Monday, June 18, 2007

Draft Rick Noriega Launches All Over Texas

Rick Noriega and the Noriega Family, is well-known in the Houston area. There has been an argument that this is a big liability for someone who wants to run for US Senate in Texas – the candidate needs to have statewide name recognition. Let’s look at the history of that.

Both of our current senators held statewide office before making the jump to the US Senate. Phil Gramm, however, held a congressional seat (TX-6) for three terms before winning his Senate seat in 1984. Bob Krueger was appointed to fill out Lloyd Bentsen’s term, so he doesn’t count. Lloyd Bentsen came from the private sector after a 16-year hiatus from a congressional office. John Tower? His jump off was as a local (SD-23) campaign manager for Dwight Eisenhower.

Some of these surely don’t fit the mold. Ralph Yarborough perhaps gets back toward the mold in that he ran for governor against conservative Democratic incumbent Allan Shivers twice, and once against Shivers-backed Price Daniel. So he had statewide name recognition even though he had never won an election.

The point I’m trying to make is that there is no mold.

And almost every one of those races took place before Senator Al Gore saw to it that DARPANet, got the financing to expand to become what we call the Internet today. Which is what I really want to talk about, here.

Rick Noriega has a statewide presence in the Texas Netroots. OK, now, I admit that being a household name in the blogs is not a broad political base. We don’t have the reach of radio, TV and newspapers. Some come close, but mostly we’re talking about blogs like mine with 6 readers (OK, I’m understating a little).

Call it what you will, over estimate or under estimate the effect (you know where I stand there), there it is. Rick Noriega is a statewide name in the Texas Netroots, and has broad support.

Today alone we have McBlogger, central Texas, urging Rick to run for US Senate. From Williamson County we have Eye On Williamson doing the exact same thing. Austin-based Burnt Orange Report reports that it supports a Draft Rick Noriega Movement. Another Austin-based blogger actually launched the Draft Rick Noriega site. San Antonio blogger Matt Glazer has an interesting discussion on how Houston’s Present could be Texas’ future on MyDD. Houston-based blog Dos Centavos wonders what it is going take to win the US Senate seat in 2008, concluding that money is not enough, but that Rick Noriega is more than enough. East Texas’ Capitol Annex also urges Rick Noriega to run for Senate. Another Houston blog, Feet to Fire has a post today in support of a Noriega run for Senate – in preference to a pro-forced-pregnancy candidate. And in south Texas we have South Texas Chisme extolling Rick Noriega’s public service. Oh, and then there’s me and my group from Fort Bend County.

If I missed any, it’s not for lack of trying. There are even more out there that support a Rick Noriega run for Senate. They just haven’t posted anything on it today.

So I don’t want to hear it anymore about how a candidate for US Senate must be from a statewide office. That’s just a fiction.

And before you dismiss the internet on how effective or ineffective it can be on a Senate race, go have a conversation with Senator Macaca.
Remember when I mentioned that most blogs are teeny tiny ones that don't have much reach, but that some do? Well guess what? KOS

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