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NRCC obsession with Gwen Graham and ‘brass in her pocket’

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

This is funny. Chris Pack obviously doesn’t know me and/or much about rookie U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham.

Then again, I should have realized back when people threw beer cans at me during my stand-up comedy phase in college that I do humor like Andy Kaufman – a few get my jokes, but most are bewildered.

So, Pack of the NRCC sent out an e-mail, one of those ICYM things alerting folks about a supposedly negative piece on Graham that I wrote based on a previous e-mail he had sent criticizing Graham for not criticizing Hillary Clinton.

The story I wrote is here. It was an impulsive decision to try to boost my story count and, hey, say Hillary and you generate clicks, right? I never thought the NRCC would take a story about a secretary of state email account and try to make it an issue for North Florida.

Talk about being obsessed.

I treat the weekly email messages from the NRCC as part of a running gag of how Graham drives loonies on the left and right crazy by doing exactly what she said she was going to do.

I thought I wrote something tongue-in-cheek about the Graham criticism and then tried to highlight what others thought may have been a national security risk created by a secretary of state setting up a private e-mail server.

But Republicans are lusting after Graham’s seat. She unseated a Tea Party favorite by a narrow margin by promising to get Washington working again. And just the appearance of what may be a criticism of Graham is all the NRCC needs to try to keep a storyline alive.

This is going to be a fun two years watching the NRCC go after Graham because Graham understands what she is up against and she has had some good mentors.

I say that with confidence because I have observed Graham up close since August of 2013, shortly after she announced her candidacy. When we sat together during a Democratic Club of North Florida picnic that summer I thought of her as another example of someone born on third base telling a group of .190 hitters how to hit for extra bases. My wife was with me so I had to be polite and make nice.

Then I dogged her on the campaign trail.

Leafing through my notebook I came across this line I had scribbled after watching Graham be ignored by Perry voters during a Florida Forest Festival Parade.

There’s a Chrissie Hynde quality to the campaign; the lady has brass.

I never used the line because Graham didn’t know who Hynde is – we’re from different eras but keep brass in the pocket in mind as part of the soundtrack for what will be a two-year story. The NRCC is going to throw everything it can at Graham and my guess is like Chrissie Hynde she will use everything she has in the battle for control of Florida’s 2nd Congressional District.

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