The primary election campaign is the place to take your best shot at convincing your Party faithful that they should be choosing YOU over all others in the field of office hopefuls. It’s even fair game to spend some of your energy (and campaign resources) trying to distinguish yourself from the competition…in some cases even going negative against the other guy instead of focusing on your own positives. We all get that, however much some of us grimace at the tactic, and it clearly works for some folks with more bad to say about the other guy than they have good to say about themselves (I like to call that type of candidate a purveyor of the “American Idol crowd”).
Such, apparently, is the case with 4-time loser Don Hooper, R Candidate, in Michigan’s 1st Congressional District (yep-the old, so-called, Stupak district). Hooper faithfuls and behind-the-scenes (plausible deniability) operatives have assembled a really poorly executed smear campaign against the front-runner in this race; Dan Benishek. I say “poorly executed” because it was put together by a blogger whose website seems to indicate that on any other given day, he’s actually pretty good at what he does. Alas, in the case of Don Hooper’s non-story however, this chap has jumped off the cliff, falling for hit stats rather than focusing on taking his role as an independent writer seriously.
Now, I don’t entirely fault him mind you..we all find ourselves, at one point or another, being presented with an opportunity for our 15 minutes of fame; how we handle it is what separates writers from hacks, and I hope this guy just had a momentary lapse of good judgement (no, I’ll not be providing you with the link-I don’t use our bandwidth to reward bad behavior thankyouverymuch).
The big scandal we’re all supposed to be worrying ourselves with is Hooper’s allegation that Benishek offered him a job to quit the race. The stretch here is that Hooper (through his surrogates) is trying to associate this with the recent Sestak/Obama scandal. In THAT story, Sestak alleges he was offered a job to step aside so Arlen Specter could retain his US Senate seat (so as to continue voting in favor of Obama’s failing agenda). Though the actual job was never disclosed, it is clear that it would have been a paid job in the sitting Obama Administration.
Legal or not, this type of “offer” makes clear a bribe offering was laid at Sestak’s feet to benefit a candidate hand-picked by the President to stay in that Senate seat. Attempting to put the Hooper allegation on par with the Sestak story does nothing more than show Hooper’s desperation to get a little free press (something his terrible poll ratings and Benishek’s superior dollar numbers in the campaign indicate he needs very badly).
Benishek has responded, saying that all he did was try to narrow the field because he thinks he can win this thing…and Hooper (and Tom Stillings) was approached to help do just that – narrow the field. In asking them to step aside, he also asked them to work with him (in supporting him on to victory against the Democrat in November). He didn’t offer power, position, or cushy high-paid do-nothing jobs…he asked them to come work for him and help him win.
Back in 1980, Ronald Reagan asked George H.W. Bush to be his running mate because he knew that, between the two, they would have all the support of the Republicans they would need to make things right with America again (after 4 years of devastation by the Carter Administration). You KNOW they talked about this before the primary campaign was complete; are Mr. Hooper and his minions suggesting this was illegal too? Does Hooper think that, because the guy likely to win wants everyone else on board and playing for the same team, somehow a crime is being committed?
If it weren’t so sad to see Hooper (who has lost embarrassingly every time he’s tried for this seat) acting with such desperation to get a little media love, this would actually be kinda funny. There are innumerable campaigns out there where we hear that someone shouldn’t run because “they can’t win” and this story is no different. Hooper can’t win, and every day he takes air from what really matters in Michigan’s 1st District – jobs, health care, families, the economy, etc – Michiganders are being robbed of the opportunity to focus on their own needs…instead being made to focus on the selfish needs of a candidate looking for a few scraps from the table of campaign love.
Wouldn’t it have been nice if this story had been written about a front runner trying to get everyone together and focus their attention and their energy and their resources on beating back the Democrat rather than worrying about the need to fabricate a scandal that serves no purpose in the fight for improving Michiganders’ lives?
[Note: This post originates at 73Wire]