Massa's Press Conference

Yesterday's results in New Hampshire have Eric Massa fired up and ready to go.   Massa started with three points:

1. The New Hampshire turnout is good news for Democrats. Most of the increase in turnout was among Independents and Democrats.

We are energized. People in this country are absolutely at wits end and fed up with politics as usual in Washington, DC. The go along to get along, good old boy network is not resonating with the American people. Washington DC is broken, and to fix it we have to change it.
2. Randy Kuhl is swimming against this tide. Evidence for this includes his "disingenuous, dishonest and incredibly negative writings in local newspapers, and his spending of hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money to sent out glossy two-sided mailers."

Massa's objection to the mailer is that Kuhl's claim that "No child in New York should ever have to live without health coverage" is contradicted by his actions: "He took millions of dollars off of the table. Four million children were blocked from getting access to health care."

3. Kuhl's editorial calling the 110th Congress the "Post Office" Congress didn't acknowledge that Kuhl himself sponsored a bill in the 109th Congress to rename the Scio Post Office after Congressional Medal of Honor winner Jason Dunham. "Frankly, that's a wonderful thing to do [...] I think it's wonderful that we honor our local heroes."

Massa concluded by noting:

I'm going to center my campaign on what we believe in and what we stand for. But I cannot help but point out, and it must be pointed out, that who we have representing us today is a classic example of what is wrong in Washington. Washington is broken, and Randy Kuhl is one of those broken pieces.
After the intro, Rick Miller of the Olean Times-Herald asked some questions about the primaries. The net of them was that Massa is going to vote for Hillary, he doesn't officially endorse anyone, and his supporters are backing different candidates but are unified in their support of Massa.

Bob Recotta of the Corning Leader asked Massa about the perception on the part of the public that Congress is part of the problem, as evidenced by polls. How can the leading Democratic candidates, who are all former or current Senators, distance themselves from that perception?

Massa said that the candidates should

tell people that they need to change Congress. When a sitting Member of Congress calls his colleagues a 'Post-Office Congress' but he's one of the guys setting up a bill naming a Post Office, then he's part of the problem. We need people to work across party lines. I used to be a Republican. I'm bi-lingual. I speak donkey and elephant, eat carrots and peanuts. We need to elect people who don't judge their fellow Americans by the party they're part of.
Recotta also asked how Massa's campaign will tap into the energy coming from the Presidential contest.

I like to think some of that energy is coming from our campaign. We're like a can of Coke that's been shook up. We see more volunteers, more activity and more excitement. I don't think it's an Iowa or New Hampshire phenomenon -- it's a national phenomenon.
Rob Montana of the Hornell Evening Tribune asked what Massa's biggest problem was with Kuhl's editorial.

Massa said that the easiest way to see what was wrong with the editorial was to set it beside his New Year's message. Massa contrasted his "clear message of what I stand for" with Kuhl's negativity. Massa also noted that "it's wrong for a Member of Congress to misuse his position to attack the other side for actions he took", referring to the Post Office naming.

I asked Massa his take on the Republican talking point that the surge is working and that it won't be an issue in the '08 election.

My answer is great, time to leave. I was not in favor of going into Iraq, and I continue to be in opposition to our occupation in Iraq. We were sold a bill of goods. We were told there would be a Summer surge. Last time I checked, there was snow outside, and Iraqi soldiers were shooting American soldiers in the back. The surge was supposed to create a functioning Iraqi democracy. That hasn't happened. It's time for us to look at the President and say 'You don't get to keep 150,000 Americans in Iraq.'


Thanks for covering this Massa press conference. It's really helpful. I hope that his comments get some serious play.

Massa on the Iraq success story: "My answer is great, time to leave."

The administration seems to be in the process of converting the war into a of a non-issue in '08. Surprise, Surprise!

I thought this was an interesting observation from that article:

Talk of Iraqi solutions "is largely a red herring," said Wayne White, who led the State Department's Iraq intelligence team from 2003 to 2005. "This is a catchy phrase aimed at touting -- and exaggerating -- success in Sunni Arab areas," such as Anbar, "while diverting focus away from potential downsides related to same," including the creation of local forces allied with the United States but opposed to the Iraqi government.