Friday, April 29, 2005

2 Democrats 1 Position

Is it possible? Is it true? Will there be an actual primary for the US Senate Seat? We all know that Barbara Radnofsky is running for US Senate, but did you know that a Corpus Christi local Juan Garcia might be too?

There is no website or campaign yet, but tonight a group of local activist and myself met with Mr. Garcia to discuss his viability as a candidate for US Senate. He says that what started as a possible campaign for State Representative quickly materialized as a race for the Senate.

Garcia is a veteran and served 13 years as a pilot. He served in action abroad in Kosovo and the Persian Gulf as well as developed recruitment strategies for the Air Force. He is a Kennedy School Graduate and as a White House Fellow served under Education Secretary Richard Riley. To say his pedigree isn't interesting isn't intriguing would be a lie.

The meeting itself was exciting for more than one reason. It is nice to see that there might be a primary about ideas and about finding the right candidate to take on the Republican candidate to be named later. It was also nice to see a guy with good instincts (he never once used Barbara’s name but knew every detail about her).

However his messaging skills needed work. The art of the short, concise answer has to be discovered if he is going to have an impact on the general election. However, his ideas were strong.

He argued for the elimination of unfunded mandates and specifically talked about the faulty nature of No Child Left Behind. Describing the problem of the program as a situation were we "can no longer run our schools like a bottom line or a corporation". While there was no clever joke to tie into it, he was clever enough to tie in his involvement in creating a funded mandate that increased both military involvement and young people with GED's. Garcia described it as the "power of a second chance" and this is the "power of the government". These are ideas you have to love-- a military record with a Democratic message.

His stance on gun control is perfect for Texas. Instead of answering it as a policy wonk he has a well developed analogy. Garcia says, "Every hunter I have ever known has known when hunting season started. Six months out from the season, they know the exact hour it starts. Do you think a mere 7 days will prevent them from their season?" This question is perfect, and hunters can perfectly relate to it.

I don't mean to say that he is the right candidate. I do think it is great that there is a dialogue being established already. He is rough, and there is no question about that. But, with connections across the country and meetings with the DSCC and DNC, this could be a viable candidate to start chipping away at the control of the Red Dynasty, and if nothing else... who ever wins the primary will be better prepared for the general if it doesn't get to bloody.

Hopefully I will have more on this soon, and I will keep you all updated.


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