Thursday, October 21, 2010

Murphy - Gibson Debate in Queensbury

The Warren County League of Women voters hosted a debate between Rep Scott Murphy & his main challenger Chris Gibson for NY's 20th Congressional seat. Contrary to its name, the goal for the League of Women Voters is to provide information to ALL voters giving them an informed choice come Election Day.

There isn't much of a substantive difference between the two candidates except on what they'd do w/ the Dept of Education (Murphy wants to reform it, Gibson wants to morph it back into the Health, Education, & Welfare Department like it was back before 1980 to reduce the bureaucracy).

There was also big difference between "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Gibson wanted to wait until after the results of Gates Commission due out in January but was inclined to see it go, which I can certainly understand. Murphy wants it repealed immediately citing what Truman did w/ integrating the military, which I also agree w/.

Considering the Obama administration's little-publicized policy changes, granting same-sex health benefits to federal employees yet challenging a judge's order that bans "don't ask, don't tell", its a damned if you do, damned if you don't kinda thing. The President probably just wants to do it on his terms as opposed to making it ballot fodder for the Republican base sending them to the polls in more numbers than his own (like they did all throughout W's administration did in reverese). But I'm digressing at the moment.

There were some telling differences between the two candidates from a political communications standpoint.

The speaker system was an early challenge. It didn't work & EVERYONE had to pass a small clip-on microphone to be heard. Even when the speaker system was fixed, there were some differences. Gibson left his microphone in its holder, forcing him to hunch & lean into it, blocking part of his face for the cameras. Murphy took his out of its holder, allowing him to sit erect in his chair, leaving the microphone low enough to be seen clearly by the cameras.

Murphy appeared to be more apt to take notes during the debate. Gibson considerably less so.

Gibson early on seemed to use filler words like "uhm" & "uh" a lot more in the first half of the debate. He also wasn't great w/ his time management being cut-off twice (out of 10 questions) by the moderator & ran long over on another. However he did seem to improve the longer the debate went on. Murphy was clear & concise & was only cut off once toward the end.

The tactical difference in sound bites was interesting. Gibson tried to link Murphy to "Speaker Pelosi" about a half dozen times during the night while Murphy mentioned the local "CR Bard" plant (they make medical catheters for those not in the know) usually in reference to some sort of policy plan of his.

The red cards were something each candidate could use to extend their time. Gibson used his as a rebuttal points to whatever Murphy would attack him w/. I was confused why Gibson choose to use them under those circumstances because A. he burned through his two w/n the first 4 questions but more importantly, B. his rebuttal statements didn't provide anything new to the discussion. He would just reiterate the same exact points he made in his original statements. Murphy waited to use his red cards at the end. One was answering an education related question. The other was during his closing arguments.

I really felt Murphy had the better grasp of the overall facts, rattling off facts & numbers quite easily. W/ the exception of what to do in Afghanistan where he descended into military jargon, Gibson struggled w/ his command of the facts & stuck to his talking points.

I was a mightily annoyed the Gibson supporters raised a ruckus while walking out on the middle of Murphy's closing arguments but at the same time it wasn't THAT surprising. I was also a little disappointed that Murphy in his closing arguments took a direct shot at Gibson, as opposed to the more subtle indirect approach he used throughout the debate. But again, that was not entirely unexpected either.

Overall, the debate was about what I expected. Aside from the microphone issue, it wasn't anywhere near the farce that the recent NYS gubernatorial debates were.

In other news...

This here is Elizabeth participating in my Breast Cancer Awareness project. The "RIP" & picture are in reference to her deceased Mom.


Feel free & comment away, if you dare.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mid-Term Election Advice

The election season is shaping up to be one of the more entertaining ones in recent memory. We've got:

- a witch, Christine O'Donnell
- a Nazi, Rich Iott
- a homophobe, Carl Paladino
- an incumbent US Senator running as a challenger, Kirsten Gillibrand

To the most of you...don't run from the allegations, OWN THEM! Think of it like reverse psychology.

1. For Ms. O'Donnell, here are some Witch justifications for you:

"When I was young & stupid like a lot of people, I tried out a lot of things that later on the road to self-discovery wasn't for me. Witchcraft was simply one of them."

...or she could go a completely different route...

"With the rise of Harry Potter, witchcraft isn't the social stigma that it once was. I love everything about it: the moral lessons, the devoted community surrounding it (think of it like Star Wars or Star Trek), the home-spun creativity, the Wizard Rock scene. Seriously, what is there not to like w/ the King Arthur'esque-Christ'like archtype figure?"
You could also play the "Wicked" musical angle to.

2. For Mr Iott your Nazi role-playing might be a little easier to spin:

"Yeah, I dress up as a Nazi & play war. We're the ones in all the movies you love like Saving Private Ryan or Schindler's List that train the bad guys be bad so they make the Allies look good."

"If it weren't Nazis in their uniforms, it'd probably be Star Wars Stormtroopers. Its not like anyone would have to worry about dying because they sure as hell couldn't hit the broadside of the barn anyway. The Klingons were another possibibility! Those boys not only knew how to fight but their mating rituals are quite entertaining. Just be sure to have a med kit handy."

If that doesn't work maybe Presidents Obama & Bush could give him some advice. Tons of people obviously think they are both Nazis & they have yet to be executed.

3. For Mr Paladino, I'm think you should go completely the other route.

Don't trash homosexuals
& then backtrack in an Urkel'esque "Did I do that?" No, trash & then follow-up w/ "& I mean every word of it!" See how far you can go w/ it before you're tarred in effigy (which is just going to happen anyway come November). Put single mothers in your cross hairs. Same w/ leaches in the Hispanic & African-Americans for not being in their proper place, females in the board room for not doing their patriotic duty of raising a family, naive college kids trying to save the world, unemployed leaches who drain the tax dollars, Muslims (for what else?) being terrorists, labor unions for standing in the way of progress, dead Muslims for taking up our precious cemetery space, Wall Street for being greedy & having the balls to ask the taxpayers to bail them out, teachers for wanting tenure, babies for being as helpless as they are.

All the while you'd be praising country folk for protecting our 2nd Amendment rights. Servicemen should be praised too because, well, even during events like Abu Ghraib, no one should be held accountable. Porn stars should be praised to because who doesn't like a good bestiality email forwarded to them.

Why this piece of advice, many people will ask?

Mr Paladino, you can change Albany more by losing & giving your opponent Andrew Cuomo a crushing mandate to do the unpopular things that need doing. Like actually getting a budget in place on time (something that's only been done like once or twice in NY in the last 30+ years) as well as REAL ethics reform.

It also sends a message to the State Republican party that they need to develop better ideas & put up decent candidates unlike your primary opponent, the milk-toast, 1-dimensional Rick Lazio.

4. Ms Gillibrand is the only person that is following my "embracing the opposites" approach.

In her campaign commercial, she touts "(she) hasn't been in Washington long but (she's) been there long enough to know things are broken." She's been there as an elected representative/appointed senator since 2007 & previous to that she was special counsel to the HUD Secertary (Andrew Cuomo) & prior to that interned w/ staunch Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato.

It begs the question that if she's been in & out of Washington most of her adult life, is she even trying to change "broken Washington" as much as she says or does it make for good P.R.? & if she's as transparent as she says, how come she chose to defend Philip Morris against major civil litigations & racketeering probes by the Justice Department when her firm Davis Polk & Wardwell allowed their associates to decline such work based on moral & ethical grounds? If she's as not-broken as she says, how come she didn't give back $18K to the tobacco industry during her 2008 run like many other candidates do when such donations reveal to be embarrassing to them?

I doubt we'll ever completely know. She can legitimately cite the attorney-client privilege but it certainly makes one wonder.

In other news...

This here is a portrait of Shylah.

I definitely liked her infectious Lois Lane type spunk. Not sure if the picture below really reflects that but that's the vibe I got while working w/ her. I hope to work w/ her again but being the busy girl, Lord only knows if the scheduling will ever present itself again.


Feel free & comment on any part of this blog, if you so desire.