Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jim Esch Rocks

by Kyle Michaelis
2nd District Congressional candidate Jim Esch has run a scrappy and courageous campaign, fighting tooth and nail in his longshot challenge to four-term incumbent Lee Terry. Though a political newcomer, Esch has stepped up in a big way and has thrown himself into the race with a passion every candidate would do well to emulate.

Of course, some of Esch's commendable boldness on the campaign trail has something to do with the odds that he faces and the liberating aspect of low expectations. Esch's oft-mentioned refusal of PAC contributions certainly became a whole lot easier when the usual players showed little interest in taking a chance and making an investment in his bid for Congress.

Still, on issues ranging from the Iraq war and Donald Rumsfeld's job performance to energy policy and fiscal discipline by the federal government, Esch has been speaking with a refreshing forthrightness and fervor driven by more than just the desire for traction against Terry. He's been speaking the truth, holding nothing back and saying what needs to be said in a manner somewhat similar to Gubernatorial candidate David Hahn. From me, that's high praise, indeed...even if voters have not yet recognized the stakes and the opportunities they would be passing-up by sticking with the Republican status quo in either race.

Today, Esch met Terry in what was likely the only debate of the campaign. Readers may enjoy the comments shared at DailyKos by a pair of Esch supporters who attended the debate (1, 2) and declared it an absolute victory for Esch. Most people will never see the debate, though, and rely instead on reports like this one from the Associated Press, which paints the event as a much more balanced affair.

***4 am Update
Having viewed what's available of the debate online, I must concur that Esch was quite dominant in his performance. He's bright, well-spoken, articulate, and much more at ease than Terry.

I've been impressed by Esch's commitment since the start of the campaign, but this is by far the best demonstration I've seen of his political skill, which I know I'm not alone in having underestimated.


Blogger Dave said...

Esch is running ads on cable here in Omaha. I've seen it a couple of times already today, including once during the Daily Show. Very simple, black and white video. "I'm not taking any special interest money, so this isn't a fancy ad."

I did watch the debate on KPTM's website. Terry seemed genuinely upset to be there and to be asked the questions. It's a shame that not many people will get to see this debate, and it's a shame that this will probably the only debate.

Blogger Don Kuhns said...

Thanks for the post, Kyle. As far as I can tell, Team Esch is running a brilliant stealth campaign, and it's high time they got some props.
Jim was indeed impressive at the debate, as I knew he would be after attending one of his town hall meetings.

I wish he was raising more of a stink about Lee's attempt to weasel out of a second debate. I was told that they had Terry's promise in writing. It is so sad that most of the general public will never get to view a debate between these two men. Any fool could see who is the better man.

Blogger Daily Bulldog said...

Jim Esch debated Terry Lee? I thought Esch was running for MUD Board.

That's the wealthy Esch family from the St Leo area. In fact, Jim is nearly a millionaire even though he's never made much money in the four years he has been out of school, and he's put about $110,000 of his own money into the race.

Sounds like Pete Lite to me, and since they are both wrong on immigration, niether will get my vote.

Blogger Don Kuhns said...

You really are quite mad, aren't you? Rising to power on your Daddy's coat-tails is a Republican thing, Bullfrog. Ask GWB. Or Lee Terry.

Blogger Daily Bulldog said...

Or any of the Kennedys...or Boyles...or Barretts.

Mad about what? An MUD Board candidate who is trying to buy a seat with money he didn't earn. Is that what "Rs" do?

Blogger Dave said...

Are you kidding me? Seriously? I mean, you're seriously saying that Jim Esch is trying to buy this seat?

I don't know if that even deserves a response. But if you're seriously going to say that someone who's at a 30:1 cash on hand disadvantage, who has taken no PAC money whatsoever, against an incumbent who has taken over $500,000 in PAC contributions, is trying to buy an election? You really are out of touch with reality.

Anonymous Ryan Anderson said...

Wow, Jim just kicked Terry's ass. I am really impressed.

Blogger Daily Bulldog said...

Yes, I am saying Esch is trying to buy his seat, dumbass. He has a pile of money he didn't earn and he's using it to buy a seat.

He doesn't have a resume' and has no practical experience.

Why is that so difficult for you to understand?

Anonymous Dan said...

Guys, ignore this daily bulldog idiot. Have you looked at his blog? All he talks about is liberal this, liberal that, has TWO links to the drudge report, and one to Real Clear Politics.

Concern Troll? Obvious.

Disconnected from reality? Equally obvious.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the republican bulldog-Lee Terry has a law degree-which requires an IQ of 65-and have you ever seen him without Daddy telling him what to do? I am a med-lab tech, and medical school is one hell of a lot tougher than law school-and more honest! Not only that, Terry has gotten a lot of his money from PAC. Re-watch the debate-oh, that's right! Can't stand to see a republican making an ass out of himself-no pun intended.

Anonymous Dan said...

Doesn't Esch have a law degree too? Aren't they both from the same school? Stop making irrelevant points, regardless of which side you're on


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