Kweisi Mfume on Principles & Values
Democratic Senate Challenger (MD); previously U.S. Representative
Mfume, with five terms in the House and nine years running the NAACP under his belt, is that rarest specimen among Democrats: someone who isn't afraid of the risk of standing up and talking about the progressive values he stands for.
Mfume's sick of mushy Democrats. "People want principled leadership that will stand up and fight for what they believe in," he says. "There has to be a counter-propaganda program in this state that says no, what the extreme far-right-wing is saying is not right. And no, we don't have to accept it."
But this is the Democratic Party, and in the ensuing months Mfume would run up against a timid party establishment, some ugly racial politics and the idea that he'd have a tough time against the likely GOP candidate, Michael Steele, a hard-right African-American backed heavily by DC's conservative establishment.
That can be a self-fulfilling prophecy; the money follows candidates who have the best chance of winning. If you're labeled "unelectable," it's hard to raise the cash you need to prove your critics wrong. For 6 weeks after his announcement, Mfume was the lone candidate [Then several other candidates entered the race, at the urging of the party establishment].
According to some analysts, the right is drooling for a showdown against Mfume.
Mfume promises to see it through to the end, and his campaign strategy has the hallmarks of the kind of populism that Joe Trippi injected into Howard Dean's run. Mfume says, "this has to be a campaign about issues, not about personality. This has got to be a people's campaign."
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(CT)Lieberman v.Lamont v.Schlesinger
(MD)Cardin v.Steele v.Zeese
(MS)Lott v.Fleming v.Bowlin
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(WI)Kohl v.Vogeler v.Redick
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