Bumped -- Jonathan... This is a really important race, and I just wanted to bump up this interview so that folks could make sure to be able to hear it and see it. And if you want to get involved, you can still head to DraftUdall.com and the Netroots for Tom Udall Act Blue page. Also, Tuesday morning I'll be posting my interview with Congressman Mark Udall from Colorado, who's also running for the Senate, so stay tuned.
On Thursday, as a part of what became known in some circles as "More and Better Udalls in the Senate Day" because of the official announcement by Congressman Tom Udall that he would run for the Senate in New Mexico and the San Francisco fundraiser for Congressman Mark Udall (who's running for the Senate in Colorado), I had the opportunity to speak with both cousins about their campaigns. Tomorrow I'll be posting the audio and transcript of my interview with Mark, but first my interview with Tom, who agreed to be drafted to run this cycle.
You can download the interview as a large .mp3 file here, or listen to it through the player below. I have also included a rush transcript. And if you want to help out Tom's campaign, head over to the Netroots for Tom Udall page on Act Blue today.
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Jonathan Singer: Can you tell me how much a role the outgrowth of support you saw - in the Draft Udall, and also just people speaking out saying, "Run, Tom, Run" - how much that grassroots support played a role in your decision to reconsider and in fact run for the United States Senate?
Tom Udall: It played a major role in my decision to run for the United States Senate. There was within New Mexico and I think across the nation a very sincere Draft Udall movement. The blogosphere played an important part in that and I think got people involved and engaged and stirred up, and the result was that every time I was home in New Mexico people would come up to me very excited and say, "You've got to make this race."
I was at the central committee meeting, which had 200-300 Democratic activists. They had been involved and engaged and blogging. And they held up signs, "Run, Tom, Run!" Incredible enthusiasm. The way I would describe it, Jonathan, is that it played a major part in my decision.
The other significant part was about New Mexico and the nation and the role I could play in the United States Senate. This is what many of my constituents talk to me about. They say, "Tom, you've stood up on the issues, you've been a man of principle, you speak to us from the heart, we love you, and we want you to run so that you can make a difference in the Senate. We look at the Senate" - many of them told me this - "we look at the Senate as a place where legislation goes to die." And, as you know, the House has passed some pretty significant legislation on issues like the War in Iraq and ending it; healthcare for children, the SCHIP program; trying to do everything we can to get education in our schools for all of our children and improve the levels of schools just across the board; and energy, renewable energy. All of these things get out of the House and in some way seem to die in the Senate.
So that was another big part of my decision, which many of my constituents weighed in on, telling me, "You can make a difference for us, you can help empower us to fulfill our dreams, the things we want to see done in New Mexico and for the nation." And I think those were big, big factors for me in making the decision to make this race. It was truly gratifying to see such a sincere effort out there.