Monday, May 12, 2008

Quick Reaction to Dem Debate

I caught the last half of the KET debate of the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate. My initial impression was visual: I haven't seen so many ill-fitting suits and bad hair-cuts since my Junior Prom. I was embarrassed for most of these guys. (Greg Fischer, and W. Bruce Lunsford, in contrast, looked like zillionaires.)

Poor David L. Williams. I had never heard him before. There is probably a sad story about why he had a tracheotomy, and I don't intend to pile on to whatever illness he endured. But his amplification system was unintelligible; I could not understand a single word he said. KET should have done an audio check and either fixed the problem or provided closed captioning. To let the man go on like everything was fine was simply unfair to him and to the audience.

As I tuned in, Dr. Michael Cassaro, Esq., emphasized his experience "handling life and death situations," and promised he could react quickly under stress as a U.S. Senator. I kept envisioning him trying to defibrillate the Social Security Trust Fund -- "stat!"

My favorite Lunsford line came as he attempted to explain why he had stabbed Ben Chandler in the back and endorsed Ernie Fletcher. According to Lunsford, "a real Democrat is someone who is there most of the time."(Emphasis added.).

Lunsford indicated that he is prepared to attack opponents: "I don't plan to unilaterally de-arm myself" in the primary or the general election. His themes for the general election will be to emphasize the jobs he created in the private and public sector and his knowledge of the health care industry. In addition, Lunsford made overly much for his military service in the reserves as a basis for why he should be allowed to run the U.S. retreat from Iraq.

Fischer scored a point,when he emphasized his endorsements, which include former Congressman Ron Mazzoli -- the smartest, most honorable Democrat in Kentucky. However, Fischer's biggest problem -- made manifest in his TV ads -- is his delivery. He just struggles with public speaking; he has a soft lilting voice that drops off at the end of every sentence. That was unfortunate, because his theme of being the candidate of "trust," "character" and "consistency," along with a "clean record," might have resonated had he been able to make the pitch more dynamically.

This was really a two-man debate between the front runners, Lunsford and Fischer. They should have looked more senatorial in comparison to the weak field, but in fact, standing shoulder to shoulder with their colleagues had the opposite effect. It was like eavesdropping on a conversation on the Island of Misfit Toys. All these poor candidates just hoping this will be the year that Santa shows up and rescues them, so that they can be loved.

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