By Sean Phillippi
Rep. Alan Grayson surprised many by recently coming out to support Sec. Hillary Clinton for President over Sen. Bernie Sanders. Personally, I am an unabashed supporter of Sec. Clinton. She should, and probably will, become our 45th President. That being said, it is clear that Rep. Grayson’s endorsement of Sec. Clinton is a self-serving attempt to help his struggling US Senate campaign. Sec. Clinton and Rep. Patrick Murphy are both proud Democrats, and one of the strongest ties that binds them is that they are both Democrats who favor accomplishing things to help people over digging in their heels in support of an ideological stance that has no tangible benefit for their constituents.
Rep. Grayson is much more in line with Sen. Sanders when it comes to their worldview, which is why most of the active supporters that Rep. Grayson still has seem to overwhelmingly support Sen. Sanders. One thing I tell all of the candidates I work with is that they shouldn’t sell themselves or their supporters out to win an election. That, win or lose, they should stay true to themselves. Rep. Grayson sold out his supporters, and the fact that he sold them down the river with nothing to show for it demonstrates both how little he thinks of the people who have spent months defending him and how undisciplined Grayson is as a candidate.
Another example of how badly Rep. Grayson’s campaign is doing is the downright bizarre television ad where Rep. Grayson takes full credit for Rep. McCarthy dropping his bid to become Speaker of the House. I would have laughed my head off if I wasn’t shocked by the brazen disregard for reality that Rep. Grayson shows with this ad. He had as much to do with Rep. McCarthy dropping his bid to become Speaker of the House as I did. Is his next campaign ad going to have Rep. Grayson’s face transposed on General Washington’s body crossing the Delaware River with Rep. Grayson taking credit for winning the American Revolution? Such an ad would have as much basis in reality as the one he is currently running.
An ethics complaint that Rep. Grayson filed is what he points to in making his case that Rep. McCarthy was waiting with baited breath to hear what he thought before deciding his future. One thing I will give Rep. Grayson is that if any Member of Congress is an expert on unethical behavior it is Rep. Alan Grayson. Rep. Grayson’s myriad of ethics issues have caused Democrats and Republicans to universally rebuke him in an increasingly rare show of bi-partisanship in a recent article published by The Hill. Rep. Grayson’s ethics issues and underwhelming campaign have caused Peter Schorsch to ask who (other than the small group Rep. Grayson started with) is supporting his campaign:
— Peter Schorsch (@SaintPetersblog) November 12, 2015
If that wasn’t enough, another major mistake that Rep. Grayson has made is that he refuses to support his Democratic opponent should Rep. Patrick Murphy win the August Primary Election next year. How can he reasonably expect anyone to support him if he isn’t willing to be a team player once the voters have their say? Rep. Grayson complains about being mistreated, but he doesn’t seem to remember that Sen. Nan Rich was treated much worse than Rep. Grayson can ever imagine and she endorsed, and went on a unity tour, with Gov. Crist within 48 hours of the polls closing last August. Also, Rep. Grayson started his campaign by disparaging Rep. Murphy, so he has no room to complain as you can’t criticize people for fighting back then you throw the first punch.
One last metric campaigns are often measured by this far out from Election Day is fundraising. The last fundraising quarter was the first for Rep. Alan Grayson as a US Senate candidate, and the second for Rep. Murphy, and despite Rep. Grayson having that advantage Rep. Murphy raised double what Rep. Grayson raised. These shouldn’t be shocking revelations to anyone who has been paying attention. Rep. Grayson didn’t lift a finger to support Sen. Rich last year. When you combine that with the fact that he is supporting Sec. Clinton for all of the wrong reasons (throwing his own supporters under the bus while he is at it) and that we won’t commit to supporting the Democratic nominee for US Senate should he not get the nod it paints a clear picture of a man who only deserves the support of the constituency of one who he selfishly adores to the exclusion of everyone else: himself.
Sean Phillippi is a Democratic strategist and founder of the political data firm TLE Analytics