My U.S. Senate endorsement

Did you see the U.S. Senate debate last week on Houston public TV, which featured Democrats Paul Sadler and Sean Hubbard, as well as the four Republican horsemen of the apocalypse? If so, congratulations – you’re one of a handful of Texans who tuned in.

Debates like that are usually only important if they create a subsequent buzz. Since few people watch the actual debate, it is only if somebody seizes the moment, royally screws up, or otherwise makes a strong impression one way or another, the public discussion afterward can sometimes swing enough votes to affect outcomes.

So here’s my own personal buzz, for what it’s worth: while it might surprise and maybe upset a few people for whom I have a lot of respect, after watching the debate I’ve decided I’m voting for Sean Hubbard in the Democratic primary.

Sean Hubbard

Both Hubbard and Sadler comported themselves very well. Both articulated values with which I, as well as most other Texas Democratic primary voters, wholeheartedly agree. I believe either would make a fine U.S. Senator.

But here’s the deal: both Democrats in the race are under-funded. And unless one of ’em wins the lottery, there’s no particular reason to believe that each won’t remain underfunded, especially compared to the Republican nominee, who intends to buy this Senate seat.

To be sure, lightning does occasionally strike in politics, but it usually doesn’t. So barring some unforeseen circumstance which changes the financial game, the reality is that Texas is one of the most expensive states in the nation to get out a message, the Republican nominee will have the funding necessary to saturate that message, and the Democratic nominee won’t. And while that’s a terrible shame, it also makes it more likely that the Democrat won’t prevail this November.

This, in my view, makes who Democrats nominate no less important. We have a Party to build. It cannot be built without growing enthusiasm, and it cannot be grown without attracting new voters to us, while retaining the support we’ve maintained.

Paul Sadler

There’s no doubt Paul Sadler is a rock-solid guy, and always was. He has a deep understanding of policy details which I deeply admire. And the likelihood that he would attract few new voters to the Democratic column is more a reflection on the electorate than it is on him. During the debate, he was the quintessential policy wonk, explaining government to people, with deep knowledge and much wisdom. I’m the kind of dork who likes that stuff. Most voters’ eyes glaze over.

Sean Hubbard surprised me at the debate. He is no less articulate than Sadler. He demonstrates an open-mindedness about new ideas, while simultaneously making clear that he would not turn his back on Democratic values. And mostly, he oozes enthusiasm and positive energy from every pore.

At 31, he looks younger than that, and he pointed out that he’s already older than Joe Biden was when Biden was elected to the Senate. Hubbard would be more likely to garner an excitement in a general election which is greater than the sum of its parts – not just because of his age, but because of his infectious enthusiasm and unapologetic zeal for the race. Isn’t that the kind of Democratic candidate that grows more voters than the “smartest guy in the room” types Democrats have already tried?

Here’s hoping lightning strikes. But even if it doesn’t, Sean Hubbard would be the kind of Democratic nominee more capable of attracting new folks to the Democratic column. It’s potentially important in that U.S. Senate race, it’s important in down ballot contests, and it’s important in future Party-building and elections.

To help you make your own decision, you can watch the Senate debate here. Also, while you’re listening to the Democrats, it’s also fun to watch the Republicans as they each explain why they’re totally for women’s freedom, even as they document why they’re not in favor of supporting any of those freedoms.



8 Responses to My U.S. Senate endorsement

  1. PDiddie, aka Perry Hussein Dorrell May 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Good choice, Harold.

  2. Mule Breath May 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    I watched and was as impressed with Hubbard as you seem to be. The difficult part for me of watching the program through to the end was the nausea I felt each time Cruz opened his mouth.

  3. Valerie May 8, 2012 at 2:51 am #

    I agree. I saw Sean speak last week at KAD and I was impressed. Also glad to get to support the youth.

  4. Katy Anders May 9, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    Are we officially at 18 years and counting since a Democrat has won any election for statewide office?

    Dan Morales has to be out of the slammer by now. Let’s run him for something again, since he’s the only Dem who has been able to do it in some voters’ lifetimes…

  5. Chris Bjornson May 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I don’t know Sean. All I know about him is from his website. And frankly, for a 30-year-old, he doesn’t have any impressive credentials. The only experience – political, community or professional – that he lists on his website is helping on a fool’s errand of a 2002 Congressional campaign that didn’t get 25% of the vote and Obama’s Dallas County 2008 campaign. It’s unclear whether either were paid positions. When I was a senior in high school, I could put together a more impressive resume. I hope I’m wrong since I get the sense he will be the nominee. But I can’t be impressed yet.

  6. Harold Cook May 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Chris – thanks for your opinion. I know of no evidence that would indicate that Hubbard is the front-runner in this race, however. I also have little evidence that he’s not, except that Sadler may well have residual name ID from when he was a member of the Texas House. We’ll all find out together on election night.

  7. Anonymous May 11, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Sean Hubbard deserves the win! He has traveled all over Texas without really more than food and gasoline (we all know that ain’t cheap) to make sure he can meet and greet the very people he will represent. He’s the underdog. We all know what happens when you discount the underdog. I say Sean Hubbard will surprise us all. His belief in Texas and his spark for life and forward thinking will gain my vote…besides, having experience in politics never seems to do anyone any good. He is me and he is you. It’s about time we had a true representative for us Texans.

  8. Harold Cook May 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by, Sean!

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