(H/T to Michael Fletcher for the link)
This is about as ugly an event as you could imagine. The Nationally known blog RedState is one of the top Conservative Blogs in the country. It’s founder, Erick Erickson is a frequent guest on CNN, FoxNews and has a radio show. Erickson was also one of the early supporters of Virginia US Senate Candidate and TEA Party favorite Jamie Radtke, granting his welcomed endorsement to Radtke several months ago.
But since that time, RedState has had little to do with Radtke or her campaign. However, she was invited to speak at the RedState gathering recently. Apparently, the speech was not well received by some. Including Erickson, who apparently didn’t even hear the speech: (Video and Article Here)
I was fortunate not to witness Jamie Radtke’s speech at the RedState Gathering. Fortunate because . . . well . . . here are reviews of her speech from various witnesses to the train wreck, one of which was a link to this YouTube video:
And then these:
I tried to cut myself with a butter knife, it was so horrendous and never-ending.
she gets an invite, gets a nice slot to talk, gets drunk, and gets so embarrassing that I have to duck away rather than embarrass her further with interviewing her
I mercifully did not film it.
I hadn’t realized that it was going to be her campaign speech, and then I was mesmerized by the trainwreck.
She was a drunk rambling idiot that took 30 minutes to introduce a director who himself was confused.
It was beyond painful. At first, I was just embarrassed for her and felt a little sorry for her. But by the end of it – which I for while feared would never arrive – I was all ‘OMG, I *hate* you, STFU.’
And there is more.
Apparently, Erickson was a bit offended that the Radtke campaign attributed a cozy relationship between Erickson’s employer – Eagle Publishing – and fellow Senate Candidate George Allen – as the reason Erickson went limp on his support after the initial endorsement.
The relationship is explained in a Politico piece today:
“This race may be the big grass roots vs. party establishment race of 2012 and a test of the tea party’s continued momentum,” wrote Erickson, who is also a CNN contributor.
The endorsement, Radtke campaign manager Carter Wrenn said, gave the campaign a boost. But soon, he noticed that RedState wasn’t giving Radtke’s campaign much attention.
“The word came back to me that the people who own Human Events and RedState were for Allen and had asked Erickson to step back,” he said.
So, is this accusation from the Radtke Campaign accurate? Did RedState’s bosses actually ask (demand) that Erickson back off of Radtke because of their support and friendship with George Allen?
From the response by Erickson one would think that the Radtke campaign is way off base and the accusations are the figments of the campaign’s collective minds. That RedState and Erickson are personally offended at the thought of being accused of selling out their Conservative values and beliefs because the people that cut Erickson’s checks pulled back on the bridle.
A false accusation like this would certainly merit the indignant and harsh response Erickson posted on RedState.
Except that Erickson confirmed the accusation as truth:
Actually, my bosses at Eagle Publishing do in fact have a relationship with George Allen, and a very good one, and asked me — after I endorsed her — to please go slow for once instead of shooting first and asking questions later.
I love my bosses and my employer and the owner and was happy to accommodate their very first request in my five years of employment to go slow on an endorsement.
To be clear: my bosses were not telling me to stay out, but telling me to wait a while. Perhaps Cuccinelli would get in. Perhaps someone else would get in. Perhaps Radtke would implode.
The article goes on to present what Erickson sees as logic in this move to do as his bosses asked – back off of the Radtke endorsement.
We have a lot of respect for Erick Erickson and his accomplishments. He has become a force in coverage of politics and shaping the dialog and successfully getting good Conservatives elected. And perhaps Jamie Radtke’s campaign has not taken off the way Erickson had anticipated.
But this was not handled well by RedState and Erickson. And the negative impact this could have on the Radtke campaign is troubling, especially since the accusations are true.
And it may make people a bit hesitant to cherish an Endorsement by Erickson, especially when the breakups can be this ugly.
Or, to put it another way:
Boy meets girl
Boy endorses girl
Boy is told he must love another man
Girl finds out, gets mad
Boy confirms cheating, blames Girl
Boy destroys girl, claims girl is not the victim.
That about sums it up.
Update: The Other McCain has some good coverage and updates on this story. And Stacy McCain linked to this post! Thanks, Stacy!
Update – 8/24/2011 @ 8:00 PM -
Here is an audio interview that Jamie Radtke did from the event. While there is apparently no video of her actual speech, Radtke is obviously sober and coherent in this FTR Radio interview.
And an account from a “boots on the ground” blogger America’s Right:
And during Rick Perry’s speech, I sat directly in front of Jamie Radtke, a former Tea Party organizer and activist turned U.S. Senate candidate from Virginia — in speaking with her for only a few minutes, it was clear that she is an absolute dynamo, and I expect great things.
It’s that sort of impact, an impact on a micro, person-to-person level, that makes events like RedState Gathering so effective, and that augments the already established influence of someone like Erick Erickson.
Consider, for example, my limited role as the founder and managing editor of America’s Right. Taking Ms. Radtke’s candidacy for example, thanks to the magic of Google Analytics I can tell you that America’s Right receives anywhere between 500 and 2000 hits originating from the Commonwealth of Virginia in a given week. A little more than a year ago, when we did quite a few candidate interviews at AR, traffic from the interviewee’s state jumped visibly in the days following those posts. Down the road, when I have the chance to sit down and speak with Ms. Radtke at length, that interview will be seen by thousands of potential voters in Virginia by the time I slide it off of AR‘s front page. The same will go for any piece in which I reach out to Ms. Radtke for a comment on a given timely issue. And I’m just small potatoes; at the Gathering were countless representatives from sites bigger and smaller than mine, running the gamut from ordinary people who simply reach out to others via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to bona-fide New Media stars from high-trafficked operations such as The Daily Caller.
I have known Jamie Radtke for a couple of years and know her to be a sober and serious person. She likes to laugh, but the lady has focus. I believe that these two accounts are sufficient to cast doubt on the validity of these claims. This appears to be nothing more than political insiders and their friends using strong arm tactics against a Conservative woman. It is a shame that Erick Erickson had to be a part of this.