BEREN AT WSRP CONVENTION: "INCREASINGLY IMPRESSIVE"
In a June 28, 2008 column on Crosscut.com, freelance writer and activist Scott St. Clair reported on the recent Washington State Republican Convention. St. Clair is based in Kirkland, Washington and is now affiliated with the Evergreen Freedom Foundation as an investigative journalist. St. Clair's report is excerpted below; the entire article is available online at http://tinyurl.com/3joa4w
Saturday June 28, 2008
By SCOTT ST. CLAIR
The increasingly impressive Steve Beren, this year's challenger for U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott's 7th District seat, gave a feisty and principled address to the convention delegates. The animated Beren - a bald, wiry, but not terribly tall man - bobbed and weaved at the microphone like a feisty bantam rooster turned loose to fight a Foghorn Leghorn-type who's been ruling the roost so long he thinks he can do anything with impunity.
Second only to Gov. Chris Gregoire, nothing galvanizes the state GOP grassroots like a swipe at McDermott. And Beren took full advantage of it. He told the crowd he was running, "for liberty, for America, and against Jim McDermott," and they roared their approval. [video of Beren's WSRP convention speech is available online at http://tinyurl.com/5s3akz]
Cloaking his longer-than-long-shot candidacy in realism, he challenged delegates to support his efforts with the assurance that the more he campaigns, the more voters will come to the polls and support Republicans up and down the ticket.
"In the heart of liberal Seattle," Beren told delegates, he was "fighting for conservative values."
And after suggesting to the crowd that presumptive Democratic Party presidential candidate Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's real middle name was "Jimmy Carter," Beren really teed off on some of the Rev. Wright gum stuck to Obama's shoe by specifically rejecting, "God damn America," in favor of "God bless America."
....There's no question that the GOP faces an uphill battle this year. We're the party of an unpopular president. Then there's high gas prices, the tanking economy, and the tough but improving war in Iraq. Times are challenging. But at similar times in modern history, Republicans have prevailed when they remember why they are Republicans and when they quit acting, and spending, like Democrats.
A candidate like Rossi, with a positive approach and the ability to get close to and identify with voters, has something to offer, while Gregoire, when you think about it, hasn't accomplished much of anything, save ballooning the size of state government.
Meanwhile, a gutsy guy like Beren shows something by sticking closer to McDermott than a suit of clothes. By challenging and holding McDermott accountable, Beren could increase turnout for Rossi while securing votes for himself.
These are guys I want to hang with - and these are guys in whom I have confidence.
The above is excerpted from Scott St. Clair's report on Crosscut.com; the entire article is available online at http://tinyurl.com/3joa4w
Scott St. Clair is a freelance writer and activist from Kirkland, Wash. He can be reached at email@example.com
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