Being in the Minority Isn't Fun, George Voinovich Edition
by Bob Brigham, Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:09:42 PM EST
If Voinovich doesn't run, expect Tim Ryan's phone to be ringing off the hook with people asking him to run. Ryan burst onto the national scene in the fall of 2004 when, as the youngest member of the House, he brought down the house with a speech that was a dorm-room hit. When Matt Stoller hosted the video on MyDD a MP3 and torrent and transcript quickly showed up in the comments as people got creative in spreading the message in the era before video sharing sites. Even though the video is older than youtube, versions posted have over 1,000,000 views.
Ryan proved that C-SPAN can be a model, so it was expanded for the 2006 midterms under the 30-Something Working Group:
With the Capitol all but deserted last Monday night, the Democratic "30-Something Working Group" seized the House floor and took aim at their Republican adversaries.
As C-SPAN cameras beamed their performance around the country, Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, 32, of Ohio and Rep. Kendrick Meek, 39, of Florida recited a litany of GOP misdeeds -- mismanaging Hurricane Katrina and neglecting education and health care, for example -- and offered the Democrats' alternatives.
Their conversation even veered to religion, a subject many Democrats are afraid to touch. Ryan described the problems of the poor as a moral obligation and asked of Meek: "Where is the Christian Coalition when you are cutting poverty programs? They are fighting over Supreme Court justices."
The two newcomers -- who have served a combined six years in the House -- are part of a new generation of Democrats who are working to try to topple the GOP. Their fresh ideas, modern media skills and aggressive political tactics have inspired a party that has drifted for much of the past decade -- wedded to old notions and seemingly incapable of capitalizing on White House and congressional Republican miscues.
And the effort was cited by Pelosi as she joined them after midnight on election night. But it isn't just TV, Ryan's twitter account feeds into his Facebook account. And come tomorrow, he's likely to be the front-runner for the Ohio Senate seat.