For weeks now across Florida, every paper you pick up has a story about the race for the 8th district. It is being touted as "the race to decide control of Congress" by the Orlando Sentinel. The St. Petersburg Times says the race is "one of the most watched in the country. [Daniel] Webster, a Republican, and [Alan] Grayson, a Democrat, are cosmic opposites in both policy and personality, and their campaigns represent an intriguing test of the electoral mood."
Alan Grayson is a freshman congressman - and the first Democrat elected to serve his district since 1980 - who came into office and almost immediately made a name for himself by claiming on the House floor during the health care debate that the Republican health care plan was, "Don't get sick, and if you do, die quickly." With that, he became a hero to the Left and an out of control villain to the Right. Daniel Webster is a lifelong politician who has most notoriously made a name for himself by believing in the covenant of marriage - which if he could turn it into law would essentially outlaw divorce.
At a time when ultra-conservative candidates from coast to coast are providing pundits with shocking statements and resumes (just spend 30-seconds on this very website reading about Christine O'Donnell), it does not come as a surprise to learn that Alan Grayson is almost unanimously despised among those same ultra-conservatives. And the Republican Party is putting its full weight behind Daniel Webster in an attempt to make sure Grayson's two years in Washington, DC are the only two a Democrat will have the pleasure of serving for another three decades.
This race could well be the deciding one for control of the House. And the entire country will be watching because the 8th District is very representative of the country as a whole. From its rural areas in the north, its urban center in Orlando, the industrial sections east of town, and of course, its tourism industry, the 8th boasts a very diverse population from all over the country (and the world). The 8th could very well be the first domino in a long and complex series of dominos falling in Republicans' favor on November 2, 2010, or not. It is a microcosm of the country and all eyes are watching for signs to forecast the future.
Again, according to the Orlando Sentinel, hatred towards Grayson amongst some Republicans borders on obsessive.
"I could live with losing everything else -- if we get rid of Alan Grayson," said Lew Oliver, chairman of the Orange County Republican Executive Committee. "But if we win everything else -- if we take the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the governorship, the entire Cabinet and everything else -- and somehow Alan Grayson still goes back to Congress, I may slit my wrists."
A few months ago, the director Jeff Cowan came to me with an idea to make a movie about Congressman Alan Grayson's (D - FL) re-election campaign. Needless to say, I was sold on the idea. And apparently so was Alan Grayson. He and his campaign have given us exclusive access to his re-election bid. Fortunately, we've also been given access to the campaigns of those running against him. Thus far, we've shot some 50 hours worth of footage and put together a trailer to raise awareness about the project.