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Open Mike

Credit due on a campaign tactics that – imagine this, if you will – brings a major candidate for a major office face to face with a wide range of people in a state, over a period of weeks.

McGavick at WestlakeIf that sounds more like the way campaigning used to be than the way it is now, well, too often it is. But give Mike McGavick, the Republican running for U.S. Senate in Washington, some credit for human interaction at his “open Mike” events.

A Thursday item on his blog said, “For about an hour this afternoon, I took questions from a great crowd at Westlake Center in Downtown Seattle. The crowd of people taking a break from work and passersby were great. I truly believe that this informal, question and answer session is one of the most real and genuine ways to conduct a campaign and there should be more of it in politics. As candidates, we can’t be afraid to just show up in a crowded place and spend some time answering questions. We shouldn’t shy away from events where you are going to encounter people who disagree with you. And if we truly believe that we are in politics to make a difference, we can’t shelter ourselves in what we know will be only friendly and sympathetic audiences.”

Starting July 3, he’s planning to take this approach on the road at around 40 communities around Washington, many of them smaller population points.

McGavick isn’t the only candidate to take it on this road this season, of course. But U.S. Senate candidates who have enough money to run much of their campaign on television often shield themselves from the risk of human interaction. We’ll be interested to see what develops from this effort.

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