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Dudley for Obama 08
I asked Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley a few more questions after Thursday's show with him in La Grande. First - did he in fact vote for Obama in 2008? The Oregonian quoted his father saying so in a recent profile.
Answer: Yes. Dudley says he liked Obama's message about working across the aisle, but now says he is disappointed in how that's turned out. He cited the health insurance reform bill as an example. He also says he thinks the president has lost some of the well-tuned connection he had to public sentiment during the presidential campaign.
That raises more questions, like when do leaders decide their convictions (and promises to voters) are more important than continued compromise? What is the difference between compromise for political gain and compromise to solve an agreed on problem? How, exactly, do elected officials get out of touch? And does Chris Dudley think his support for Obama two years ago will help him or hurt him in this campaign?
(Here's what a Dudley supporter at the Flying J told the candidate: "Progress. Not change. We don't want any of that Obama style change. We want progress.")
Good fodder for conversation if Dudley is elected and runs into gridlock with lawmakers...
The other question: When did he first get the idea to run for governor? He says politics was always an interest — he majored in political science and economics at Yale. Then he cited his experience starting a foundation to help people with diabetes have an active, athletic life. He says as head of a non-profit he would sometimes go to Congress to testify. He says he saw the power of non-profits and of government as a way to get things done.
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