We’re here at the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit, with @Spedwybabs and I coming in from Illinois, and @drdigipol coming from D.C. The three of us were sitting around the table at lunch Saturday talking about Comcast firing Olbermann, and I don’t even know who said “Maybe we should draft him for a Senate race”, but ninety minutes later the Draft Keith Olbermann page was up, the @DraftOlbermann Twitter account was rolling, and the Draft Keith Olbermann DailyKos account was registered.
Tomorrow the Olbermann 2010 web site will go live, pointing at the Facebook page. We’re using our full set of campaign tools but they won’t go active until we get a little downtime while we’re in D.C. I’ve invited the wardogs to come out and play and a couple of them have already expressed interest. The effort has, after eight hours, 227 Facebook fans and 120 Twitter followers. I’ve got messages back from folks with Facebook groups that have five digit subscriber counts indicating that they’ll help. This effort will get its legs under it very shortly.
Here are some rationales I’ve heard for not doing this.
He lives in New York City. He has contract issues with his buyout. He doesn’t want to run for office. He is going to get on another network.
In order: He used to live in Connecticut and could easily return and establish residency. Let’s see if his contract issues are a barrier - that’s for he and his lawyers to determine. If he doesn’t want to run he is still a powerful voice and our efforts ought to be seen as a compliment. If he is going to another network fine, but he can do some things in the next two years, so let’s help him get excited about that.
There isn’t even an exploratory committee yet so there is no way to fund raise for this effort. There are two other Connecticut Democrats who think they’d like that seat. I think that those of us behind this effort can start pushing now, making this about raising awareness and driving voter registration. If Keith gets into the race that benefits him, and if he doesn’t we’re helping the chances of the other two lesser known candidates.
We worked on the Draft Halter effort in Arkansas. We worked on both the Alaska and Arizona Senate races. We did some other things for several other Senate races that we’re contractually bound to not disclose. We already have what it takes to carry this effort through to the point where Mr. Olbermann would need to form an exploratory committee. I'm excited to have a possibility like this to work on in an off year, even if it is a tremendous long shot.
And stuff like this is why we want Keith Olbermann in the United States Senate.