Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Almost Perfect Candidate (s): Deaglan McEachern + Terence O'Rourke

"Listen to every single one of them," my savant, Democratic guru keeps telling me.
There are eight candidates for the seat now held by Carol Shea Porter in the New Hampshire First.
This is a lady who knows of what she speaks: She's worked Democratic campaigns for years, knows the state and Congressional representatives and she knows New Hampshire. A product of Manchester's Central High School and Keene State, she can see and hear things I miss cold, when we go out canvassing.

After slogging through, listening to one candidate after another at the monthly Hampton Dems meeting and at the weekly Exeter meetings, there was only one who struck me as the real article: Terence O'Rourke. But last night Deaglon McEachern spoke at Exeter and he was interesting.

He is polished, articulate, speaks the Queen's English (American accent) and holds a degree from Cambridge (MA in history) and he is every bit the physical specimen you'd expect from a guy who spent a lot of college (and some post college) in the rowing/crew world.
Fact is, he had the time and money to indulge his passion for rowing, to go off to Cambridge for a little more polishing, and the polishing shows.

He said a few important things:
1/ To address the problem of mass shootings we should not only outlaw the sales of AR 15 assault rifles; we should focus on the bullets, the high capacity magazines.
We're never going to get back those weapons already out there. Forget that.
2/ We should focus a lot more effort on training plumbers, electricians, carpenters, the trades which will support families, allow them to buy homes and which will never be replaced by robots.
That definitely struck a nerve with me. Much as I loved Obama, he was wrong about insisting on sending everyone to college. He was uncritical of the data suggesting that is the path to prosperity. He should have focused on those "blue collar" jobs and so should the Democrats.

Like most Democrats, McEachern is for shifting the tax burden from the poor to the rich, and he's in favor of single payor, Medicare for all.

When pressed about abortion he simply said he's for the woman's right to control what happens to her body, end of discussion.
After the talk, when I pressed him on the argument he'll hear from his Republican colleagues: "So, it's not a choice: It's a life. When the kid is 28 weeks and you do a late term abortion, or when he is on the way down the birth canal and you meet him with a scalpel, is that not infanticide?" McEachern explained that when you start drawing lines like that, you concede too much to the other side. But I insisted that abortion is all about line drawing, as was true in Roe v Wade, and he listened and said, "Ask me about abortion next time. I think you may have changed my response a little here."

When asked about endless war, he said he could not see pulling out of Afghanistan until we'd built a better nation there. O'Rourke basically said fye on nation building. Don't send American troops in where there is no clear mission beyond winning the hearts and minds. We saw how well that worked in Vietnam. No more endless war.

Other than that, McEachern is right on most of the big things. I'll scour his website for his positions, but on most things, he's a Democrat. He's correct.

The differences between him and O'Rourke come down to style and experience.
On style points, at least for the moment, McEachern will stand out in an 8 candidate debate. He's tall, chiseled, vigorous, articulate and he speaks well, articulates where O'Rourke tends to mumble and get all staccato. And he's clearly very bright and well educated. He's so very polished, all smooth edges and gloss; O'Rourke is a work in progress--the guy with something to prove.

Both have clearly been told to appeal to women voters by talking too much about their young children.

McEachern ended his talk by saying he's not important, that none of the candidates are, that it's the folks like us in the audience, who come out to hear the candidates who are important.
Nice sentiment, but to these hard ears, sounded like a kiss up, like a guy who is trying to get all warm in fuzzy in times when we don't need warm and fuzzy.
We need tough and sharp elbows and someone who can throw a punch.
Not sure if McEarchern is tough enough. There's a tough you need to be a world class rower; there's a different sort of tough you need to hump through the dust in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Who can speak to this guy?

But where he draws on the experience of the arguably most physically demanding of all sport--rowing--O'Rourke was a combat officer in Iraq, and is now a prosecutor. McEarchern is a rich high tech entrepreneur. He is from a family of New Hampshire political royalty my savant/guru tells me. He's a JFK, where O'Rourke is a street fighting man, more a Joe Biden, only way smarter. 
O'Rourke would enjoy the gritty "Wire" where McEachern would be watching "Downton Abbey."

I can see O'Rourke taking on Jim Jordan, Mitch McConnell and all those loud mouth, bullying Republicans and not taking one step backward. O'Rourke is Ulysses S. Grant. McEachern is right off PT 109, a young Jack Kennedy.
He fights

If you mixed the two of these guys together, taking the best characteristics from each, you'd have the next rising star in national politics.  Fact is, either or both may be that anyway, if they can get their minds around the issues, figure out an image to project and hammer away at the opposition.

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