Does Tea Party organizer turned Senate candidate Jamie Radtke believe she runs the risk of becoming Virginia’s version of Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle? Is she steering herself away from the Tea Party label?
We’re just not sure.
Last Friday, 92 House Republicans helped to defeat an amendment offered by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. Blackburn proposed the amendment to help the Republicans live up to their campaign pledge of “$100 billion in cuts.” Eric Cantor was one of the Republicans who helped defeat the measure.
The Tea Parties went wild. Erick Erickson of RedState said “This was a failure of leadership, particularly by Eric Cantor.” Erickson’s blog post was circulated around the Internet by conservative and tea party websites. They weren’t happy about the vote.
Radtke’s comments? Well, according to her Facebook page and her campaign website…nothing. Strange, since just a month ago she was touting Erickson’s endorsement of her candidacy. While we haven’t seen it, sources say that her response is “She’s not running against Cantor.”
No, but in her reason for running for Senate she says:
We would be foolish to hope one last time that career politicians can and will save us from the national crisis that they themselves even now are making worse. To change Washington we need to elect a new generation of leaders to the Senate and House who will fight to restore the virtue and accountability that has been sorely lacking in our government.
How, by any stretch, can Eric Cantor not be included in that statement?
Is she afraid of offending the Majority Leader because she knows she can’t win Virginia without his support? Or is she just not paying attention to what’s going on in Washington?
Then comes this week’s announcement that George Allen’s 2006 Netroots coordinator, Jon Henke, has signed on with Radtke.
But here’s the kicker: Radtke didn’t make the announcement.
No, the announcement was leaked and instead hit the blogsphere at Blue Virginia and Not Larry Sabato (get yer own links).
Even tonight, Radtke hasn’t officially released a statement but on her Facebook page there’s a link…to Not Larry Sabato.
Hopefully, for her sake, the first thing Henke will do is tell her “never do that again.”
It was an opportunity to shout out “Hey, I got one of George’s boys!”
And she missed it.
Not only that, while I like Henke and think he’s very good at what he does, he’s 1) libertarian and 2) from what I understand, pro-choice.
That’s not going to win her any Bob Marshall supporters. (Radtke has criticized Allen on abortion issues, even though he has a rating of 100 from National Right to Life Committee, and a zero from NARAL).
Look, the only way George Allen loses this nomination is for one of the cast of thousands also running to build a coalition against him. Hiring a pro-abortion libertarian doesn’t seem like the most logical way to get the conservatives to rally behind you.
Not Larry Sabato (the link is yours for the getting) says this is a major defection from the Allen camp. With no disrespect to Jon, I’m not really sure he’s been in the Allen camp since his last check cleared in 2006.
Perhaps more telling is that NLS says “This is a big move for Radtke who will now have every possible piece of dirt against Allen at her disposal.” That seems to imply that Radtke intends to run her campaign from the gutter.
And, since she’s cited him as her only source of this news, it seems that this time at least, NLS actually is 99.8% accurate.
UPDATE: Mr. Henke contacted Bearing Drift. He notes, among other things, that the characterization of him as “pro-choice” is an inaccurate reflection of his position.