As you know, I'm retired from politics, which makes me more like a political speculator.
It's better than a political dabbler.
Anyway, I followed along on several select races in 2008 across the country. It was interesting, because from my perspective, there were a lot of races that Democrats shouldn't have won, and we did -- and some we should have won and didn't. Keep in mind, this is the guy who got taken to school by Jason, and who came in a sorry 9,041 out of 9,493 entered predictions at DailyKos.
For what it's worth, I thought that maybe the Republicans would -- at some point -- get their crap together. They never did, and I was happy to be wrong.
Still, I thought that Darcy Burner's second run at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington's 8th District would prove successful. I was sad to be wrong on that one, because I think she is smart, and would make a fine Member of Congress.
There is a cautionary tale you should check out over at The American Prospect: Anatomy of a Netroots Failure. Well, Eli Sanders may be playing a little fast and loose with the word "failure." True, Darcy didn't win. But I think her race was helpful in a number of demonstrative ways. It showed the limitations of the "netroots." And it showed that you need to retain a tight hold on your message. And it showed that you need to be tough against your opponent, and ready to respond fast -- and well -- when the crap starts flying from the MSM (and it will).
I might be committing some sort of heresy at this point, but I don't believe that people will win or lose based on an online presence (and I'm not saying that Darcy tried to do that; it's just starting the conversation). Politics will always be about face-to-face contact with voters. It will always be about message discipline and talking to people about who you are, your values, and how you can help them.
It's true: the Internet can help with all of those things -- and more. I think we can all agree that it has revolutionized this process, in fact. But it hasn't changed what candidates must do.
I hope Darcy stays involved in politics. I hope she stays involved in "tech issues." I'm sure she will. And I'm sure we haven't seen the last of her. Let's hope not.