Wednesday, May 19, 2010

An ad, a brick wall and a flame-thrower

Well, that sure didn't work.

Of course, Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter's switch to the Democratic Party did not save his political hide. And this political ad from his opponent, Joe Sestak, played very well in the anti-incumbent mood that gripped the country during the May primary season.

As noted here last night, the media picked up on the few words Sen. Specter said during his concession speech. Specter left wide open whether he will campaign for Sestak during the general election. Considering that the president didn't come to his aid over the final weeks of the campaign, Sen. Specter might return the favor come this fall.

Of course, the country might not be doing the president any favors this fall -- that anti-incumbent mood, if it sustains itself through a long, hot summer, is sure to put more Democrats in the cross-hairs of voters come November.

Kentucky could be at the epicenter, if that happens. There, Rand Paul, the son of former presidential candidate Ron Paul, stormed to victory in the Republican primary race. This morning he was interviewed by CNN. (This link will take you to CNN's video library. From there, find the Paul icon and click on it.)

What struck me was Mr. Paul was placed in front of a brick wall. What? That's a dull as dirt background. Why his political advisers thought that was a good idea is beyond me.

Mr. Paul also has an opportunity to be something the Tea Party movement needs -- a leader. And considering what he said last night: "I have a message, a message from the Tea Party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We've come to take our government back," it appears Mr. Paul is comfortable with that idea.

Does the Tea Party need a leader? I think it does, and here's why: When its (seriously committed to the cause) followers woke up this morning, they had to have the same looks on their faces and thoughts in their minds as the guy who finds out he's going to be a father -- 'uh, what...I...me...uh, okay. What do I do now?' (And if you are a father, you know you reacted that way -- or perhaps with more flowery language when you were told the news.)

My point: It's time to get serious. Call that movement anything you want, but the reality is that at this moment it has the chance to strike. You might call it, the fierce urgency of now. But that message needs a captain.

You are thinking Sarah Palin? Uh, no. Mrs. Palin does more good for Republicans by being the flame-thrower that she is at NRA conventions, Tea Party gatherings and similar events. Her message gets lost, twisted and turned upside-down should she become a candidate.

Moreover, think about the financial haul she is raking in as a celebrity (and I am not demeaning her in my use of that word). Why would she surrender that for a political campaign that she almost certainly would lose?

And it's only May!!! Imagine what the political season still holds.

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