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BARBECUE POLITICS….Last July, at Netroots Nation, I had lunch with Joe Garcia, the Democratic challenger in Florida’s 25th congressional district. “If Joe’s ability to pound down Texas barbecue is any indication,” I said, “he should be a landslide winner in November.”

Sadly, it turns out that barbecue eating ability was not the key factor in the race. Garcia lost to the incumbent, Mario Diaz-Balart, 53%-47%. This is a sad defeat for central Texas barbecue.

I also had lunch in Austin with Steve Young, the Democratic challenger in my district (California 48th). He ended up losing to incumbent John Campbell 55%-41% — which actually isn’t a half bad result, several points higher than any Democrat has ever gotten in this district. Still, the lesson is clear: having lunch with Kevin Drum is not the road to victory. Aspiring politicians, take note.

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