At Last! An Obama Primary Candidate We Can All ... Er ... Who?!

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With electoral registration deadlines looming fast, the tension is all but palpable as we wait to see who will finally answer the call to primary Obama in 2012. That tension has only been tentatively relieved by the entry into the race of advertising manager and financial services consultant Darcy Richardson, from Florida.

You have to dig fairly deep in the media to find much coverage of Richardson’s announcement of his run in the New Hampshire Primary a couple of days ago—like the Boston Globe‘s “Political Intelligence” blog, that’s how deep. And he’s not even the headliner there, ranking behind some of the Republican entry:

“I wanted something out of the ordinary to do this winter,” said Linden Swift, an 81-year-old retiree from Indiana who failed in his effort to plan a vacation to Ireland. “It seemed like running for president was a good second choice.”

Mr. Richardson already has a nascent Web presence, and is prominent enough to warrant his own Wikipedia page, which reveals something of a winning streak:

Although a registered Democrat and elected Montgomery County precinct committeeman at the time, Richardson was nominated to run for the position of Pennsylvania Auditor General in 1980 on the Philadelphia-based Consumer Party’s ballot line. In that race he finished third with 48,783 votes.

In 1988, the Consumer Party again nominated Richardson, this time to run for U.S. Senate. That same year, Richardson was the national campaign manager of former Senator Eugene McCarthy’s presidential campaign. McCarthy was also running on the Consumer Party ticket. Richardson was later a senior advisor to McCarthy’s final presidential campaign, in which he ran as a candidate in the Democratic primaries.

He’s a published author, and other sources reveal he’s not without that all-important media experience:

... Richardson has been quoted in major publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and has written numerous articles for a wide range of publications.  He has also been a guest on several nationally-syndicated radio talk shows, ranging from the progressive “Thom Hartmann Show” to Joseph Farah’s conservative “WorldNetDaily Radioactive” program.

Mr. Richardson even has his own blog, The Battleground Blog, where he sets out his stall:

While it was my fervent hope that a candidate of national stature and credibility would challenge President Obama in the 2012 Democratic primaries, I have entered my name in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary to offer my fellow disillusioned Democrats a choice.

The growing sense of political hopelessness, frustration and alienation symbolized in the fledgling Occupy Wall Street movement represents a much larger national trend.

It’s a trend it seems Mr. Richardson is determined to further:

I hope that my candidacy, as limited as it may turn out to be, might in some small measure restore a belief in American politics and American government, reinforcing the notion that real change can be achieved at the ballot box.

In addition to New Hampshire, I intend to enter several other Democratic primaries, including my birthplace of Pennsylvania, which votes in late April.

I had originally hoped that somebody like Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio or Florida firebrand Alan Grayson would carry the progressive banner against the Obama Administration. I have personally encouraged several of them to run, without success.

I simply didn’t anticipate the kind of paralysis that seems to have immobilized the party’s progressives when it comes to challenging a sitting President of their own party.

If you’re with me thus far and able to contain your enthusiasm sufficiently to postpone running round your basement with your pajama top over your head hollering “WooHOO!!!!”, you’ll no doubt be wondering, as I’m asking myself, how running as an “Oh what the hell, I will if nobody else is going to” candidate will reinforce “the notion that real change can be achieved at the ballot box” (I’ll leave aside how that gels with the aims of many in the Occupy movement, and I won’t be churlish enough to point out that Bernie Sanders may be all sorts of awesome in his own way, but that way doesn’t include being a Democrat, which might have been a snag). I’m beginning to get the impression that Mr. Richardson might be a little depressed:

Sadly, there’s no Gene McCarthy on the horizon.

Though apparently not without some spirit:

Yet we need, perhaps now more than ever, someone with the courage to stand up and fight for the progressive values and causes that President Obama paid so much lip service to in 2008.

While I did not see any great threat to the Democratic Party’s unity and strength in mounting such a seemingly quixotic challenge to an incumbent president, I thought a candidacy by one of those mentioned above could have served as an important and healthy counterbalance to an administration too often willing to forsake the party’s proud progressive legacy in its haste to compromise with the “Party of No.”

However, having initially evoked the Occupy movement, he seems to lack the populist touch that would appeal to the baggertariat:

Government isn’t the enemy.

That’s cleared that up. Or has it? Because the screed that follows could have been lifted from an FDL post after the librium kicked in:

I think it’s fair to say, and should be said, that President Obama needlessly squandered his first two years in office, saddling the nation with health care legislation that nobody really wanted instead of fighting for a single-payer Medicare-for-All program that would insure the basic health needs of every American.

While pushing for legislation seen by many on the Left as a boon to the private insurance industry, the President virtually ignored the country’s mounting jobs crisis — until he started running for re-election, that is.

Extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy added insult to injury and, in no small measure, helped to give rise to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Unlike the last Democratic administration, the gap between rich and poor has widened substantially during Obama’s presidency.

The recipient of a staggering $37.6 million in Wall Street money between 1998 and his election in 2008, the President has been about as effective in turning this recession-ravaged economy around as Herbert Hoover in 1932. That was, of course, the year when the beleaguered Republican President tried to rescue the ailing U.S. economy with the passage of the relatively modest Emergency Relief and Construction Act and the creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, neither of which came close to ending the Great Depression.

Instead of modeling his economic policy agenda after Herbert Hoover, President Obama and his advisers should have instead studied FDR and the New Deal.

The President’s $787 billion stimulus package in 2009 — much of which was used by Republican governors and GOP-controlled legislatures to balance state budgets — did little for the private sector and was simply too meager to pull the country out of the depths of the “Great Recession,” a devastating economic downturn that millions of Americans believe never ended.

The President’s paltry and late-in-the-game $447 billion son-of-stimulus — if approved — will have the same minimal effect. However, it’s proving to be a powerful campaign weapon for a President desperately trying to reclaim his dispirited base. A cynic might say that’s its real purpose.

As should be clear to everybody, the President is now in full campaign mode. Progressives shouldn’t be fooled again.

If you’re still awake, there’s more:

The Democratic Party needs a bold and decisive leader, somebody who will fight for poor, working and middle-class Americans — those who have been mercilessly pummeled throughout this seemingly never-ending economic crisis.

Something about Mr. Richardson’s demeanor tells me that the party might arguably need that, but Mr. Richardson ain’t it, and he knows it. He just wants to tweak Obama a little:

Working together, let’s send our President a message he can‘t ignore.

Further digging also reveals that in 1989—1992 Mr. Richardson served as chair of the centrist/neoliberal “third way” New Democrats, which should nicely round out his radical credentials for those who’ve been clamoring for a primary challenger.

In contrast to the Republican slate, which verily overfloweth with ... never mind, Richardson’s stand on the stump looks like being a little lonely, the only other declared challengers being Cody Judy (last I heard) and Randall Terry, dastardly shenanigans having apparently derailed Ralph Nader’s plans to find somebody—anybody—to get stomped at the ballot box (Whining Alert):

Six weeks ago, word got out about a progressive project that could have Ralph Nader playing a familiar role: Electoral scold. He was the best-known member of a coalition to recruit five progressive candidates to run, as Democrats, against Barack Obama. At 4:30 p.m. today, the coalition was going to face its first deadline: qualifying to enter the New Hampshire primary.

Nader’s group won’t make the deadline.

“[Secretary of State] Bill Gardner switched the days on us,” Nader says. “He threatened to change the primary date after Nevada moved up its caucuses, and in the process, he moved up the filing deadline. So he’s pulled the rug out from under us—you think it’s late November, and all of a sudden it’s October 28.”

Hey, I work from home. I’ve lost track of days before. But never a month (yet).

Posted by YAFB on 10/28/11 at 06:49 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaElection '12Manic ProgressivesPoliblogs

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Assuming that’s a recent picture Mr. Darcy looks great for 81.

Methinks he should have tried harder to get to Ireland.

you think it’s late November

It was the 2nd November last election, why would he think it would be later this time?

Oh, shit! Is it October 28 already? I completely forgot to tell you all that I am also running against President Obama in the 2012 election.

Let’s see… I’ve guest-posted on a few blogs. The people in my town seem to think I’m OK. What else… Oh! I built a website for a former political candidate a few years back. Uhh… my Mom told I was pretty smart and I could do anything I wanted to do, even um, build a website for a political candidate some day.

My views: President Obama has not accomplished every single thing he campaigned upon, leaving me to wonder if we haven’t all been abandoned by the Democratic Party (such as it is). Democrats should get everything they want, especially when… well, it’s difficult to put into words. So, basically, me!

That’s my platform. Obama bad (or at least not good enough)! Me!

Thank you! PayPal only, please. No checks.

My views: President Obama has not accomplished every single thing he campaigned upon, leaving me to wonder if we haven’t all been abandoned by the Democratic Party (such as it is).

And the things he did campaign on and accomplish took too long. You’ve got my vote, provided you promise to circumvent Congress and wield the pen of Executive Execution at every opportunity.

Make sure your running mate is a guy who considers the office Vice President a 4th branch of government.

Why do I suspect that somewhere there is video footage of Nader, et al, being flummoxed by the process of ordering a pizza?

advertising manager and financial services consultant Darcy Richardson

Because those are two industries that just ooze principled leadership.

He already represents a grave threat….to the Warren Mosler bandwagon.

Linden Swift: the last sane, honest Republican.  He’s got my vote.

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