I don't know if you caught it in this weekend's Oregonian profiles of the Gubernatorial candidates, but in Chris Dudley's profile by Harry Esteve, Dudley's father happened to casually mention that his son voted for Obama in 2008.
Of course, I made a big deal about it in the comments of the article because the next question ought to have been "why are we hearing about this now?" but I hardly expect that from Esteve who has never had a kind or charitable word for Kitzhaber. But I wasn't shocked. I am a little doubtful of the truth of Dudley's admission, which I will entail reasons for in a minute. But shocked? Not at all. Being a Lake Oswego resident I had heard some months back from a Chamber of Commerce member that Mrs. Dudley was an Obama supporter and I privately wondered when that was going to come out. I sort of felt when she was named in Dudley's "18 Point Plan - Education for our Economic Future" that he had an ethical obligation to introduce his wife to the public. Certainly, we only need to look no further than Hilary Clinton to see how unelected wives can be perceived. He's been asked (if memory serves me, I believe it was in the Register Guard interview) who he would appoint to help him on various committees and came up expectantly short on names. But his wife has been named to a position, should he be elected, and she has been traveling the state attending Women for Dudley functions and speaking to Republican Women's Groups. I wonder if she mentioned she is an Obama supporter. Somehow, I doubt it. and the media hasn't seen fit to ask about her. I guess I am the only one with expectations on that front.
Chris Love Dudley speaking to the Linn GOP women’s group on July 12th
No, of course, I have no proof that I can provide to you that she is or isn't a Republican. But I DO feel, at the point when she was named in Dudley's plan, it's a fair question to ask.
So now what to make of Dudley supposedly voting for Obama. We aren't talking about a lot of time since Obama's election and when Dudley decided to run. Let's see, when Dudley filed his papers, Obama was still operating under Bush's budget. Dudley was attending teaparty rallies a mere 9 months after Obama took office. Health care reform, the stimulus, NONE of this was a surprise to Obama voters. The problem that Obama voters had with Healthcare Reform is that it didn't have a Public Option. Is this Chris Dudley's view? Hardly.
Folks, this is pandering in its lowest form. We don't KNOW who Chris Dudley voted for. What we DO know is that he is behind in the polls. What we DO know is that Oregon tends to vote Democratic. What we DO know is that he must get Democrats to vote for him in order to win. At the same time, Chris Dudley cannot alienate his extremist base. I mean for Pete's Sake, Allen Alley didn't pass the GOP Purity Test because he DARED accept an appointment to then Gov. Kitzhaber's Counsel for Knowledge & Economic Development. How will this bit of news sit with the same people who want Art Robinson for Congress?
I rule this one as a LIE. Two weeks ago, also in the Register-Guard interview Dudley made some rambling remarks about how half his family are Democrats and half are Republicans. I think this was not only a way of sticking a toe in the water to test this lie out, but it addresses the topic of how his wife voted, should anyone ask. So will the media press with the follow-up questions? I won't hold my breath. And if he DID actually vote for Obama, why the big secret? Secrets in politics are usually BAD and elude to... dare I say it? An Honesty Problem.
Errata: In my two references to the Register Guard, I meant Statesman Journal. My apologies to the RG! The entire interview with the clips I refer to above is posted here.