Why Susan Mariner

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    Last year when the same old, same old stole the wheel of the Democratic Party of Virginia and drove it into the ditch, eight years of opportunity ended on the same disappointingly sour crescendo that seemed to accompany every success during those years. Susan represents a refreshing new DPVA tune.

    During two Democratic gubernatorial administrations, when the DPVA constituency might have been energized and broadened by embracing new leadership and recognizing areas that would facilitate a flowering of initiative, the “not invented here” syndrome became an obstacle to progress. Personal ambition, self promotion, and self preservation formed the nexus of motivation for too many who were supposed to be protecting the interests of the DPVA. Many of the party officials and electeds who have failed to support Susan Mariner represent a significant who’s who of who’ve been at the helm. They chose poorly for years and in doing so have lost the authority success might provide in this instance.

    Should the leadership of the DPVA miss this opportunity to refresh its leadership and select someone who can connect to the now disenchanted grass roots volunteers who energized the party’s now ebbing resurgence in Virginia, then they will have what they deserve: abject failure to seize the moment. They will keep the party mired deeply in the ditch.  

    • Elaine in Roanoke
    • Teddy Goodson

      has disappointed this converted Republican on several counts, but mostly it boils down to one basic failure: inability (or unwillingness) to change to meet new challenges. They ignore the grassroots except when they need us, they pretty generally ignore NoVa except when they need us, too—- and even when they need us they are reluctant to admit it, and are unbelievably clumsy in how they “use” us. It’s not that they are still like a 20th century organism trying to make it in the 21st, it is that they are more like a 19th century holdover.  

    • Susan Mariner

      Dan, as one of the hardest working Democratic volunteers I’ve ever known, I certainly appreciate your support. As a Marine, you have never shied from speaking out for what you believe, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by your posting even though it did catch me off guard in a big way.

      Here’s what I think:

      There are many people who are feeling frustrated with what they view as missed opportunities for the party and are still smarting from losses last year. A few express their frustration in a public forum and others are more quiet, but the frustration is certainly there.

      I think a really helpful way to look at what you’re touching on is what we do to change things in a way that unites Democrats across the Commonwealth in common cause. Possibly the three most powerful words I’ve ever learned in politics I learned in 2008 while serving as the Hampton Roads Political Director for the Obama general election campaign.  

      Respect. Empower. Include.

      That was the Obama campaign staff motto.  And what we were able to accomplish in 2008 by making those three words a reality was a remarkable thing.  

      I honor all those who have signed on in support of Gaylene and am profoundly grateful to those who are supporting me. And I do have a lot of support, though I’ve chosen not to focus on publicly releasing the names of people who are supporting me but rather on what I’d like to do if elected, which to me is really the only thing that matters.  

      I am excited by the possibility of being elected as 1st Vice Chair and of helping to renergize and unite the Party across the Commonwealth.  At a time when one of our greatest challenges is the “enthusiasm gap” between Republicans and Democrats, there can be no higher calling for those who love the Democratic Party and believe in its principles.  

      Respect. Empower. Include….. I say “Let’s do this thing!”