Saturday, September 13, 2008

Giffords Shines at University Debate

Tucson, Arizona. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ CD 8) easily outperformed Arizona Senate President Timothy Bee (R-AZ State Senate) in a one hour televised debate this evening as they square off for the Arizona Congressional District Eight seat. Those who drove west along Speedway towards the university could not miss the extraordinary presence of "Giffords for Congress" campaign signs that only grew as one got closer. After turning into campus on Mountain, one saw a road completely plastered with signs from the Giffords campaign.

I arrived nearly 45 minutes early and the place already had quite a crowd. I approached Jennifer, "Wimpy job with the signs."

She turned, "Go inside and get a good seat."

At 6:30 (the event began at 7 PM) nearly all of the 500 seats were full. My natural inclination to expect the worst anticipated an overcrowding fiasco. Fortunately we were at the University of Arizona at a well managed Student Union event. Some can appreciate what lies under the surface when 4-6 men start wheeling in hand trucks of stacked chairs and add 300 capacity in 15 minutes skillfully enlisting the help of able bodied participants. At showtime the audience easily topped 750 and was aired live to a television audience. TV's in the room allowed us to watch the broadcast as well.

Take my word for nothing. The show will be broadcast again on Thursday at 8 PM.

The reader can find detailed content elsewhere, but the issues included energy, earmarks, the highest "turn country around" priority, the border, the 1872 Mining Law (think Rosemont mine), health care, the budget, education. I was somewhat surprised that terrorism did not come up at all two days after the anniversary of 9/11.

The most dramatic event of the evening took place when Bee praised Arizona Senator John McCain and his nomination for president. At first the pro-Bee crowd cheered, but within seconds the other 75% of the room pounced, forcefully, with boos and hisses. Standing to the side of the audience, one could distinguish the two camps (more or less) with Bee supporters in the front right quarter. The rest supported Giffords.

Giffords consistently and without exception demonstrated a stronger command of the material and how to discuss it in the short time allotted. She made it look easy to craft a response with a beginning, middle, and end in a coherent fashion that wraps with a summary helping one understand her answer. Bee's responses were far less articulate. While he may be a nice guy with a heart in the right place, I don't see how anyone could watch the event and conclude his understanding of the issues surpasses that of Giffords or believe that his positions better represent Southern Arizona.

Giffords deserves to be re-elected and will be.

UPDATE: Your humble blogger was on television Saturday night voicing support for her, and all of those road signs mentioned above were gone by early Sunday morning.


Blogger Tony GOPrano said...

Your such a LIBERAL shill XMR, you make me laugh. I heard the opposite, that Bee dominated the Debate. Can hardly wait to see who wins this race on Nov 4th. John McCain WILL have coattails and Tim Bee will ride them to victory!!!

9/13/2008 11:02 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

I would expect Giffords to perform well, as she's had two years now to gain understanding of the issue, and more experience speaking in front of groups.

9/14/2008 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Did you know you were on TV last night? Channel 13 covered the event and you were one of the individuals featured when they asked for thoughts from people in the audience.

I didn't realize your hair was so short!

9/14/2008 9:18 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Yes, it is that short, and I did see the piece on the news.

I don't know how Tony can even look himself in the mirror after his man whored himself to GOP big shots to pick Twiddledwat for VP.

9/14/2008 10:47 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

An incumbent's chances of being re-elected are usually between 90 and 95 percent.

Giffords will easily win CD8 by 5 points, and perhaps higher, but I don't expect a landslide.

I think that Tim Bee still has low name recognition among voters who are not politically engaged.

The problem that I see that Tim Bee might be having is that at the national level, the GOP does not want McCain's campaign to be about issues. A McCain spokesperson stated as much saying that the voters will choose based on a "composite view of the candidates." They want to sell McCain and Palin as mavericks and reformers and patriots by simply repeating that message until low information voters believe it. This year, issues are very bad for the GOP, so they prefer not to have any except for things like drilling our way to energy independence. Low information voters do not know a lot about peak oil, among other things.

Tim Bee has to make a case against the incumbent and that is very difficult given that the GOP is avoiding issues for McCain's benefit. So, how does Tim Bee bring issues into the CD8 election and how does he show that the incumbent has failed or will fail on these issues?

There's always personal destruction, but they haven't much to work with and what they have has already been tried.

I think that CD8 will go straight down party lines and the majority of independents will vote for the incumbent knowing little about her or Tim Bee.

There's no way for Tim Bee to pull this off.

CD8 is very boring this year, I might add.

9/14/2008 10:57 AM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

I agree Liza, CD8 is surprisingly boring this year, especially after all the fireworks in 2006. I didn't expect a repeat of that after the primaries were uncontested, but considering this is/was supposed to be one of the seats the GOP is/was targeting, I expected more.

After seeing Tony's comments, I was curious enough to make some phone calls to other friends of mine to see what they thought.

Not surprisingly, my more liberal acquaintances were not impressed by Bee's performance. One summed it up as follows: "His opening was weak and his closing was worse. That's inexcusable. (since those parts can be polished in advance - my comment) During the questions, he didn't show any 'oomph'. There was no fire."

Republicans I spoke with were much more brutal - reviews included "Tim got crushed" and "It was bad beyond words."

9/14/2008 11:09 AM  
Blogger Tony GOPrano said...

Me thinks Mr. LIBeral XMR is running scared of the fact that John McCain and his excellent VP choice, Sarah Palin, will win this election. Drop the Independent BS XM, your cover has been blown. Call you from AF1 in January 2009! LOL!

9/14/2008 12:40 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Well, Tony, my blown cover can remain your little secret.

Yes, Sirocco, my post was actually kind to Bee. I consider Bee, like Framer, to be a respectable human being with an interest in helping the world be a better place. I wish Framer had won.

I would not disagree with the people you called. Giffords cleaned his clock. Liza's remarks also apply, which is why the blog has barely mentioned the CD 8 race this year. I'd write something, but there really isn't much to say.

9/14/2008 12:57 PM  
Blogger AZW88 said...

I told X4mr last night that Tim came off as a bumbling Bee. Several of his answers we non-answers and let us hanging.

His opening I thought was ok, he did stumble a bit. He also talked about the Printing business his dad and he started (though in his ad he says that HE started it). Yes I am a liberal, but if I always try and gove props where props ar due. Bee did little to earn probs last night. X4mr is right, Gabby cleaned his clock.

Sorry I missed you on the news last night... I was too pissed about the UofA loss to watch the news...

9/14/2008 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have to remind everyone that I have been saying she will win by 5% since early January.

(smile)...just had to remind.

9/15/2008 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh...and Tony...there will be no coattail at all. McCain will win the state, and lose the election. Obama will be surprisingly close but I suspect 5%. People may vote for him but they will split their tickets and remember what the GOP is all about. Especially since at the top of the ticket, McCain is running so far from the GOP that he should be reminding you of what a maverick he was when you all hated him.

Dems will pick up a Senate seat and at least one house seat in CD 26. They will inch closer to majority.

As for Congress. Dems will keep CD8 and 5 and will pick up CD1 (which the Gop has abandoned because their candidate, Hay, is simply dead in the water.

Last, I supect Shaddegg will win but Lord will give him a good race.

Mark me down folks...mark me down.

9/15/2008 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Scarlett Letter said...

Roger, we can only hope!!

9/15/2008 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way to salvage the Republican Party is to vote for Obama. John does not know which house he left his coat tails in. He cannot even say hello without notes. And "the economy is fundamentally strong" Holy cow Batman, this man is still a POW. He is in a cell with no current information. Very, very scarry. You do not see any overwhelming support from active duty officers do you? Active duty Armed Forces donations to Obama are 6:1 over the McCain campaign. Fact check it.

9/16/2008 3:22 AM  
Blogger robert said...

One wonders, considering all the posturing and complete vileness spewing from Tony GOPrano, if maybe he is none other than the Bumbling Bee itself.

Truth is, the only thing Tim Bee stands for is protecting his career as a politician, with term limits, he's out of government if he doesn't win this (which he won't). Other than that his main theme is hatred of anyone not white, Republican, straight and effeminate.

Robert Rowley, Tucson, Arizona

10/01/2008 12:18 PM  

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