consultants are sandburs

Friday, February 21, 2014

"Nowhere man Mike McFadden." Not my original thought, instead a Republican conservative calls him out that way. Niska spouses, are my barometer. Last cycle, close to Emmer, this cycle close to McFadden. Not mere bad choices but red flag instances to note and follow.

John Hugh Gilmore, here, in a long analysis, beginning:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Nowhere Man: Mike McFadden's Empty Candidacy

Political neophyte Mike McFadden, selected by Norm Coleman, Vin Weber and the inside the beltway group of usual suspects, [and the Niska spouses,] is running for the Minnesota republican nomination to contest against incumbent Sen. Al Franken this fall. McFadden has no particular qualifications to bring to the Senate but, then, neither did Franken so the point can't fairly be held against him. Congress, most of us could agree, is not filled with luminaries.

What can be held against him, and why I cannot and will not support him for Senate, is the fact that he is a wholly contrived candidate who says and does precisely what his patrons and handlers want him to say and do. He gives astroturf a bad name.

His candidacy is simply being forced upon republicans in the state who are expected to fall in line [and some right here in Ramsey surely have]. Far more of them than is healthy are eager to do so, apparently in the belief that anyone with money will be our best candidate against Franken. This is a lazy analysis, on one level, and a perfectly understandable one on another. What it isn't, on balance, is acceptable.

It's not acceptable for two political has-beens with lobbying clients to pre-select and then impose a cipher candidate who will parrot the policy issue positions most in line with those paying clients. McFadden has no connection with the republican base and has gone out of his way not to develop one. He's well known now for avoiding debates with the other republican candidates or even engaging with the base in a meaningful way. Lately the campaign has tweeted him out and about with hapless republicans badly staged around him, unable to wipe an indifferent look off of their faces. One thinks of those "Kim Jong Il looking at things" Tumblr accounts only here it's "Mike McFadden meets the unwashed activists." His consultants have told him all he needs to know about those types. Who can blame him? The hoi polloi can scrape about in support of Julianne Ortman, Chris Dalhberg or others for the endorsement (quaint) but he and his wallet are going to bigfoot the primary and buy the nomination outright. It worked for Dayton, didn't it?

His initial rollout to "the troops" was particularly painful. Invented reasons for a guy who was very successful in the private sector were put in his unconvincing mouth as to why he suddenly felt the pull of "public service." His videos were better produced than, say, Scott Honour's, but at least with the latter you could get some sense of a personality; you really could see yourself having a beer with him. With McFadden's videos, you have to get past his daughter "introducing" us to someone who leaves us cold; you could see yourself as the subject of his next vivisection. McFadden's essential quality thus far is Robo Candidate.

But shortcomings as an actual candidate are one thing, a thing most republicans can, and do, get past. McFadden's positions on the issues, however, are an abomination; that is, when you can pin him down on one.

Gilmore writes much more, all worth reading, again, this link.

Norm Coleman, Vin Weber and with that said, you know mediocrity of a staggering proportion comes with it.

And McFadden, whatever - banker, banker to bankers, friend of Charlie Weaver possibly, liked by the Niska spouses, but why even think to send a nonentity politically to the Senate?

Worse, Franken is the best thing there since Wellstone, from Minnesota - a counterweight to mad Michele and Col. Klink, who must make people wonder whatever happened to the state that produced Hubert Humphrey, and Wellstone.

Well, what happened is Norm Coleman, campus rebel turned suit acceptor to Nasser Kazeminy, and all he represents, in contrast to mad Michele and all she represents; and neither very palatable.

Dayton will be reelected. Franken will be reelected. The Republican pleblian base will react in shock and horror to McFadden's forced presence at their party, and despite DFL majorities in both houses and heading the executive branch single payer will not prevail against the lobbying wall against it.

In closing, one wonders, is Ms. Coleman still with the Hays insurance operation that Kazeminy liked? Who knows, who really cares. Besides Norm, with his closetfull of expensive and well-tailored Kazenimy suits. Made of teflon, or kevlar, some synthetic, as synthetic as McFadden is.

Gilmore mentions Vin Weber, not disdainfully, but not to praise him either. Vinny is a McFadden man.

Vinny is bad in the revolving door lobbyist sense, for possibly - even likely - dark forces in Ukraine.

Sorensen has detail, do read it since Weber is a behind scenes mover/shaker, one to be accorded scrutiny if not direct disrespect. Put that fellow into the sunshine, a wish, and Sorensen has done just that.

Good work.

FURTHER UPDATE: Not entirely on the same end of anyone's political spectrum, Sorensen and Gilmore, unlike some, think.

Sorensen hat tips Gilmore at the end of her post. Good work by each. Minnesotans should be happy that people who think also take the time to write, with Gilmore and Sorensen each worth a browser bookmark, regardless of where a reader may be politically.

Now, when both agree, McFadden is a shadow puppet of Rove/Weber/Coleman, what's to like about the man with no issues section on his campaign website? The Niska spouses are bright people, Harry impresses that way with each publicly committed to the McFadden candidacy, and I would welcome a guest editorial from him which I would post in its entirety on why he supports the Vin Weber - Norm Coleman choice for the grassroots.

Something Gilmore wrote that deserves special mention:

Last month the campaign announced a hilarious "steering committee" of republicans from whom the future in this state will never, nor should, come. An unimpressive lot, these people do what they are told. They would have been tickled to be on any candidate's meaningless steering committee if offered or ordered. Hypocritically, many of them demand that the endorsement be followed when it comes to the race in CD 6 because they support Tom Emmer but are perfectly happy with McFadden "not respecting the will of the delegates," as the phrase goes, and going to a primary. Integrity.

Yesterday Eric Black, formerly of the Star Tribune, now of MinnPost (like so many others there), held forth in somewhat inflated terms and declared that "expectations" have been "altered" in the Senate race because of McFadden. This is laughable. Short of Franken drowning a woman, people have written off McFadden beating him. The motions, though, must be gone through. Right. Black's analysis is conventional although consistent with the scripted nature of the empty McFadden campaign. Black focuses on the chimera of competition given a well funded candidate versus an underfunded one.

With Gilmore saying that, one expects the Niskas, each on that steering committee, might wish to speak up.

Either can write a guest editorial, I would not edit it, I would post it in its entirety; even if little but an attack piece against Franken while declining, as McFadden does, to say anything of any kind, as to policy.

___________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Yikes. The more about Vin Weber I read, the more disdain I feel. This, from Politico:

Mr. Weber was elected to Congress in 1980 and represented Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District from 1981 until retiring in 1993. During his tenure, he served on the Appropriations Committee and House Republican Leadership.

In 1993 Mr. Weber founded Empower America, a non-profit public policy think-tank, with Jack Kemp, Bill Bennett and the late Jeane Kirkpatrick and served as Founding President and CEO from 1993 to 1994. In the fall of 1994 he opened the D.C. office of Clark & Weinstock and has since served as Managing Partner. The firm’s clients have included a broad range of corporations, trade associations, and non-profit groups.

Mr. Weber is one of the most prominent strategists in the Republican Party and has been a top advisor on numerous presidential campaigns. He served as Co-Chairman for Domestic Policy for Dole for President in 1996, was Co-Chairman of the Bush reelection campaign in 2004, and Co-Chair for Policy Development for Romney for President in 2008.

Mr. Weber currently sits on the board of directors of ITT Educational Services, Inc., and previously was a board member of Chris-Craft, Alliantech Systems, and The Lenox Group, Inc. He additionally serves on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations. He served as the Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy for 2001 – 2009, is on the Board of Directors Membership Committee and Programs Committee for the Council on Foreign Relations, is Chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Executive Committee for the Aspen Institute and sits on the board of the George Washington University Institute of Political Management.

War monger - mischief maker ties of the first kind: Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett, Jack Kemp.

Proudly in the CFR crowd. That link gives publications, much as if a rap sheet.

U. Chicago policy ties reported here,

Vin has also worked with several Presidential administrations. He served as a member of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee for former U.S. Secretaries of Defense Rumsfeld and Gates. Vin also served on the U.S. Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion for former Secretary Condoleezza Rice.

Vin is one of the most prominent and successful strategists in the Republican Party, most recently serving as a Senior Adviser on Foreign Relations to the 2012 Romney campaign. He enjoys strong bipartisan relationships across the legislative and executive branches of government, and think tanks throughout Washington. Vin has counseled numerous Presidential campaigns, including his tenure as the Plains States Regional Chairman for the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-elect campaign.

As a Partner of Mercury, Vin provides strategic advice to institutions with matters before the legislative and executive branches of the Federal government. He has successfully advised numerous clients on matters pertaining to mergers & acquisitions, crisis management, and strategic communications. Vin is a highly sought-after political and public policy analyst, featured in several leading national publications and appearing frequently on network and cable news programs. In 2007, Washingtonian magazine named Vin #5 in their list of Washington's 50 Top lobbyists.

Yikes, again. It does read like a rap sheet, to Tea Party sentiments I expect, certainly to me. Neocon, and then some (pal to Gingrich). War, what is it good for?

Rupar, at CityPages, on Weber.

Like Norm, possibly with redone teeth, more hair-challenged than Norm, but basically a connected-clone type.

This Orlando Sentinel link, on the Ukrainian lobbying situation, Weber appearing to be on the side, big surprise, of established autocracy.

Well good. Now I know where McFadden is on the issues, and why he hides from saying such on his campaign website. Nothing there but "trust me."

"Trust me," the joke goes, ...

This is the Bushco establishment candidate to run against Franken?

Make Al look even better than he's been, that is what the grassroots GOP Tea Party sorts really want?

Or is it that Father Knows Best, Ron/Rand is not good medicine, and would those bothersome brats saying "Liberty" simply shut up and behave as told? A house divided? No, legend has it as "big tent" so go with legend, and watch.

AS A FURTHER AND FINAL UPDATE, while having already said revolving door lobbyist and neocon, and already given the link, this presents an interesting summary/study, with references.

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