I'm seeing a trend in a recent spate of comments here at the blog. "Roberts seems like a good person but he comes across as a policy wonk and not a regular guy who "gets" the district," reads one comment. Another comment elsewhere describes Leon Koziol as "the one Democrat that can truly 'connect with citizens'", and a third comment describes Cortland mayor of possible Democratic candidate as "a true everyman".
Although the Democratic candidates for Congress this year are named Jeff, Les, Mike, Bruce, Leon and Brian, there seems to be a request that many of them share: Just call me Joe.
Well, I'm not buying it. Regardless of who is running for Congress, we can be sure that the candidate is not a regular guy. It takes an awful lot of skill and dedication to run for Congress, not to mention resources. Regular guys don't run for Congress.
Furthermore, I don't think we ought to have a regular guy representing us in the House of Representatives. There's a grave responsibility to serving in Congress that requires abilities that are well above the norm.
When it comes down to it, I have a strong distrust for politicians who pretend to be regular guys. It's a condescending act that shows disrespect for the voters. As we consider which Democrat should take on Sherwood Boehlert this November, let's remember that George W. Bush's campaign style includes the act of putting on regular guy affectations, like his fake Texas drawl (he was born and raised almost exclusively in Connecticut and went to elite private schools).
Let's look at substance, not which candidate has the most grease stains on his jeans, and wears the most convincing flannel shirt. Above all else, let's watch how well the different Democratic candidates are able to organize their campaigns. Somebody will have to take on an incumbent member of Congress, after all, and that's no easy game.
So far, some of these regular guy candidates in the 24th District are showing a distinct inability to get their acts together and actually communicate with the Democrats they want to represent. In a district that stretches from the center of the Adirondacks through to the core of the Finger Lakes region, a whole-district effectiveness is what will win the general election - not a few good old boy connections in one particular area.
I will note, as I have noted before, that only one of the Democratic candidates has actually taken the time to even construct a campaign web site to communicate across the vast distances of the 24th District: Les Roberts. As a result, the other Democrats are allowing bloggers like me to define their online presence.
It is beyond understanding to me that anyone who believes that he is capable of running for Congress would not be thinking about communicating to voters online at this stage in the game. If they are checking online, they should find this blog, and be concerned about what they are reading here - because I make it a matter of principle to goad Democratic politicians who are not working hard enough on their campaigns. If these Democrats are not checking online to see what kind of publicity their prenatal campaigns are getting, well then, they're not prepared to run for Congress...
...no matter how regular they are.