Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jamie Radtke's endorsement problem or credibility problem, you decide.

There is a battle brewing in the Virginia GOP Primary for the U.S. Senate and this time it is not between candidates. It is between GOP Primary Candidate, Jamie Radtke and Red State blogger Erick Erickson. Here how it plays out, last January shortly after both Jamie Radtke and George Allen had declare there candidacies, Erickson weighed in with a hit piece on Allen and an endorsement of Radtke, which he stated that he wished both candidates well, but that he would be supporting Ms. Radtke.

So apparently the Radtke's campaign is having some sort of issue with with Erickson. Today in Politico this was posted:

Erickson told Allen’s challenger, Jamie Radtke, that he had to moderate his support for her because “my bosses are huge Allen friends,” according to an email he sent earlier this month, which her campaign manager forwarded to POLITICO.

The conservative media powerhouse Eagle Publishing, which owns the venerable conservative journal Human Events and the prolific Regnery Publishing, has published RedState since 2007. Eagle Publishing President Jeffrey Carneal contributed $1,000 to Allen's last Senate campaign.

Erickson, who prides himself on breaking with the GOP establishment, softened his stand after initially casting a conservative challenge to Allen as a key tea party test, and his shift offers a glimpse at some of the forces at work behind the partisan commentariat.

He entered the primary with a bang in January. Warning that Allen’s record had “serious problems” on “issues which are, for the most part, at the core of the tea party movement,” Erickson endorsed Radtke, a conservative activist..

“This race may be the big grass roots vs. party establishment race of 2012 and a test of the tea party’s continued momentum,” wrote Erickson, who is also a CNN contributor.

The endorsement, Radtke campaign manager Carter Wrenn said, gave the campaign a boost. But soon, he noticed that RedState wasn’t giving Radtke’s campaign much attention.

“The word came back to me that the people who own Human Events and RedState were for Allen and had asked Erickson to step back,” he said.

Several things strike me about this, first why would Radtke's campaign even bring this up and second, could this be true. Well, shortly after a rebuttal was posted on Red State by Erickson "Regarding Jamie Radtke"

I was fortunate not to witness Jamie Radtke’s speech at the RedState Gathering. Fortunate because . . . well . . . here are reviews of her speech from various witnesses to the train wreck,

Here were some of the comments from his post:

I tried to cut myself with a butter knife, it was so horrendous and never-ending.


she gets an invite, gets a nice slot to talk, gets drunk, and gets so embarrassing that I have to duck away rather than embarrass her further with interviewing her


I mercifully did not film it.


I hadn’t realized that it was going to be her campaign speech, and then I was mesmerized by the trainwreck.


She was a drunk rambling idiot that took 30 minutes to introduce a director who himself was confused.

So what was Radtke's speech at the Red State Gathering? Well she was not schedule to give a speech she was was merely to give an introduction to Stephen Bannon, the director to the Sarah Palin film, "The Undefeated".

Erickson did however admit in his post that, "Actually, my bosses at Eagle Publishing do in fact have a relationship with George Allen, and a very good one, and asked me — after I endorsed her — to please go slow for once instead of shooting first and asking questions later."

O.k. going slow and backing off are two different things in my opinion. In the world of politics, especially in a race that is, at the time, over a year away going slow is a prudent thing to do. There are a lot of unknowns, like who else will be entering the race. But besides that I was reminded of a post from a local blogger who question Erickson endorsement of Radtke and documented this "shooting first" style.

From Bearing Drift:

See the potential problem for Ms. Radtke is that Erickson also has a record. In his case it’s a record of supporting Tea Party Candidates for the Senate. Let’s review:

In Nevada last year, Erickson started out supporting the candidacy of Danny Tarkanian who was running for the nomination against Sue Lowden, whom Erickson described as establishment. On May 11th, Erickson said “I’m with Danny Tarkanian and I hope you will be too.” But on May 19th he said, “If I’m going to be consistent in trying to get the viable conservative elected, the rule must apply in Nevada too and that means you should not be surprised if very soon I’m urging everyone to get onboard Sharon Angle’s campaign bus.” Which he did, and promptly backed over Danny Tarkanian.

In California, Erickson was an early on supporter of Chuck DeVore, saying as late as May 5th “I’m staying with Chuck Devore.” But just six days later he said “Look, if Chuck DeVore hasn’t gone up in the polls within two weeks significantly, I’ll be with Carly Fiorina.”

Move on to Delaware where in June, Erickson gave a lukewarm endorsement of Christine O’Donnell, “But this is one of those unique election years where anything can happen. ‘Anything’, in this case, is Christine O’Donnell getting elected. It could happen. I want to help make it happen. But at the end of the day, as long as Mike Castle loses I’m good.’ To Erickson’s credit, he admitted it was an uphill battle, which was a good thing because in September he said “I want Christine O’Donnell to win. Tea Party Express’s polling notwithstanding, I don’t think she will. And I cannot bring myself to spend an ounce of energy more to help when there are other candidates out there with better chances who need our help…I’m done and pulling the plug.” O’Donnell went on to win the primary, and was congratulated at RedState. But she lost the election.

In fact, all of these candidates once endorsed by Erickson lost.

You can read the rest of that post here.

This is not to say that Erickson is wrong in his assessment of Jamie Radtke but to illustrate that maybe he does have the tendency to jump in before all the facts are known.

Either way, it is still unclear to me why Radkte's campaign would even orchestrate such a hit piece on Red State and Erickson. In doing so, she called attention to her campaign misstep of a 30 minute introduction that was apparently so bad that there is NO video to be found. Which says ALOT about the poor people who were in attendance. Radtke could have gracefully walked away and no one in Virginia would have even known about the event, instead she has stirred up a campaign problem. As Erickson said, her game may indeed be over.

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