August 15, 2008


D.C. Party Is Resistant To Audacity Of Change (David Nakamura, 8/15/08, Washington Post)

Palmer and a dozen friends from the volunteer group D.C. For Obama are part of a slate bidding for seats on the D.C. Democratic State Committee. They are touting ideas and experience from the national campaign that they say can energize and grow the local party apparatus, whether it's using the Internet to organize or broadcasting meetings to boost visibility.

And they're getting their heads knocked hard against the wall of political reality.

Their idealism and enthusiasm have crashed into a formidable opposing force: the local Democratic Party, with its internecine rivalries and territorial squabbles. The District, after all, is that proverbial "small-town big city," where everyone knows everyone and insiders aggressively control tiny fiefdoms.

These insiders have called the newcomers Johnny-come-latelies who don't know the city and haven't paid their dues. The old guard is intent on keeping them at bay.

Four of the newcomers, including Palmer, have had their nominating petitions challenged at the Board of Elections and Ethics by rivals hoping to keep them off the ballot. Two others from Palmer's slate were denied seats on the city's delegation to the Democratic National Convention, after losing votes against longtime D.C. politicos. And several more newbies said they were told by longtime party leaders that they should wait their turn and drop out of the race. [...]

[77-year-old incumbent Horace] Kreitzman says he respects Palmer and the others for their work on Obama's campaign but wonders how much they understand about the District.

"They're very active and very sincere folks, but some of the people I talked with didn't even know what precinct they vote in," Kreitzman said. "All of a sudden they're active? Good, I'm glad. But some might say they should not start at the top."
...besides the belief that you should start at the top no matter how ignorant and inexperienced?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 15, 2008 8:24 AM
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