Goldmark should get back on the horse
Getting back on the horse shouldn't be hard for a horseman from the Okanogan. Peter Goldmark lost, but if he runs again in two year, I think he'll win.
Goldmark did better in every single county, rural or otherwise, across the WA-5 than 2004's sacrificial lamb, Don Barbieri (2004 and 2006 results). The only county where he didn't markedly improve the Democratic margin was Spokane County, where one would assume a Democrat would poll the strongest. He proved a Democrat can be competitive in rural eastern Washington, and by improving margins in the more urban 5th, he can win.
This year's finish by Goldmark was actually the best result for a Democrat in the 5th since Tom Foley was picked off by George Nethercutt in 1994.
So, what can Goldmark do to win in a couple of years?
Keep on running. Its only just over a year until the campaign actually begins again, Goldmark should use the next year to raise his profile among Democrats where they actually are in the district, Spokane, Pullman and Walla Walla. Be seen in those meetings, go to JJ Dinners and bid on crappy auction items.
Use the Democratic majority in Washington (state and DC) to his advantage. One of Goldmark's chief Democratic sponsors, Rep. Norm Dicks, will be the chair of interior appropriations in the next Congress. Washington also has a Democratic governor and large Democratic majorities in the state legislator. Use those.
Its not totally unheard of for Washington governors to go overseas on trade missions to promote Washington goods. Most of those goods come from eastern Washington, and who better to send than an Okanogan rancher?
One of McMorris's strengths the past couple of years was that she was in the majority, and that she could "deliver" for the 5th. She won't be this time around, and she'll suffer through two years as a bank bencher in the minority party. The Washington delegation can use Goldmark as "their man in the 5th," sort of how Sen. Ted Stevens used senatorial candidate Mike McGavick when he needed to give someone credit for keeping oil tankers out of Puget Sound.
I could also imagine Goldmark traveling to the other Washington to lobby transportation appropriations chair Sen. Patty Murray for some new roads and Dicks for some salmon recovery money.
Keep the website up and use it. If the 2004 Democratic primary was the meetup election, the 2006 general was the Youtube election. What you do on the internet is becoming increasingly important. And, its a cheap way to keep your name out there between elections.
What Goldmark does with his web presence now, how consistent he is with connecting with his supporters, will matter a lot in two years. McMorris is still the elected official, so she'll get most of the free media from local tv and print, but Goldmark can dominate her on the internet. So blog, vlog and podcast.
Goldmark also got a lot of support from the Washington state blogosphere, by keeping his presence up and current will only boost that support that much more.
Your Personal Note:
Barbieri was no sacrificial lamb. He is a well-respected Spokane businessman, owner of a number of hotels and active in the business community who raised and spent a signficant amount of money on the race.
Posted by: dan | Nov 10, 2006 10:41:09 AM
Maybe "lamb" was a bit too harsh. But, he sure did get his clock cleaned. Proves a horseman does better that a hotelier.
Posted by: Emmett O'Connell | Nov 10, 2006 10:53:32 AM
Peter should run in 08 when we will have so many state wide candidates to bring democrats and independents too the polls. Also with the D sweep in Spokane he will have very real local help. If he runs a 12 - 18 month campaign he can win back that seat.
Posted by: Particle Man | Nov 10, 2006 11:36:08 AM
I guess we are political junkies if we don't take two months off, but the 2008 campaign is already starting.
I am sorry to say that several very good Western Dem's didn't quite make it on Tuesday. Besides Peter Goldmark, others come to mind: Larry
Grant in Idaho, Gary Trauner in Wyoming, and Charlie Brown in California. This list is by no means exhaustive. Several districts were close enough that they will be in play in 2008, though I am afraid if Hillary is on the ticket, it will be harder than otherwise.
It is tough to urge someone to sacrifice another year of their life campaigning, after an exhausting battle, but these good folks will be
assessing their futures.
Posted by: Leo Brown | Nov 10, 2006 2:27:36 PM
McMorris's negatives needed to have more publicity. E.g., her statements were not consistent with her votes: she shouldn't get away with having it both ways. Methinks a "truth squad" should follow her on the campaign trail with signs, handouts, and comments to the press.
Posted by: Julian Powers | Nov 10, 2006 5:21:06 PM
It is hard to ask someone who gave their all and is exhausted to keep on going, but I think Peter Goldmark has woken up this district. I hope he can recognize that, and simply, keep going. Do exactly what is recommended, and more. Keep campaigning in other words, don't give up. It is simply a longer battle than he thought it was. Keep those connections, and make more. Be in the public eye, the blog eye, the vlog eye. I think he can do it.
Posted by: Elizabeth Fry | Nov 25, 2006 11:24:58 AM
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(and yes, we know that sometimes they're very, very wrong. Other times, they're right on.)