The “Beau” Theory

  I have made no attempt to hide the fact that I am dissatisfied with the past performance of  Rep. Mike Castle in congress. I do not feel that he represents my views on what I consider to be key issues, such as the environment, smaller government, and family values.

  Okay, so I have made my points based on his voting record and things that he has actually said. I have voiced my opinion that it is time for him to retire and for the GOP to support a candidate with the courage to move back towards the party’s more conservative roots.

  I also have made it clear that I support Christine O’Donnell in her run for the same senate seat that Mr. Castle believes should be his, merely because he wants it.

 Many within the GOP have criticized Ms. O’Donnell and those who support her for not being team players. Many Republicans will tell you that Mr. Castle is the only one that can win against the heir-apparent to the seat that was formally held by his father, Beau Biden.

 The “Beau” theory is that  because of his Biden name and the popularity of his father within the state, that Beau Biden is somehow bullet proof. The theory continues with the mis-guided idea that only an aging congressman such as Mr. Castle can defeat Mr. Biden.

  I think that this theory is wrong on several levels. First, I believe that there is a demonstrable move to the right throughout the nation , including here in the First State. Second, no one is bullet proof. Third, Mr. Castle has a voting records that can be exploited by his opponent, where as Mr. Biden does not.

 I personally believe that Mr. Castle is to far left. This means in my view that what you will have if the race is between Castle and Biden , is a race between a Democrat who can come out and be himself and a Republican who must attempt to be what he is not. Also in this race you would have no clear choice between a conservative and a more liberal candidate, I believe this gives the advantage to Mr. Biden.

 Now on a purely cosmetic level , you will have an aging congressman who has had health issues in the past, who comes across as someones grandfather running against a young, healthy, attractive candidate who just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq.

 Now while I’m on the subject of age , let me shoot another hole in this “Beau” theory. To those who say only Mr. Castle can win against Mr. Biden. Okay , let’s say that this is true(I don’t believe it,but I’ll play along). And let us also  say that Mr. Castle does win. So tell me , who runs against Biden in six years ? I think we can assume that it won’t be Mike Castle. We can also assume that Mr. Biden is young enough to sit back and wait and run again in six years, if Mr. Castle were to win. Who will the GOP pick as there can’t lose candidate then ?

 This is why I believe that we must act now to support a candidate that can win this election and also win in six years from now.

  If the GOP comes to its senses and backs Christine O’Donnell it would completely change the complexion of the race.

  You would now have two young candidates , neither with any baggage such as their past voting record. No health issues. But most importantly , the voters would have a clear choice, Mr. Biden’s more liberal views, that can be tied directly to his father’s and those of Pres. Obama, whose popularity is declining. Or Ms. O’Donnell’s conservative principles ?

 I believe that this is the race that the GOP should be running and one that it can win, not only for this election cycle , but to position ourselves for the future. I believe that Christine O’Donnell is actually the candidate that levels the playing field against Beau Biden.


13 Responses to “The “Beau” Theory”

  1. Chris Slavens Says:

    Another point to consider: while Joe Biden is a superstar in Delaware politics, he’s also second banana to a president that is rapidly becoming unpopular. How far will Obama’s approval rating have dropped by next summer and fall? Just as Beau will use his father’s name recognition throughout the campaign, so should his opponent exploit that connection against him. Joe was a challenger who worked hard at a young age to win office, while Beau is a child of privilege who seeks to “inherit” a political office. As popular as the Biden name is in this state, the opposition must find ways to spin it to their advantage.

  2. frankknotts Says:

    Chris, we agree on Beau Biden’s weaknesses. I am currently concerned with seeing that the GOP put forth the best conservative candidate and in my opinion that would be Christine O’Donnell.


    At this point, I agree with all of the above. However, Christine has not exhibited in past races, an ability to raise money. An unfortunate reality in politics, especially for a Senate Race. Unless lightning strikes, $1,000,000 will be necessary for her to stay competetive. Biden will have a huge war chest—Christine I do not believe can compete with Castle in that regard, let alone Biden??? Another reality check, as of last week there were–110,000 more Dems than Republicans in Delaware. Independents are supposedly moving toward the right, but not enough to carry her to victory. She has the right message, but it will be difficult for her to properly project that message on TV, Radio, and Direct Mail with the necessary frequency to prevail, in my opinion. This objective opinion is derived from my considerable experience in managing several high profile campaigns, and being a candidate myself.

  4. frankknotts Says:

    Mr. Bennett, as you are so fond of saying , with your considerable experience, you surely know that if the right voices within the party were speaking on Ms. O’Donnell’s behalf instead of against her, she would be able to raise more money. Unfortunately too many in leadership roles within the GOP are more interested in consolidating their own power instead of doing what is right for the party and the nation. They are more about paying off old favors, then they are about building a future for the nation and the party. They cling to the past and ” the way it has always been”,instead of thinking outside the box and supporting new ideas and new faces. And they will cling to their old ways even as we lose election after election. To keep doing it the same old way with the same old people is a recipe for failure. I personally would rather stand on principles and fight a good fight with someone I believe in , than to sell my beliefs and limp to a failure with someone I feel is completely wrong on so many issues.


    Like it or not, looking at the demagraphics as of right now, I prognosticate that Castle beats Odonnell in a primary in September and loses to Biden in November–regardless of the good fight you hope for. I hope I’m wrong. Lightning does indeed strike sometimes in the right spot. Now if Christine gets the nod at the Convention (which I doubt), the whole deal changes.

    You are wrong, however about the process–the delegates at the convention are just ordinary people and the big Republican money hasn’t sprung largely for anyone in many years. Neither Burris, Lee, or Clatworthy met their goals. Unlike the amazing millions of $5 contributors for Obama, no Republican candidate has been able to do that in Delaware in the past 10 years? Campaign financing is the greatest challenge. Many good candidates go down , because they can’t raise the money. Proven fact.

  6. frankknotts Says:

    I happen to believe in my humble opinion that the reason you haven’t seen the dollars flow to candidates such as you named,”Burris,Clatworthy or Lee” is because they were percieved as being the party’s choice and not that of the people. I have discussed the way in which the GOP selects and primarys’ its candidates and that I feel this leads to the voters feeling disinfranchised by the party. Let the voters choose their candidates and they are more likely to support them financially. You speak of the ordinary people who are the delegates at the convention. Well they may be ordinary, but I have never been contacted by a convention delegate to ask my opinion of candidates, so how do they decide who best represents the majority of the GOP voters? I say put the decision in the hands of the voters where it belongs.

    • Chris Slavens Says:

      Don’t forget the News Journal’s endorsement of Castle in each election. Sussex Countians sometimes underestimate the political sway that paper holds over New Castle voters, which is to say the majority of voters. It’s hard to say who they would support in a Castle-Biden contest, but there’s no doubt the editorial board will support Castle in the primary. This is just one cog in the state’s corrupt political machine, but a rather large one.

  7. frankknotts Says:

    Chris , these are all things that we must fight against to win. My point will always be that we cannot pick or mold our candidates based on the system, especially if we feel as you do that the system is crooked. We must choose candidates based on the fact that they represent our views and then support them no matter what history may tell us.

  8. Chris Slavens Says:

    Oh, I agree. As a matter of fact I was rather disappointed by Monday’s discussion on the Bill Colley program, which, for the most part, dismissed O’Donnell. As a third party advocate I’m used to voting for candidates that receive a handful of votes, which is another reason that I was dismayed by Shaun Fink’s statements, to the effect that a third party candidate in the race would cause Republicans to lose. That’s a funny way of thinking. The opposing candidate causes the loss, not the Republican’s inferior ideology? At any rate, I’m giving thought to registering as a Republican for the first time, simply to be able to vote in the primary.

  9. frankknotts Says:

    Chris , while I believe that anyone has a right to run for office, it is a fact that third parties do split votes away from one or both of the traditional parties. This is because there is really only two choices, consevative or liberal. So a third party will appeal to one of these groups, usually the people furthermost from the center. Of course there could be a centrist candidate who would pull from both parties. And while there have been liberal third parties, historically it is usually the conservative third parties that have had the most effect on the outcome of elections. Then of course you can have a third party such as Delaware’s Independent party, which will take any candidate no matter their ideology.
    As for Shaun’s views, well Shaun is a good man , with some good ideas. Shaun and I happen to disagree on the merit of backing Mr. Castle. As for Christine O’Donnell being treated in a dismissive manner, well I would chalk that up to party loyalist and those who have a hard time thinking outside the box. Some people can only see as far as the last election. I’m sure you have heard it said that , generals are always fighting the last war. Meaning that they have a tendency to use the same tactics as they did in the previous war. In the case of the GOP, those tactics have been , for the most part , losing tactics.


    In Case You Missed It

    News from the Delaware GOP

    Latest Poll: Castle Leads Biden; High Appeal to Cross-Party Voters

    From The Hill:

    Castle remains popular among independents, carrying a 52-23 lead with that group, and he also takes 20 percent of Democrats.

    Obama remains over 50 percent in the state, but he is down to 53 percent after polling in the 60s earlier this year. Nearly one-fifth of those who said they voted for Obama (18 percent) said they will back Castle in the Senate race.

    Castle’s favorability-unfavorability numbers (55-28) are also a good deal better than Biden’s (43-35).

    “Mike Castle has more appeal to Democrats and independents than any other Republican Senate candidate in the country, and that’s allowing him to hold the early lead in this race,” PPP President Dean Debnam said.

    Click here to read the full article from the The Hill.

    Nat’l Political Expert tells Beau Biden: Don’t Risk It

    From the News Journal:

    One of the nation’s top political analysts says Beau Biden should take a pass on the 2010 special election to fill the remaining four years of his father’s Senate term.

    Instead, he should wait until he’s a shoo-in for a Senate seat representing Delaware, said Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report.

    Click here to read the full article from the News Journal.


    By Celia Cohen
    Mike Castle Gets the Conservatives to Blink

    Posted: Dec 4, 2009 09:05 AM EST

    Some Republican conservatives are batting around a “purity test,” a way to separate which candidates deserve to have the National Republican Committee give its endorsement and money to them and which candidates do not.

    Mike Castle cannot past the test.

    Never mind that he is the Republicans’ Number One candidate for the U.S. Senate around the country, the prospect regarded as most likely to break the Democrats’ 60-vote, filibuster-proof stranglehold on the chamber.

    Not to mention the gloating the Republicans could do if Castle commandeered the seat that used to belong to Joe Biden, especially if he beats the vice president’s son who is expected to be the Democrats’ candidate.

    The purity test has 10 parts to it: less government and taxes, no Obama-care; no cap-and-trade bill on pollution; secret ballots on union elections; no amnesty for illegal immigrants; troop surges in Iraq and Afghanistan; no nukes for Iran and North Korea; no gay marriage; no government-funded abortion; and no government restrictions on gun ownership.

    Castle figures he is good for six of them. The other four are debatable. He did not spell out which was which.

    “It reminds me of being in school. Can I pass this or not?” Castle quipped.

    Not unless he gets extra credit for an unbroken streak of nine terms as Delaware’s lone congressman, two as governor and one as lieutenant governor, and not unless he does not lose points for other departures from the conservative perspective.

    There was that unforgettable moment, for instance, that Castle became the first member of Congress to have a bill vetoed by the second George Bush for advancing embryonic stem cell research, a conservative taboo.

    It was another of those middle-of-the-road things. How un-Republican to get the first veto, while there were who knows how many Democrats who would have been delighted with it. Something else Castle denied them.

    Six out of 10 may not get Castle much on a conservative purity test, but it does make him the political Goldilocks of Delaware. Not too left, not too right, just enough to get him six or seven out of every 10 voters election after election.

    The purity test has touched off enough of a backlash that it is expected to crumble next month at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in Hawaii.

    Delaware’s members — state Chair Tom Ross, National Committeewoman Priscilla Rakestraw and National Committeeman Laird Stabler — plan to attend with the intent of blocking it.

    “Purity, it’s a little ridiculous. As Republicans, we’re all about local control,” Ross said.

    The purity test, even with its anticipated demise, is a reminder of the hazards out there for moderate Republicans like Castle within their own ranks.

    There were consequences as recently as last month in the off-year election. The Republicans lost an upstate New York congressional district that was theirs for about a century and a half, when outside conservative forces like Sarah Palin and the Club for Growth swarmed in and undercut the Republican nominee by championing a conservative alternative.

    There is more to come. The Club for Growth is stirring up a Senate primary in Florida against Charlie Crist, the Republican governor who is trying to live down a hug he gave Barack Obama.

    Castle looks fine at home. The state party leadership certainly is with him, and he also has a formidable ally in Pete du Pont, who was the governor when Castle was the lieutenant governor. Not only does du Pont have Castle’s back, more importantly he has Castle’s right flank.

    As governor from 1977 to 1985, du Pont was a pragmatist, but he moved right to run for president in 1988 and has been influential in conservative circles since. He predicted Castle would be left alone.

    “I don’t think there’s going to be a primary. He’s just exactly the right candidate,” du Pont said.

    Thus spake Pete du Pont. It matters.

    “I don’t think Pete du Pont, who chose Mike Castle as his lieutenant governor and brought him to prominence, is going to stand idly by and let Club for Growth spike Mike Castle,” said Rakestraw, the national committeewoman.

    A threat from the Club for Growth has crossed Castle’s mind but not spooked him.

    “You always have these thoughts. I have not made it a contingency part of planning for our campaign. I trust them to make the decision not to come in,” Castle said.

    Castle is no favorite of the Club for Growth. In its congressional rankings, Castle comes in at #172, so low it is where the Democrats start showing up. In fact, a couple of Democrats are ranked higher than he is.

    Nevertheless, the Club for Growth appears to be staying away, even if it is doing so with all of the enthusiasm of Cornwallis surrendering to George Washington at Yorktown.

    “He’s definitely not the sort of candidate we would back. Frankly, he’s the sort of candidate we would think about opposing, but we haven’t seen a viable alternative. The race really isn’t on our radar screen right now,” said Mike Connolly, the communications director for the Club for Growth.

    Castle is more focused on where he stands with another club, one that also has a lot of conservatives in it.

    “As far as I know, I’m supported by all Republican senators. The alternative of having a moderate Republican or a Democrat is clear,” Castle said.

    As the saying goes, the only vote in the Senate that really counts is for majority leader, and the Republicans there want Castle’s. Purity pales before politics.

  12. frankknotts Says:

    I guess if party leadership says that Mike Castle is the best man for the job, who are individual voters to disagree? We should all just give up our right to vote and allow party leadership to cast our votes. Just say, here Mr. Ross, here’s my vote you cast it how you see fit”. We should just forget that he voted for stem cell research, that he voted for the auto bailout, that he voted for TARP, that he has voted for higher CAFE standards everytime. Just forget all of that and vote for him one more time because the party says so. No thank you!!

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