FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Robin’s “Rose Garden”
Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is allegedly running for Senate in 2010 against Republican Rep. Roy Blunt. But you wouldn’t know it from listening to her. In fact, she’s pretty much been MIA since announcing her intent to run. We’ve beat on her here on RS, the Missouri GOP has mocked her, and there’s even a “Where’s Robin?” Twitter presence. She’s a pretty easy target, as she – at least up ’til last week – has steadfastly refused to tell anyone what she thinks about pretty much anything.
Those of us on the Right have noted for a while now that Carnahan has been ducking from any examination of her positions on key national issues… and now even the left is starting to mock her for it. This week, the (at least borderline) liberal blog “St. Louis Oracle” poked Robin about her near-silence. The Oracle seems to have been awakened not as much by Carnahan’s emergence from her political hibernation as by the fact that she (unsurprisingly) kissed up to Barack Obama by supporting his newfound hawkish position on a troop surge in Afghanistan. To those of us on the Right, this is unsurprising – we fully expect Carnahan would be an Obama/Reid lapdog. But to the Left, this troop surge is akin to Obama donning a GWB mask, and Carnahan’s support does not play well with the anti-war pacifists on their side.
Aside from his opposition to Carnahan’s troop surge support, the Oracle makes a very interesting point about her behavior – he notes that Carnahan is employing a strategy referred to as the “Rose Garden” strategy:
Actually, it’s an embodiment of an old political ploy called the “rose garden” strategy. It evolved from the conduct of incumbent presidents seeking to look presidential by busying themselves with the duties of the office while publicly ignoring the campaign. Ms. Carnahan seems to be trying to look busy as secretary of state and ride into office on her reputation from that office and her unmistakable family name.
Wait… what? This is from a “progressive”? Progressive or not, his observation is dead on target. This is exactly what Robin is doing.
But there’s more…
My early inclination was to support Ms. Carnahan’s candidacy. She had won two statewide races with progressive support, and we have assumed she was progressive. Conventional wisdom is that she is smarter than her disappointing brother, Rep. Russ Carnahan, but at least Russ takes stands (even if they’re just whatever the Speaker’s aides tell him to say). Robin’s indecision makes her look even less attuned to issues than Russ! Both announced Republican contenders, Rep. Roy Blunt and state Sen. Chuck Purgason, have taken decidedly unprogressive stands on the issues, but at least they too have taken stands. Leadership requires taking stands that influences others to do the same. Merely not being Blunt or Purgason doesn’t cut it.
Nice! A pot-shot at Russ Carnahan AND he hits Robin for not taking stances. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
I had to chuckle at his final point:
A progressive long shot, Code Pink activist Midge Potts of Springfield, is circulating petitions to get the Progressive Party back on the ballot, enabling her to seek this senate seat under that party’s banner.
Yes, that’s exactly what we need – a Code Pinko candidate running against Robin. Heh. Pass the popcorn on that one. I can see it now – Robin and Midge, battling it out to see who can be the leftest of the left.
Now this is all pretty amusing, but back to the main point – Robin Carnahan is trying to avoid stating her positions on the issues because she knows that once she does this, the citizens of Missouri will be able to see what an utterly hopeless leftist Obama lackey she will be. And in a state that is firmly opposed to Obama policies, that is not a good position to be in. So she will continue to try to lounge in the quiet privacy of her Rose Garden, hoping that no one will catch onto her real ideology. Good luck with that, Robin. It ain’t working out too well so far.