The political career of Birmingham Congressman Artur Davis is over. Davis made a show out of trying to become Alabama's first black governor in one of the most bizarre and ridiculous political campaigns in the state's history.
"I have no interest in running for political office again," Davis confirmed to a reporter for a Birmingham paper. "The voters spoke in a very decisive way across every sector and in every section of the state. A candidate that fails across-the-board like that obviously needs to find something else productive to do with his life."
Years ago as a young newspaper reporter at the Hartford Courant, I came across a group of colleagues bad-mouthing a once-prominent publisher who'd just lost his job.
"Kind of rough, kicking a guy when he's down," I protested.
"That's when you get your best shot at 'em!!" responded one of the best journalists I've ever met. The Alabama version, by my understanding, comes from late Gov. George Wallace, who used to say a fallen politician deserves an especially hard kick "because you never know what they might do when they get up."
In that spirit, I close with a concise overview by Huffington Post political columnist Sam Stein last week.
The strains between Davis and the black community, indeed, ran far deeper than conventional wisdom ever held. So much so that Roland Martin, a prominent CNN analyst, syndicated columnist and television talk show host felt compelled to email the Huffington Post a withering critique of the Alabama Democrat for ducking African-American media.
Davis lost, Martin told Huffington Post, because:
He was arrogant as hell.
Davis pointedly refused to do black media. He turned my TV One show down six times; he didn't do Tom Joyner's show, with 8 million listeners - TJ is a Tuskegee native; he turned down dozens of requests from Joe Madison of Sirius/XM; and he didn't do many others. He assumed because of his skin blacks would flock to his campaign. Sparks outhustled him and worked black voters in a major way.
Any smart politician knows to shore up their base. He was advised by top Democratic strategists, from the White House on down, to solidify his base. He never did that.
Last week, Davis was the face of a failed, top-down, "moderate" strategy fostered during recent years by the White House and Democratic National Committee.