Obviously, nobody is perfect. But if I were going to design a perfect candidate, he or she would be a whole lot like Joe Garcia.
First and most importantly, he's right on most of the issues. I'm sure there's something I disagree with him on somewhere, but I haven't seen it yet. But even when it comes to tough issues (apparently to many members of Congress) such as the FISA bill and telco immunity, Garcia is on the right side of the issue. He's smart and he knows what he's talking about, regardless of the issues, but at the same time he has the ability to talk to everyday people. He's a fighter and has no problem calling Republicans on their nonsense and telling people that they're wrong on an issue.
He's young, but not too young and he conveys wisdom when he speaks. And when he speaks he is confident and humorous. I consider myself to be a pretty good public speaker, but it took me a lot of work and practice to get there. Joe comes across as a natural public speaker. He may have worked hard to get it right, but you'd never knowing from hearing him.
Because of his hard work and energy, he's respected in the community he'll represent, by those who have worked with across the state and the country and by both party insiders and grassroots activists.
He has a record of accomplishments in a variety of areas and he's made the connections you want a member of Congress to have. That helps him with fundraising and it'll help him get committee assignments that'll make it easier for him to help his constituents.
I've met him in person twice and interviewed him on the radio show before that. But Joe is such a people person and has such a knack for individuals and average people that he knew who I was the first time he saw me.
He listens to people and is great at recognizing talent and good ideas. He hires good people to work for him and is receptive to people who have good ideas or more expertise than he does on a particular issue.
He blogs and is very friendly with the Netroots both at the state and national level and this has helped him make a bigger name for himself around the country and has attracted high profile attention and fund-raising.
He convinces people to get on board when he's right and he's good at getting people to help him achieve victory.
These are the things we need in a candidate and in a member of Congress. Help Joe get to D.C.
In addition to having candidates appear on the radio show, from time to time, we'll do profiles of various candidates here on the blog. Most of them won't be quite this glowing, though, but it wasn't an accident that the Netroots voted Joe Garcia into the Progressive Hall of Fame a few weeks back.