by Jonathan Singer, Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 03:13:19 AM EST
On Thursday morning I was invited to the office of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and vice chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, to speak with him on a range of issues. The following is the rush transcript of my interview, which is available in streaming form and downloadable .mp3 from Odeo (though I have not been able to clear the technical hurdle of embedding their player on MyDD yet, which I hope to do soon).
This is the first of four interviews from my trip to DC for the DNC's winter meetings last week that I will post on consecutive mornings this week, with the series continuing tomorrow with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Now, the interview:
Chuck Schumer: So, it's nice to meet you. I read your stuff. I enjoy it.
Jonathan Singer: It's a real pleasure also.
Schumer: We don't have too much time because they called a vote.
Singer: No problem. The map looks good -
Schumer: Let me just start out, one thing, to let the blogosphere know. I think what the blogosphere did in 2006 was incredibly great, particularly with Webb and Tester. We intend to work really closely with the blogosphere in this cycle. In fact next month we're going to have our first online chat where we ask people for suggestions. And here's what's so important: The map is an interesting map. In a sense it's good; we have 12 Democrats and 21 Republicans and we're feeling good about the 12 Democrats who are incumbents. But the 21 Republicans by and large come from very tough states. You have very few deeply blue states. Last time we had Pennsylvania, which was a pretty blue state, and Rhode Island, which was a very blue state. We don't have many of those this time. New Hampshire is slightly blue, Maine is a little more blue, Oregon is slightly blue, Minnesota is slightly blue. But none of them you'd call more than 52 percent Democratic states.
So we've got to find candidates all over. And this is where the blogosphere excels. There may be somebody, a state Rep. or even not, in Alabama who might be a very good candidate. So we intend to have a good, close relationship and work together the way we did, sort of, towards the end last time. The sort of M.O. last time was the netroots community found the candidates, more or less, then we helped them later on in the race, Webb, Tester would be the two classics. But I think it's going to be more close - I know it's going to be more close this year.