Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It looks like the Courier Journal's David Hawpe is on a mission to find someone, anyone, to run against 3rd District Congresswoman Anne Northup. Unfortunately for the local Democratic Party, they have no takers. Jack Conway, who was Congresswoman Northup's opponent two years ago and apparently the best they could muster, waited to nearly the last minute to decline the offer to run again. Now, it looks like the only prospect of a challenger may come from the president of the Louisville-Jefferson County Young Democrats, Dan Borsch. As a political Percival riding out to defend the honor of the Democratic Party, Mr. Borsch would be no match for an experienced candidate like Northup ( I believe the word is "cannon fodder").

However, don't feel sorry for the Democrats. This is a situation of their own making. The local Democratic Party has for years been lagging in bring new blood into the party, despite their usual pre-campaign season hype to the contrary. The good ole boys who dominate local Democratic politics have managed to chase off or discourage almost all their up and coming talent in order to protect their increasing enfeebled turf. Now, with a few exceptions, only mediocrity seems to be left. It reminds me of the last days of World War II when the German Army was near collapse. All they could do was throw old men and children at the oncoming Allied assault. The Democrat leadership needs to reexamine their situation, and make an honest and sustained effort to woo back those who have left the party, especially former political operatives and candidates, as well as make an ongoing effort to attract and keep young people. They can't afford to continue to lose this kind of experience, energy, and drive.

Now, as far as David Hawpe running for Anne's seat goes, heck, that's a race I'd like to see! Somehow though, I just can't picture David posing for pictures and kissing babies, can you? Regarding Hawpe's quip about maybe not getting the Courier Journal's endorsement, I wouldn't worry about it. As many of us already know, it's not as important as it used to be, and in some cases, it can be a downright hindrance. But all things considered, if you run David, let me know, I might be willing to help manage your campaign out here in Southwest Jefferson County!

Seriously though, anyone who challenges Congresswoman Northup will have to not only have to raise a massive amount of money, but will also need huge name recognition, and not necessarily for being a Democrat or Republican. It will need to be someone known for being active in the community; balanced in their approach; honest and forthright; and someone willing to work with all sides. Of course, they'll need the usual political prerequisites of charm, looks, and charisma. The only person who comes to mind is John Yarmuth, former editor of the LEO. John certainly meets all the basic requirements. He's intelligent; he's got the looks; he's not only well known, but more importantly, known for being a straight shooter. The only question is whether or not he's willing to leave his comfy job at LEO and mix it up with Anne. I'm sure John would get the grassroots support he would need. The Democrats and others would be tripping over themselves to raise the money, and I bet David Hawpe might be able to put in a good word with the C/J Editorial Board. Of course, taking on an incumbent like Anne won't be easy. Anne has kicked butt in the past. Like her or not, she has managed to bring home some bacon over the years. However, for those who want her gone, this may very well be their last chance.

No comments: