Does Jamie Radtke have an Erick Erickson problem?

The lead political story around the Commonwealth for the past 24 hours has been the announcement by George Allen that he plans to run to retake his old Senate seat that, in spite of an all-out witch hunt sponsored by the Washington Post, he narrowly lost in 2006.    You can see Allen’s video announcement here.

That brings to two the number of candidates who have, sort of, announced their intentions to run for the GOP nomination.  Just after Christmas, Tea Party Chair Jamie Radtke announced that she also plans to run.  Other possible candidates include Delegate Bob Marshall, Prince William Supervisor Chair Corey Stewart and retired Brigadier General Bert Mizusawa who in 2010 lost the 2nd District nomination to now Congressman Scott Rigell.

But up until today, Radtke has been the one getting the most press.  She’s actively Tweeting and Facebooking as well as strategizing and raising money.  Today, following Allen’s announcement Radtke gained the endorsement of RedState’s Erick Erickson who wrote “… former Senator Allen is going to have to address some serious problems…put succinctly, his voting record, which is out of step with most of the grassroots activists engaged in Republican primaries today.” [George’s Allen’s Problems]

Erickson said that he wished both candidates well, but that he would be supporting Ms. Radtke.  That’s all fine and good, and Ms. Radtke lost no time broadcasting that endorsement, as well she should…maybe.

See the potential problem for Ms. Radtke is that Erickson also has a record.  In his case it’s a record of supporting Tea Party Candidates for the Senate.  Let’s review:

In Nevada last year, Erickson started out supporting the candidacy of Danny Tarkanian who was running for the nomination against Sue Lowden, whom Erickson described as establishment.  On May  11th, Erickson said “I’m with Danny Tarkanian and I hope you will be too.”  But on May 19th he said, “If I’m going to be consistent in trying to get the viable conservative elected, the rule must apply in Nevada too and that means you should not be surprised if very soon I’m urging everyone to get onboard Sharon Angle’s campaign bus.”  Which he did, and promptly backed over Danny Tarkanian.

In California, Erickson was an early on supporter of Chuck DeVore, saying as late as May 5th “I’m staying with Chuck Devore.”  But just six days later he said “Look, if Chuck DeVore hasn’t gone up in the polls within two weeks significantly, I’ll be with Carly Fiorina.”

Move on to Delaware where in June, Erickson gave a lukewarm endorsement of Christine O’Donnell, “But this is one of those unique election years where anything can happen. ‘Anything’, in this case, is Christine O’Donnell getting elected. It could happen. I want to help make it happen. But at the end of the day, as long as Mike Castle loses I’m good.’  To Erickson’s credit, he admitted it was an uphill battle, which was a good thing because in September he said “I want Christine O’Donnell to win. Tea Party Express’s polling notwithstanding, I don’t think she will. And I cannot bring myself to spend an ounce of energy more to help when there are other candidates out there with better chances who need our help…I’m done and pulling the plug.”  O’Donnell went on to win the primary, and was congratulated at RedState.  But she lost the election.

In fact, all of these candidates once endorsed by Erickson lost.  Most had strong Tea Party support.  And this is where Ms. Radtke should proceed with caution.

No doubt, Mr. Erickson had some electoral successes in 2010.  He’s well-spoken and has a large following at RedState and elsewhere.  But in an election year when Republicans were making historic gains two high-profile Tea Party and Erick Erickson backed women, lost.  And they lost soundly.

No, Ms. Radtke is not Sharron Angle or Christine O’Donnell. And Virginia is not Nevada, or Delaware (even if Tim Kaine does think it’s a border state). 

But there’s no guarantee that the same surge of conservative enthusiasm will be there again in 2012.  It’s highly likely that President Obama will rebound.  In fact in the days following the lame duck session and the Tucson shooting, the media is already spinning that story.  And if the House of Representatives fails to live up to their promises, we might be facing another throw the bums out year, this time the bums being in the right side of the aisle.

So, the message here is that, while one shouldn’t snark at any endorsement, one also should not inflate the value of said endorsement.

Cross posted to The Write Side of My Brain.

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  • valentinus

    Allen ” plans to run to retake his old Senate seat that, in spite of an all-out witch hunt sponsored by the Washington Post, he narrowly lost in 2006. ”

    What a relief. I thought it was his inept bumbling response to all the Dem attacks that cost him the election but apparently it was just a witch problem.

    Isn’t it better to acknowledge the truth and try to find a remedy than to live in a fantasy world?

  • The truth is that, yes, there were mistakes. Did you listen to the interview?

    The truth is also that the left threw everything they could at him. From bogus racism charges to the Washington Posts daily posting of multiple “macaca” articles. And even with the campaign missteps he still lost by a handful of votes when Republicans were getting slaughtered nationwide.

    You call them “Dem attacks.” I call them a “witch hunt.”

    Don’t be anti-semantic.

  • Reid Greenmun

    I like George Allen but Virginia needs to move forward, not backward – I am supporting Jamie Radtke.

  • valentinus


    I will vote for him if he’s the nominee but answers like that will never win over any of the many independents who have no use for him at this point. Unfortunately the Dems will do the exact same thing to him this time and make the campaign about him and Bush43 rather than Webb. I hope he has improved his campaign skills while we weren’t looking.

  • Just because they used it all last time doesn’t mean they won’t use it again — or that it won’t be effective. We’ll be hearing about macaca and how racist he is over and over and over again.

    Another Allen candidacy would be a disaster for conservatives. He’s very charismatic, but he’s just not intelligent or sharp enough to beat the media’s one-sided game. In this business once you’ve lost, you’re damaged goods.

    I don’t know that any of the other candidates would be better, but I sure hope that one of them gets a chance.

  • And again I’d simply say, watch the video, listen to the interview. This is not 2006, nor is it the 2006 campaign…or candidate.

  • Brian Schoeneman

    “Once you’ve lost, you’re damaged goods.”

    Tell that to Richard Nixon, Frank Wolf, Ronald Reagan…

    Allen has baggage, but every candidate does.

  • Webb is going to be a hard nut to crack no matter what, but especially if Obama gets a bounce in 2012. Value-wise he is completely out of step with most Virginians. But he is very good at constituent service and at twisting things to seem like he’s not as much an extremist as his votes indicate. With a sympathetic mainstream media it’s going to take a very strong candidate (or a gigantic gaffe — which could happen) to beat him.

    I’m afraid I’m pretty pessimistic on this one.

  • This WILL be 2006 all over again once the media gets done with it. I admire all of your optimism, but it’s naive.

  • For Valentinus & Michael:
    If witches are involved, perhaps someone will call in the Grand Inquisitor?

  • valentinus

    “And again I’d simply say, watch the video, listen to the interview.”

    And Obama Dems say “Just listen to his next speech which will fix all of the mistakes he made in the previous 2 years. Talk is cheap.

    Again the problem isn’t with me or the good Dr. We both like Allen personally and won’t have heartburn If he wins. The problem lies with the Independents and crossover Dems. If the ones I know are any indication Allen will not get their votes. I hope he has a fabulous plan to get them to even listen to him while being assaulted daily for everything the Dems can manufacture in the backroom.

  • You keep saying you hope he has a plan, and I keep saying listen to him.

    Nobody knows better than him what’s going to get thrown at him. He wouldn’t be in the race if he didn’t have a plan to win.

  • Did someone say the Grand Inquisitor? I love breaking this out:

  • Michael, the worst thing he has coming at him is his voting record.. the same record that sure helped the dems win both houses.

  • Tim J

    If Webb gets appointed to SecDef, then Allen’s challenges will be with his own party, with Radtke making a lot of noise on the sidelines. How about those Redskins!

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  • Kristin

    Jesus Take The Wheel – You people are mad, all of you. If we elect a Republican in 2012, we’ll get what we deserve, Armageddon.

    That being said, I hope Radtke does win the nomination. I think she has the potential to be very interesting… she’s got a certain Palin vibe to her that I just can’t put my finger on but it’s sure to bring the LOLs and entertainment in its purest form.

  • Kate

    I disagree, Kristin, I want Allen to take this one. Grab the popcorn & hold onto your seats, folks, the entitled racist is back.

  • John Jackson

    As for Jamie Radtke, I’m not much of a supporter but these attacks from bloggers are ridiculous and could sway that way. It’s a shame the people who attack the Tea Party think they have a seat at the table because that table…is getting smaller. So, hopefully your seat is pretty secure.

    So, you’re on the Tea Party hating bandwagon. I find it hilarious that you aren’t looking at all the fodder available in Richmond, Washington or Chicago.

    Personally, I have never been involved in the political scene until a couple years ago and now I see how corrupt politicians are…and honestly, how stupid the media is. Sometimes, I wonder how they even survive at night. But I guess, these media minions and their pundits, carry water for their politicians.

    Your faith in your politicians is amazing… and rather scary.

    Damaged goods once you’ve lost? Ronald Reagan? HUH?

    That is so overused, you may wish to rethink your tactic.

  • Joseph E. King

    I don’t think Redstate had as much to do with Angle and O’Donnell’s losses as did the fact that they were both dumped on by the establishment elitist republicans out of the gate. And with much vigor. I lay their defeat squarely at the doorstep of Krauthammer, Rove & Perino equally ~ with of course the help by Fox News giving them a platform. Redstate doesn’t have near the exposure or influence the aforementioned do. They didn’t want to control the senate, and they got their wish. Jamie won’t be hurt by Redstate ~ as for the elitist republicans? “that’s another story Little Adam”

  • marcus

    Jamie Radtke’s Erick Erickson problem is this:

    Last year, Erick Erickson spent 90% of his energy elephant hunting and is one of the many collaboraters who deserve some credit for hindering Republican chances in NV (Angle), CO (Ken Buck) and DE (O’Donnell).

    Republican chances of taking back the Senate are substantially less than they would have been particularly in CO if Lt. Gov. Jane Norton was the nominee and in DE where Mike Castle looked like a near shoo-in (just ask Beau Biden). Those seats are gone for at least 6 years, and in DE probably a lot longer.

    Jamie Radtke has built her political career on attempting (and usually failing) to torpedo strong Republican candidates (with Robert Hurt and Scott Rigell being the most recent examples). How much effort do you think she’s put into combing Jim Webb’s record? Probably a tenth of what she’s put into combing George Allen’s. At this point, she has little chance of winning anything; her only opportunity in the race is to hurt George Allen’s chances of beating Webb.

  • Another Concerned Voter

    If there are any Conservatives that actually want to see the best Conservative win, how about we stop the practice of tearing down our own?

    There may be quite a few individuals running. Bishop E. W. Jackson, Sr. is being encouraged to run and word is, he is seriously considering it.

    Instead of finding reasons to attack individuals considering a run, let’s all hold off and see who is actually running. Is it possible to come forward only saying all the reasons your candidate is the BEST and why? Is it possible to talk in positives instead of just beating down individuals who are braver than you and I? These folks are actually willing to put themself out there to try and help the train wreck that has become our government. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

  • kelley in virginia

    who is Bishop Jackson? is he a Bishop as in ordained priest?

  • @John Jackson,

    I’m not sure how you jumped to the conclusion that I’m the “Tea Party hating bandwagon.” Because, if you re-read the post carefully, it’s actually a cautionary note for Ms. Radtke.

    Jamie Radtke is not Christine O’Donnell or Sharoon Angle (I believe I said that already)but the comparisons are inevitable. Erickson was very prominent in those races.

    It is simply in Ms. Radtke’s best interest to not highlight that association.

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  • John Jackson

    Here is my point… Mainstream Republicans feel they need to lecture the Tea Party about how things should be done. As they snuggled up to their Democratic counterparts tonight, Obama’s mantra two years ago was “We Won!” as he told the Republicans to get in the back seat because he was cleaning house with his Socialist broom.

    Meanwhile, his Socialist agenda has been implemented…this administration has distain toward America, a Congress that looks upon a Constitution as a roadblock and I see nothing about how the Democrats piss all over the Republicans. And yet the Tea Party gets lectured.

    I have seen nothing more stupid come out of mouths than the words from Democrats. There was actually a Democrat who thought Guam would tip over, Nancy Pelosi feels we need unemployment insurance to increase jobs and John Kerry evading taxes on his yacht. And yet the Tea Party gets lectured.

    The healthcare bill has 220 waivers, increase taxes and creates death panels to only name a few. A financial bill that monitors every Americans transaction without addressing Fannie and Freddie, a food security bill that puts more restrictions on our own farmers rather than imports. And yet the Tea Party gets lectured.

    While Doctors (or the Healthcare industry) are demonized for helping people as blood sucking, money hungry capitalist. Colleges are given subsidies and put on a pedestal, what makes teachers so much better than Doctors? But the Tea Party gets lectured.

    Let’s provide Amnesty…for America to compete with the world because we are no longer states. But the Tea party gets lectured.

    Let’s provide the highest college graduates even though our youth cannot graduate high school. But the Tea Party gets lectured.

    Liberals own the media and they own the Republicans. The Democrats control the message. But the Tea Party gets lectured.

    The Obama administration gives so much fodder, I cannot keep up with all the stupid things they have done to demean this nation.

    We have the new Climate Control police called the EPA and the FCC taking on net neutrality. A REVIEW OF OUR REGULATIONS AND PUT SAFEGUARDS TO PROTECT AMERICANS… But the Tea Party gets lectured.

    A Soviet Dictator Nikita Khrushchev said this in 1959, “We cannot expect Americans to jump from capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have Communism.” But the Tea Party gets lectured.

    Welcome to Socialism… Or if DJ wants it… Conspiracy theories, treason or whatever language you want.

    I’m normally not this harsh but I’m rather sensitive when it comes to mainstream politicians and pundits lecturing the Tea Party.

  • Kaye R

    Radtke a viable candidate? Perhaps, but her appeal is limited to those who want to screw with Allen and those few adoring fans in the tea party. Can she cross that appeal to those who are undecided in the GOP? Doubt it. She is full of nice rhetoric but not a lot of substance. Allen is a retread. In a state of millions, this is the best the GOP can do? If the answer is yes, we are in real trouble.

  • Reid Greenmun

    John Jackson, great post.

  • John Jackson

    @Reid, Thank you very much. I’m just fed up with these stupid attacks on the Tea Party while Obama goes on his two year propaganda tour funded by the taxpayers and endorsed by the media. His approval rating is in the 50s! How stupid can we be…

    They buy the fact that Nancy Pelosi went to Steven Spielberg to get image consulting. Please, the lady could care less what anyone else thinks.

    They even hijacked my favorite tv show “House”. Now, there’s some snubby little intern that has to provide morality lessons to everyone. I don’t need a “Little House on Mecca” to explain to me about Muslims, I know enough.

    I’m already getting “Organizing for America” emails for house parties and these idiots don’t even see it coming.

    Sorry…As you can see, I’m letting off a little steam. Gotta get to work so I can pay for everyone else’s entitlements, Mike Barrett’s crony capitalism and liberals to take away my freedoms. Oh yeah, and bloggers to demean me and what I do because it isn’t in politics, history or the media.

    Again, Reid. Thanks.

  • Mike Barrett

    Sorry to have to remind you John that President Obama was elected by a large majority of the voters, and Nancy Pelosi was reelected as well. Now I know you would simply like to disenfranchise these elected leaders, but the fact is, they represent their constituents, just like your favorite politicians. So while you said you were just blwing off a little steam, I would remind you that there are many moderates of both parties who want to get beyond these petty fights over ideology and get down to passing what works. Frankly, we have been on that path for some time, and moderates support deficit reduction but not the dismantling of our economic and fiscal system, and not adding to the deficit by repealing the health care bill.

  • marcus

    @Mike Barrett- President Obama was elected in 2008 and Nancy Pelosi was reelected in San Francisco.

    More than 60 Democrat members of the House of Representatives who followed Obama-Pelosi marching orders were replaced, including longtime formerly popular Democrats like Rick Boucher, John Spratt and Jim Oberstar.

    A plurality already oppose the President’s new “investment” (government spending) proposals unveiled last night and a majority nearly identical to the one that elected Obama supports repealing the healthcare bill.

    The “moderates” you describe sound more like the card carrying members of

  • Mike Barrett

    Thanks for that reminder. Perhaps you forgot that we also have a Senate controlled by the oppostite party. Fact is, the House has always swung back and forth, yet the founders had good reason to establish three branches of government. Perhaps deTocquiville said it best: direct democracy is all sail and no anchor. The point is, despite all the drama, only actions that are agreed upon by both Houses have a chance to become law. As always, compromise will prevail.

  • marcus

    “Thanks for that reminder. Perhaps you forgot that we also have a Senate controlled by the oppostite party”

    Another reminder- you Democrats also lost 7 seats in the Senate, including one in Massachusetts (not to mention the governor’s mansion in New Jersey). Whatever the majority of voters were hoping for from President Obama when he was elected in 2008- they’ve sent a pretty clear message that they’re not happy with what they ended up with.

    Opposing additional debt (“investment”) when we’re already facing near trillion dollar deficits is not a petty fight over ideology, and the majority now seems to understand that.

  • John Jackson

    Obama only has his propaganda spin machine is the reason we can’t get anything fixed or any resolutions.

    When President Obama took over we were a world power. Now, we are subornate to China with their stealth technology & our debt to them and in an arms race with Russia. Didn’t we win those wars nearly 20 years ago? This guy took us back 30 or 40 years. Hell, we’re talking another Jimmy Carter Presidency.

    Economically, we will now be competing with Japan and their lost decade. With the sound housing policies Barney Frank and his lover along with Chris Dodd put into place. Topped by the idiotic move of Bill Clinton with the repeal of Glass Steagill Act. Luckily, liberals have the spin machine to confuse those stupid moves.

    And your come back is…Obama won in 2008 and Pelosi won her Speaker of the House seat. No, that’s John Boehner. Wait, she must’ve gotten her Majority leader spot. Oh, that’s Paul Ryan. Oh…I mean Stenie Hoyer’s seat. So, the choice was Hoyer, Pelosi or Clyburn?

    Don’t give me this stupid compromise stuff because we tried things the radical liberal way and it definitely doesn’t work. But at least public housing in San Francisco got free internet courtesy of the national taxpayer. Kudos to politicians picking winners and losers.

    They even got their own Electric company named “Government Electric” (GE).

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