What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 20, 2007

DeSantis Open House

A few hours ago I got to watch something the DeSantis Campaign HQ described as a "media open house" though it was really more of a kick-off for the campaign to introduce new volunteers to the folks running the show over there.

There were snacks and beverages and campaign swag for everyone.

And if the quality of brownies and cookies have anything to do with the success of a political campaign, this race is over. Those brownies were stellar, the cookies nearly as good.

Of course campaigns are NOT decided by the quality of the baked goods (no matter how much we'd want them to be). Campaigns are decided on a number of things - one of which is the set of ideas presented to the public. The meme for the DeSantis campaign can, as far as I could tell, be boiled down to one simple word: change.

The HQ itself is a modest set of rooms one floor below from the Republican HQ downtown. I felt rather uneasy, being so close to so many Republicans. It wasn't that bad after a few brownies, to be honest. No one had any horns or a pointed tail - not that I could see, anyway. The walls are freshly painted a calm blue and green. There's a room called the "coalition room" with lists tacked up on the walls of the various groups (business groups, women's groups, gay organizations, and so on) the campaign is looking to reach out to. Another room contained some chairs and a podium. It's where DeSantis can have press conferences in-house.

One of the campaign's communications folks told me they realise in a city that's 5-to-1 Democratic-to-Republican, they're going to have to reach out beyond their party and so they're aiming not only for Republicans, but to independents and to those who just don't want to vote for "the machine." They're looking to convince folks that he's a moderate Republican, that he's not a Santorum or a George W. Bush. In otherwords (and I guess they're mine) no horns or tail.

When DeSantis began to speak to the group, he emphasized that he was the candidate for change and that "something is going on" in the city - the people are looking for change. They want new leadership, he said. A new way of thinking about government. A new anything. When describing the relationship between a city's people and its government, he said one is a reflection of the other - but mid-sentence he corrected himself. Not this government, he said. He wouldn't describe what he thought of the current administration in city hall. "There are children present," he said.

If I had a beef with DeSantis, it was his misuse of the label for the party that's not his. Twice he used the phrase "Democrat mayor" in his brief history of city politics in the 20th ceentury. If he's looking to reach out across the political aisle, he's not going to make things any easier by using the wrong label. It's "Democrat-IC" for the modifyer, not "Democrat."


Anonymous said...

I just wish he would, you know, stand for something that shows he is this wondrous moderate. Here are some things: He could say he's pro choice, he could say that he's for fully funding public transit, he could tell us which public sector service unions he won't be sticking it to, he could say he opposes the Iraq war and would sign a city council declaration that condemns it, all kinds of crazy stuff that I have yet to see on his site.

I just think the republican party is the new nazi party. Just an evil diabolical fuck the working class party. And they do to have horns...you just weren't looking.

Philip Shropshire

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Checked the most recent pictures of the President, nope no horns or tails. And to the person who made the comment about Nazis. Clearly you have no idea of what a Nazi was. Please re-read the history of WW2.

dayvoe said...

Obviously John K doesn't understand the concept of metaphor.

Not actually that surprising, considering it's John K.

On the other hand, while the national GOP may be a moral nightmare (and "new nazi-party" is a bit overboard for my taste - especially since the "old" nazi party is still around), I can't say that about any local Republicans I met last night - including DeSantis.

But hey, if you have any questions for the campaign, give them a call.

Let me know what they say.

O said...

What? No cupcakes?

(And I know what's a metaphor... it's where cows graze.)

Anonymous said...

For the best cupcakes in the eastend you have to hit Coco's on Ellsworth.

Off topic, I know. SORRY!

Schultz said...

Did I meet you? I was one of the two guys who were wearing shorts. We were both Democrats. There were several other Democrats and Independents present and there are plenty of Democrats working for the DeSantis campaign.

I believe Mark is pro-choice but I have not heard that out of his mouth. That is not a city issue though, right? He's a big supporter of making Pittsburgh the greenest city and he is an advisor to Sustainable Pittsburgh. Oh, and he is a proponent of Transit Oriented Development. He realizes that public transit is one of the biggest concerns for the citizens of Pittsburgh.

Why should he talk about Iraq when we have wars going on in our city neighborhoods? Priorities people!

Anonymous said...

John K. says: What is a Nazi? To the left wing kooks in here it appears to be anyone who offers a different opinion. Now Ahmadenajad, who is a Nazi, (he advocates the destruction of an entire race of people, jews, same as Hitler, who was a Nazi) is going to speak at Columbia Univ. A well known liberal bastion of thought. So the question is, just who is supporting the Nazis? History class, take a refresher and get off the daily kos.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Did you ever go to the Bob O'Connor cookie cruise?

I know Matt H was there, with me, in the past.

I do believe that campaigns in Pittsburgh are won because of baked goods. Hate to quibble with you.

I often need to tell people that the CDs I hand out with music, messages and content are NOT doughnuts.

Oh yeah, sheet cakes and ice cream (best for seniors without teeth) are also great.

Now to read the rest of the post.

Schultz said...

"If I had a beef with DeSantis, it was his misuse of the label for the party that's not his. Twice he used the phrase "Democrat mayor"

I think you are reaching on this one.

I know people were pissed when Dubya kept saying "Democrat Party" instead of "Democratic party", but DeSantis was referring to "a Democrat mayor" winning office in Pittsburgh back in the 1930's over a "Republican mayor." See - Democrat and Republican - I'm not sure why there is an issue with the way he said it.

Schultz said...

anonymous #1 - If there was someone who DeSantis would model his political career after - it would be the late Senator John Heinz, the model for moderate Republicans.

If you go back to his announcement speech he makes a few references to Senator Heinz and how he taught Mark the true value of public service.

dayvoe said...

I might be reaching - but it was jarring enough to hear "Democrat Mayor" instead of "Democratic Mayor" (with or without the "a" preceeding) that I had to add it to the blog post.

In spite of that, I was impressed by the campaign and the people there to support DeSantis.

If that part wasn't effectively communicated in my first blog posting, then my apologies.

The phrase still should have been "a DemocratIC Mayor" though.


Bram Reichbaum said...

Yo, I think we've lost this one. Democrat party has slipped into common usage, which does suck 'cause it sounds like bureaucrat, but dropping that suffix is a reasonable and fair thing to do if you'd like to scorch us.

Just remember, every second we spend arguing semantics could be better spent arguing values.

On the original subject, I agree I'd like to see DeSantis throw us a bone by breaking with the Republitards on at least one issue of substance.

Matt H said...

The Bob O'Connor cookie cruise was the premiere political event in the city. Oh how I miss that fun.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Matt, fear not. It is my goal to bring back the cookie cruise. My promise:

If I'm elected to either city council or to the controller's post -- I'll re-launch the cookie cruise.

And, on the first voyage in August 2008, I'll swim from Sandcastle to Station Square.

We'll bring it back. It will be part premiere political event -- and -- part pilgrimage.

Schultz said...

Can 2PJ's show some love for these two DeSantis annoucements:

1. DeSantis has received the endorsement from the Gertrude Stein Political Club.

2. His economic development plan is centered on small businesses, neighborhoods, and minority entrepreneurship

Phillip S: Is this enough to prove that DeSantis is indeed "this wondrous moderate." ???