This morning, Senator John Ensign hosted a blogger's conference call. We participated. Everything said was on the record, (we double checked) so here goes.
Probably the biggest news came in response to a question from a NJ Politicker blogger who observed that the National Republican Senate Committee was supporting an eastern state pro choice senatorial candidate but not supporting either of the two Pro Life candidates in that state.
Paraphrasing Senator Ensign, he said that moderate Republicans do vote with Republicans to organize the Senate, and that they have in the past voted for some very conservative judges. The more moderate candidate had a better chance to win than either of the two conservatives. He may have used "liberal" but we didn't record the event and won't put that word in his mouth.
While that kind of pragmatism might not be that popular here in Colorado, and probably even on the talk shows given the crusade to get rid of Lincoln Chaffee last year, it is exactly what is needed to work toward getting back a Republican majority.
The only other Senate candidate mentioned was Jim Ogonowski, MA. Senator John Ensign felt that Massachusetts was suffering from John Kerry fatigue and that Ogonowski had a chance to pull off a surprise upset if only money started flowing his way.
The call began with the standard boiler plate that we DO want to hear: "We knew fund raising would be tough because we lost majority. We squandered an opportunity. We didn’t stand with principles."
Over the past year, the NRSC has collected $4 million less than the year before, but it has $1 million more in the bank. The organization is being run more like a business. We have cut costs.
He commented about how well the Democrat bloggers raise money for Democrats and asks that Republican bloggers do the same. They will shortly have a system that will allow them to fund raise on their own site. He didn't go into details but apparently it will allow donations to individual candidates.
As for Hillary or Obama, Republicans should wish for Hillary he opined. While Obama is very liberal, the late nomination will make it difficult for Republicans to make his positions known if he is the nominee. Hillary is "upside down" in nearly every state, with her negatives greater than her positives.
It was a short call because the bloggers were given a chance to ask questions and simply kept quiet, this blogger included. That is a shame because the next time it happens, only half the time will be allocated. This blogger will have a question.
It is time to make the point again that bloggers who blog in a constructive manner get access to major political figures and meetings that others miss out on.