Thursday, August 09, 2007

For and Against a Schauer Candidacy

Since Senator Schauer hasn't announced whether or not he'll run for Congress, I thought I'd post samples of the two most common and most compelling cases for and against a Mark Schauer candidacy that I've heard.

I'll preface this with two statements and explanations of each.

I like Mark Schauer.

Senator Schauer, I think, has been a phenomenal leader in the state Senate, despite being shut out of just about everything by Republican Majority Leader Mike Bishop. Schauer's been reaching out to bloggers like me, campaigned hard for Democrats across the state, and has represented Calhoun County well. Schauer would be a great addition to the race, and he'd run a fantastic campaign.

I like Jim Berryman, David Nacht, and Sharon Renier, too.

The other three announced Democrats are all great candidates, too. They're smart, dedicated people who would be more than willing to work hard to defeat Tim Walberg in 2008, and they'd work hard for our district in Washington (unlike Congressman Walberg, who's more interested in the Club for Growth's agenda). I'm absolutely satisfied with the three candidates we have. I'm undecided for the Democratic primary, but I'd gladly vote for any of them in the general election.

With that out of the way...

Mark Schauer should run for Congress.

From the comments:
Ken said...

Schauer is the complete package as far as I am concerned:
1) Progressive
2) Smart
3) Politically Savvy
4) Willing to stand on principle
5) Established Base -- His Senate District is wholly contained within the Congressional District
6) Proven vote getter -- won three times in a 50/50 House seat, twice in a leaning Repub. Senate Seat.
7) Proven Fundraiser -- raised over $6 million for the Senate Dems last cycle.

We should do everything we can to encourage him to run. Spread the word in the online community, and talk it up in the broader political community. Let Schauer, and the "powers that be" know, that we, in the online community, are ready to help win this and help in a big way.

Mark Schauer should not run for Congress.

From an e-mail I received, which also appeared as a comment on a Battle Creek Enquirer story:
We need to calm down a little about this one.

While it would be great if Senator Schauer ran, it would also be bad for these reasons:

1) Schauer would have to vacate (or spend much less time at) his post as Senate Democratic leader, leaving us rudderless in the Senate when he's needed most.

2) If Senator Schauer were to beat Walberg, that would create a vacancy in his Senate seat. At least temporarily, that gives Republicans a larger majority in the State Senate.

3) Worse, there would have to be a special election for his senatorial seat. The sad truth is that Right to Life and conservative zealots are much more effective about getting their core people to the polls during special elections. Given that he holds a Republican seat, it is more than likely that a Republican will regain that seat in the special election. Since it would be less than half a term (4 years) until the next election – 2010 – that Republican could run for reelection in 2010 and 2014. You would have Republican control of the seat for almost 10 years!

I say this not to take a shot at Schauer. But we need to slow down a second before the "Run Mark Run" hysteria takes control of our reason. There are two impressive candidates in the field already.
Now, I don't make the claim that either of these are necessarily the complete arguments for each position, and neither comment on his merits as a candidate for Congress. Rather, this seems to be representative of reasons why he should or should not run for Congress.

There's a poll on the Enquirer's website, if you'd like to voice your opinion to a larger audience.

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I'm really not sure why there is any debate about this. If the point of this website is to get Walberg out of office, then there is no question that Senator Schauer if the best candidate. I surprised that anyone would not see that. This is about taking this seat to fight for the values that best represent the people of the 7th. No on has a better shot at that then Schauer.
Actually, there are plenty of questions over Schauer being the best candidate. First off, if he breaks his pledge to his caucus then he is just showing that he will say anything to get what he that case Minority Leader. Second, there is no way he can focus on doing his duties in the Senate as well as campaign full time. Now, it's not like the Senate does anything anyway, but you know Bishop and the neo-conasauruses that he bows down to will find some made up stuff for the Senate to do either to keep Schauer there or to point out how he is off campaigning instead of being in Lansing.

Schauer is a great guy and would be a great candidate, but he needs to continue leading the Senate, supporting our Gov and then campaign for our nominee to beat Walberg. That's how he'll serve our party best.
The second guy/gal makes a good point. While having Schauer as our congressman would be a great thing, we have to weigh the ramifications of his running for office. Bishop and his neo-con cronies, would shove through every bit of legislation they could. And, because Schauer would be campaigning, he would be more likely to miss votes. On top of that, we still don't have a budget for the new fiscal year, and if Schauer starts spending all of his time campaigning in Lenewee Co., we'll end up with a budget that only covers the pet projects of people like Alan Cropsey and Cameron Brown.
We NEED Schauer in Lansing to prevent the republicans from doing anything they want.
Schauer won by such a slim majority to be Minority Leader because many legislators thought he was going to leave them high and dry in a time of need, not exactly what I'm looking for in a congressman.
If Schauer had to make a last ditch promise to his peers in the Senate just to be narrowly elected Minority Leader, there is obviously someone else who could do his job in Lansing.

I think that is a red herring issue. He is not critical to our success in Lansing. Just like there are other qualified candidates already in this race, there are other qualified Senators in Lansing who can run the minority with skill.
We should also keep in mind there are orders of magnitude difference in the importance of the Michigan State Senate and the US Congress. Having a great guy lead the minority Senate Democrats for his last two years before being term limited is good. Knocking off one of the most right wing members of Congress and helping to guarantee majority control of congress is vital. That to me just does not seem to be a close call!
No one has yet made a compelling argument that one of the other candidates is a equal or better chance of beating Walberg than Schauer. Let's not kid ourselves, this is a very tough district for a Democrat to win. We need every ounce of advatage we can muster to suceed. Seems to me that starts with having the best possible candidate.
Its not just running the Minority with's also about the size of the Republican majority and number of votes in the Senate.We got lots of talented people in the Senate and I'm not taking a swing at any of them. If there were no other candidates who could beat Walberg, then maybe we go a vote down in the Senate and count on the House holding. But we've got 3 decent candidates as is. It's not like Walberg is going to become more normal between now and the election. And listen, I'm voting for our nominee whoever he or she is, I just don't think we need to create a void in one area when it's not absolutely 100% necessary.
We have two decent candidates as it is.
As some one who has seen the polling on this race. There is a huge difference between Schauer and our so-called "decent" cadidates.
I am quite intrigued by the "anonymous" posting of "someone who has seen the polling on this race." He wants to remain anonymous, yet indicates he has seen the polling and impugns the "decency" of other candidates.

By the way, if the polling is so great, please share it us. If it's not worth sharing, why bring it up?
I agree with Francis, if there is polling to show that Mark Schauer is going to win, reveal it. Why would he keep it secret?? Why not share it with us all and prove that he is the best choice?

I do not think that the poll exists and I am very suspicious that Schauer has any such data to back up his claims.
No matter whom the democratic candidate turns out to be? The DCCC and the Michigan Democratic Party must understand the opportunity before them.

The 7th Congressional race is a sure win if we play our hand right. This seat is more winnable than the 9th district, but not nearly as unified as that effort. The Democrats should set aside the internal struggle with the debate about Schauer vs. Berryman vs. Nacht vs. Reiner vs. Schauer and any other conceivable combination of inner party struggle.

Look at the options before us now and keep in mind the options yet to come. Examine the big picture and then let’s make a clear decision and stand by it.

The republican party already owns the rights to messy and unnecessary primary battles, no need to try and steal that illustrious title. We have an opportunity here like no other before. We can demonstrate in 2008 the party is focused on backing the most electable candidate. To follow the current republican political strategy of ignoring the best candidate will only guarantee Walberg’s return to his 2nd term.

As far as I can tell, this congressional seat is still ours to win or lose. I trust we will make the wise choice. It would be in the best interest of state, party and country. Let’s show that Democrats understand how to mange a great opportunity from beginning to end.
There is no rush to a decision. I understand all the big insiders want to get a candidate locked down, but I don't want anyone to rush into this decision.

Maybe we can start a full list of pros and cons for each candidate-- an open, honest list of goods and bads, and then put them in a mock-run against Walberg to see how each stacks up?

Maybe we could just look at what Walberg's ideal opponent would look like and see who fits that bill the best (both our ideal candidate and also who Walberg would most like to see opposing him.)

Just some ideas, but we need to ignore the DC-beltway idea that early money is 100% of the game. Nacht has done an admirable job in his first quarter, Berryman did fine for 5 weeks of raising money, and we all know Schauer in the past was practically a cash printing press. There will be no shortage of cash to beat Walberg, so let us make sure we pick the best candidate and then back that person with every ounce of effort.
Having Senator Schauer run is a great idea. We could also use this opportunity to save money by doing away with the senate and having a unicameral system. That would certainly help the state's budget.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Polls mean nothing at this point. Remember Lipsey persuaded to run for State Senate based on polls that showed that he would win?

I have called Mark's office and asked that he not run. He is my Senator. I have supported him and will support him in the future. The problem is that I have made a commitment to Jim Berryman and I will not go back on that commitment.

Jim Berryman has been elected to as high an office as Schauer. He has shown that he is a strong campaigner and legislator. He brings a very strong team with him. Berryman will be able to get more votes in Republican Lenawee than any of the others. The dem. in the race will win the Dem areas. Walberg will win Hillsdale and the Rep. areas. Lenawee will decide this race.

At this point splitting up the money and causing everyone to spend more in a primary will harm us in November.
You need to be very careful about "pre-ordaining" a candidate. The GOP did this with Posthumus and DeVos and look where it's got them. This election will play itself out and the best candidate will rise to the top. Who knows who else will jump in. If one is hand-picked, it's destined for failure. IMHO.
Anonymous said...

You need to be very careful about "pre-ordaining" a candidate.

Who is You?
What if Walberg declares for President or Paul picks him as his vice?
For those who doubt the polling exists, this from Mich Lib from Thursday:

"Today's MIRS references a poll from the DCCC that shows him beating Walberg in a head-to-head match-up by 3 points. Once positives and negatives are given, Schauer's margin grows to as much as 8 percentage points."

Without publicly outing a private poll I saw in confidence, I am comfortable in saying Schauer's strength was significantly stronger than either Berryman or Nacht. This should be expected from a candidate, Berryman, who only represented one county in this seven county district and has not run for over a decade; and a candidate, Nacht, who has never run for office. (i.e. neither of them beat Walberg in a head to head match up.)

Folks if the question here is winability then there is no question who should be our candidate. If the question is whether Berryman and Nacht good guys who might win, I vote yes to the former and doubtful to the later. And that in a nutshell is why Schauer is being encouraged to run and considering it.
I am new to this blog, but to the person who claims to have "seen polling", consider Clinton in '92. No one saw him coming. He was the governor in 1 out of 50 states, those are worse odds than Berryman has! Berryman and Walberg have the same neighbors, and Berrymen could/would keep Mr. Walberg working his own backyard, while he could boost his name in Battle Creek and Jackson.
Depending on when they did the poll, his name recognition could be attributed to the blog scandal, his quote was run in my local paper, and I'm sure many others.
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