Tuesday, October 19, 2010

AZ CD-8: Resume Snippets and the Non Debate


Gabrielle Giffords:
Scripps College, B.A. Sociology and Latin American History
Fulbright Scholar, Chihuahua, Mexico
Cornell University, Master of Regional Planning
Fellow, Harvard University JFK School of Government

Jesse Kelly:
Montana State University: Dropped out after one year

Gabrielle Giffords:
First job post education: Associate, Regional Economic Development, Price Waterhouse, New York City.
Second job post education: Replaced her father as CEO of the family business.
First elected office: Arizona House.
Second elected office: Arizona Senate.
Current job: US Congress.

Jesse Kelly:
First job post education: US Marines.
Second job post education: Project Manager for his father in the family business.
First elected office: N/A
Current job: Project Manager for his father in the family business.

The reader already knows where they stand on the issues.

Both were born into wealth and privilege. What did they do with the opportunity placed in their hands?

To the discerning, the answer to this question was powerfully illustrated at Monday night's debate, where a grotesque display of hatred and a committed response to hatred played out in what could hardly be called a debate. No, I wasn't there, but I've received enough emails to get a terrific angle that ties very well with Jenn's post at Blog for Arizona.

Both candidates are right when they say the voters face a clear choice in this election, and this post assumes the reader is familiar with what happened Monday night.

Unlike the fabulous 2006 exchange at the Temple Emanu-El, or the 2008 exchange at the University of Arizona, what happened Monday night in 2010 was not a debate. Of course the Congresswoman had to participate, and her remaining civil and rational in a sea of raging hysteria required more than most know. To the aware in the audience, the event sharply illustrated the distinction between the educated and the ignorant, the worldly and the small minded, the seasoned and the raw, but most sadly, the well meaning and the self-righteous. I am glad I wasn't there.

Put another way, the non debate could not have offered a starker contrast between 1) someone with a genuine interest in government, someone who has exerted extraordinary effort to learn what it takes to pursue the best governance possible, and 2) someone who doesn't even understand what government is.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blog for Arizona has the video of the entire debate posted.

10/20/2010 12:37 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

It wasn't a debate, and thanks for sparing us the litany of nonsense that Kelly stands for.

Even from the video, you can just feel the extraordinary gap in education and awareness between the two. Giffords commands a very respectable grasp of the issues, and you can tell she really knows what she is talking about.

Kelly delivered sweeping soundbites and condemnations with long established tea party rhetoric.

The truth about this debate, and the ones coming up, is that they are a necessary but pathetic waste of time that will not change a single vote.

Kelly's crowd will show up to scream and heckle, and Giffords will be sure to have enough in opposition to keep the event from spiraling into a lynching.

This is completely off topic, but did you hear about O'Donnell not getting the separation of church and state in the Constitution?

The Republicans have gone batshit. If they had nominated Paton and unified behind him, I think CD-8 could very well have switched parties.

I don't think Kelly will win. In fact, I think the margin by which he loses will surprise us.

10/20/2010 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

I would think this goes without saying, but everyone reading this blog should know that complacency is the devil in this election.

Staying home is a vote for the kook.

Don't just vote for Giffords, but make sure your friends do. In fact, call your enemies, too. It will suck for them just as much if this moron is elected to office. I'm actually serious. We need to talk to those around us and make sure they vote.

I know Nav and Liza have issues with Giffords, but they are out of their minds if they sit back and let a nut job take her place.

10/20/2010 8:14 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Observer, you will be pleased to know that I have already sent in my early ballot. I voted for all of the Democrats and none of the Republicans.

I watched the Giffords/Kelly debate on PBS on Monday night. Based on Jenn's post at Blog for AZ, attending in person would have been a whole other kind of experience. I'm glad I wasn't there.

Jesse Kelly never elevated a single response above the level of a campaign flier. And every one of his responses either started with, concluded with, or just simply consisted of a mindless attack directed at Nancy Pelosi, the liberals, Obamacare, and/or Gabrielle Giffords.

Giffords made the best of a bad situation. To her credit, she stayed focused and gave informative answers. I thought that she did a good job of defending her positions and her votes including the health care vote. She also responded appropriately to some of Kelly's attacks when it made sense to do so. Kelly was not even close to being a match for her.

It is certainly true that a four year incumbent would be expected to outperform a novice opponent in a debate. But these debates do not require deeply thought out responses, and candidates at this level really should be able to articulate and defend their positions.

Kelly just simply played to his supporters as though this were some kind of high school pep rally instead of a serious debate about the future of the nation. He had an opportunity to show us what he knows, and that is exactly what he did. He knows rightwing talking points and he knows how to excite a roomful of Tea Partiers. And, quite frankly, I think he showed us all he's got.

One thing that is unfortunate about these debates is that there is no follow up on most of what is said. I remember Kelly saying that "supply side growth economics" is going to fix our economy. He said that we need "double digit robust growth" and we can achieve this by "getting our tax, regulation, and litigation structure back in order." Then we can "invite all of our businesses back from China." I could easily think of at least 50 questions to ask him related to these statements, but there was no follow up at all. The debates really need to force candidates to substantiate these kinds of statements.

I do not see Kelly winning this election. It would take some very special combination of wingnut enthusiasm and moderate/liberal apathy.

10/21/2010 1:34 PM  

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