Time for a follow-up to my recent post about the lack of support for Sue Minter from Vermont’s Congressional delegation. First, the good news:
— Dave Zuckerman (@DaveZuckermanVT) October 17, 2016
Yep, that’s Bernie Sanders deigning to appear at not one, but two rallies on behalf of Sue Minter and the Democratic ticket. I’ll step out on a short limb here and predict that we’ll see more such events before Election Day. Extra added bonus: the involvement of Rights & Democracy. It’s nice to see them make the smart political calculation that a moderately liberal Democrat is a better choice than a questionably center-right Republican.
This erases the only question surrounding Bernie’s endorsement of the Democratic ticket last week: would he step up, step out, and make a public effort on their behalf? The answer is a developing but hearty “Yes!”
And now, the senior Senator from Vermont, Pat Leahy. Last week, I wondered why he hadn’t been more public with his backing of Minter. Well, that post generated a response from the Leahy camp listing all the times and places that the good Senator had appeared with Minter or acted on her behalf.
Leahy’s campaign manager Carolyn Dwyer with the particulars:
We have indeed done fundraising emails for Sue Minter.
… Second we are indeed campaigning with her. We did multiple stops with her in August and have done a number of fundraisers since returning to Vermont after the end of Senate session.
… Senator Leahy is always among the top supporters of the coordinated campaign that is at the core of our electoral successes cycle after cycle. …Every cycle he campaigns for down ticket candidates, particularly those in targeted races.
And yes…that is impressive for a 76 year old dude.
Point taken. I haven’t attended any rallies, and I’m not wired into the Democratic hierarchy, so I was unaware that St. Patrick has been doing good work on Minter’s behalf.
To be fair, I wasn’t the only one asking such questions. A lot of the Senator’s party-building activities are either behind the scenes or are only visible to those attending a particular event. Which prompts a follow-up: couldn’t Leahy do something more broadly visible on behalf of Minter and the Democratic ticket?
My notion of a statewide bus tour would do the trick, but the logistics might be difficult. (Although I would earnestly urge top Democrats to put this idea in their 2018 early-planning calendar.) We could at least have a big pre-election blowout rally in Burlington. But how about this: a 30-second TV spot with endorsements from Leahy, Sanders, and Congressman Peter Welch?
That’d be nice. It’d grab a lot more eyeballs than any number of public events.
One more note. Since my original post, I’ve heard about scheduling opportunities that have been squandered in both directions — when Minter could have appeared with Leahy as well as vice versa. I’d hate to fall afoul of Bill Sorrell’s… interesting… views on campaign finance violations, but isn’t there a way that Vermont Democrats could more efficiently coordinate their schedules and take maximum advantage of cross-promotional opportunities?
Again, I don’t expect miracles in the mad rush down the homestretch. But put it in the memory bank for 2018.