I've been attempting to find the words to write this post for awhile and each attempt has been discarded as less than adequate. But now that the announcement has been posted, it's necessary to acknowledge the contributions made by Julie Fanselow at Red State Rebels, inadequate as my own words may seem.
I first came across Red State Rebels shortly after the dark days following the 2006 primary win of now-1st District Congressman Republican Bill Sali. I say dark days, because for me they were, knowing that in Idaho any Republican who won the primary usually went on to win the general election. For me, Bill Sali presented the worst that Idaho Republicans had to offer and the thought that he would be my congressman was indeed depressing.
It was in looking for some good news that I came across Julie blogging at Red State Rebels and Grassroots for Grant. Here was some bright news in an otherwise very gloomy summer of news – she was hopeful. The community that she had built and was rallying was hopeful. Perhaps there was hope after all.
I continued checking in with Julie's blogging over the busy summer and into the busy fall and the news just kept getting more hopeful. There was excitement even, and in turn I conveyed that excitement to my friends and family. Larry Grant actually could win.
The November election dashed those hopes in a heartbreakingly close race and I again turned to Julie's community at RSR for consolation. Inspired by Julie and others, I attempted to contribute more to this online community. I wrote a few diaries at Daily Kos and then in late November launched The MountainGoat Report after seeking and receiving advice and encouragement from Julie.
Julie has been a thought provoking and inspiring mentor, always happy to dispense answers to even mundane questions and full of wisdom and experience on any subject. Her daily online presence in this community will be immeasurably missed – by me and countless others.
Her new gig will be an exciting new challenge for her and we'll all be watching and hoping for her success. We'll also be anticipating the times when she drops in to say...whatever.
Change is good – sometimes bittersweet – but good.
Update: Read more: