Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lincoln Day Dinner Season

So the annual Lincoln Day meal fundraiser season is upon county and local Republican organizations across the nation. For those who don't know, these are the annual dinners to celebrate the Republican party and tip their hat to the party's first President, Abraham Lincoln. It also serves as a chance for candidates or their surrogates to state their case for the nomination. In 2000, Gov. George Bush was coming to the Ottawa County Republican Organization's Lincoln Day dinner in Michigan.

I was asked to write the radio ad which was part of the marketing package being supervised by one of my professors. We framed the ad as hearing Bush's thoughts on the New Hampshire primary, had it read by Rep. Pete Hoekstra (who is as beloved in my old Michigan district as Marge Roukema was for us here), and I walked into a sold out event. My ads had nothing to do with the sell-out. Even though he had lost New Hampshire, Bush was still the odds on favorite for the nomination and people came from all over the state to see him speak at Grand Valley State. Part of the reason they got him was Ottawa County's massive Republican machine. If Bush was going to compete in the primary in Michigan, he had to carry Ottawa with big numbers.

Yesterday, Anthony Carbonetti showed up in Sussex County for their Lincoln Day Brunch to stump for Rudy Giuliani. The event was attended by Representative Garrett and most of the elected officials of Sussex. This was a bit of a coup for the Sussex crew in GOP positioning, however it makes sense as the New Jersey Herald quoted toward the end of the article about the event.

Sussex County Freeholder Director Susan Zellman said she is supporting Giuliani, and said the largely Republican county, in an otherwise Democratic state, had the potential to have a strong influence in the upcoming election.

"We certainly, as a county, need to be thinking about the next election," Zellman said. "We've certainly shown, in the past, that we have the ability to tip the scales in our favor, and we should do that."
That "in the past" part is talking about Garrett beating Gerald Cardinale in the primary to succeed Roukema. With all the news reports of the imminent demise of the Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO), it should be interesting to see the caliber of speaker they get for their dinner. The organization still doesn't have someone listed on their website. It will be of more interest to see if Garrett actually shows up to the Bergen dinner.

I think the demise of the BCRO is greatly over reported, they're just going through a bad spot. Actually, with the Presidential primaries being moved up, it could be the shot in the arm the Republicans in Bergen need. Instead of using the county simply as an ATM, candidates may actually show up.

Jefferson-Jackson Day is the equivalent fundraising season for the Democratic Party. It should also be interesting to see who Papa Joe gets to come to Bergen.

1 comment:

Jill said...

I don't see that Gerry Cardinale would have been any improvement over Garrett.