Back into the political game
I saw Chuck Schumer a few weeks ago, who happens to be one of my favorite politicians, and talked to him about possibly raising money again. Our friends ( who we have done this with ) expressed an interest in raising money again to help out some of the people running for the Senate in various states around the country.
I mentioned it to Chuck and no surprises, someone called me the next week. We met with Kay Nagel, who is running against Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina. I was impressed with her energy, her desire to represent North Carolina in the Senate, her career (raising 3 kids a long the way) and overall, I agree with her stand on many of the issues we face today.
The other candidate that we are going to meet is Mark Begich. He is running in Alaska for state Senator. He is currently the mayor of Anchorage, born, bred and raised in Alaska. He, like Kay, is challenging the old Republican guard.
Today I got to have lunch with a small group of people and Claire McCaskill who we raised money for two years ago. She is currently Senator for Missouri and and has been very involved with Obama's campaign. If only the senate could be full of people like Claire. She is absolutely fantastic. Claire has also come into her own in the Senate and carved out her role. Impressive lady. A breath of fresh air. Smart, funny, realistic and understands how to be political without compromising her values. She also let her guard down at lunch which is huge. Most politicians wouldn't have the "balls" to do that.
Conversations ran from immigration to Iraq (where the majority of our money isn't going to the troops) to Obama and stem cell research. She is an optimist and quite frankly, so am I. Obama is running a different campaign. There are a lot of fear in the room that if he doesn't come out of the box fighting (like the Republicans have over the past 8 years ) then once again the Democrats will come in second. I am not so sure I agree. There are few people who have the vision to see change afoot and how to react to it. Looking back at the last 8 years, who would have come up with the Karl Rove strategy but he did. It is imploding. Obama senses the change and has run his campaign around it quite impressively. Anyone can talk about shoulda woulda coulda but to be the person to write a new ad campaign or create the new show that nobody saw coming or create a new business is a rare person. I believe Obama has that ability and he has stuck to it regardless of what his staff has told him.
The money part or getting the campaigns funded and candidates voted in sucks. Bottom line. I said I wouldn't do it again because you really need to work your contacts, talk to people and see your money just go into a big pool of cash that you can't deduct, you can't ever get back and you aren't sure if your candidate is going to win. So far, we have backed 3 winners. Schumer, McCaskill and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. I hope that our next go around is as successful. Claire believes that the Democrats have a chance of picking up 7-8 seats in the Senate and 20 in Congress. That would be fantastic. The key to change is also getting new freshman in the door who are interested in changing business as usual.