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Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Hong Tran?

Posted by on August 9 at 10:07 AM

Cantwell challenger Hong Tran (a dissident Democrat running against Cantwell in the primary) is trying to generate some momentum out of last night’s news from Connecticut. Tran is 100% right: Sens. Cantwell and Joe Lieberman have similar voting records…and not just on the war. See for yourself: Cantwell’s record & Lieberman’s.

However, I’ll be honest: In my opinion, Tran is not a very good candidate. I was assigned to do a story on Tran a few months ago by a hopeful editor that thought Tran had the makings of Washington’s Ned Lamont. I published the story, but it was kind of a flop because after repeatedly giving the microphone to Tran, she didn’t have much to say. Tran’s issue, obviously, is the war. Unfortunately, her rap on the war wasn’t eloquent or persuasive. She basically said, “troops out now.” Um…okay. When I pressed for more details, she didn’t have any.

I went into the story rooting for Tran. (I know her from a previous article I did years ago involving a case she was working on for her legal aid group, NorthWest Justice Project). But I came away from the story on her senate campaign underwhelmed.

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Progressive Punch ranks Cantwell 20th overall in the Senate, right next to Feingold who is 19th.

Lieberman comes in 40th.

All I know is she got massive applause at last night's 43rd Dem Endorsement, even if - as an inexperienced candidate, quite frankly - she didn't get the endorsement.

Her KCDCC Questionnaire wasn't a problem, but Maria's was - especially over the Patriot Act.

Goody for Progressive Punch! But as I said: Look at their records yourself.

I went to a fundraiser for Hong Tran hoping that she was articulating an alternative foreign policy for the Dems through a scrappy underdog campaign. Instead, she gave a rambling 15-20 minute stump speech that managed to insult two of the three people who introduced her, and didn't mention foriegn policy once. Not once. When she decided that the first question she'd take from the very small audience would be on the environment, I walked out. Tran isn't credible, and even if she were she promises to endorse Cantwell for the general, which is pretty sad. The lameness of her challenge is an indictment of the complete disorganization of the socalled anti-war wing of the WA state Dems.

Well, one of my post-Lamont predictions is coming true: which Democrat will they go after next?

Tran is lacking Lamont's biggest virtue, which is a vast personal fortune. And she's about as senatorial as the rabbits on the lawn by Green Lake. She has less chance of becoming senator than I do, and my only platform is that I promise to call Dick Cheney an "asswipe" on the senate floor.

She's a classic self-nominated Seattle loon candidate, and doesn't bear looking at for ten seconds. Meanwhile, over in the real world, Mike McGavick is winning; where do you think he'll slot in the Progressive Punch listing? About 65th, I'd guess. This is an improvement?

Not only did Hong Tran lack the support for an endorsement from her home district at the 46th Dems endorsement meeting last week, she lacked the support to even block Maria from being endorsed. To say that Hong is underwhelming is an understatement.

I ain't arguing with you, JS, very good point. Hong got the applause, but didn't get the votes. She didn't get my vote either. I'm not dumb enough to help the Senator from Alaska, Mr M.

The Dems look WORSE because of Hong, not better. When applause goes one way, and actions another, I hardly think that's laudable. It's a signal of the party's weakness, not Hong's.

Actually, Maria Cantwell's support for the Reed-Levin Amendment is echoed by none other than Ned Lamont!

Hope that didn't ruin your day, Josh.

Hong was endorsed by two democratic legislative districts. The 25th and the 26th provided dual endorsements; a very difficult accomplishment considering the party is doing everything it can to limit access by Hong to its resources.

Cantwell bought out another anti-war candidate, Mark Wilson, by giving him an $8,000 a month, slightly less than what her campaign manager gets. And it's a midlevel position.

I'm supporting Hong Tran. I'm supporting the anti-war movement. Maria Cantwell does not represent this effort.

GWB thanks you for your vote, Leduc.

Tran got a decent response, but mainly for caring enough to show up. Cantwell's decision to send Mark Wilson (the best U.S. Senate candidate money can buy) to give her nomination speech. Wilson rambled and stumbled, but Maria still got 75 percent of the vote.

Hong Tran? Give me a frigging break. The first person she was going to run against this year was Jim McDermott. Why, yes, THAT Jim McDermott, staunchly anti-war Jim McDermott. Then suddenly she decides to run against Maria, and hey presto! she has an issue - ONE issue - to run on. She's anti-war! Hooray!

Tran is a very nice lady. She is also a political gadfly with very little to offer.

ok, but Jim gave a really good speech last night - he got lots of applause too. Good points, J.R. and Geni

One issue candidates, and candidate with only a vague idea of a platform on the issues, are always underwhelming.

I thought I wrote to her campaign asking for them to give equal attention to Israeli civilians in their rhetoric, bringing to their attention that I thought they repeated Arab propaganda without looking at both sides, mentioning I also though both sides spewed propaganda, and I got a long letter by Alex Smith full of insults.

Here is the letter:

"I've spent a lot of time in the West Bank and Israel,
and just returned to the US from Afghanistan where i
was working in human rights. In fact, i've spent many
years with the UN, risking my own life in very
dangerous areas in order to protect the lives and
rights of others, no matter their ethnicity or
religion. And I've met a lot of stupid, racist
assholes in my day, but you're the most idiotic,
hate-filled asshole I've ever encountered.

I'm sure if it were white folk or Jews doing all the
dying in the middle east, you wouldn't stand for it,
would you? But 900+ Arab men, women, and children
crushed to death means nothing to you, because you are
a stupid, stupid racist, piece of shit. The fact that
there are a lot of racists in the United States, as
you pointed out, is of little consolation to people
like Hong who respect human life, human rights, and
international law.

By the way, under the Israeli constitution, which
defends the rights of only ONE religious group (this
is called a "theocracy"), the Israel I've seen is an
apartheid state in which Arabs are second-class
citizens. You certainly do have a lot to learn about
"Middle East history", you arrogant prick.

people like you make me hope there is such a thing as
divine retribution.

We don't need or desire the company of racists, so
please, please, for the sake of all that is good,
honest and pure, go fuck yourself, Ariel.


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