MyDD Accountability Adwatch: Darcy Burner
by Matt Stoller, Mon Sep 25, 2006 at 10:08:44 AM EDT
The first Burner ad didn't have a good narrative arc, being largely a recitation of her biography. This second one is much better, harder-edged, and takes on Reichert on the war in Iraq. It follows the MyDD candidate memo recommendations.
She picks a fight over veterans care, emphasizes her opponent's ties to Bush, and frames her argument in progressive language, starting sharply that sacrifice for the country means that "you will be taken care of." This is a good ad from a netroots candidate who clearly listens to feedback.
Ok, the adwatch over, I want to talk about Darcy Burner and why I think she's an important candidate. I went to a fundraiser of a top-tier Democratic female candidate, and this candidate gave the same stale recitation of a Democratic agenda that could have been ripped out of the 1990s playbook. The reason this person got the nomination is because she's been raising money for Democrats for ten years and is a good loyal Democrat. Unfortunately, inn sitting on the fundraising-power circuit for so long, this candidate had become somewhat bland and unable to get a sense of the important issues at stake in this election. If you've been planning your run for Congress for 10 years, that means you got into politics in 1996, and people who came into politics at that time and on the fundraising circuit don't necessarily have progressive interests at heart. You might want to be progressive, but you probably don't think that grassroots organizing can sustain a political base. For these people, the natural governing coalition is center-right, and though that can be changed, that's where they start from.
Darcy's not like that, she's a newcomer to electoral politics, a post-9/11 Democrat who gets what's going on in this country. She's also incredibly smart, and one of the most exciting candidates this cycle. Now, to be clear, the other candidate is running a good campaign and is a good Democrat, and I hope she wins. I respect the work she did for ten years, and she deserves a shot and the support of the party establishment (which she's getting). But there's a structural turnover going on, and the blogs are on the progressive side of that, since many of us came to electoral politics post-9/11. In some fundamental way, the timing of when someone came into electoral politics explains a lot more about how one sees the route to change. That's probably why the new progressive movement is so powerful on one hand and naive on the other. In these last six weeks, we're going to pull together and work together with the party establishment, and hopefully we can keep moving the party towards the center of the country.