05.24.14 Apologies to Will Jawando
I guess this is Will Jawando week at Left-Hand View. After my harsh criticism of him in three posts, Jawando dropped me a note asking if we could meet one-on-one. I admired his doing that immediately: I think most politicians (and most people) would have avoided me like the plague or wanted to beat the crap out of me. Anyway, I invited him to my house a couple of days ago and we spent an hour together.
Jawando denies categorically having bad-mouthed Sheila Hixson. I take this denial at face value.
I also learned that Jawando is far from an empty shirt. He has an inspiring personal story and has been working hard on real and necessary progressive politics for several years, as a staffer to Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, among others. He is clearly driven by a desire to make the world a better place, just like most (all?) of the others running for D20 delegate.
Ambitious? Well, I certainly have more of a feeling about Jawando that he is interested in political advancement than I do from Darian Unger, for example. But there is no evidence that Jawando is inclined to abandon his commitment to his constituents, if elected, like Heather Mizeur and Valerie Ervin have done. Most politicians are ambitious. It is a matter of degree and I no longer have the feeling that Jawando is over the line.
Your blogger has learned some valuable lessons here:
- When Jawando first rubbed me the wrong way last fall, it was my responsibility to seek him out, not his to seek me out. I should have checked my impressions with the candidate, rather than simply running with them.
- It’s no secret that I loathe Valerie Ervin and her destructive influence on our region’s politics. But I need to stop blaming the the recipients of her endorsements for her flaws. There is no denying that her endorsement is a negative mark in my appraisal of anyone, but it is not fair for me to let that be the whole story. And I think there is a big difference between accepting Ervin’s endorsement (as Jawando has done) and putting her front and center in the campaign (as David Moon has done).
- I need to avoid most (not all) name calling. I never should have called Jawando stupid (which I did in the first version of my May 17 post). It is ok for me to call actions stupid, but not people. (I reserve the right to call some politicians by names that fit.)
So, am I ready to endorse Will Jawando? No. I have sharply revised my view of him — he seems to be a good man who is running for the right reasons — but I still think he has done less work on the ground here in D20 than other candidates and that he is certainly on the green (as in inexperienced) side of the field in terms of knowing Maryland issues, processes, and people.
I wish Will Jawando the best in this race and in the future. I am glad he reached out to me: it was classy and courageous.
Dear Readers, your blogger cannot promise to be right all the time. He can and does promise to be willing to admit when he’s wrong.
©2014 Keith Berner