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November 14, 2006

This is not the end, but a new beginning…

Darcy Burner said that today near the end of brief thank-you to the enormous number of supporters on hand, as she formally ended her 2006 campaign.   She thanked us, talked about what we did accomplish with our amazing election wins last week and conceded the race.   The media was out in force and I'm sure that will be reflected on the local news this evening.  They were milling about afterwards talking with anyone who had a few minutes.  I think they needed to understand why there were so many people who had so energetically supported Darcy and who cared so much about her and about this campaign.  i suspect they don't often see that level of personal connection to a candidate.

A few days ago, I wrote a post thanking Darcy for making the run, saying,

In the last couple days since the election, we have shaken off our numbness and regained a small picture of hope as we absorb the implications of what we’ve done and think about what sane government might look like now. I thank you, Darcy, for holding that hope for us early and for never, ever giving up on it. 

Here's part of what she said today about what she saw when she began this race two years ago. 

We knew all along that we wanted to be part of changing the face of power in this nation, and we did just that. We knew all along that we could make this seat competitive, and we did just that. But there is always more to do. Our Congress must live up to the tasks of tackling our country’s most pressing issues. It’s up to us to help them do that and it’s up to us to make sure they do that.

In some way, Darcy did what she set out to do this year.  And, although she won't be there in Congress to help (and she would have been enormously effective), she will stay with the effort, as we all must.   

I've got a bit of a round-up of what others are saying after the fold.

UPDATE:  Jonathan Martin of the Seattle Times has an article this morning on Darcy's talk to her supporters and on what being in the minority is going to mean for Dave Reichert.  I'll cover the latter in a later post.  However, Howie pointed out this morning that there is a photo of Darcy giving me a hug at the event. 

From the Campaign

Darcy's campaign sent out an email thanks shortly afterwards with what she had said.   Here's a couple of excerpts from the letter which I hope will be on her website shortly. 

Last Tuesday, the voters of this country decided that it’s time to change course. We've elected new representatives and new leadership to take the helms of our House and Senate. For the first time in six years, accountability and integrity will be restored to the halls of our Congress.

And for the first time in the history of Washington’s 8th district, Democrats came together to not only make this race more competitive than it has ever been before, but to successfully change the political landscape of this district for years to come.

Two years ago when I decided to run, there were many who thought we didn’t stand a chance. But you and I knew what was at stake in this election. We knew that if we wanted a Congress that represented the working people of this country, that if we wanted to change the direction of this country, we needed to dig in our heels and get to work. And that’s what we did.

Regardless of the outcome of this race, your support forced the Republicans to spend $6 million in this district which helped pave the way for other Democrats across the country to win. Your support forced the Republicans to send out President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Rep. Dennis Hastert and others to campaign for Dave Reichert - who, despite the support of such heavy-hitters, is claiming victory by a very small margin.

Markos Chimes In

Markos said today that he hopes Darcy runs again next time. 

Burner ran an incredible campaign for a first-timer. If she comes back for the rematch, she'll be that much wiser, more battle-tested, with a more mature network of donors, grassroots activists, and netroots supporters.

Goldy on Reichert's "Pyrrhic Victory"

Goldy talked about Dave Reichert and his continuing misconceptions about why he won.  Then he says:

But… as personally disappointed as I am with the apparent outcome of this race, I fully understand on an intellectual level that both Darcy’s and Peter Goldmark’s campaigns were an integral part of a HUGE victory for the Democratic Party… and particularly for us netroots activists who embraced the 50-state strategy first enunciated by DNC chair Howard Dean. Darcy and Peter threw themselves into races the political and media establishment considered GOP gimmes, forcing the Republicans to draw money and resources away from races elsewhere.

And by fielding hardworking candidates who ran tough campaigns in races everybody expected them to lose, the Democrats showed local voters the type of respect that is absolutely necessary for the party to build towards victory in the future. Whoever the Democratic nominees are in 2008, their races will be made incredibly easier by the hard work Darcy and Peter put into 2006. That’s why I come away from this election with absolute confidence that every last ounce of passion and effort the netroots put into these races, and every last dime we raised, was totally worth it. We helped the Democrats take back Congress, and that after all, was the ultimate prize. The GOP may have successfully defended these seats – this year – but at a great cost.

Dan's Observations

Dan once again takes apart the media's attempts to portray Reichert as an independent and then makes this astute observation:

Reichert had to be oblivious to not recognize the seriousness of the threat against him. His exasperation at even having to appear at candidate forums and debates was clearly displayed during the campaign. While he wished to paint Darcy Burner as inexperienced (as compared to his whopping 2 years as congressman), he almost got beat by a skilled, quick learner who out-raised him during the heat of the campaign. What Darcy Burner lacked in years in politics she made up with her intelligence, understanding of the issues and her would be constituents, as well as her empathy towards people, attributes Reichert still lacks despite the outcome of this election.

And here's his take on Darcy and her future:

As for Darcy Burner, her strong showing, coming from nowhere, earning the support of donors, local volunteers and the national party, was a significant achievement. I suspect however, the type of person that Darcy is, she will not be comforted much by doing so well, yet not winning. She was in this to win from the beginning, and despite the odds and the history of this district she almost did against a well known, and highly financed incumbent. Whatever she chooses to do, and I would hope she will run for office again, she is a shining example of what makes this nation great: if you put your mind to something, work hard, treat people fairly and with compassion, and never let up, you can do great things. She got into this race for all the right reasons, and proved that the district was winnable. There's no turning back now.

Lastly, This Lovely Clip Again

Here’s a video-clip of Darcy at her election night party coming into a huge room of supporters, sharing her son with us for a few moments and then talking with us about how close the race was.  Dan filmed it.  Take a peek.  It’s very precious.

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 14, 2006 at 09:10 PM in Candidate Races | Permalink

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