This is why Cathy Cloutier keeps getting reelected…

Filed in Delaware by on May 3, 2013

… yeah, you can say it is the well timed moderate votes recently and over the last several years that have pretty well placed her in the “sane Republican” and “moderate” categories, but never ever underestimate the personal touches. For example, most politicians, if they are worth their stuff, send out happy birthday messages to their constitutuents, mostly in the form of mass produced postcards or cards, like the one my State Representative Debbie Hudson sent me:

I don’t know about you, but when I sent birthday cards, I make sure to include my picture on the card as well. LOL. I don’t mean to be making fun of Representative Hudson individually here, because all elected officials do exactly the same thing. Stephanie Bolden, when she was my Representative before I moved last year, and Margaret Rose Henry, my state Senator, did exactly the same thing.

Well, this is what Cathy Cloutier, my State Senator, sent me:

It looks as if Mrs. Cloutier went to Happy Harry’s… er ah, Walgreens herself, picked out the card after laughing at a few others, signed it herself, put a individually printed home label on the envelope, and mailed it herself. Now that is a personal touch. So personal that I took care to black out her street address here for fear that it was not her office address but her home address that may not have been previously publicized.

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  1. PainesMe says:

    That poor, poor legislative aide who probably had to write all those.

  2. Delaware Dem says:

    Maybe, but the impression it leaves is that it was done personally, no matter if it was a leg aide or herself.

  3. puck says:

    Are voters really bought that easily? Cards are nice but substance talks. I bet you would trade that card in a minute for one vote for marriage equality. Personally I think it is creepy when a legislator knows my birthday. My wife got a card from Roger Roy when she received her masters degree. Personal touch or pandering?

  4. Delaware Dem says:

    Is that a rhetorical question, puck? Of course voters are bought that easily. Now, I am not bought that easily. If she votes for marriage equality, coupled with her votes for background checks and for the repeal of the death penalty, I may actually consider voting for her next time, depending on who runs against her of course.

  5. Delaware Dem says:

    Oh, you’ll be amazed at what legislators know about their constituents.

  6. puck says:

    But I guess your point was that the card itself was more refined and in good taste than the others. Point taken.

  7. puck says:

    It seems like we are developing a crop of Rockefeller Republicans here in Delaware – socially liberal but economically conservative. That works for me until they get the votes to block or amend our progressive plans (such as they are) or pass their economic conservative plans. Then we will regret voting for Republicans just because they support socially liberal policies.

    Remember we have votes coming up on a Delaware Democratic budget that includes tax cuts for the rich (amiright?), and a Federal Democratic budget that presumably will contain cuts to Social Security and Medicare. So save some of that dry powder and fight just as hard for economic progressivism.

  8. Actually, Puck I think that so-called Rockefeller R’s in Delaware have declined precipitously. Sorenson was one, and she retired. I know of three former R legislators in the Brandywine Hundred/Greenville area alone who have switched registration b/c of the radical right wing takeover of the Party.

  9. heragain says:

    She writes them personally. She writes thank you notes, by hand, personally. That’s why I warned folks who were talking about her “voting record” and her “district” that it wouldn’t be easy.

    This is a ground game, folks. Not 3 weekends the month before the election sending in teenagers from UD who can’t find the district on a map.

    We want this seat, we’d better step it up.

  10. puck says:

    Good point about the raw numbers, El Som. I suppose in Delaware we should call them “Mike Castle Republicans.”

  11. Another Mike says:

    I’ve only met Cathy a few times. She’s at ease with people, engaging and willing to listen. I’m not in her district, and she still sat and talked with me about whatever the various issues were in Delaware at the time. Del Dem is right. People love that stuff. She seems to really care what her constituents — and in my case, not a constituent — think.

  12. If Cathy Cloutier votes for HB 75, I, for one, won’t be interested in challenging her going forward. Hell, I’ll probably bring her flowers, let her have a sign on my lawn, etc.

    My problem with Cathy has been her reluctance to take a stand (or even a vote) when most needed. HB 75 would change all that for me.

    And, if the Scott Gestys of the world argue that there’s no place for her in the Rethuglican Party, she can always cross the aisle. So, for that matter, can Mike Ramone.

  13. Ron Ozer says:

    I have reached out to Cathy a few different ways, would love to have a chance for a group of us from Arden to talk with her. Her supporters claim she did confirm support for Marriage Equality late in a callback to a radio talk, but it isn’t documented anywhere. I suspect she does not want to go on the record before the vote. I have no idea if she will support this bill. I sure hope so.

  14. ModerateEye says:

    Boy, timing is bad for this post! In a District where R’s out weigh D’s and she could be the go ahead vote on HB 75, I would have hope you waited for this! Sometimes we can put our foot into our mouths!

  15. D’s outweigh R’s in her district by a pretty strong margin: 13,638 D’s, 11,675 R’s.

    I wouldn’t have chosen this time to put up this post, but (a) we’re a collective, and (b) she DOES have to take a stand at some point, doesn’t she?

    I think most of us up here like her, we just want to see her do the right thing, and we’ll support her if she does.

  16. Delaware Dem says:


    How is the timing bad for this post? To the contrary, I think it is good. What, are you saying that if Cathy Cloutier sees this post she will think “Oh Boy!!!! Del Dem likes my birthday card!!!! Now I don’t have to pretend to be a moderate anymore and I can vote no on Marriage Equality!!!! Woohooo!!!”

    Only in my own mind am I that powerful. If she did that I would dedicate my life to her defeat. I will even run against her (I am in her district, hence the card).

  17. I think he meant that she might feel compelled to protect her right flank.

    But she’s in a district where it’s the left flank she needs to worry about.

  18. DelGuy says:

    Actually there’s another reason for concern: do the Dems REALLY have 10 solid votes locked down? For example, if Marshall isn’t a “certain yes”, and if Hall-Long votes “no”, then Cloutier’s vote doesn’t even matter. Does anyone know that the Dems have a rock-solid 10 votes without her?
    Finally, the business community in her district, including small business, and the faith community in her district, are important. Have ANY pro-equality business leaders or faith leaders from her district been talking with her?

  19. All we can go by are what the senators themselves have said, and what those who are close to the scene, either as lobbyists for/against the bill or observers, have said.

    Barring anything unexpected, they believe that there are 10 yes votes, not including Hall-Long or Cloutier.

    Supporters of HB 75 have waged a VERY effective grassroots lobbying campaign. I find it difficult to believe that they’ve left any stone unturned. When you’ve got Lisa Goodman and Erik Schramm spearheading the campaign, you’ve got the best that Delaware has to offer.

  20. Chris Counihan says:

    I can attest to the fact that the people in the 5th District love Sen. Cloutier.

  21. CR says:

    Every election she’s running people always mention the birthday cards. (It also comes up absurdly frequently in other districts. One new legislator told me their campaign was making sure to raise enough money early to send lots of birthday cards on the advice of the previous occupant.)

    This is a very Democratic district with very high support for marriage equality (and it ranks high on people’s priority lists as well), and she previously pledged to support this issue ahead of last year’s election in a written statement (not widely disseminated but it’s there). I’m sure she knows she has to come through this time.

    There’s going to be a victory on Tuesday. Count on it.

  22. CR, if you’ve got that statement, or access to that statement, we’d love to see it.