The Palin-ization of Dan Forest kicks into gear

El Rushbo often says you can tell who  The Left fears the most by looking at who they attack with the most ferocity.  Look at the reaction to John McCain’s unveiling of Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008.  Palin was a successful grassroots leader, with a rapidly growing national following,  who had been elected governor of the State of Alaska.  Leftists and their media allies saw the excitement she generated in “flyover country” and went into panic mode.  They HAD to discredit this woman QUICK.

SNL mocked her accent.  She talks “funny”, so she must be an idiot — Just like George W. Bush.  You know, THAT guy from Texas with the degrees from Harvard and Yale.  Bill Clinton talks “funny” too, but he’s OK because (1) he agrees with us and (2) he’s married to our hero Butch Rodham.

The media went after the church Palin attended with her family.  Of course, they had no time for Barry Obama’s church.  You know, the one with the preacher who said moderate and rational things like “G– D— America.”

According to the media and their leftist allies, Palin was an idiot just like Dan Quayle, Ronald Reagan, and W.  Of course, they showed little concern about Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) who seriously fretted that increasing our military presence in Guam might cause the island to “tip over and capsize.”   

Fast forward to 2012 and the North Carolina elections.  Dan Forest, a conservative rookie candidate, runs a hard-fought grassroots campaign to get elected lieutenant governor.  During his GOP runoff with establishment favorite Tony Gurley, the term “religious kook”  spread through establishment gossip circles at a rapid-fire rate.  Forest won the runoff and entered into the general election against SEIU-backed Democrat Linda Coleman.   The SEIU’s pro-Coleman advertising barrage attempted to make the word “extreme” Forest’s middle name.  Don’t believe me? Run a Google search.

SEIU’s past president Andy Stern has spoken lovingly about Marxism-Leninism.  SEIU thugs have threatened and assaulted Tea Party activists across the country.  Why isn’t Coleman — backed by these people — called “extreme”? 

Pat McCrory — running far ahead of his Democrat opponent — did next to nothing to aid his ticketmate Forest.  Forest spent a lot of time tagging along behind McCrory and hoping for a shout-out from the podium at McCrory campaign events.

You can look at the November 6 totals to see that A LOT of folks who voted for Pat McCrory didn’t do the same for Forest.   (NCGOP’s  PR efforts made you think Pat McCrory, Mitt Romney, Richard Hudson, David Rouzer, and Chad Barefoot were the only Republicans on the ballot.)

The silence from the GOP  establishment was also deafening post-election when Coleman and her team were publicly mulling a recount.  After the recount effort faded, and the reality of a Lt. Gov. Dan Forest began to set it, Chris Fitzsimon, Rob Schofield and their team kicked into gear with rational, even handed analysis like “Just How Extreme is North Carolina’s new Lt. Governor?”

What has Fitzsimon and Schofield so concerned?  Apparently it’s Forest’s ties to something called “The Faith Driven Consumer” and his presidency of what appears to be a men’s Bible study group.  They also show concern over his desire to abolish some state taxes and kill ObamaCare.   Never mind that polls show Forest’s line of thinking to be on the same side of a majority of North Carolinians.  Chris and the boys worked hard against the marriage amendment to the state constitution, while Forest championed it.  The amendment was approved by voters by a 2-1 margin.   Fitzsimon & co.’s position was on the losing end of a 2-1 vote, and THEY are calling Forest “extreme.”

One of my political mentors once said: “Make sure you define yourself to the public FIRST, because your opponents are out there ready and willing to do it for you.”

The GOP establishment is concerned about Forest because (1) he has the potential to upstage their beloved Pat, and (2) he appeals to “the great unwashed” outside the Raleigh beltline and  Charlotte city limits.

The Democrats and their media allies see him as a threat to (1) keep the executive mansion in GOP hands for eight years beyond Pat McCrory, (2) show folks that real conservatism isn’t really all that scary, and (3)  successfully climb the ladder to higher offices.

Team Forest needs to learn some lessons from the Sarah Palin experience.  Their guy needs to step up and define himself as a serious, principled conservative leader.  If Team Forest keeps proceeding as they are, they are opening up a large window of opportunity for Chris, Rob & the McClatchy gang in Charlotte and Raleigh.



17 thoughts on “The Palin-ization of Dan Forest kicks into gear

  1. Forest needs someone who can help craft his public image and look out for media smears. He needs to be prepared with the answers that parry the ”gotcha” questions from the liberal media elite on issues like abortion, so that he does not get ”Mourdocked”.

    He talked a good line on Tea Party issues, and if he will concentrate there, he should do fine. He also needs to talk to both McCrory and Berger about finding some higher profile role to play than the usual duties of the Lite Governor. Gardner tried to use his ”drug cabinet” to do that on drug issues, but that bombed largely due to its internal leadership and how it was structured.

    He should be able to get the establishment behind him, as his mother has been a major establishment force, probably reflected in the large number of establishment Republicans who endorsed him early on in the primary.

  2. why not put the LT Gov. in charge of 1) selling the NC Railroad 2) privatizing ABC 3) legalizing and regulating gaming statewide 3) shutting down the golden leaf scam 4) and making pot legal like in Col.

  3. Great article! Out of everyone I voted for this year Dan Forest remains my favorite of all. He HAS morals and convictions that WE in NC and around the country need right now!

  4. I’ve got an idea, how about all of you so much smarter than everybody else stand back and let Dan Forest be Dan Forest? He seems to be just fine being Dan Forest without having someone to “craft his public image” and I believe, by having gotten to know Dan over the last year and a half, that his Faith, his Family and his God-given Character and Talents will serve him, and We The People of North Carolina just fine. And at this point I don’t need him to be worried about “campaigning”, with the things that are happening to our State and our Country today, I personally would prefer that he now use his well-honed skills and talents to govern. We’ll talk about the next Dan Forest campaign in a couple of years. Right now what Dan needs most from those who support him is our prayers and our encouragement.

    1. Fine, Guy, but the Lite Governor really does not have that many duties. Most of the position’s old duties were stripped when Jim Gardner won the office. If Forest is the guy many think he is, wouldn’t it be better to give him some more substantive roles in government?

      Also, Mourdock was also a good guy, but got bushwhacked by the liberal media elite. We certainly need to do all we can to see that this does not happen to other conservatives.

  5. Let’s talk this guy into running against Hagan in 2014. We need a conservative senator in NC.

    1. Good thought. He would be a better option than Tillis, and would take Tillis’ Mecklenburg base away from him.

  6. Brant and friends,
    I’m all about calling out the BS when i see it, but some of this is wildly inaccurate. I know many, many folks that volunteered with the state party’s efforts this past cycle. I was one of them, and even had the pleasure of chatting with several of the “higher ups” on many occasions. The leadership that I spoke to was ecstatic about Dan. Being a registered independent, I also received 2 pieces of mail that I can remember from the NCGOP state party. So I’m not sure that your claims are accurate. If so, then why was I given palmcards and literature with Dan on them when I knocked doors for the state party and the Romney campaign? Why would they be mailing and pushing him on the grassroots level if they are against him??
    My two problems with your article are below.
    “The silence from the GOP establishment was also deafening post-election when Coleman and her team were publicly mulling a recount. ”
    “The GOP establishment is concerned about Forest because”

    I appreciate your consideration and response.

    1. BS? Wildly inaccurate? That’s a little harsh. It’s likely that you got palm cards with Forest’s name on them. His campaign distributed them to all of the local party organizations themselves. THAT is likely who gave them to you, not the NCGOP.

      If you’ve been around politics long enough, you ought to know that most politicians tell you what you want to hear. If you walk up to Robin Hayes or Wayne King, while wearing a Dan Forest T-shirt or button, they are going to coo about Dan to your face. But are they going to donate any money to him, or spend any money on his behalf? Are they going to promote him on the party web site or send out emails on his behalf? If you watched the NCGOP marketing efforts during the campaign, you really would have thought that McCrory, Romney, Rouzer, Hudson and CHAD “$800,000” BAREFOOT were the only people on the GOP ticket.

      Dan won thanks to his hard work, and that of his campaign team and countless LOCAL groups across the state. It’s hard to argue — with a straight face — that anyone or anything in Raleigh had anything to do with his victory.

      1. Several more problems Brant.
        ” It’s likely that you got palm cards with Forest’s name on them. His campaign distributed them ”

        When i knocked doors for the party, (and made phonecalls in the office) they handed out several different literature pieces that had dan on them, with other CoS candidates and yes, they had some paid for by dan and some by the NCGOP party. The bigger thing of note here is that while dan nor his volunteers were in any office, we were directed to do this (hand out dans literature) and our door script had his name on it. I dont see how you can stick to your original point and overlook this. you failed to address the fact that i received at least 2 mailings from the NCGOP party that had were specifically for dan.

        “If you’ve been around politics long enough, you ought to know that most politicians tell you what you want to hear.”
        i counldnt agree more! but you would think that someone would have caught something along the way. i never did, nor do i know anyone that has heard anything different, from anyone.

        ” If you watched the NCGOP marketing efforts during the campaign, you really would have thought that McCrory, Romney, Rouzer, Hudson and CHAD “$800,000? BAREFOOT were the only people on the GOP ticket. ”

        my guess here is that Romney/McCrory/Rouzer/Hudson all had so much money raised for them. when i talked to my gop county chairwoman about this very thing she said that the top of the ticket turns out voters, so i dont see a problem with overspending on the top, per se.
        but the point on Barefoot, you mean the state senate campaign? the republicans do the same things the democrat party does, the legislative leaders make a caucus fund and raise/spend their own money. this doesnt have much to do with the party. but if i were you i would seek out an answer to this before throwing accusations around.
        but i guess im biased. im one of the folks who volunteered my heart out, donated what i could to the candidates i liked, and got out knocked on doors and made calls whenever i could. i feel like i made a difference. i feel like the NCGOP party helped make a difference in many of these races, (forest included), and i feel like i have calmly explained my reasoning with sound examples. i look forward to your response, thank you Brant

  7. Well, that’s one. One person that thinks the NCGOP got behind Dan, or any of the council of state candidates.
    Most of us heard all Pat, all the time. If you want to see who the NCGOP Club helped, follow the money. It’s crystal clear, other than the Governor’s race, they really, really wanted one particular NC Senate seat. Glad you devoted time help Steve, but this article is spot on.

    1. That’s the thing ham biscuit. The article is not spot on. I just went and found the two mailers. They both have just Dan Forest on them and they both say paid for by the north carolina republican party. I got one in September and one in October. I wonder how many more went out.
      I went and knocked doors from a county victory office and was given a bunch of Dan Forest materials that were paid for by the north carolina republican party. I made phone calls at the headquarters and had a specific survey and ‘get out the vote’ question specifically for Dan.
      My guess is that you nor brant were actually engaged with the party, for obvious reasons. I didn’t used to be either. But please for the sake of reason don’t just spout of things like this if you have no idea what was actually done. Myself and many more like me used the efforts of the state party to volunteer for dan and others like him, and your words completely discount this as if it didn’t happen and obviously this bothers me, so I am letting you know. For the life of me I cant understand why you are pretending that this didn’t happen.
      Also, everyone keeps saying, follow the money follow the money. For folks like me, I saw some of it first hand and I’ll be willing to find out how to search the campaign finance reports when they are all finished filing to show that the state party did pony up to the table for Dan. At the very least they paid for lots of materials and integrated him into their surveys and door knocking.

      1. I, too, have a problem with the unneeded funding of Chad Barefoot’s campaign. One, it was another example of establishment meddling in a local race. Either Michael Schriver or Glen Bradley would have been far superior occupants of this seat, but both were far outspent by the ambitious yes-man that the establishment picked. Two, there IS NO good excuse for that kind of money being spent on a legislative seat when we had a majority and our Council of State candidates were so desperately underfunded. As an example, John Tedesco was burning through a tank of gas per day while trying to campaign everywhere throughout the state. Shame on our Chair and State Executive Committee. We need to bring them to account next June.

      2. The materials you picked up at your “County” victory office were supplied by the Forest campaign. I did work at our victory center, and we had no materials from the state. I am very active in the party, and appear to know somewhat more about the where the money went than yourself. I know none went to the race against Cooper. Oh, wait, the “Party” didn’t even field a candidate for that. If you don’t learn anything else, learn this. The NCGOP doesn’t reside in a building in Raleigh,

        1. The failure to run a candidate for AG for the first time in decades was absolutely appalling. And right at the time that the sitting AG was vulnerable on the SBI scandal. Whether deliberately or through total incompetence, the state GOP has committed an act of serious political malpractice on that race.

          For those taking names, the man behind the curtain for the NCGOP in all of this is named Wayne King.

  8. Let me add this. I would love to see the whole NC Senate occupied by Republicans. I’ve nothing against Chad. Tickled to death he won, but I’d trade the addition of one seat, in an already veto proof senate, for more council of state positions. If “leadership” can’t understand that, then they need to be run out of town. On a lite rail even.

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