No, Bill Sizemore, it's not magic - it's hard work.

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

No, Bill Sizemore, it's not magic - it's hard work.

OK, you're Lucy, and Chris Dudley is Charlie Brown. Got it?

Over at the O, Jeff Mapes wrote this morning about the latest polling in the gubernatorial race (Dudley up 5! Kitzhaber up 9! Kitzhaber up 1! Nobody knows anything!) but what caught my eye was a comment by Bill Sizemore.

Sizemore, of course, is the disgraced initiative racketeer who was the GOP nominee against John Kitzhaber in 1998. Here's what he had to say:

None of the polling in this race is all that useful, but for a reason not discussed above. The Saxton/Kulongoski race four years ago was neck and neck at this point. If I recall, the numbers were in the neighborhood of 41 to 42, well within the margin of error.

However, about three weeks before election day, the numbers shifted almost overnight to an 11 or 12 point lead for Kulongoski. Nothing major really happened to bring about the huge shift in numbers, which leads me to believe it was those faithful Democrat voters getting off the fence and remembering that they are Democrats and always vote for the Democrat in major races, no matter how dismal the candidate is. ...

Ron Saxton was not able to do that. There was nothing exciting about Ron Saxton for the consultants and ad writers to work with. Chris Dudley will have to do that and soon or three weeks from now we may see a sudden surge for Kitzhaber in the polls and it will be nothing but the lazy minded Portland voters forgetting Kitzhaber's dismal record and remembering who they are.

You see, Bill Sizemore - and the rest of the Republicans - have been foiled again and again in recent years. Every time, they go into the fall season thinking they're on the verge of victory, only to watch the Democrats roll to another win.

And while Bill Sizemore attributes it to some kind of spooky magic - voters "remembering who they are" - that's not it at all. Sizemore says "nothing major really happened".

But, of course, something major did happen. The amazing Democratic turnout machine. And by "machine", of course, I'm talking about you. Every one of you. Getting on the phones and hitting the streets.

As of today, ballots are going out in 31 days. And if each of us gets up and goes to work, Bill Sizemore and the Republicans will once again be lamenting their "consultants and ad writers" and wondering how it is the Democrats did it again.

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    Full disclosure: My firm John Kitzhaber's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

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    What I find odd is that Sizemore and other "conservatives" seem to think that voters have no memory. That voters will somehow buy the fraudulent argument that Kitzhaber's "dismal record" (which isn't at all dismal given that he had a lunatic GOP legislature for most of his time as Governor) is bad, and that it wasn't GOP policies on the national level that actually flew the nation's economy straight into the mountainside.

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      Actually, the voters remember Kitzhaber just fine. Hence his problem.

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        Hardly. The electorate is troubled by the current economic disaster we are facing, which was precipitated by "conservative" policies on the national level, from de-regulation and failed supply-side economic polices.

        Which seem to be the only thing behind the vague, empty rhetoric from the Dudley campaign on their economic "vision".

        But thanks for trying to mis-remember the reality for voters. Who knows, you might just be able to dupe enough of the voters into equating the current comic problems with "Democrats" in general, instead of the the reality we actually lived through (i.e. good Governance by Kitzhaber in the face of a lunatic GOP controlled legislature throughout most of his terms in office).

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          Then why the well documented, here and other places, apathy towards Dr. No by the Dems?

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            There hasn't been any apathy towards him by any of the people I talk to.

            And I am glad you keep saying Dr. No, because it is a great reminder that he was the last line of defense against the out of control GOP legislature under Minnis during most of his term in office.

            So thanks for inadvertently reminding us that he did a damn good job as Governor despite having to deal with a slash and burn legislature that, like their national counterparts, sought policies that have since proven to be a disaster (i.e. deregulation and laissez-faire, supply-side economic policies which crashed the economy).

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            Do you mean the Dems I was talking to during the 2008 primary, when I was canvassing for John Kroger? All I had to tell them was that Kitzhaber had endorsed Kroger to get them to vote for him. It worked like magic.

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    Personally, I like to think of my vast cabal not as Democrats but "socialists."

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    Democrats and Indies remember the positive stewardship of Kitzhaber, and as the one who created the Oregon Health Plan and who protected quality of life in Oregon. They just need to be reminded of that and reminded of the slash and burn policies of the right wing.

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    Sizemore's response actually makes sense (as a partial explanation for what happened to Saxton, at least) right until the point where he writes: "and it will be nothing but the lazy minded Portland voters forgetting Kitzhaber's dismal record and remembering who they are."

    Kari's counterpoint about getting "the machine" in motion is of course, an essential one. But I also wonder if part of what happened in that race - and may happen again in this race - is that as election day neared, while the lesser known candidate with a much more limited track record may have garnered some enthusiasm throughout the race, some level of cautiousness, a sense of "do we really know what kind of leader this guy will be?" set in.

    In this case, especially as many people do a gut check and realize that Dudley has NO experience, I'd wager that all else being equal, support for him will wane.

    Kitzhaber is a proven leader and a better known political entity. Who has any clue if Dudley will be able to conduct himself capably? Everyone who's been paying attention, whether or not they agree or disagree with his politics and no matter how they may feel about his track record, knows that Kitzhaber has proven himself a capable leader and someone that can handle that office well.

    Yeah, there's many other dynamics at play, but in a close race, something like that could make all the difference.

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