I only learned yesterday Norman Siegel is Jewish. I mean, how do you know? I can't tell from his first or last name. I can't tell from his looks. There are people in my neighborhood who wear their cap, and have that hairstyle, and the Jewish clothes. That I can tell. But Norman?
All I knew was DFNYC was fanatically behind him. And I watched a debate where he scored real well for the most part: I think he won. And my earlier blog entry was not in any way designed to put him down. It is not adulatory, but I think that entry makes him look like the most deserving of the candidates.
A Little Siegel Incident
I met him yesterday, thanks to Tracey Denton, and I liked him a lot. We made small talk.
"You went to school in Georgia, I went to school in Kentucky."
"Really? Where? University of Kentucky?"
"No, a small school 30 minutes south of there. Berea."
"Oh, Berea. I know Berea. It is a good school."
That practically makes him a southerner. I mean, if he has heard of Berea.
He actually made a comical remark before parting: "Back to private practice!" He had a mischievous smile about him when he said that. I like that spirit among warriors. You give the contest your very best. And if you don't make it, you just dust it off. And move on.
I also learned Lewis is Jewish, the DFNYC Lewis. I can't tell from his looks. And I don't even know his last name yet. Although I am beginning to see a goofy side to him.
If I were on Norman's campaign staff, I would have advised him to handle the Betsy question about her stalker with a little more sensitivity. And post-debate, I'd have engaged in some damage control. I think saying that is being on Norman's side.
And I think he should have done a better job of integrating Tracey into his campaign. Tracey is a major plus. She is a political animal. She is sharp. She is nuts and bolts. She is good at the campaign thing. I have seen her in action. I mean, I have openly talked of her as the Campaign Chair for Dean 2008. Look at it this way. She leads the largest Dean group in the country. It is for a Deaniac to lead the Deaniacs. It would not be a bad idea to have a separate CEO and a CFO, but the chair has to be Tracey. I think. Bobby Kennedy was 35 when he became Attorney General. (Dean Was In Town Yesterday) Check out the photo. She looks like she is the candidate and Howard Dean and Fernando Ferrer are voters she is out to lock in.
And now that I know Norman is Jewish, I don't know what to make of this other DFNYC member's comment that Norman has fought for the right of Nazi groups to do this and that. I have been offered clarification by Tracey that Norman has been for the right of Nazi groups to express their opinions. That is a whole new fact that looks good on him. He is Jewish. He is a fierce civil rights lawyer. So he ends up supporting the rights of Nazis to talk hate. That is gutsy.
And Lewis. I like the guy. He is great. But when the local TV wanted a DFNYC comment on a mayoral debate, they did not get one of the two women Executive Directors. They got the Finance Director, the first male they could find in the hierarchy. To me that is so obviously sexist. It is a glass ceiling thing. I can't choose to not see these things. Although I do have a choice in terms of how I can react.
I feel like we as progressives should openly talk about these things. There is no point in being nice nice and sweeping things under the carpet. The dialogue can be positive. Dialogue is the most productive way to deal with these social schisms.
There is political progressive, and there is market progressive, and there is social progressive. Talking counts. Respectfully talking back and forth.
The Three Pillars
Claiming All The Real Estate For Myself
None of the other members are contributing. So I hereby boot them out.