Berg Has Got To Figure Out How To Defend His Positions

rickberg

I think it’s true that Rick Berg is winning, and will win, North Dakota’s Senate seat this election.  I think even Heidi Heitkamp and the Democrats know that, which is why the campaign ads and public statements have become increasingly shrill of late (I even think it’s a symptom for why Heidi’s brother felt he needed to personally insult me earlier this week).  They’re angry because they don’t feel like they’re winning this race.

But I think it’s also true that Berg is underperforming.  He’s up against a Democrat who hasn’t won an election in North Dakota in the 1990’s, was an outspoken proponent of a health care reform law which North Dakotans hate, has serious ethical problems and has been spending a lot of time trying to run away from her national party.

Berg should be running away with this race, but he’s not. Like a baseball team with a big lead letting their opponent creep back into the game a few singles and doubles at a time late in the game, Berg is allowing Heitkamp to linger and this interview with Chris Berg may be a big reason why that’s happening:

Valley News Live – KVLY/KXJB – Fargo/Grand Forks

Part two of the interview is here.

Berg’s responses to the Medicare questions are muddled. His responses to questions about debates seem downright evasive. Public speaking is not Berg’s strong suit, but he needs to be able to articulate to voters why he takes the positions he does. When he doesn’t he leaves a vacuum which Democrats can fill with whatever spin they want.

There are good arguments for the position Berg has taken on Medicare and the debates, but when Berg doesn’t make those arguments (or, at least, doesn’t make them coherently) the public isn’t going to understand them. North Dakota’s electorate is not one to be taken for granted. The state has a long history of splitting the ticket between Democrats and Republicans. I think voters here will be sympathetic to conservative arguments, and the positions Berg has taken, but not if the candidate himself can’t explain them.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Dakotacyr

    Wow, you really are full of yourself. Your perseveration over the name calling is getting old. Time to out on your big boy pants. The world doesn’t revolve around you.

    You and Berg are the angry ones. You make things up and then claim they are facts. If Berg were ahead then why did the republicans desperately add $3 million to Berg’s race?

    Heidi has a great reputation in ND and the people like her despite all youR faceless innuendo and baseless allegations that are not sticking. Smacks of desperation and whining.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I guess I hit a nerve.

      I think it’s kind of strange that you’ve latched on to this money the NRSC has put into this race. They’re pretty much just matching what the DSCC has spent, and remember this is a Democrat held seat.

      And I doubt you’d tell Heitkamp to out on her big girl shorts if some Reoblicam called her fat. And that’s because you’re an enormous hypocrite.

      • Dakotacyr

        A little bit of projecting on your part, you are the one doing the whining.. Latched on? Berg is latching on to that money for all he is worth.

        Numerous Republicans on this site have called her on her weight and her looks on a regular basis, who are you trying to kid?

        Heidi has not complained about anyone on your site at all but you on the other hand have been whining for the past two weeks.

        So put on your big boy pants, Rob.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I didn’t realize I was responsible for things other people say. Love never called her fat, and I’ve criticized those who have.

          And “you did it too” is the sort of thing children say.

          • Dakotacyrd

            I guess you missed my point. You may not have written words but you have intentionally used pics that aren’t the best and you know it.

            And thanks for calling out Philgray.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Using a picture of a politician making s funny face isn’t the same as calling someone fat.

            If a republucan said it about Heitkamp you’d be screaming about a war on women. Hypocrite.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Using a picture of a politician making s funny face isn’t the same as calling someone fat.

            If a republucan said it about Heitkamp you’d be screaming about a war on women. Hypocrite.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Using a picture of a politician making s funny face isn’t the same as calling someone fat.

            If a republucan said it about Heitkamp you’d be screaming about a war on women. Hypocrite.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Using a picture of a politician making s funny face isn’t the same as calling someone fat.

            If a republucan said it about Heitkamp you’d be screaming about a war on women. Hypocrite.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            I didnt say that to Phil for you, hypocrite. And if Rush Limbaugh called Heitkamp fat you’d be all “war on women” but of course when it’s Democrats things are different.

            It’s too bad you dont have any integrity.

          • Dakotacyr

            It’s too bad you have thin skin!

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            If I had thin skin, do you think I would allow a completely open comments section like I do?

            I don’t point out what the Forum and Joel Heitkamp say about me because I want sympathy. I point it out because I think it reflects poorly on them, and they’re worthy of criticism.

          • tomorrowclear

            I will vouch for Rob on this one. I don’t think he has a thin anything.

          • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

            I am not sure there are many pictures out there that can make Heidi look more attractive. I haven’t seen any that do it there are any.

    • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

      Wow, you trying to invent a new reality. Heidi is going to get beat handily in November that’s a fact…

  • philgray

    Heidi’s great reputation….She didnt even carry her home town area when she ran last bozos….Heidi Heifer and her sickly calf down by Rutland, that pile of gulleson have no class.
    Environmental nazis who would destroy farmers with her wacko views of climate change…must follow in the family with watershed expert Joel, more like bs experts if anyone has known Joel and Heifer Heidi the last 30 years like I have…
    Heidi has a great reputation????????? Where and for what exactly?
    This will be fun when heifer Heidi loses again….hehe

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Those are disgusting, indefensible things to say. If you think you’re helping defeat Heitkamp you’re wrong.

      • Philgray

        Do not care one way or the other…its personal with the jerk Heitkamps…I will distribute the threat tape…at the appropriate time……you tracking JOEL?

        • Dakotacyr

          Talk is cheap, put up or shut up!

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I don’t believe that you have any such tape. If you did, you’d have released it.

  • Bobby

    You must (have got to) get an editor. Find an intern, El Porto.

    • Bobby

      Find the response here! You’ll get it! Incidentally, sorry about your friends with m2. The lawsuit was pure bs, and the sanctions ruling is correct, but that’s a lot of money to come up with. Hopefully those who funded the fight will help the fallen.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I’ve always used spell check, though obviously it doesn’t catch everything. I’ve installed a new plugin for the blog allowing me to do a more thorough edit after I write.

      Still, though, I produce a lot of content every day, and I don’t make that many mistakes for as much as I produce.

      • Bobby

        True, you do a pretty good job. I think it is clear I disagree with you, but you work pretty hard.

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