RALLY ‘ROUND THE HOOK!
It was a bad week for one of the two politicians from my law school class, but a good week for the other. On the negative side of the ledger we have the politician with what they call “name recognition.” Some know him as the most effective government regulator of our time; others as the sitting Governor of New York. I know him simply as the latest idiot who endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.
OK, OK. Cheap shot. I admit it. The fact is that I have a ton of respect for Elliot Spitzer. First of all, his wife’s great. She also went to law school with us and was surely one of the most impressive women, in all respects, on campus. Secondly, when he was Attorney General of New York, Spitzer seemed to get an incredible amount of results in reining in corporate malfeasance. Some called him a showboater, but I suspect that was based on jealousy. The guy got the job done over and over again and managed to handle himself with dignity in the process.
I can’t say I’ve followed his career as Governor quite as closely as his regulatory career, but I was thrilled when he honored his campaign promise to support gay marriage. Apparently, he has no Presidential ambitions, which is usually a good thing for a politician.
So, what’s a nice boy like that doing endorsing a woman like Hillary? Can we attribute it to the fact that they’re both New Yorkers? Ah, well, she’s not really a New Yorker. And even if she were, so what? With other more charismatic, more honest and equally capable candidates around, her place of residence should hardly be enough to earn his support.
Do you think Spitzer likes her vote in favor of a law banning flag burning? Or her support for the war in
I know. Maybe he just thinks it would be really cool for our democracy to see the same two families control the White House for forty or fifty years. What do you think –
Let’s face it, Governor, you’re no Steve Novick. Loyal readers of this blog should recognize that name, though it’s not exactly widely known. Hopefully, this soon will change.
Roughly one month ago, Novick declared himself a candidate for the seat in the United States Senate currently held by Oregon Republican Gordon Smith. Smith is one of those blue state Republicans whose raison d’etre appears to be to make sure the Congress can never enact progressive legislation. How a state like
Maybe. Then again, maybe the Soporific Mr. Smith has just met his
Given the vulnerability of the GOP in ’08, it has been widely rumored that Smith’s seat is vulnerable. And yet, in the past couple of weeks, one potential challenger after another has dropped by the wayside. We already knew that the Democratic Governor of Oregon has said that he wouldn’t run. But what we didn’t know is that every single Oregon Democrat in the U.S. Congress would pull out of the race as well. So that leaves only one challenger of note: Mr. Novick.
Who exactly is he? You can read a bit about him in the following link. http://www.wweek.com/editorial/3312/8503/ That’s an article Novick wrote about Gordon Smith back before Novick threw his hat in the ring. Read it and you’ll see what prompted Novick to challenge Smith, but you’ll also learn a few salient facts about the challenger.
Please allow me to summarize in my own way precisely what Novick brings to the table:
(1) He’s 44 years of age.
(2) He comes from a relatively poor family. I don't mean poor for a politician (that's another word for upper middle-class); I mean poor compared to most of us.
(3) Because he’s so committed to working for the public interest, he’s not taken the many opportunities he's had to feather his own nest. This man, in short, is the Platonic Form of the non sell out.
(4) He's a policy wonk’s policy wonk. He can rattle off facts and figures about economics and politics the way Paris Hilton could talk about shoes or Mel Gibson about Jews.
(5) He isn’t interested in hearing himself talk; he’s impassioned about specific causes. Above all else, he fights like a Banshee for the economic interests of the average worker. He’s also a fervent environmentalist. And needless to say, whereas Gordon Smith was supporting the adventure in
(9) He is 4’ 8” and has a metallic hook for a left arm. In fact, his own website touts himself as “the fighter with the hard left hook.” But unlike many others who style themselves “fighters,” his personality is not pugnacious. To know him is to understand that he is a kind and generous person – and would, no doubt, be warmer to his “enemies” than many politicians are to their friends.
(10) He was a successful litigator for the U.S. Department of Justice, having served as lead counsel in the
(11) He has worked for a number of political campaigns and has been active in fights centered on specific legislative initiatives.
(12) Until now, he has been known not as a professional “politician,” but rather as an “activist.” That’s another word for someone who fights political battles because they actually care, rather than because of their nice hair (see, e.g., Gordon Smith) and “electability.”
(13) He is plainspoken, has a great sense of humor, and directs his funniest barbs at himself.
(14) He is not the reincarnation of Paul Wellstone. We know that because there was a time when both men were alive. But he is the closest thing this species has to a living Paul Wellstone.
So, are you intrigued? If you’re not, either I’ve failed miserably in explaining what sets this guy apart or you must lack a pulse. Honestly, the real reason Novick must win has nothing to do with the Soporific Mr. Smith. Even if
We desperately need men and women like Novick to come to
But enough about Novick. Let’s talk about you. Are you prepared to read about this guy? You obviously have a computer, that’s the place to start. There are all sorts of info on the web about him. And surely, even if you don’t live in the great state of