Two days later, a top Republican advisor watched the speech online and said to me: “Holy Crap. I have to think that race is over if he gets that out to voters. I honestly think it’s the best speech I’ve ever heard anyone give in Maine. This could make him a national figure if it gets out.”
Dems are calling this "The Speech", and after watching it a few times, I can see why. I don't agree with Mr. Jackson's political views, but this is a pretty remarkable speech. From a pure political art standpoint, this was written perfectly for the person delivering it, it hits all the heartstring notes, the refrains, and lays out the us vs. them, populist, workers unite message better than pretty much anything I've ever heard. Troy Jackson is not exactly known for his oratory skills, but he got the job done here. He turned himself into the Johnny Cash of Allagash, and hit the note perfectly.
I’m running because of income inequality, poverty, unfairness, corporate greed and political cowardice. I have known these things my entire life and I have watched them wreck communities and tear people’s lives and families apart. And during those cold nights in that small shack along the river I never would have thought I would one day have the opportunity to do something about it, and if I'm lucky enough to pull this off I damn sure intend to!. If you’re going to run for Congress, you have to know in your heart – in your soul – why you’re running. I run for all those cold nights all across America and all those crying mothers and all those aching families of the middle class.
“I’m running because of income equality, poverty, unfairness, corporate greed and political cowardice,” Jackson said. “I have known these things my entire life, and I have watched them wreck communities and tear people’s lives and families apart.”
Alice Bolstridge is a retired English teacher in Presque Isle. She said that when she looks at the two candidates, Jackson seems more like herself. She said that while she likes Cain, she doesn’t think the candidate “knows what she’s talking about when she’s asked about Aroostook County, and rural Maine.”
Jackson, 45, is a feisty, plain-speaking labor Democrat with near-universal support from unions that have endorsed him in the race, which he says is about “the soul of the working-class people.”
He said he’s running for Congress because “there’s no one really there making the case for regular, everyday working-class people or poor people.”
But on fiscal, lunch-pail issues, he understands something Cain does not. Cooperate with a tea party stalwart like LePage, and you'll get rolled. Lines should have been drawn, and Cain didn't draw them.
Now I am second-guessing the data. For LCV to spend such an exorbitant amount on attack ads means it might know something I don’t. Or the group is politically inept.
Lots of politicians, in both parties, talk about lifting more Maine families out of poverty and into lives filled with steady work and reliable health care coverage. Many though, don't have Troy Jackson's intimate experience with what it means for families when those things are out of reach. Jackson, who's a logger by trade and the majority leader of the Maine Senate, is running against Emily Cain in the Democratic Primary in Maine's 2nd Congressional District. His campaign is the latest chapter in the career of an unlikely politician, known for his willingess to take on powerful opponents on behalf of Maine's most vulnerable citizens.
“You can’t say you’re interested in taxing the wealthy when right in here in Maine, you gave tax cuts to the rich,” said Jackson, who voted against the budget.