Paul Chesser helpfully blogged earlier today about the news that Sarah Palin endorsed another candidate today, Renee Ellmers, who is running for Congress against North Carolina’s Bob Etheridge, he of the serious anger management issues and the very low regard for young interviewers. His post reminds me that I have been remiss in doing a mini-feature on Ms. Ellmers, who sounded absolutely delightful in an interview I conducted with her back on Aug. 6. Excuse, then, the length of this report, but I think it’s safe to say I was definitely impressed.
Ms. Ellmers is a registered nurse who has done most of her work in surgical intensive care; she now works with her husband, who is a general surgeon. She was supposed to be the president this year of the local Chamber of Commerce in Dunn, NC, population about 10,000, but put that off when she decided to run for Congress. And she has sat on the town’s planning board (zoning, basically) for four years, three of them as chair. But other than those non-elective means of public service, she told me that she had previously “not even been interested in any part of being involved in politics.” She long has been conservative, and a registered Republican for more than 20 years, she said, but never in any way active in elections. Then Obamacare came along.
Here, in quotes spliced together to avoid my interposing questions and some asides, but entirely in context, is what she told me:
“Well, basically, a year ago when the health care debate was so hot, my husband and I decided we were going to get involved with speaking out at different events that were being held, health-care rallies, on behalf of doctors and nurses, to let people know that doctors and nurses are not on board with regard to health care reform. I also became inolved with the Harnett County Republican Party for the first time.
“We have a 15 year old son. I am very worried about his future and that of all our children with all the debt we are leaving to them. It’s a very conservative district. The people here are good, conservative, God-fearing, hard-working people and Congressman Etheridge is not represenative of them. He basically votes with President Obama 97% of the time. There was a large outcry for him to vote no on the health-care bill, but he voted yes and that has hurt him badly in this district.
“I just believe we have to get back to the basics, to common sense. I feel Washington is completely out of control. We cannot continue the borrowing and the the spending that is going on. President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress, their objective to pass smore stimulus spending — but that’s just not the way we’re going to get the conomy stimulated.
“We [she and her husband] are small business owners; we own the practice. I’m for some serious tax cuts and cutting the size of government and cutting the spending out and getting the private sector stimulated that way, which is the real way we’re going to stimulate the economy.
“I am pretty much conservative across the board. I know a lot of people who are not happy with what is happening, including in the Republican Party at times. I am not a politician: I am a conservative first… but what I will say is because I’m conservative first, if it means I need to vote against my own party on some things, I have no problem with that. For instance, I know a lot of people were not happy with the end of the Bush administration because there was too much spending, and because of TARP. I personally did not feel we should have bailed out Wall Street with TARP and I was against the stimulus too.
“I disagreed with McCain in that I am very much against amnesty. First and foremost secure the borders. To me it’s a national security issue more than anythng. We should adhere to the laws and regulations we already have that are being disregarded. We should set a date for [illegals] to go back, and then if they want to come back through the legal system, well, then let them do it — but only legally.“
Ms. Ellmers is not a North Carolina native, but she speaks of it with the love that often characterizes those who move to a new place by choice. She’s from Michigan, but she and her husband visited family who had moved there and they just liked it so much they decided to move there themselves. This was 12 years ago, she said. The district is in the “Triangle” area of North Carolina, near Raleigh. Clearly, judging from her Chamber involvement and her planning board duties, she is a well-established, civicly active North Carolinian.
The district has a “partisan voter index” of Republican-plus-two, according to famed political analyst Charlie Cook, which means it is a fairly evenly balanced district politically but one which votes about two percentage points higher for Republicans than the national average. Common sense says that with that sort of district, and with the video of a crazy-angry Etheridge making the rounds, Ms. Ellmers has at least a reasonable chance if her fundraising improves.
There — that’s all just neutral reporting (other than saying Ellmers sounded “delightful” over the phone), allowing Ellmers to speak n her own words. It’s a race worth watching.
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That’s right, the Grinch (Joe Biden) is coming for your pocketbooks this Christmas season with record inflation. Just to recap, here is a list of items that have gone up during his reign.
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