The Other McCain

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Doug Hoffman’s Legacy in 2010 Victories

Posted on | November 5, 2010 | 9 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. — During the Allen West victory party Tuesday night, I stepped outside for a few moments and made a phone call to upstate New York to interview the man whose 2009 special-election campaign did so much to inspire grassroots conservatives nationwide. (See “Battle Cry in the North Country.”)

It was just after 8 p.m. when I called, and polls didn’t close in New York until 9 p.m. I had been angry in September when Matt Doheny won the NY-23 Republican primary (by just 700 votes) after airing dishonest attack ads accusing Hoffman of “lining his pockets.” And I was surprised when Hoffman subsequently endorsed Doheny.

On Election Night, I felt an urge to talk to Hoffman. I recorded the brief interview, but didn’t have time to transcribe it until last night:

RSM: After the primary a few weeks ago – totally broke my heart. How are you feeling about it now?

DOUG HOFFMAN: Well, I’m still disappointed, but life goes on, Stacy.

RSM: Your campaign last year was really the first total Tea Party campaign. It sent a message. We’ve just seen Marco Rubio declared the victor here in Florida. As Erick Erickson said, New York 23 last year, it was a trial run for Florida, we’re going to shake up the establishment. Do you think your campaign last year helped send a message?

HOFFMAN: Absolutely. I think my campaign, and the people who were supporting me, woke up America and said, “We’re fed up. We have to do something about it. We’re not going to take more spending, more taxes, and more government regulations.”

RSM: What are your plans going forward? I thought that was very big of you to endorse [GOP nominee Matt] Doheny after the kind of terrible crap he did to you.

HOFFMAN: Well, I had to look past Mr. Doheny and look at what was good for America, and that’s the conclusion that I came to. It’s better to get Pelosi and Reid and the Obama agenda off the table, and get more Republicans into the House. It was a very difficult decision, but that’s why I made the decision, [because] I think it’s good for America.

RSM: And that was what it was all about for you, from the get-go.

HOFFMAN: Absolutely. We have to get people down in Washington that are going to fight the Pelosi agenda, and that’s what it’s all about.

RSM: Somebody said that you lit the fuse up there in New York 23. It looks like it’s going to be a huge explosion tonight.

HOFFMAN: That’s the exciting part. I’m disappointed that I’m not going to be part of the excitement and going to Washington, but if the legacy of my race last year is the people who are going to Washington this year, then I’m very proud to watch what’s happening tonight, and anticipate the Republicans taking over the House.

He’s a class act. And establishment Republican Matt Doheny lost Tuesday by 3,800 votes. Even though Hoffman endorsed Doheny — who spent $1.7 million of his own money on the campaign — more than 9,500 people still voted for Hoffman on the Conservative Party line. Maybe next time.



9 Responses to “Doug Hoffman’s Legacy in 2010 Victories”

  1. blindside
    November 5th, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

    Wow – class act! The GOP could take some lessons.

    It’s very strange – ‘moderate’ GOP candidates are entitled – we are seeing more of them withhold endorsements when they are primaried out. And the GOP doesn’t bat an eyelash.

    Conservative GOP candidates – they are expected to be ‘team players’.

    Sissy is right on – now that I think about it, Hoffman’s campaign last year was come to Jesus moment for me, as well. That’s when I decided that the GOP committees wouldn’t see any money of mine.