RALEIGH – Earlier this year North Carolina Senator Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg) was whispered to be eyeing a challenge of woefully unpopular U.S. Senator Thom Tillis in 2020. Indeed, the young Charlotte state lawmaker with ‘a future’, as some have foreshadowed, was exploring a run. But when he met with the Democratic kingmakers in the Swamp to earn their required financial support, he came away feeling a bit icky.
Jackson reportedly courted the support of Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate minority leader, and his associated machine, telling the Schumer he planned to visit all 100 counties in 100 days to lead a grassroots challenge of Tillis. However, that’s not the way the Swamp works, as Jackson found out.
From National Review:
“[…] “Wrong answer,” Schumer said when confronted with Jackson’s grassroots strategy, according to the account of their conversation Jackson gave at UNC Charlotte. “We want you to spend the next 16 months in a windowless basement raising money and then we’re going to spend 80 percent of it on negative ads about Tillis.”
Jackson explained that, while he didn’t technically require Schumer’s support to run, the minority leader’s control over the funds disbursed by major donors and the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), made running without his support an impossibility. […]”
And just like that Jackson’s 2020 hopes were dashed. While the Army veteran and JAG officer may have wholesome ideas about connecting with the people (even if it is from the Left), the Democratic Party has long since left any such sensibilities behind in favor of scorched earth smear campaigns regardless of facts.
(To be sure, if Tillis is the Republican nominee there is certainly plenty of real meat to hit him on, but that’s a big ‘IF’ considering his stiff primary challenge. Having purchased a couple million dollars in ads for the winter and spring, the desperate Tillis camp is probably gearing up a swampy salvo of their own.)
After the ‘artistic differences’ with Schumer spiked his senate hopes, Jackson actually endorsed the Democrat knighted by the Left’s powers that be, Cal Cunningham.
Sen. Tillis has neglected every major challenge our state faces.
Cal Cunningham has a record of real leadership – in our military and in our state legislature.
He’s also shown that he’s in the best position to win, which is absolutely vital. I’m proud to support him.
— Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) October 3, 2019
But that comes after Jackson ripped the ‘windowless basement strategy’ that Cunningham presumably agreed to with the Swamp.
“[…] “Yes,” Jackson said when asked if Cunningham has been in “a windowless basement” since announcing his candidacy. “He hasn’t held a public event. He didn’t have a kickoff. This is like month three. He goes to Democratic-party events if you follow him, right — places where they’re going to say, ‘And everybody, Cal Cunningham is here!’ And he gets to be like, ‘Hey!’” (Jackson did not respond to a request for comment, but announced his endorsement of Cunningham hours after he was contacted and learned of the existence of the audio recording.) […]”
Despite the soulless Schumer strategy lacking the kind of grassroots focus Jackson naively envisioned DC Democrats would support in a statewide race, it does seem to be paying off in campaign funds for Cunningham. According to reports Cunningham is raises as much as 35 percent of his total haul from New York liberals with a history of supporting Schumer.
After Governor Roy Cooper launched his reelection campaign there, this marks yet another example of North Carolina Democrats being so much more comfortable in among liberals in New York City than the people in the Old North State.
Read more about Jackson’s comments and listen to the recorded audio here.