Senate Hopefuls Presser, Merkley, Photos

Jeff Alworth

Over at the convention center this morning, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer hosted a press conference for Senate hopefuls Jean shaheen (NH), Mark Udall (CO), Tom Allen (ME), Tom Allen (ME), Mark Warner (VA),Tom Udall (NM) and Jeff Merkley. 

I never know what to make of these things. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer both talked about how important it was to get to 60 in the Senate, talking about filibusters and so on.  Then the candidates each gave fairly straightforward stump speeches (I shot video; I'll upload later).  Jean Shaheen's was interesting because she talked about the crisis in home heating fuel in Maine.  Tom Udall talked about how as a House member, his bill (?) to mandate 15% renewable energy failed by one vote.  And Mark Warner offered the curious goal to expand broadband accessibility. 

But in the main, there wasn't a lot of news there.  However, after the presser, Merkley answered reporter questions for about 20 minutes.  (Sightings: Jeff Mapes, Nigel Jacquiss, David Sarasohn.)  It's here where he really impresses.  The topics ranged from abortion to foreign policy (including torture and Iraq) to oil conservation, and he was ready with them all.  I have some audio,  but it may be too low quality for posting. 

I asked a question about foreign policy, about how to approach rising powers like China and Russia without the usual bellicose sound bites we've heard for eight years.  His response was surprising:

"When you think about global history, you have the Dutch who thrived by mastering wind at sea and wind at home as an international power.  You have the British, who mastered and thrived under coal.  America has thrived under oil.  We have to recognize that a huge piece of our international affairs policy has to be smart energy policy."

From there he covered more familiar terrain, but you can see the kind of depth he brings to questions.  I may get a chance to interview him later in the convention; stay tuned.

The lovely and talented Carla Axtman requested pics of the Oregon delegation yesterday, and as her word is my command, today's batch focuses heavily on that subject.  If you go to my Flickr set, you can see captions.  If you know who you're looking at already, the slideshow may be adequate.  As always, more to come.

  • Mark Jaquette (unverified)

    BlueDenver just BlewOregon out of this weeks headlines!

  • Finngall (unverified)

    I noticed in the Oregonian that Jeff Mapes' article on this gathering made mention of the Democrats' "narrow 50-49 majority in the Senate (independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont also supports the Democratic leadership)."

    No mention of Joe Lieberman, and no parroting of the traditional media narrative that Holy Joe is somehow still a Democrat. A minor detail, maybe, but kudos to Mapes for actually paying attention.

  • (Show?)
    <h2>Minor correction: Jeanne Shaheen is the former Governor of New Hampshire, and spoke of the crisis in home heating fuel there, not in Maine (although I'm sure things are just as bad in Maine).</h2>

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