D.C. Democrats keep talking back-handed smack about Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rick Weiland. David Montgomery offers this quote from Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado):
We expect to spend money in all of these states, but I think it is fair to say that both sides have work to do to make the respective races competitive. Right now we are actively recruiting in West Virginia, Montana, and South Dakota, and expect to have competitive candidates in each of these states [Sen. Michael Bennet, quoted by David Montgomery, "DSCC Still Looking for Other SD Candidates," Political Smokeout, 2013.07.31].
Montgomery assesses that insult thus:
Today’s quote, however, makes it clear national Democrats have yet to warm to Weiland. They’re still “actively recruiting" a candidate to run against him in the primary. (Could that be anyone but Brendan Johnson? I don’t know — suggestions welcome.)
Such a statement undermines the existing candidate, so the fact that Bennet made it, and his office pushed it out to reporters, is telling [Montgomery, 2013.07.31].
Seriously, DSCC? On the one hand, I continue to enjoy the help our Democratic colleagues in Washington are giving Weiland in distinguishing himself from the D.C. machine. Being able to say he's not the Establishment's anointed successor to Tim Johnson defuses an obvious line of attack from the South Dakota GOP. I don't mind the idea that D.C. folks and others might help us temper Weiland's steel with a good stiff primary. And heck, if these DSCC machinations can flush out a stronger candidate than Weiland for the U.S. Senate seat, that's only good for South Dakota Democrats and South Dakota as a whole.
On the other hand, party bosses at all levels should keep their noses out of the primary race. They are welcome to recruit, but I don't cotton to their engineering the process to favor their chosen candidate. Put forward your candidates, let South Dakotans decide... and then on primary night, we all shake hands, raise our fists together, and throw in 100% behind the winner.... right, DSCC? Right?