by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Had he won, [Cal] Cunningham would have joined an illustrious list of sex creeps who have found political success in the Democratic Party, including such prominent philanderers as Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and former Sen. John Edwards, who previously held the title of North Carolina’s horniest Democrat. …
… With most polls predicting a Cunningham victory, many observers had wondered whether Cunningham’s family would attend his swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C., or whether the philandering Democrat would bring a date.
Apart from the affair, which was first reported by a Washington Free Beacon alumnus, Cunningham ran a boring campaign that was light on policy proposals and based almost entirely on the fact that he supported “affordable health care” and served as a lawyer in the Army Reserve, which is currently investigating his affair with the wife of an enlisted officer. Per the advice of Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), all the Democratic candidate had to do was stay “in a windowless basement raising money.”
In other words, all Cunningham had to do was nothing, and he failed. Democrats didn’t have to nominate a white dude to challenge Tillis, but Schumer insisted. Cunningham, who won the Democratic nomination thanks to early backing from the party establishment, was one of several white candidates the party establishment spent millions to support at the expense of qualified black candidates.
Cunningham’s primary opponent, former Boeing engineer Erica Smith, told supporters that “Sen. Schumer, for whatever reason, did not want an African American running for Senate in North Carolina.” She accused Democratic officials of promising her “unequivocally” that they would not endorse a candidate in the primary, only to break that promise by endorsing Cunningham, a move she denounced as “unacceptable.”