Down the Ballot

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ebay Find #9 John Glenn in '84 button

The Right Stuff?
I found this pin on ebay last year. John Glenn always fascinated me as a candidate. In high school I read a book about his failed bid for the Democratic nomination by Richard F. Fenno called The Presidential Odyssey of John Glenn. It takes the reader on the trip spanning the lead up to his 1984 presidential campaign and his eventual exit from the race.

It seemed Glenn was a little uncomfortable playing up his heroic background in NASA. The Right Stuff with Ed Harris was out in theaters during the lead up to many of the early primaries, but Glenn decided it wouldn't be appropriate to try and capitalize off the success of the film in the campaign. By the time aides and supporters had convinced him that it would be fine to play up The Right Stuff it was too late for his campaign. While early polling had him in contention with frontrunner Walter Mondale, he soon lost the attention of the media and the voters and was out of the race. His best showings at the ballot were on March 13th primaries in Alabama (20%) and Georgia (18%). The legacy of his presidential campaign took some 20 years to put to rest. In 2006, the Federal Elections Commission excused the $2.86 million dollars in debt he had accumulated from his '84 campaign.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Go Screen Yourself: The Lone Gunmen (TLG)

Spin-offs are often found in love/hate relationships with viewers of the shows of their origin. Some of us love latching on to some aspect of the original show and seeing it flourish into something that rivals the original. The 1980s hit Cheers spawned two spin-offs. One of them centered around Dr. Fraiser Crane. His show was called Fraiser. It was a ratings success story. It allowed Kelsey Grammer to play Dr. Crane from 1984-2004. The second spin-off, well technically the first spin-off, was The Tortellis. Chances are you've never heard of the show. Don't worry you didn't miss much. The Tortellis revolved around Cheers waitress Carla Tortellis' (Rhea Perlman) ex husband Nick and his 2nd wife introduced in Cheers. The show didn't last more than 13 episodes. What makes a spin-off successful is uncertain. Clearly Fraiser had something that the Tortellis didn't. Today's Go Screen Yourself recommendation is a spin-off of  FOX's acclaimed "X-Files" called The Lone Gunmen.

OLCV Celebration Recap

Last night I had the chance to attend the Oregon League of Conservation Voters 14th annual celebration. The league is Oregon's independent voice for the environment. Activists and supporters exist across the political spectrum to protect our rich natural legacy and build an economy in Oregon that uses clean renewable energy.

The event was well attended at the Oregon Convention Center. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkely started the evening with a video message from Washington D.C. praising OLCV for their efforts in the past year during the 2010 campaign. Governor John Kitzhaber, the evening keynote speaker, also credited the help of the league with helping him defeat Chris Dudley in the close fall campaign.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Governor Barbara Roberts on Gerry Ferraro

My post the other day on Geraldine Ferraro and the Oregonian article by Emily Smith got me thinking a little more about what Ferraro's candidacy for Vice President really meant to some folks. I got the chance to find out a little bit more about what former Governor Barbara Roberts thought of Ferraros role in the 1984 campaign.

Here are her expanded comments on the convention, and the campaign.

Frm. Governor Barbara Roberts
1984 was already an exciting year for me.  I had won the Democratic nomination for Oregon Secretary of State in my first statewide campaign plus being chosen as a Delegate to the 1984 Democratic National Convention.  But the best was yet to come.
I will never forget the night Geraldine Ferraro was nominated as Vice-President.  Hundreds and hundreds of male Delegates had temporarily vacated their seats on the convention floor to allow women Alternate Delegates to be seated in their place while this portion of the convention took place. It was reportedly the largest number of women official delegates ever seated on the floor of a political convention in American history.  Excitement was in the air in every state delegation.  When Geraldine Ferraro stepped to the microphone following the nomination speeches, the convention went wild!  Thousands of women stood, many on their chairs, and began cheering and chanting and applauding. You could hear thousands of voices: "Gerry! Gerry! Gerry!"  Women were embracing, singing, weeping.  The floor demonstration went on and on.