Thursday, November 06, 2008

Congratulations Senator Jeff Merkley

From Northeast Oregon we send our congratulations to our newest Democratic Senator. We are finally done with the fake moderate Republican years of Gordon Smith. If you start with the Senator Elect's childhood story as the son of a mill worker and first college graduate in his family and move through his experience in the Dept of Defense, Habitat for Humanity, and finally as an Oregon legislator and House Speaker you have a recipe for competent Oregon style political action.

It would be easy enough to view my enthusiasm as being through the lens of partisanship, and yes I am considerably more left than Gordon Smith. But that can be set aside when taking a clear look at Jeff Merkley, rather than the quiet go-along get-along do-nothing behavior of his predecessor you can look for Merkley to take an active part, to actually legislate. I have no idea if Gordon Smith was disinterested in the law writing process or just not competent to do it, but you really have to compare Smith to Wyden and wonder, "what????"

It isn't unfair to compare Gordon Smith unfavorably to a popular and exceptional Senator. He had 12 years and most of that time with a Party majority to act in the interest of Oregonians and the nation and these interests are not mutually exclusive. If you take a real look at the mix of industries and lifestyles within Oregon you have a virtual microcosm of the US. Jeff Merkley is a different breed of politician from Gordon Smith and I am glad to have this change.

Thanks for making this run, Jeff. It was a tough race, in political terms and in personal cost. I am intimately familiar with the size of this state and the challenges involved in running and I appreciate your sacrifices on behalf of the citizens of Oregon and commend you for that. Our citizenry needs to have an appreciation for what it means to make this kind of commitment.