Will Bob Etheridge succumb to surprise run for NCDP Chair

Rumors abound, since Dr Mansfield dropped out of the race for NCDP Chair and Chris Rey said he would not run, that Bob Etheridge would emerge as the last great hope for the folks wedded to the older and losing parts of the NCDP, either because they are older and set in their ways, or younger and used to getting their ways from the older set. I would suppose that some have weighed in with Bob (I am sort of really old, and he is my age) to come and be the chair so they could continue to have their own ways. I understand why the consultant mafia would want him back, and the monied elites want to exercise control over "their investment", particularly Senator Hagan and her crowd.

I was impressed that this race attracted some younger and more vigorous candidates, and that they campaigned from border to border, from north to south and east to west, already with good and sound ideas for rebuilding the Party. Anyone who does not see the need for such rebuilding is daft. The NCDP will not be reinvigorated by those from yesteryear, folks who were part of our consistent losing over the past 6 years in NC. We have some folks in the COS who would like to exercise influence over the Party, but they are stranded between a hostile legislature and a hostile governor, with some of their positions susceptible to elimination or modification by the legislature. So, I would ask Rep. Etheridge to abstain from involving himself in the race for chair at this late date. This is how we undertake to rebuild a stronger, more effective Democratic Party in NC, untethered from corruption, bad blood and failure.


Lord help us

That would be a big, freakin' nail in the NCDP's coffin.

Hard to overlook

I'm concerned that he voted for a constitutional amendment to enshrine marriage discrimination a few times, voted to ban gay adoptions a few times, and has voted against DADT repeal. He may have changed on some of those, but some of that as recently as 2010, and that's hard to overlook.

But not impossible. If he comes to BlueNC and engages in dialogue about it, and if he's given up on all of these discriminatory views, I'd be willing to take a 2nd look. It wouldn't be easy though.


So, if a guy who was elected to multiple terms in the House of Representatives and two terms in statewide office comes on this website, THEN he might be qualified to Chair the party?

Come on, man. Perspective.

Congressman Etheridge voted for health care reform and it cost him his seat. That was a courageous vote. He could have been a turncoat, like a few of his colleagues, in an attempt to keep his seat, but he didn't. He's a Democrat, and a damned accomplished one, and those who would say otherwise based on a disagreement on other issues are not interested in promoting the party, but their own agenda.

This false and entirely manufactured split between the Party and those it elects to public office (which is actually the purpose of the Party) has got to be ended, immediately. All it does is elect Republicans.

I have no idea if Bob will seek the Chairmanship. I'm not a paid consultant. And I'm not in anybody's pocket. But I will be there Saturday, and I will vote for a candidate for each office who is more interested in electing Democrats than he or she is in pleasing this or that constituency of 20 people in part of the room on Saturday.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

The split

I don't see any split between electeds and everyone else. You're right. That's a manufactured "crisis" based on a few people with myopic views.

Nor does a visit to BlueNC mean anything in the grand scheme ... it's just one more data point that helps us understand who people are, especially in terms of their level of engagement.

That said, the split I see in the Party is between forward-thinking, engaged leadership that can evoke passion among young people, women, minorities, progressives, and even Blue Dogs. It is a split between those who value transparency and social media and those more comfortable working behind closed doors..

You are a person who will vote on this issue, and I take your comments seriously. Whether Bob is in the hunt or not (I can't imagine that he is) you have the chance to help the Party build a bridge to the future. Conversely, you may also have an opportunity to choose a ball and chain to the past.

I offer my most sincere hope that you and your fellow delegates will have the wisdom to think strategically.

There are countless individuals, like me, whose relationship with the party is tenuous and fragile. Every time one of us leaves to become an unaffiliated voter, the party's job gets that much harder.

I have the utmost respect for you, James

But if people are going to try to dictate the Party's positions by constantly threatening to take their ball and go home they are no longer constructive participants, and I don't give a damn if they leave or not. What are they going to do, vote Republican?

Of course we should have "forward-thinking, engaged leadership that can evoke passion among young people, women, minorities, progressives, and even Blue Dogs." Of course we should "value transparency and social media."

I'm not aware of any candidate for any of the positions that opposes any of that. The question is how to do it effectively. If had supported Bob Etheridge at this moment, had he run, I would have also voted for people in the other positions who could have worked diligently (and will) at expanding the party's focus in those areas. Bob is an old warhorse, yes, but he's an old warhorse that has earned a great deal of respect from fairminded people, and he would have been the kind of chairman who steadies the ship in rough waters. I know the young people he has worked with in his campaigns, by the way, and they are impressive, progressive and digitally savvy.

Regardless, it's irrelevant, because he's not running.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

It's more complicated than that

I'm not threatening to leave at all, I've made my peace with that. The fact that thousands of others are registering as unaffiliated, however, should be real concern. If the North Carolina Democratic Party brand isn't a powerful magnet for new members, it is doing something really wrong.

For better or worse, perception is everything.


PS I agree that there's not much risk of traditional Democratic voters going rogue and voting Republican, but that's only one measure of success. Equally important is getting them to the polls in the first place, and also contributing to support the emerging need for perpetual campaigns.

Not so sure about this:

there's not much risk of traditional Democratic voters going rogue and voting Republican

Pre-election polling had some 17% Dems voting for McCrory. I think part of that was a naive assumption that the infrastructure-loving McCrory would show up to be sworn in, and another part was the Dalton-is-too-much-like-Easley state of mind. Plus, a monumental fail by the NCDP to make much more than a squeak for the last 12 months or so damned sure didn't help.

Right you are

I keep forgetting that many Democrats in North Carolina are gullible idiots and corporate serfs.

Whoever wins would be wise to

Whoever wins would be wise to undertake a listening tour and visit every CEC in the state to Listen to what the party members want to see happen.

We need someone of his caliber

We need someone of Bob Etheridge's caliber if we are to save this Party. Fundraising prowess, strategic insight, a statewide network and experience are needed. As is a plan. Eric had all of those requirements, Etheridge has them as well. If not Etheridge, I hope another candidate will step out.

We deserve a debate about the future of our Party come Saturday. I have been shocked to see some equate a coronation with unity.


If I didn't know better, I'd think you were joking.

Electing a guy of Etheridge's "caliber" would be a disastrous turn of events. I just changed my registration to "D" after a long slog as an unaffiliated voter.

I sincerely ask that party insiders refrain from choosing a chair that makes me regret my decision.

For the record, I read every word of Mansfield's plan. It looked like the kinds of plans consultants like me write every day. But there's a long distance between a plan and the kind of on-the-ground, in-your-face engagement needed to reset the party.

Bob Etheridge could no more lead that resetting than the man in the moon could.

I respectfully disagree with

I respectfully disagree with regards to Eric's plan. It was well thought out and he designed it over eight weeks of deep thought on his own and after speaking with party officials. He was in the middle of designing a 100 Day plan to kickoff the execution of the plan when his Mom fell ill.

Voller, to my knowledge, has not shown a plan of substance. I asked him to provide one in his thread a few days ago, along with other questions, to no response.


Sorry man, but your personal registration is not the primary concern of the State Party. There are three concerns:

(1) Keeping the lights on
(2) Electing Democrats
(3) Reforming the party structure so that what happened last Summer never happens again.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

If my personal registration is not the primary concern

of the state party, it should be.

Because the truth is, I am representative of scores of thousands of similarly disaffected Democrats who are critical to the party's success in accomplishing the three goals you listed.

Old school party loyalists are dying and/or leaving faster than you can replace them. If the party isn't concerned about keeping me and other progressive Democrats engaged and motivated, it has a serious death wish.

Brilliant, Stan

Absolutely brilliant.

repeatedly elected and re-elected in a tough district

and willing to be defeated over a tough vote on a key priority of the President of the United States.

Yeah, we don't want guys like that in the party at all.

Burn him! He's a witch! He turned me into a newt!

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Etheridge failed in 2010, 2012 and is not the way to winning

Good gravy! Please let this be some farce of a suggestion.

Etheridge literally defines the Democratic party failures in 2010 and 2012.

He lost the 2010 general to some tea party idiot.

Then Etheridge helped suck the money from Walter Dalton's quick-started campaign by selfishly waging a pitifully doomed 2012 primary race -- where he was promptly trounced IN A PRIMARY.

Everything about Etheridge and the loser campaign consultants that speak on behalf of him scream incompetence.



And I don't know if I would want Bob as Chair

But some respect is in order. For crying out loud.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire