Our good friend Stefan over at (un)Sound Politics is gloating over a report in The Hill that 8th CD challenger Darcy Burner did not make the Democrats “Red to Blue” program after all. But The Hill got it wrong, and not surprisingly, so did Mr.
The Nutroots might not understand this, but grown-up campaign operatives apparently do: The most promising place to invest scarce resources is not with a candidate who has no relevant accomplishments and whose only selling point is that she’s not a Republican.
Well, Stefan and his readers may not understand this, but the best way to determine who is or is not in the DCCC’s program is to, um… call them up and ask them. That’s what I did (it’s called “reporting,” Stefan) and regional press secretary Kate Bedingfield told me that The Hill’s (and uSP’s) report was based on a “lack of understanding of how the program works.”
The DCCC always intended to roll out the program in staggered waves, so as to concentrate the focus of donors on small groups of candidates, thus maximizing contributions. And the chronology of the rollout has absolutely nothing to do with the priority of the individual races.
Bedingfield confirms that Burner most definitely is in Red to Blue — a program she describes as “very exclusive” — and that Burner is scheduled to roll out on June 1st… perfectly positioned to extract the maximum benefit from the program during the crucial, end-of-quarter, fundraising push. Burner has been personally assured by DCCC chair Rahm Emanuel that WA-08 remains a top priority, and that she will receive all of the support she has been promised.
And if that’s not clear enough, DCCC communications director Bill Burton just emailed me the following:
Darcy Burner is running one of the strongest Democratic campaigns in the country. The DCCC has included her in our Red to Blue program as a sign of our confidence that she is the candidate for change who will unseat Dave Reichert in the fall. The Red to Blue program is staggered in order to direct as much donor attention as possible to each qualifying campaign. Darcy Burner’s extraordinary campaign qualified easily for the program and will receive the full force of DCCC financial and strategic aid.
So as much as the head-in-the-ground wing of the local GOP might want to deny it, Burner really is a strong candidate, and the DCCC knows it. Even some Republican operatives have privately told me that if Reichert’s not worried, he sure as hell should be.
As for Stefan, well… I know from personal experience that sometimes, us bloggers just get stuff wrong. But let’s see if he’ll follow my lead and be man enough to admit it.