Freshman Republican Congresswoman Renee Elmers has hit the airways with her reelection campaign radio ads. Those ads are really good reminders to her constituents in the 2d Congressional District that she was a part of the conservative revolt in the 2010 elections. Her ads clearly show that she ‘talks the talk’. She was a part of a Congress that slowed much of President Obama’s devastating assault on the welfare of this great nation. Face it, compared to her hack predecessor (and current liberal gubernatorial candidate) Renee Elmers represents an improvement in voting record.
Congresswoman Elmers rode into Washington on the tail of the post-2008 conservative movement: she ought to remember that. She also needs to remember who those conservative voices are. She requires frequent reminding that her getting elected to a public position really only meant she was marginally popular and had enough financial backing to garner publicity (and that she was VERY fortunate to have Boob-E self-destruct at the zenith of the campaign season). Getting elected to that public office does not connote either great wisdom or ability. Her predecessor forgot that the longer he held his 7-term congressional seat.
Renee Elmers had a decent first term in office. She was a party to some good beginnings and strong conservative stands against a president hell-bent on forcing this nation further into the throes of socialist decline. But she also caved on much too many important issues- especially with her repeated votes to extend the nation’s debt limit.
Renee’s ads are enticing. Still, there remains is a disturbing aspect about Congresswoman Elmers. No matter what she or her handlers say, she is very aloof, virtually inaccessible to the constituents she is now courting. She sends out plenty of taxpayer-funded information about her accomplishments. Her press people and campaign staff never miss an opportunity to talk about her. But neither the Congresswoman nor her staff reliably return calls, emails, or letters. They seem to be real good at telling the constituency what she is doing, but are really struggling to take any commentary from the people who got her there in the first place. This serious lack of constituent relations is a sure-fire way to lose a congressional seat. Likewise, the Congresswoman doesn’t seem to know how to navigate the 2d Congressional District. She is rarely seen in the western half of her district aside from the occasional, by-intitation-only fundraiser. One thing about her ousted predecessor, he was always visible and (initially) very approachable to the people of this district.
Case in point: republican delegates from the entire 2nd Congressional District held their annual convention in Sanford on April 21st. It was an unprecedented large crowd, so much so the Enrichment Center was full beyond normal capacity. Renee arrived late (as is her practice) missing the opportunity to mix with hundreds of county delegates from all seven of her counties. During the convention proceedings, she was given the microphone for a full 10 minutes, something no other candidate in the room was privileged to receive. She frittered away her 10 minutes speaking conservative cliches and trying to arouse the crowd with uninspired anti-Obama rhetoric, instead of telling her core base what she planned to accomplish if granted another term. The reaction from the 200+ delegates was a polite, but very modest applause; truly, a tepid response. (All across the hall one could see delegates putting on their Richard Speer stickers.) Renee left shortly after her speech, late for another fundraiser no doubt.
Before a number of conservatives will support her, Congresswoman Elmers needs to turn a few things around; and her time is quickly running out. Visibility and availability have to be the first items of change. She may be holding a federal office, but she must represent the people of this district, or she will be back managing her husband’s medical practice before she knows what hit her.