In The Democratic Campaign Against Progressive Democrat Annette Taddeo fearless Matt Stoller puts in writing some stuff that I was hearing at Netroots Nation from some others — but only on condition I not write it down.
So let's look closer at a subtle campaign against Ros-Lehtinen's progressive Democratic opponent, Annette Taddeo. This campaign is designed to get two memes out there, that Taddeo can't win and that Ros-Lehtinen is 'moderate'. The first meme is designed to lock out institutional support from Taddeo, the second to help Ros-Lehtinen portray herself as moderate to voters. The notable thing about this campaign against a progressive Democrat is that it's coming from Democrats in the local establishment and parts of the DC establishment. The rumors of Ros-Lehtinen's strength are allowing groups like EMILY's List to not come in to the race, citing viability questions. To his credit Chris Van Hollen at the DCCC has reserved airtime in FL-18, so there is recognition she can pull this off. And I will have stats soon on EMILY's List support of candidates of color to show why the group should come in for Taddeo.
Ros-Lehtinen is anything but a moderate. She's not even as moderate on GLBT issues as she's often portrayed — even I was surprised to learn that Ros-Lehtinen voted for DOMA, for example. As for the constituent services angle, I think Ros-Lehtinen's competence here benefits enormously from the contrast to the utter incompetence of the neighboring Diaz-Balart brothers, who are reputed to be well below average in this department.
I am not part of the inner circle of anything, so I have no inside knowledge as to what's going on in the campaigns or in the various advocacy groups. But here's one thing I do know: I think that people may be underestimating Taddeo because she's new to all this. As I noted in an earlier post (Annette Taddeo Offical Campaign Launch), her first draft of her basic speech wasn't punchy enough. But when I saw her in action again last week (NN08: Annette Taddeo Is a 'Future Leader'), I thought she was really starting to get it.
And she's still getting better with practice. I have a video I took of a pitch-perfect little talk she gave to some supporters at a reception late in the Netroots Nation convention that I think shows off Taddeo's developing skills. Unfortunately, I took the video with a camera that writes straight to DVD, and I haven't figured out how to trim and convert the video to an internet-friendly format without ruining the sound synchronization.
Anyone able to download and tinker with a 736 MB zip of the DVD files, or the 157 MB MP4 version (you basically need to cut all of it out but the last 10 minutes, without unsynching the sound; or you need a way to re-synch it), please contact me privately. [Update: it's done, thanks. See next post.]