Monday, May 22, 2006

Debate Review Updated

OK. Now I’ve seen the televised face-off between Harris Miller and Jim Webb -- the two Democratic hopefuls in the June 13th primary. The winner will be placed on the ballot to oppose Republican incumbent Sen. George Allen in the general election.

First, I must say the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s political reporter Tyler Whitley made too much of the rather minor friction between the two candidates in his piece that ran in Saturday’s newspaper. Yeah, I heard the now infamous “Anti-Christ” quote. Finding a nefarious hidden meaning in that is a reach.

Of course, in the Virginia political blogosphere absolutely nothing is too much of a reach for some of the busiest keyboards for hire.

Since I want him to win and expect he will, I wish Webb had looked past Miller to focus on Allen. Maybe it’s early and he’ll hit his stride soon. Webb seemed a little tight, maybe over-coached. His repeated reliance on a laundry list of endorsements, offered to trump Miller’s banal talking points, was annoying. Webb probably should've just let the clearly nervous Miller talk on, as he's probably his own worst enemy.

Miller’s staff has a predicament, in that they have to be hoping for a low turnout in the primary. They think their strong suit is mostly longtime party regulars. So, the more the general public notices the contest, the more likely it is to be drawn to the more attractive individual with a more interesting resume. If independents vote, and they can, it's hard to imagine they would be Miller backers.

Miller is what? A behind-the-scene guy. A lobbyist. A wealthy businessman. Webb, once Secretary of the Navy, writes books that become movies.

Finally, I’m surprised anyone with any real experience in the political game ever told Harris Miller he ought to run for public office. Maybe someone was playing a cruel joke on him?

Or, maybe nobody ever asked Miller to run, so it was just his own idea. Then some Democrats may have been charmed by the notion he has a lot of money that could be dumped into a campaign. However, Miller’s utter lack of presence/authenticity on television showed me he stands almost no chance of beating Allen. So, I wonder what Miller really wants out of this race.

Name recognition for another run for office, down the road?

Beyond what Miller wants, I’m not at all happy it appears some number of more-donkey-than-thou Democrats would rather lose to Allen than embrace a newcomer who won’t jump through their hoops of yesterday’s warmed-over thinking.

Hey, based on his on-camera persona in that debate I truly wonder if Mr. Miller could get elected dogcatcher in his own county.


Anonymous said...

You're being an asshole.

I know Harris Miller. He is a really smart, kind, and enthusiastic Democrat.

I'm not sure if Harris will win, and I am pretty sure that Allen will beat whoever gets the nomination.

But I do believe your bias toward Webb, who has been a real nutjob in NoVA political circles for the last 20 years, has clouded your judgment.

If I met you, I think I'd punch you in the nose.

Scott Rosenberg

F.T. Rea said...

Scott Rosenberg,

Do you really punch writers in the nose when you disagree with them about a politician? Or, are you just another obnoxious blowhard on the Internet? Maybe you think you are funny?

So you noticed my "bias toward Webb." Maybe it was this sentence that gave me away: "Since I want him to win and expect he will..."

My nose has been punched before. One look at it and you can tell. Maybe you ought to worry about your own nose, because I'll hit you back.

Your game won't work here. Go play tough guy somewhere else.