CA-46: Inside the Debbie Cook Campaign

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{Note: Yes, I have previously announced my support for Debbie Cook. No, I’m not “shilling” for the campaign… Or for anyone else, for that matter. These are my own observations and my own analysis of the state of the race in the 46th District. From now on, this series will be devoted to Democrats taking on Republicans in the November election. And hopefully, you’ll enjoy this series and get involved in a Democratic campaign in your area! 🙂 }

Every weekend, volunteers from all over the 46th Congressional District come to the Debbie Cook for Congress campaign office to walk neighborhood precincts and let their fellow voters know that they have an opportunity this year to elect someone to Congress who will work hard to the hard-working people of this district. And fortunately for me, I had a chance to not only visit the campaign office… But also see Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook speak, meet the wonderful union workers that took time out of their busy weekend this past Saturday to volunteer, and go out with one of these volunteers on a precinct walk! Please follow along with me as I take you inside the Debbie Cook campaign as they prepare to challenge the GOP incumbent Dana Rohrabacher this fall.


At 9:00 AM on Saturday morning, I arrived at the Debbie Cook campaign office in Huntington Beach. Not too long after I arrived, I noticed the candidate come out to talk with all the volunteers waiting in the front of the office. And from what I could tell, just about everyone in that office enjoyed speaking with Debbie Cook as she listened intently to their personal stories.

At 9:30, the volunteer training began. Debbie Cook first spoke, and she got the crowd pumped up by talking about the need to protect the middle class in America, and in Southern California. “If we don’t have a middle class America, we don’t have America,” Cook said. She went on to discuss how she’s willing to reach out to Republicans and Independents to accomplish real results for worling class families, since she already has experience doing this while on the Huntington Beach City Council. The crowd of middle class union workers, who had grown accustomed to Dana Rohrabacher toeing the GOP party line on promoting economic royalism that hurts working families, seemed pretty pleased with Cook’s speech.

Soon after, the training began… And someone was ready and on hand to teach everyone how to walk precincts like a pro. He first told all of us his own story on how he came here to OC to work for Loretta Sanchez. And then, we were shown how to make sense of the precinct list, how to talk to voters, and how to make the most out of our time.

Around 10:15, I left with my partner to walk a neighborhood of apartments and duplexes near Warner and Goldenwest in Huntington Beach. 15 minutes later, we arrived and immediately began walking. Within minutes, we found a Democrat who happily told us he knew Cook very well and that he already voted for her in the June primary. Shortly after, we found a Republican who was open to voting for Cook in November. He first opined about her being “too liberal”, but then he quickly changed his tune when he found out how Rohrabacher voted against giving Medicare the ability to negotiate with drug companies for lower prescription drug prices. Suddenly, Rohrabacher was looking to be too far to the right.

Our first few voters really set the tone for the entire day of walking. I found a Democratic woman who was relieved to hear that someone of Debbie Cook’s stature is challenging Rohrabacher this year, as she talked with my walk partner about his adherence to the Bush-Cheney party line on everything from the Iraq War to cutting taxes only for the super-rich. I found a Republican woman who appreciated Debbie Cook’s work for the environment, and she said she’d consider voting for her over Rohrabacher this fall. I found a Republican union worker who was glad to hear that a pro-worker, pro-middle class candidate is taking on Rohrabacher… And he and his Democratic wife both said they will vote for Cook this fall.

All in all, “Surfin’ Dana” didn’t look all that popular in his own hometown of “Surf City USA”. Not only were Democrats in the neighborhood I walked on Saturday were ready to vote for Cook, but a number of Independents… And even some Republicans were ready to as well. Most voters I spoke with did not agree with Rohrabacher’s hard right stances on Iraq, the economy, the environment, and other issues. And other than one guy complaining to me about parking tickets, no one seemed to have anything bad to say about Debbie Cook.

Unfortunately my walk time was cut short around 12:45, when the manager kicked my partner and me out of the last apartment complex on our walk list. My walk partner and I returned to the campaign office, where a few more poor souls had also returned early after being kicked out of an apartment complex. The campaign worker present at the office had a good laugh thanks to all of us.

Just before I left the campaign office to return home, I thought of just how well my day with the Debbie Cook campaign went. Volunteers showed up excited about the prospect of defeating Rohrabacher in November. The campaign’s recent activities seem to generating buzz all over the 46th District. And most importantly, the voters are already looking receptive to Debbie Cook and her message of change.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the race in the 46th becomes the hottest race in OC this fall. Debbie Cook seems to be the right person running at the right time, and the campaign is really taking advantage of this. If the campaign continues its good work and connects with voters here on the issues they care about, Debbie Cook may just become the first Democrat since Loretta Sanchez to unseat an entrenched GOP Congresscritter.

In the 20 years that Rohrabacher’s been in office, this part of Orange County has changed. Voters here do care about the coast, about the environment, about pocket book economic issues, about the future. Hopefully, Debbie Cook can capture this longing to change and become our “Loretta Sanchez” style success story of 2008. 🙂

You have new Picture Mail!

You have new Picture Mail!

You have new Picture Mail!

You have new Picture Mail!

  4 comments for “CA-46: Inside the Debbie Cook Campaign

  1. June 2, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Make sure you post that bias disclosure at the beginning of every post, Andrew! This is the new era of the blog bias police.

  2. June 2, 2008 at 11:39 am


    Haha. Why did I suspect you’d drop by to warn me? Hopefully, a warning a day will keep the “bias police” away. 😉

  3. Christine
    June 6, 2008 at 5:59 am


    You have a couple of extra characters in the URL for “Debbie Cook for Congress” and clicking the link won’t get you directly to the site. FYI,

  4. Mississippi
    September 27, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Debbie Cook is an idiot and anyone who votes for her is uninformed. She beleives you are too stupid to make your own decidions and needs the Government to do it for you. She beleives that the Environment is God. I pity the 46th District if she wins.

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