‘Eric Cantor was loved in D.C., and spent so much time working the D.C. circuit that he seems to have neglected his community. And it bit him on Election Day,’ Amash said. ‘I’ve taken the opposite approach. I dont worry too much about the PACs and lobbyists here, whether theyre going to spend money against me or attack me. I worry about representing my own community, and I go back home every chance I get and hold more town halls than just about anyone in Congress. And I’m transparent with all of my votes; I’m the only congressman who has ever publicly explained every vote. So by staying that connected with the community, its helped me ward off the false attacks by my opponent.’
It sounds like hubris, except that its true. Amash is teased by colleagues for holding so many town hall meetings that they look bad by comparison. He also has a perfect track record when it comes to votes—not only explaining them with lengthy Facebook posts, but not missing a single one since taking the oath of office in January 2011.
This approach has earned Amash overwhelming support in his district, even among voters who disagree with his positions. Public and private polling this cycle has consistently shown Amashs favorability above 50 percent, and approaching 70 percent in some surveys, including a Detroit Free Press poll published in June. Its difficult to argue with numbers like that, Michigans political kingmakers say, and almost impossible to beat them.
‘He’s just a very hardworking member,’ said former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis. ‘He doesnt always vote the way his district wants him to, but he has very good constituent relations. He goes to meetings and responds to his constituents. And thats a tough thing to beat.’
I confess to not knowing all of Amash’s positions, but I admire his instincts and his approach to representing his district. That the Chamber of Commerce and the GOP “establishment” wanted to destroy him speaks volumes – and not well – about the level of corruption the supposedly free-market Republican party.