Esrati interviewed by Ohio Dave

I’m following some other Internet mavens on interview rules: I post my take- they do as they please. Can make for interesting IM interviews.

Dave Riegel at Into My Own, asked 4 questions- and here are my responses:

1. First I have to ask you something you wrote in your blog piece about the DDN. Did Saunders and Mitikides both say they had been approached by the GOP about switching parties? That’s really a damning critique of the lack of confidence that they have in local potential Republican candidates. What did you think when they said that?

Mitakides said she had been approached by a local Republican power broker, not the party chair, in the DDN endorsement meeting. Sanders chirped in that he had too.
I mostly sat in disbelief as I listened to Jane talk about herself- and how she’s the answer for OH-3. I don’t think the voters want to trade one person who talks like a politician for another.

2. Do you have any staff at all? Who’s helping you with your campaign? What has been the response from the county and state party?

I have no “paid staff” for my campaign. I have some very dedicated volunteers and a shrewd campaign treasurer in Mike Robinette. I do have a great network of supporters within the blogging community, who have helped with research, and spreading the word. I haven’t so much as heard a peep from the State or National party, who is too wrapped up in the Presidential race. The local parties- no word from Highland or Clinton County- except from the exceptional Chuck Watts who is running an organized site in Clinton-
Warren County bailed on a screening last night. Montgomery County held their screening last night- with the answers to come this evening. Considering they didn’t endorse Jane in December, I’m wondering if they will endorse at all. All seem to have conceded the District to Turner.
After the primary, I’ll gear up and hire staff. Right now, all money needs to go to getting my mailing out and using phone banks. I have some more tricks up my sleeve, but I’ll save those for maximum effect.

3. What do you think is the biggest issue for consituents of the 3rd to consider in 2008?

To quote Bill Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Followed by the giant sucking sound of money leaving for Iraq. I think the issue that will differentiate the campaign is simply if voters want more of the same, or something new and improved. I think the voters are sick of broken promises, being hammered with stupid nasty TV spots and candidates being sold to the highest bidder. Jane Mitakides clearly showed that she’s just another operator on the election circuit yesterday at the DDN endorsement screening. I think the voters can keep Mike Turner if they just want another insider.

4. Whom if anyone do you support in the presidential race?

The presidential race is one of the most interesting we’ve had in my lifetime. When I take the “which candidate are you” tests- I always come up with Mike Gravel first and Dennis Kucinich second. I think that’s because I believe Iraq is a repeat of Vietnam. We won the war, we’re losing the occupation. Both of them say it’s enough. The current financial crisis isn’t being helped by this war, unlike other wars, because this one was concocted to bolster the bottom line of the military industrial complex.
However, on one of my walks in the cemetery with the dog, I took a different approach to a choice in candidates: I asked myself what would be the boldest move America could make to try to say we’ve changed directions and want to mend fences with the world? When I looked at the contenders that way, the only choice becomes Senator Obama. I think he carries a lot less baggage than anyone else. He’s smart, he’s radically different than any of the other candidates in his social upbringing. I believe he has the potential of being a statesman, not just a president. The reality is, running for president is in itself a Catch-22, if you have the ego to run for the job, you are probably unfit to do the job well anymore. There are no perfect candidates. I think Senator Obama is our best choice.
I still wouldn’t rule out some wildcard options: Al Gore drafted after the candidates have made a mess of each other. Michael Bloomberg as an independent, or the Republicans not being able to reach consensus and having to do a do-over (real long shot).
The economic crisis is going to get a lot worse. I don’t think we’ve seen the really hard questions asked or answered yet.

Hopefully, when Dave does his take on this- he’ll provide a trackback or a link in a comment.

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