Alas, Jamie Radtke

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 24 2011 12:51 PM

Alas, Jamie Radtke

In January, RedState's Erick Erickson welcomed George Allen back to politics by introducing his readers to Jamie Radtke, a Tea Party activist who was already running for Allen's old U.S. Senate seat. Not a huge endorsement. Something you could read as "hey, this first-time candidate is running, and she could amount to something." Clearly encouraging.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Cut to Wednesday morning, when Radtke's campaign, miffed about the lack of attention she's getting from RedState, passes e-mails to Ben Smith to explain why: Erickson's on Allen's take!

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The RedState blogger quickly moves to remind people why it's a bad idea to screw with a conservative pundit with a ton of readers and no obligations.

For some reason, the Radtke campaign thought it would be a good idea, after I endorsed the campaign and let her speak at the RedState Gathering — to introduce the director of “The Undefeated” no less — to put me in an awkward position and also try to play the victim.
My only guess is that after her performance at the RedState Gathering, I was perhaps more frank that I should have been that I’d definitely not now be helping her. So the campaign preemptively decided to spin a “poor pitiful me” story to the Politico.
Jamie Radtke is not a victim. She’s a candidate. And clearly a bad one at that.
Game over as far as I’m concerned.

One irony here is that Radtke had been trying to elevate a long-shot campaign by getting herself taken seriously by conservatives, and showing up at events. She spoke at the launch of the U.S. Senate Tea Party Caucus. She spoke at one or more events in the House where she was the lone candidate among policy experts and members of Congress. The soft sell was that conservatives should get on board with the next giant-killer, and hey, it could be her.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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