|Great work ethic, but not the guy to run the play|
When I think back on Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley's career as a Portland Trailblazer, I remember him being a good guy both on and off the court. He certainly wasn't a big scorer; he was a very bad free-throw shooter and his ball-handling skills were negligible (to say the least). But, he was a good defender and rebounder, and he had a great work ethic.
Since that time, Dudley has also proved to be a man of fine character in his prominent role in the community. He's a well-known philanthropist who has done much for diabetic kids with his Chris Dudley Foundation. In short, Chris Dudley is a good guy.
And that's why I'm so sad to see him running for Governor of Oregon as a Republican. 'Cause once you get that GOP stink on your hands, it's gonna be with ya for a while. (Just ask Gordon Smith.)
It is disappointing to see Dudley getting mixed up with the Republican party. But there is no denying that he's going all the way with it. His campaign ads are standard GOP drivel: tax cuts for businesses, fiscal austerity, yadda, yadda, yadda. Willamette Week reported last December that Dudley, before he had publicly announced his intention to run, hired two big time GOP operatives to help him with his campaign. Quoting Willie Week:
Dudley’s campaign manager is Chris Gulugian-Taylor, the former head of the Nevada GOP and in 2008, the Republican National Committee’s state director for Washington.Those are some relatively Big Guns for little ol' Oregon. By hiring two Republican operatives with national prominence and adhering to the GOP boilerplate for his campaign, Dudley appears to be hoping to associate himself with some "national movement" toward Republicans this November. He apparently aims to come riding in on some national anti-Obama backlash. There are certainly many in the national media who anticipate something of the kind. (Personally, I have my doubts.)
Dudley has also brought in Brittany Bramell, who served as spokewoman for New Jersey governor-elect Chris Christie, who defeated incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine last month. --Willamette Week, December 9, 2009
But Dudley's decision to run his campaign by following the advice of national Republican operatives seems clumsy and politically tone-deaf with respect to Oregon and Oregonians. Then again, Dudley has little to choose from if he's looking for help from Oregon Republicans. The GOP is effectively dead in this state.
Remember the great Republican leaders in Oregon's history? They have very little in common with the neo-Confederates and Bible-thumping hypocrites leading today's national GOP. How would Tom McCall, Vic Atiyeh, or Mark Hatfield fare in the post-Junior Bush Republican party?
No, I'm afraid today's national Republican party has almost nothing in common with the Oregon Republican party that dominated state politics through much of the 70s and 80s. To see how far the GOP has fallen in Oregon, consider: Oregon has not had a Republican governor since 1987. The state has not voted for the Republican candidate for President since 1984. Both US Senators are Democrats. Four of five congressional representatives are Democrats. Both houses of the state legislature are controlled by Democrats. Oregon is as blue as it gets.
And yet, Chris Dudley imagines that the way to the governor's mansion is by hooking up with the toxic schmucks that Oregonians so universally reject.
It's a poor decision. A brain hiccup. To put it in perspective, imagine Chris Dudley, back in his days as a Trailblazer. He has the ball at the top of the key. One point down, two on the clock. He sees an open Clyde Drexler streaking down the baseline! He motions as if to pass, and then --to the appalled horror of Blazer fans everywhere --he puts the ball on the floor and drives for the hoop!
It's that kind of a decision.
I'm not going to hold it against him, personally. Like I said before, Chris Dudley is a good guy.
But I sure as hell ain't gonna vote for him!