I can’t believe I’m talking about 2012, but Bob Ferguson threw his hat in the ring for AG so I guess now is as good a time as any. Mostly, I just want to say that there are going to be Democratic primaries in several races, and that’s a good thing. In a lot of executive positions, at least the governor and AG, we’ll probably have more than one Democrat. These primaries have a tendency to get heated.
And thank goodness. Primary elections are the best way we have to clarify what the party stands for. There may be different ideas or perhaps just different emphasis and style. But we’ll get to have a debate about where we want the party to go and how best to achieve it. And all of us who make phone calls or knock on doors or write blog posts and comments or do any of the thousands of things that regular people do in the course of a campaign can all be a part of it in a meaningful way.
Sure we have a platform to work out where we stand officially on issues. And the platform is important. But the truth is that outside of the platform committees at various levels of the state party, people don’t think of the platform very much. You won’t see a headline, “Democrats still support labor rights according to platform” because it’s hardly news.
But you will read plenty of articles about the various stances of candidates, especially for governor. You’ll get to see them debate on TV.
And that media, especially if there’s a legitimate question about who we’re going to nominate, is worth more than whatever the eventual nominee loses by having a negative campaign against them in the primary. The candidates will have time to craft their message on television, reporters will return their calls much earlier, they’ll do stories on them.
All this is to say, we don’t know everyone who will run for governor (although I can make an educated guess about some), but I hope the Democrats resist the urge to clear the deck and unite behind a candidate. We’ll have time to unite around whoever does win a primary, but let’s let the voters decide first.