Tea Party organizer Jamie Radtke is running for the United States Senate from Virginia. She has already attended her first Senate Tea Party Caucus meeting by request of the caucus. Sounds like they want her as a colleague.
Radtke's a constitutional conservative who isn't afraid to point out the mistakes of establishment big-government Republicans. As it became clear the Tea Party was the major force of last year's elections, she wrote the GOP is on probation, a phrase copied even by some Republicans in Congress who understand their party is in deep kimchi if they fail to rise to cause. Radtke organized the largest Tea Party convention held to date while running a small business and home schooling her three children. Add to her resume, which is deeply rooted in small-government conservative policy and politics, that she's a good fundraiser.
All that adds up, for now, to her being underestimated by the pundits. That's good. Successful conservatives are almost always underestimated at first. Soon enough, however, the pundits will go on the attack against her. She's a threat to their bread and butter, big government.
If Radtke were to win the 2012 Republican primary in Virginia, she may face Jim Webb who is still deciding whether to seek re-election, but his anemic fundraising indicates he probably won't. Webb and fellow Virginia Senator Mark Warner have turned out to be Virginia's Tweedledee and Tweedledum, campaigning as moderate Democrats but toeing the Obama-Reid line. Webb recently voted against repealing ObamaCare, further indicating he's not running in the state that in 2009 elected conservatives Bob McDonnell governor and Ken Cuccinelli attorney general by landslides. Warner was conspicuously absent from the ObamaCare repeal vote.
The incumbent whom Webb beat in 2006, George Allen, has also announced he's running. Allen is a good man, but when Republicans controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress from 2001 to 2006, he failed to exercise the constitutional conservative leadership needed to stop the massive spending that took place. The results for both Allen and the Republican Party spoke for themselves.
Now is not the time for just good men and women or go-along Republicans willing to merely say no to Obama's increases in government spending. We need cuts. We need a return to government ruled by the Constitution. We need fresh faces without ties and indebtedness to special interests and the Washington establishment. In other words, we need leaders who will buck the political establishment.
Radtke will be in the Jim DeMint, Rand Paul camp. She won't toe the big-government Republican line. She's a constitutional cutter. Her optimistic and positive demeanor should not be misconstrued. She's principled and tough.
Dick Morris, who predicted Republicans would win back the Senate in 2010, had in a recent article/email what amounted almost to a moment reminiscent of Karl Rove's bashing Christine O'Donnell.
Confessing his over-exuberance in the 2010 races, then writing about the Virginia race, Morris wrote, "Not a sure pickup but, if the Republican Party nominates Allen -- and not some later day Christine O'Donnell -- we should be all right."
I've had the distinct pleasure to get to know and follow Jamie Radtke since 2009. As someone who has fought against abusive, overreaching government and for constitutional limitations, I can tell you Radtke is more of a cross between Michele Bachmann and Ron Johnson, the non-career politician who defeated Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold in the 2010 election.
Virginia is redder than Minnesota and Wisconsin. The 2012 senate race is a real opportunity to add another DeMint ally who is willing to stand up against even her own party when it is weak-kneed or compromised by its ties to the establishment.
A day after he wrote about the Virginia senate race, I received a Morris advertiser email: "GOP Sellout Looms on Debt Ceiling Vote: Stop Them Now."
Radtke wouldn't be a part of the GOP sellout crowd. I'll bet Morris becomes a Radtke fan as her campaign grows and her star shines brighter.