Thursday, February 09, 2006

Great teams want to beat the best

Posted by Craig Westover | 5:47 PM |  

After asking my permission, Kelly Doran posted the following on his campaign blog --
I had a lot of fun a couple weeks ago talking with Mark Yost and folks on his radio show “The Patriot Insider.” As expected, Mark and his friends – including conservative blogger Craig Westover – gave me quite a time. I am always up for a good debate though and think talk radio presents a good opportunity for candidates to get our message out and demonstrate our ability to debate other points of view.

Westover posted the following commentary about our campaign on his blog. I thought you may be interested in reading it…
He then posted what I wrote about him, every word, the good and the bad. Ya gotta like this guy.

That’s not to say he’s my guy to be governor, but I certainly hope he’s the candidate that comes out of the Democrat nomination process -- and not because I think he’s the weakest candidate; just the opposite. Doran would pose the biggest challenge to Republicans, and that is precisely what the Republican party needs to rejuvenate itself and get back on message with a vital agenda.

While Mike Hatch or Steve Kelley might pose an electoral threat to Gov. Pawlenty, neither one has the integrity to force Republicans to make themselves better. With either Democrat in the race, I hold little hope that the campaign would rise much above a mudslinging contest, which doesn’t motivate discussion of issues, let alone challenging them.

Becky Lourey as the Democrat candidate might make for a cleaner campaign -- Lourey has the most personal integrity in the race -- but her positions are so far to the left that they don’t provide any motivation to Republicans to reevaluate where they stand and what they stand for. In fact (with a nod to Christopher Phelan of the Johns Adams Society), Lourey’s far left stance might tempt Republicans to move more to the left and claim unoccupied political territory center and even left of center. Pragmatic, but unprincipled.

Nope, Doran coming to the election without political baggage and staking out the moderate middle is the only candidate that can force the Republican Party to evaluate its policies and priorities. I wish I were wrong, but Republicans aren’t the crusaders they were when they were out of power. They are a team desperate not to lose the game, rather than a team that wants to play like a champion. They need competition they have to play up, not down to.