Skip to content

Why Now for Bivens?

I’ve had the chance to talk to some politicos about Don Bivens and his decision to drop out of the race this morning.

Some folks thought that he should have taken his name out back when Richard Carmona declared in November. It made sense for Bivens not to do that back then. After all, he had already assembled a strong campaign team (Democratic pros Reed Adamson and Jamie Paton were on board) and had a decent list of endorsers. Given Carmona’s reluctance to get in the campaign and rushed roll-out, Bivens had good reason to think that the guy wasn’t going to be the real deal.

Back then, by the way, there was talk that some party elder woud talk Bivens out of running. I haven’t heard that that actually happened, but Ann Kirkpatrick backing off of her endorsement and increasing attention being given to Carmona made much the same point.

Many of the folks I talked to pointed out that the reporting period is just about up and that Bivens’s report wasn’t going to look that great. We won’t know this for sure until reports are posted.

The more likely reason, and it’s the reason alluded to in Bivens own exit statement, is that he had only one path to the nomination: trash Carmona and spend a lot of money doing it. Bivens stepped just short of that line, trying to bill himself as the real Democrat against the independent that worked for George W. Bush, questioning Carmona’s commitment to Democratic issues. The message wasn’t working, and ratcheting it up would have crossed that line between contrast and negativity. Such a “scorced earth” campaign would have left one of two nominees: a broke Don Bivens or a tattered Richard Carmona. Neither would have been good for the party.

I was a vocal critic of Bivens during his time as party chair (that was me that printed the “Eckerstrom” stickers in 2009), but it looks like he took one for the team here.

9 Comments

  1. Bruce Ash wrote:

    Bivens pushed out by his own party.

    How sad. They turned their back on a life long party activist to recruit some guy they thought could be sneaked past dems and Republicans both.

    It won’t work. Carmona not loyal to either party–only his ego.

    The sheeple people going with a candidate who wasn’t even a member of the democrat party until he was “convinced” to become one of them.

    Dems political bench so thin they had to go to over to the GOP to poach their candidate from the other side. That ought to make all aspiring democrat hopefuls have confidence in their party leadership.

    Carmona makes dems nervous. No–not just because they think he is a “Republican lite” but because they don’t know where he is coming from at all.

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink
  2. Tedski wrote:

    Bruce- Funny how you never brought up these objections when the Republicans were recruiting Carmona to run.

    I’ll convey your warm thoughts to Bivens. I’m sure they are very sincere.

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink
  3. Bruce Ash wrote:

    I actually never saw Carmona as a viable GOP candidate and never urged him to run for any position. If I was asked I would have said Carmona would make a crappy candidate. He is arrogant,aloof and really does not care for the opinions of others as you will soon discover.

    And to further my usual debate with you I am being completely sincere when I refer to Mr Bivens being pushed out by his party. He has been a loyal party leader. He represents the values and views of many democrat voters far better than Dr Carmona.

    Trust me brother…….Democrats don’t like it when the national party steps in to pick winners and losers any more than the Republicans. The 2006 CD8 primary was a sore wound for many years.

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink
  4. Georgia wrote:

    The Republicans really hated recruiting Dwight D. Eisenhower to run for president in 1952. It was so hard for them to turn their backs on long-time party activists like Robert Taft. The Democrats were doing the exact same thing at the time. Much larger scale, same story.

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink
  5. Bruce Ash wrote:

    Ike never was a public figure for the democrat party. He served in the armed forces.Ike was a hero of WWII and had the confidence of the Republican Party with which he closely identified with.

    What philosophy does Carmona identify with?

    Nice try.

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  6. Tom Prezelski wrote:

    When I want to find out the opinions of rank and file Democrats, I call up Bruce Ash.

    That was sarcastic, by the way.

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink
  7. Bruce Ash wrote:

    Dude
    Read your blog.
    Even your guys feel squeamish about the doctor.

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink
  8. Tracy wrote:

    I think he makes an excellent candidate. He’s moderate, thinks carefully about the issues, and most important he lets scientific data inform him. I think it will be very nice to have someone who pays attention to science represent Arizona in the Senate … for a change.

    Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink
  9. Seeking Affiliation wrote:

    Well, if Flake gets in he certainly isn’t worse than Kyl so it’s a net positive either way. On my biggest concerns Carmona appears the same as Flake. If Carmona gets in he may be there for a long time which means the ‘party’ will never let anyone run against him and I will have no chance to have someone represent me. A little hope is better than no hope.

    If this ever gets seen as Tedski has buried it with his patterson party.

    Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink