My MeetUp Adventures Continue

Attended another MeetUp tonight at Ashtons, a coffeehouse just south of downtown Decatur. I’ve now attended three MeetUp events, and they’ve been progressively better every time. This particular event featured several candidates for the upcoming Democratic primaries for US Senate and for the 4th District Congressional race here in Georgia.

I had the chance to meet several candidates in both races (including Liane Levetan and Leigh Baier), and I realized just how valuable it is to meet the candidates in person. I’m not quite sure how to describe the experience, but meeting a candidate makes the concept of representation far less abstract, much more concrete. Obviously, there’s a level of performance there, even in conversations before a stump speech. I know very well that I’m meeting someone who is playing a role or whatever, but the candidates who have attended the MeetUps have made it much more likely that they’ll get my vote. I’d imagine that translates into action, as well. The people who attend these MeetUps usually want to get involved, and tapping that resource can be very valuable in a close race. I realize, of course, that many of the candidates involved in the race had prior commitments and couldn’t attend, but if I were running a campaign, I would not take these groups for granted.

Update: I’d planned to make some more specific observations about each of the candidates, but it has been a long, long day. Completing sentences seems difficult at this point, and I don’t want to be unfair to any of the candidates by tossing off an offhand comment about them.

10 Comments »

  1. Jen Said,

    June 9, 2004 @ 12:26 am

    Ditto what you said about meeting candidates in person. I went to the DeKalb Dems Candidate Forum on Monday night.. and have meant to post about it, but it’s been a busy few days.

    And, I was *this close* to going to tonight’s MeetUp..

  2. chuck Said,

    June 9, 2004 @ 11:29 am

    Eventually we’re going to make it to the same event….

    I think I’m a little self-conscious about admitting that meeting a candidate makes such a difference. After all, it would seem that it’s really their *policies* that matter.

  3. Chris Martin Said,

    June 9, 2004 @ 12:00 pm

    Funny, I was at the YPOD meeting at Javamonkey which featured a mix of candidates. Most of them were running for state courts, but Mary Squires had a representative there too. Since I can’t vote I didn’t pay too much attention to their names.

  4. chuck Said,

    June 9, 2004 @ 12:14 pm

    I should mention that Chris Vaughn, a 4th district candidate stopped by, and representatives for Woolard, Stokes, Finkelstein, and Squires all stopped by. Of all the 4th district candidates present, Levetan probably impressed me the most.

    Dekalb CEO Vernon Jones was also there, but didn’t stay very long. Chip Carter (Fmr. President Carter’s son) also came by and spoke on behalf of Cliff Oxford. Interesting night. I’ve found it useful to meet some of the candidates for judge, too–I’ve never felt comfortable voting on those races until now.

  5. Earl Said,

    June 9, 2004 @ 1:39 pm

    Meeting the candidate *is* important. Mary Squires has attended several Democrat and GA4Democracy Meetups, some at Ashton’s. The stated policies of each of the Democratic Senate are very similar – i could support any of them on their stated policies (i.e. i disagree with all of them on a few issues) – they are *all* preferrable to the Repubs running.

    What you gain by meeting the candidate is a sense of the passion that they have for the issues you care most about, AND the kind of character that they will bring to the legislative/decision-making process. You do get a feeling about how committed they are to *you* as an individual. These are important aspects of choosing a Senator.

    So far, i have met all but one of the Senate Candidates – they are accessible (to varying degrees) with some research on events where they will attend.

  6. chuck Said,

    June 9, 2004 @ 7:07 pm

    No question I’d agree that the Democratic candidates are all better (if only to get closer to a Democratic majority in the House and Senate).

  7. Josh Said,

    June 10, 2004 @ 10:27 pm

    I thought the Finkelstein representative was cute – is that a good enough reason to support someone?

  8. chuck Said,

    June 10, 2004 @ 10:48 pm

    I think that as long as you don’t support Bush for the same reason (i.e. Jenna and Barbara), it seems legit to me…

    I’m not sure, but I think Finkelstein’s rep may have commented here once or twice before. I guess that what I’m saying is that my comments are becoming party central for the Georgia Democratic primaries. Or maybe not.

  9. Shan Said,

    June 10, 2004 @ 10:54 pm

    Josh works with me, so ignore him!

  10. chuck Said,

    June 10, 2004 @ 11:09 pm

    Should’ve known there was an inside joke somewhere in there, and yet I still tried for several minutes to come up with a witty retort.

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