Jaime Harrison talking to Rachel Maddow about SC Democratic Party

This clip, brought to my attention today by the state Democratic Party, features MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow talking to SC Democratic chair Jaime Harrison during her visit to SC for the debate Friday night.

This is interesting because you see how the state party chair opens up about his challenges when he has a sympathetic ear who nevertheless knows how to ask pointed questions.ATT_b1_Bradwarthen_233x233_011515_d2

As long as he’s got that ear, he makes his pitch through Maddow to the national party for what he terms a Democratic Southern Strategy. He’d like to see the national party get as serious about winning back the South as Harry Dent et al. were about taking it away from them in the 1960s.

He also talks about his biggest challenge — the lack of a bench here in SC. It’s hard to win back anything when you have a scarcity of strong candidates.

Oh, and about that Democratic debate the other night — did you watch it? I confess I didn’t even try. Maybe it’s wrong of me, but I sort of lost interest when Biden said he wouldn’t run, and Hillary just stomped all over her opposition in the previous debate — and the GOP failed to lay a glove on her in the Benghazi hearing. If she gets in serious trouble again (like, email-server trouble or worse), I might get interested again. Until then, we know whom the Democrats are going to nominate…

10 thoughts on “Jaime Harrison talking to Rachel Maddow about SC Democratic Party

  1. Jeff Mobley

    I heard something very interesting from Keven Cohen on the radio about the Democratic debate schedule. He said the next three debates (and this may possibly include one that has now happened already) were scheduled for a Friday night, a Saturday night, and a Sunday night opposite an NFL playoff game. He suggested that the non-Clinton candidates were not happy about this, because it seemed designed for fewer people to see the debates, and to thus dampen the negative impact to Clinton of any poor debate performances.

    Is he right about those dates?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, the first one was on a Tuesday. This one was a Friday, which was certainly a factor in my not tuning in. But I don’t think they’re counting that as a debate.

      The next one is this Saturday — but that’s the Des Moines Register debate. I covered one of those in 1980, and that one was on a Saturday, too. That way, the coverage was in the Sunday paper, the best-read paper of the week.

      Looks like the third one is on a Saturday, too. Dec. 19.

  2. Mike Cakora

    There’s enough stuff that needs fixing that it’s a shame that the Dems have no bench and not much of a voice. With the legislature in their firm grip, few GOP members show any interest in the kind of structural reform that would shine a bit of daylight on the operations of the various commissions staffed by at best minimally qualified members who owe their sinecure to friends and relatives who happen to be legislators.

    That’s not to say that other states don’t have greater challenges at the state level, nor to ignore some of the great governors the Palmetto State has had.

    When I look around Forest Acres and see the flood damage, I also see neighbor helping neighbor lending a hand, giving comfort and advice, keeping an eye on each other’s property and wellbeing, I know that our future locally is secure. I suppose I’m just annoyed by those who pretend to care about everyone, then look out only for themselves and their clan after they gain elective office.

    It occurs to me that the concern about how deep a party’s bench is immaterial in the sense that folks with the requisite knowledge, good sense, and unpretentiousness don’t make waves, don’t necessarily stand out throughout most of their careers. They are often the real-world definition of luck: preparation meets opportunity.

    So now I feel a bit better and will enjoy a beer or three, putting off all thoughts about “Bambi vs. Godzilla” until another day.

  3. Burl Burlingame

    Actually, to my surprise, the Maddow question-session with the Dem candidates turned out be pretty illuminating. It was NOT a debate. Maddow is sympathetic, you’re right, and she has a certaint earnest geeky awkwardness, but she drilled in on some tough questions without being combative. The content of the answer mattered. The Republican way is to focus on the surface style of the answer.

    1. Doug Ross

      I’ll be happy when the hipster glasses trend ends. She’s a 42 year old woman who dresses like a 22 year old barista.

  4. Norm Ivey

    Whether or not you like her politics, Maddow is a master of the follow-up question. She had Rick Santorum on her show a month or so ago. She was tough and fair with him, and while it’s highly unlikely that I will ever vote for him, I came away with a deeper appreciation of who he is and what makes him tick.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, she’s good. She interviewed me a few years ago, when she was still in radio. I was impressed. I’ve been impressed again whenever I’ve seen her on the tube, but that’s only been a couple of times.

      Three or four years back, I heard her make the case, in great detail, for why we should get out of Afghanistan, or something along those line. I completely disagreed with her conclusion, but I really appreciated the effectiveness of her argument. At the time, I could have told you what was wrong with it, but now I forget both her arguments and my objections…

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