Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bell Withdraws-Press Conference Report

I attended the Ford Bell announcement today. Room 125 was quite cramped with the TV cameras and press filling in the chairs scattered throughout the room. Dr. Bell's staff and supporters lined the periphery in a show of support to their former candidate. Out of respect, they all stood when he entered the room, and remained standing throughout the delivery of the statement. A complete text of Dr. Bell's remarks are available at Blog for Bell. The highlights:
I am announcing today that I am ending my campaign for the DFL nomination for U.S. Senate this year.
The driving force behind the decision, money, or lack thereof:
But it has also become clear that our campaign will not be able to raise enough money to win the September primary.
After hitting on the main issues of his candidacy, War in Iraq and Single payer Health care, he returned to campaign finance:
Since I have been in this race, I have come to believe that there is another issue we must address: the need for public financing of elections. The corrosive influence of money is strangling American democracy. That our little outsider campaign raised almost a million dollars, stood for issues that the vast majority of our party endorsed, and couldn't compete, is an indictment of the system we have. We must change it.
and finally, the all important endorsement to unify the party towards the main goal:
I will be supporting my opponent Amy Klobuchar in November, and I ask my supporters to do the same. The differences within our Party are important, but the differences between Mark Kennedy, George Bush and the needs of America are much greater.
Following his remarks, he took questions. Specifically, he was asked about a 2008 Senate run, to which he responded he hasn't ruled anything out. Of course, his lovely wife Amy, was shaking her head 'No' and remarked something to the effect of "I finally get my husband back" It is worth noting that today is also Dr. Bell and Amy's 14th wedding anniversary, and she commented that this was a very nice anniversary gift.

He ended the questioning by stating how distressed he was that the Democrats are not taking a clear stance against the war. He felt his message was beginning to resonate and with ample resources would have emerged victorious in November. But for now this phase of the election cycle is over. Dr. Bell has exited gracefully while running a positive and honorable campaign. I hope he remains engaged in the process.

Dr. Bell concluded his remarks with a quote from Muhammad Ali:
"The service you do for others is the rent you pay for the time you spend on earth."

No comments: