Today comes a story in The Hill headlined “Pentagon blasts Ariz. Senate candidate.” It’s about Richard Carmona’s resignation from the panel that was being set up to study what was going wrong at Dover Air Force Base. I don’t think “blasts” is the right word, but from the article, it sounds like DOD officials were unaware that Carmona was thinking of running for senate. Given how well documented his ruminations were for the past couple of months, it makes me wonder what other obvious things the Pentagon misses these days.
It gives you a reason or two why things like the current Dover scandal happen, eh?
So, on to Carmona v Bivens v Crowe v…I dunno who else.
We have all been told not to read Rodd McLeod’s involvement with Carmona as a sign of an endorsement from Gabrielle Giffords. However, it is hard to think of McLeod making a move like this without first talking it over with Giffords’s family and political operation. Add to that the talk that folks close to Giffords were among those encouraging Carmona, it doesn’t take a slide rule to do the math here.
By the way, as of now, McLeod is the whole campaign. I’ve been told to expect other campaign trappings (a press contact, a web site, pencils embossed with Carmona’s name) over the next few weeks. Even though Carmona has been mulling over this for a while, the campaign is not yet a fully staffed operation.
Don Bivens is still out there, of course. He’s already got a campaign (one that promised me breakfast this weekend in Yuma) and he’s raising money. He’s also boasting of endorsements from Jim Pederson, Harry Mitchell and Ann Kirkpatrick. He already is making a subtle jab at Carmona’s party affiliation, or lack therof, by pointing out his status as a “life long Democrat.”
I don’t think Carmona’s lack of a Democratic history will sink him (sorry, Bruce Ash). Neither do I think, as some national pundits seem to have already assumed, that Bivens’s tenure as Democratic Chairman guarantees him the love of activists and fund raisers. Keep in mind that Bivens was ousted (temporarily, but ousted nonetheless) by a guy whose campaign for chair started while he was driving to the meeting. Check the Capitol Times article last week where Terry Goddard was almost begging for another candidate to run. That’s one of his friends.
Carmona does, however, have a lot of questions to answer about his policy views. One Carmona booster assured me that he’s pro-choice. Well, that’s a start, I suppose. Then again, Barry Goldwater was pro-choice.
Take it from someone who worked on the campaigns of both Truman Spangrud and Wesley Clark, it’ll take more than a fantastic CV and repeating the words “pro choice” to win the nomination. Both Spangrud and Clark had resumes as heroes and both, in their hearts, were solid Democrats. Unfortunately, both fell victim to not being able to articulate their views well, and their stumbling, over explained answers left many Democratic primary voters thinking they weren’t on their side.
If Carmona loses this thing to Bivens (or David Crowe, for that matter), it’ll be because he can’t fill his rather large blank sheet on core Democratic issues rather than his voter registration history.