

    Wyden helped out Bill and he is gonna help Jeff even more. Wyden will spend what ever it takes, especially from his wife's vast financial war chest.

    Wyden to the rescue!
    Smitty is toast; never fear, Wyden's here!

  • Randle McMurphy (unverified)

    Anyone who thinks Josh Kardon is even capable of just going through the motions obviously does not know him. The guy doesn't fool around.

  • jim bradach (unverified)

    Let us not start with health care, you get nothing until you figure out Iraq. Smith is so weak my dog would have made a better senator. military expenditures are sucking the life out of everything good that could be done on the domestic front. Hey "change agent" let's get the hell off the militarized economy.

  • (Show?)

    For the record, "Sarah" and "Mary" are commenting from the same IP address.

    Ignore the trolls. Better yet: Anytime one of them comments, make a donation to an Oregon Democrat.

  • Missy (unverified)

    I saw the speech and it was not only strong on why Jeff will make a great senator, but it also laid out a lengthy argument for how reelecting Smith will frustrate the will of everyone currently fighting for change. It was cool that he mentioned the 75,000 people who came to the waterfront for Obama and talked about how empty our efforts will have been if we elect Obama and don't elect Merkley.

    Did any of you catch Jack Bog's post on Wyden's endorsement? He needs to at least watch the event before he writes in the future because he obviously read the usual pro-Smith coverage in the Oregonian before posting. For that matter, the Oregonian needs to start reporting on the actual event. I saw the speech, and the story didn't come close to reflecting the passion of Wyden's endorsement of Jeff.

    Off-topic a bit, I still wish Steve were our nominee, but after seeing Merkley give his speech, I have to say that Steve made Jeff a much better candidate. He seemed only distantly-related to the stiff candidate of the primary.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)

    There is also another item working here - if Jeff gets into Washington, Ron gets to be the 'Senior Senator from Oregon', which is a better title for him as well as Jeff getting to boltser D votes in the senate.

    However, Jeff still does not make me enthusiastic. It's like his body language isn't telling us what Ron is telling us. I will tend to vote for Dave until Merkley shows me more 'oompf' in his demeanor.

  • (Show?)

    They both know that they are backing a loser, so they will be just going through the motions and the bare minimum.

    Yeah, troll, and Gordon Smith is an independent voice for Oregon.

  • GVN (unverified)

    I have a hard time as a Democrat getting past these things when I look at Wyden and Merkley, and the kind of comments here are making it worse:

    You call Wyden's office (just like when you called Merkley's office during the session) and on virtually any disputed issue inside the Democratic Party, on the day of the vote the people answering his phones say he hasn't given his staff a statement for the public of what his position is --- wait for the vote.

    The Oregon Presidential primary has been over how long now, and as late as this morning on KPOJ 620 he refused to unequivocally announce who he would support.

    He said he wouldn't attack the Smith, a guy who in the same breath says just votes down the line with Bush --- so he either doesn't see that as a bad thing, or is a liar because some would take that as a well-deserved attack on Smith.

    He's a Democrat and this thread is about how a big deal it is that he has endorsed the Democratic candidate in the Senate race instead of supporting the Republican or staying neutral.

    These are facts. I had to laugh at the nutty first comment about Wyden being an "uber-partisan" and Kari's even nuttier response. There is something really wrong with the DPO and our Party in Oregon when we are incapable of doing better than this. Sorry, I'm finding Wyden and Merkley less and less worthy of my vote, much less my respect.

  • Bridget (unverified)

    I'd like to explore that idea a little more, even if it is from a troll. Does Wyden think that Jeff has a good chance at beating Gordo? Gordon must think so, considering his ad nauseum ad campaign. I think Jeff and Mary would do well to hire a stylist, unless their clothing choices are just part of this down-home aw-shucks approach. I know that there's a history of this dress-down in Oregon Politics (Thanks Kitzhaber!), but deep down, I'd like to be represented by somebody who dresses the part (and acts it too). Mary's sweater is a little odd. It's oddly reminiscent of Joan of Arc to me (If Joanie administered to the sick, instead of storming castles). Hey, maybe it's working!

  • (Show?)

    I'll take a senator with a little less "oompf" who can actually win. Oh, and how about the "oompf" factor of Gordon Smith? Now there's a total lack of passion.

  • selenesmom (unverified)

    Eric Parker, before voting for Dave Frohnmayer, you might want to consider that he is not running. It's John Frohnmayer, his brother, who is running for Senate (as an Independent).

  • (Show?)

    Ron gets to be the 'Senior Senator from Oregon'

    Ron Wyden already is the senior Senator. He became a Senator almost a full year before Gordon Smith.

  • (Show?)

    "He's a Democrat and this thread is about how a big deal it is that he has endorsed the Democratic candidate in the Senate race instead of supporting the Republican or staying neutral."

    Yes, this thread is absurd, or at least our sighs of relief and congratulations that he's actually supporting the Democrat are. It's dishonest and frankly a disservice to Oregonians that Wyden refuses to lay out Smith's record as it stands. We can't afford it.

  • (Show?)

    Well I was there at the Big Endorsement Event. It's sort of an expected ritual to throw the Faithful a bone, and I'd say that Ron Wyden expressed his limited, conditional, and nuanced support unequivocally.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)

    Isn't Wyden already the Senior Senator from Oregon? I thought he beat Smith in the 96 election to replace Hatfield.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
    <h2>Oops. I should really read the whole thread before I shoot off my big mouth. Sorry.</h2>
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