Skip to comments.Sidewinder: Dingell, Steele will present their case during debate
Posted on 10/16/2010 12:13:17 PM PDT by taildragger
Last week came an e-mail that said Republican challenger Rob Steele was leading Democrat incumbent John Dingell by about 4 percent with 11 percent of the voters still undecided in their 15th District congressional race. Minutes later, another e-mail said the previous one was nothing but a political hoax, pointing to the fact that the 15th District had gone 60 percent for the Democrat in the last three presidential elections. It also pointed to previous polling that said Dingell led Steele by 19 points. Ah, nothing like election season, when you receive more information than you could ever actually want and you can believe some of it all the time and most of it none of the time.
Dingell is in his mid-80s; Steele is in his 50s. Dingell is the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives, while Steele has never been elected to political office. Dingell has spent the better portion of his life in Washington, while Steele, a cardiologist, has spent most of his time in the Ypsilanti-Ann Arbor area.
They are different, too, from how they are portrayed by their detractors.
Detractors say Dingell is too old and too liberal, which is too much of a generality. Hes one of the most active 80-somethings youre ever going to run into and he remains sharp as a tack. And hes done nothing but fight for Michigan jobs for five decades.
Detractors say Steele is too Wall Street, which also is pretty far off he grew up in tiny, rural Greenville and now lives in Superior Township. In fact, for a doctor from the Ann Arbor area, he says he relates well to the rural population of Monroe County and the blue-collar workers Downriver. Those were his roots, too.
Still, a resume like Rob Steeles shouldnt have a chance in a political race against a guy with a resume like John Dingells. Dingell has run against a ton of GOP candidates over the decades and has usually steamrolled them.
But this is a unique point in time. And this race offers a referendum on a unique issue.
Incumbents across the nation are fighting for their political lives. This isnt about Republicans and Democrats its about incumbents and nonincumbents.
Here at home, Michiganders cant wait for Jennifer Granholms departure as governor and have looked to a pair of candidates who flew in under the radar Rick Snyder and Virg Bernero as alternatives. During the primary, it seemed that the more of a political name you were, the more the votes tallied against you. The same type of thinking was evident all the way down to mayoral races.
Its a Tea Party mentality; we dont know exactly what we want, but we certainly dont want more of the same.
This hasnt been lost on the Dingell camp, which has been as active as anyone has ever seen it for this race. And if you think John Dingell is sitting back waiting for the ultimate victory results, think again. Hes active. Hes battling. Hes taking nothing for granted. He wants to win.
Ironically, one thing he cant control at least any longer is the reaction of the electorate to the new universal health care coverage plans, better known as Obamacare.
This is the lightning rod topic of the election season and, if you ever thought you knew anything about politics, you should know that it usually takes a spark to create an upset. Obamacare, like it or loathe it, has created that spark.
Some polls say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could be upset in Nevada. Same goes for Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley was upset this year. All of this is about Obamacare.
To his credit, Dingell isnt running away from the debate. He has pressed for national health care for a half century. Now that its finally come to pass, he says it is a good plan and he fully supports it.
He admits that his personal health care proposal was different. But given a chance to state what he would have done differently, he calmly says that he supports the current plan and that plenty of other people experts and otherwise do, too.
In the other corner sits Steele.
He doesnt like Obamacare at all. He feels that its costs will be far too much of a runaway and its bureaucracy less than medically adequate. He like Dingell agrees that health care needs changing, but they totally disagree on this plan.
With less than a month remaining in the campaign, it will be up to the voters to answer the key question: Is this the point when John Dingell actually can lose a race for Congress?
No one is unbeatable these days. The Dingell camp knows that, and so do supporters of Steele. Anything is a possibility, given the tenor of Americas electorate.
Is Steele the guy to pull it off? He thinks so.
But after all the rhetoric, its really up to you, the voters. Its always been that way, only this time it feels a little different.
If Dingell has really been fighting for Michigan jobs for 50 years, I think that’s an excellent point in Steele’s favor. Obviously, Dingell isn’t succeeding, not with Michigan’s high unemployment rate.
FWIW....A have a friend down-river noting that just what he sees that the Steele signs out-number Dingell almost 2 to 1 and many are in the yards of Union leadership type (he has been a local for years and knows a of people).
This debate will be the end of Dingell. He will come across as what he is: an old pol, way past any prime he might have had, addled, out of touch, a liberal who hasn’t had an idea in 60 years. He is finished.
Steele sounds like a great candidate: more so the reason that he will lose in MI. They would no more retire Dingell there than Harlem would their Rangel.
It doesn’t matter how poorly Dingell performs. People in MI believe in him and have for decades.
Face it...if Dingell were UP by 19, there would BE no debate. Nope, not even with the standard fare of left-wing debate hosts trying to make certain the democrat looks good and the republican bad.
Colleges La-Z-Boy Center! Dingell Advantage!
I think the fact that the Tea Party express is coming through just days before the election is a good thing.
Last week came an e-mail that said Republican challenger Rob Steele was leading Democrat incumbent John Dingell by about 4 percent with 11 percent of the voters still undecided in their 15th District congressional race. Minutes later, another e-mail said the previous one was nothing but a political hoax, pointing to the fact that the 15th District had gone 60 percent for the Democrat in the last three presidential elections. It also pointed to previous polling that said Dingell led Steele by 19 points.
His wife is politically involved big time. She sits on so many boards that I cant understand how her influence along with her husbands behind the scenes could ever be fair for any company. Its time to retire this old fool.
If he was such a wonderful politician supporting jobs in Michigan, he has failed miserably. Life long politicians need to go! Its time to take out the trash and I mean trash, in every city in this wonderful nation!
Of course, I could be completely, wholly, totally and absolutely wrong.
Yeah, like THAT's going to happen.
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