As one of the lucky souls blessed to be “represented” by Miss Harnett County, I’ve had a feeling she’s developed some political ambitions. It’s been pretty clear that SOMETHING is up.
Since Christmas, we’ve been getting a lot of scripture and God-talk from our fearless leader. She’s told the press that she’s “praying” about running for Senate. Ellmers has been quite scarce around the Second District, but has been showing up for speaking engagements at all kinds of places well outside the district.
Just this week, she was an invited speaker at a meeting of the Mecklenburg Young Republicans. A source at the meeting tells me she sang the praises of the “marketplace fairness act” that she co-sponsored (which gives government more access to e-business revenues). It was also made explicitly clear that recording her remarks was verboten. (A local blogger was on-site, attempting to film her speech, and was shut down.)
Let’s see how well that works in a statewide campaign against Kay Hagan.
Renee’s team appear to really be trying to shelter her from tough questions. Take her “tele-town hall” strategy, for instance. If you live in the district, you get randomly called (typically during the dinner hour). That helps to catch people off guard so they won’t have time to prepare questions. Caller ID for these tele-town halls makes many think it’s a telemarketer, so a lot of these calls are likely ignored. The total population who might participate is dramatically reduced. Renee gets to read from a script and receive aid from staffers in the room with her. It’s patty-cake. Much easier than trying to operate in a room full of ticked-off voters angry about — oh, debt ceiling increases, tax increases, out of control spending, support for gay marriage, and expanding governmental power.
It’s a smart strategy to try to unseat a female incumbent with another woman. (See then-up and coming star state Rep. Mia Morris (R) vs. Margaret Dickson (D) in 2004, and Elizabeth Dole v. Kay Hagan in 2008.)
Though, if we do get a Hagan-Ellmers race, how do you honestly differentiate between the two candidates? Hagan has come out in favor of gay marriage. Ellmers opposed the marriage amendment to the state constitution. Hagan has been a reliable vote for the Democrat tax-and-spend agenda. But Ellmers has voted to raise the debt ceiling and allow the Bush tax rates to expire. She’s voted to authorize the Ex-Im Bank, which is little more than corporate welfare for huge multi-nationals. There’s not a whole lot of difference there. You’re basically trading someone with a D next to her name with someone who will have an R next to her name.
Renee’s campaign likes to tout a ranking from National Journal, an establishment political magazine, that says she’s one of the more conservative members of the House. The problem? National Journal considers you conservative IF you vote how Eric Cantor and John Boehner want you to vote. Those two House GOP leaders haven’t exactly been conservative profiles in courage.