Java With Jack Carter On The Campain Trail

The minx was able to meet Jack and Elizabeth Carter this morning at Java Jungle in downtown Reno (WEFI central). Being an admirer of his father, Jimmy Carter, I expected to like them and admire them, but even I was suprised by how impressive I found them to be. They are extremely down to earth, friendy, intelligent, and warm people. They easily circulated through the gathered crowd and talked about anything that came up. One thing that stuck out to me was the wonderful ease they have with each other–their warm relationship with each other certainly translates into an easy relationship with the people they meet.

Elizabeth Carter told me how they become Nevada residents–she literally bought a condo over the internet while they were living in Bermuda. They never even saw it until they moved in, although a friend did check the model out for them so they could make choices about tile and other finishes: “Its beige right?” We also talked about Sara R, who runs the Carter blog and coached Elizabeth on her answer for what a neurophysicist does: “synaptic elasticity.”

We discussed No Child Left Behind, Ensign’s voting record (96% with Bush), higher education, and the Carter legacy. According to Elizabeth Carter, it was after an appearance by Jimmy Carter at a conference on philanthropy run by Citibank on October 1st of last year, that Jack Carter decided to run for office. He felt the weight of being a member of the Carter family, known the world over for its incredibly generosity and social justice causes, nudging him into action. It wasn’t enough to be upset with what was going on in this country and in the world anymore. This is his way of giving back to a community and to a country that he truly appreciates.

After an hour or so, Jack Carter spoke to the gathered group about his strategy to win and what he believes in. According to Carter, they are going to let Shelley Berkley handle CD1 for them since its a Democratic stronghold and spend time hitting rural Nevada as much as possible. Their TV ads end this week, but a new crop of radio ads will begin next week. Then, they are not going to start buying TV and radio ads again until September.

He took questions from anyone that had one–imagine that(!)–and discussed healthcare, medicare, veterans issues, pulling out of Iraq, lobbyists, religion, and the lack of funding for Nevada cultural institutions with the group.

Jack Carter was very eloquent, and although he appeared calm, he was also clearly passionate about how important it is to change our current political situation. He spoke most passionately about reclaiming the Democratic mission which is, in the simpliest terms, to work for the working men and women of America. Iraq, healthcare, the environment–these are not Democratic and Republican issues, they are problems for the American people that need to be solved whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. He was authentic and sincere–just the kind of person we need to represent us in Washington. No to mention the fact that he can call up people like Madeline Albright for advice about Iraq without a second thought. Think of it this way–Jack Carter has incredible family connections all over the world much like Bush, however, he will use his connections for the good of the country and Nevada, because he approaches the world from a position of humility rather than arrogance.

MSM was conspiciously absent from this event.

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Great post, Myrna! I got the same impression about Jack and Elizabeth when I met them in Fernley on Cinco De Mayo. He brings excitement to the game like Howard Dean did back when he ran for President.

Fabulous stuff, Minx!

I wasn’t there for long, but I noticed that the RG-J was nowhere to be seen, too. I guess they’ve decided that Kos is right, and it’s a 3rd tier race not worth covering.

To be fair to the MSM, there was not a press release for the event. Basically most of the advertising was done on your blog and The Gleaner,(thanks to you and the verticaly challenged CollegeStudent),as well as the Washoe County Party. I appreciate Java Jungle for allowing us to have the event there and everyone who showed up to meet the Carters.

Another excellent and informative post! Keep it up, the msm will catch on eventually.

I was wondering about that Chris–thanks for clearing it up.

Not to mention the fact that the only real political journalist in N. Nevada just hoped on a plane for BeanTown.
And hey the torunout just goes to show the power of the internet in what many might pass off as a technologically challenged part of the world.
And do you have to keep bringing up my altitudinal difficiencies?
(I wonder if I will get crap for misspelling words I make up?)

Alternatly elevated?

Hey Now…Aiko Aiko

Not only a great post Myrna, but an accurate one as well. It’s nice to read about an event I attend, and read a post that describes the SAME event! It doesn’t happen as often as it should.

College Student is tragically correct … the loss of Mrs. Damon to the hallowed halls of Harvard is horrible for anyone who cares about the MSM and their coverage of this election in this town. Great gig for her at the Keneedy School however — and well deserved.

For sure, it is a great opprotunity for her and will only improve political coverage in this part of the world when she returns but they couldn’t have done this in an odd numbered year?

I wonder, is it common for a candidate to move to a state and 4 years later run for the senate? I mean, obviously, in the case of Hillary…but in Jack’s case as well?! Anyhow, just wondering!

I think the carpet bagger claims are just ridiculous. First of all, most people in Nevada now are not natives so shouldn’t our leadership reflect that as well? In fact, one could argue that newcomers can often be more devoted–its like converting to a different religion I suspect. But most importantly, if a candidate is truly responsive to his or her constituents, they are listening to you and me and gain their expertise about the concerns of their citizens from us. What does it matter that they havent been a life long resident? I would rather have the best candidate, who may be new to the state, than the second best who has lived here all their life.

And is being a life long resident always necessarily an asset? As to how common it is, I have no idea. I was satisfied with the Carter’s answer to the question–they clearly have this state and its citizen’s interests at heart.

Those foremost in Ensign’s mind are his party, his business supporters, his caddies, and his “Fellowship” brothers–hardly the citizens of Nevada.

According to Carter, they are going to let Shelley Berkley handle CD1 for them since its a Democratic stronghold and spend time hitting rural Nevada as much as possible

I think this is a seriously flawed strategy, and sadly, I’m afraid it reflects Carter’s newness to the state. Reid and much of the state party leadership has been pushing the line since 04 that we Dems need to concentrate on doing better in the rurals, which is of course true if you look at Kerry’s anemic performance. (As the Sun story points out today, Reid rain 23 points ahead of Kerry in the 14 rural counties in 04.)

But this ignores that Carter is largely unknown to most voters in the state, including Democratic voters, and about 40% of Democratic voters resgistered statewide are in CD1. If Carter is to have a chance, he’s going to need to beat, significantly, Kerry’s 25K margin in CD1.

Especially because Carter is going to get beat by far more than Kerry did in CD3, or put differently, Carter isn’t to do anywhere nearly as well as Reid in CD3, which includes much of Ensign’s old congressional district.

Furhtermore, Carter chasing rural votes seems to me a strange strategy , because there is a ceiling of Democratic votes to be gained in the rurals — the # of registered Dems and independents combined in the 14 rural counties is far lower (by at least 25K by an off the top of my head calculation) than the # of registered Dems in CD1 who didn’t vote in the 2002 elections. He’s got a lot more to gain by mobilizing a natural democratic base (which is not going to get there on its own) than by trying to win over a small number of voters upstate.

Off-year elections are about base and incumbents rarely lose their base, esp an incumbent as bland, as superficially inoffensive and as well funded as Ensign. THe way to beat him is to bring out an alternative base, which for Carter would be the primarily hispanic and african-american, but also white, lower to middle income voters in central and eastern las vegas.

And a serious effort by Carter and the state party this year to mobilize these voters would pay huge dividends in 08.

I continue to believe Carter is on a fool’s errand, which is a shame because I’d really like to see him win.

Here is something I wrote up about my Dad’s rural strategy (it includes a breakdown of votes by county in the 2004 election):

I’ve also done some analysis of population dynamics in the state — as to the carpetbagger question, only 24% of US citizens in Nevada were born here (as of 2000 — with the continuing population growth, that percentage has to be even smaller now):


When you haven’t even lived in the state as long as your opponent’s CURRENT term has lasted, that’s a pretty good indication of carpetbagging. That certainly doesn’t mean you’re not capable, but it does mean that you can’t possibly know firsthand what your opponent ran on and how he’s handled that platform. It also doesn’t help that I don’t even pay much attention to the guy, yet I’ve heard three times how he came to live in Nevada (conveniently it was his wife who suggested the move, not he himself). Sounds like someone is explaining something that supposedly needs no explaining. Aaron Russo, anyone?

dont buy it as a concept….Carter is not an exploiter who does not plan to stay and just as I noted in the Derby related comments—time is relative–I dont care if you’ve been here 300 years or 3 years. You can exploit or do the right thing either way.

I suppose the Carters explain why they moved here all the time because everyone asks them about it–its the number one thing I hear about Carter. Its a classis strawman argument as the statistics provided above demonstrate. In fact, you could argue that Carter would represent Nevada’s population more effectively because he is also relatively new to the state.

The bottom line is that Ensign has exploited this state far better than most and people are still stuck on the fact that his opponent hasn’t lived here long enough. Unbelievable–seriously–unbelievable.

“The bottom line is that Ensign has exploited this state far better than most. . .?” Come on. I know you don’t agree with him, but calling him exploitative is dishonest. Just leave it at ‘Carter will do better because I like his politics more” and I’ll leave it alone. But now you’re letting your emotions get the better of your arguments.

Ensign has exploited Nevada citizens in the interest of the telecomm for just one example. Just look at his votes–his interest groups–christian coalition and corportations. Bankruptcy bill, estate tax, Duh

That’s not expolitation, that’s you disliking the votes.

Hi Myrna, as an admirer of the Carters, I have been keeping tabs on Jack’s Nevada campaign here in Georgia. I’m so glad to see that he is being received well on your blog.

It looks like he’s well behind in both the polls and contributions. But I would like to see another Carter in elected office. So I hope that between now and election time, Nevadans will choose Jack over Ensign.

Good luck! And thanks for the report!

Shortchanging Nevada citizens on a living wage but voting for the estate tax repeal? Classic exploitation.

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