Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lally Impresses At Louisville Rally

Picking up where he left off at the most recent debate, Todd Lally continued last night to draw important distinctions between himself and John Yarmuth. At a well-attended fundraiser in Louisville, Lally made several significant points -- and drew several standing ovations.

First, he noted the difference between his and Yarmuth's respective approaches to legislating: whereas Lally would presume to follow the wishes of his constituents in how he voted, Yarmuth insists upon the prerogative to vote primarily his own San Francisco-style views, because after all, he's John Yarmuth and he knows best.

Second, Yarmuth feels comfortable in the role of arm-chair general: second-guessing military strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq, but refusing even to visit the troops in those countries to gain first-hand knowledge to inform his views.

Lally is a National Guard Reservist who has made several trips to war zones and has served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia. Based on his military service, Lally observed that, regardless of how one views defense issues, how can a Congressman even pretend to cast informed votes when he doesn't even have the time to meet with the military on the ground? And what about just showing up to thank the troops and support them; even the U.S.O. does that. Surely a U.S. Congressman should be held to the same standard. Then again, no one has ever been shot reading a briefing book in Washington.

Third, more generally, Lally pointed out his international experience, not just with the National Guard, but with UPS as a pilot to Asia and elsewhere around the globe. Lally recalled visiting a street bazaar in Egypt. He tried to purchase a souvenir with a U.S. dollar, but the merchant demanded Euros. At that point, Lally said, he knew his country was in trouble.

While Yarmuth has had the family fortune to fund undoubtedly many international vacations (St. Andrews, perhaps?), Lally struck me as someone who actually pays attention to how businesses operate on a global scale -- multinational, new economy businesses as in UPS and IBM (which Lally addressed in an informative answer during the Q&A). Such jobs are better bets for further economic growth than antiquated New Dealish "shovel-ready jobs" that the President used to tout, until he backed off the phrase yesterday.

Judging by yesterday's event, Lally clearly has the momentum.; He depleted his supply of bumper stickers to the large crowd but promised to order more. And he promised that he has enough cash on hand to run enough ads in the remaining days before the Election to remind Yarmuth that the 3rd Congressional District is not John Yarmuth's seat; it's the people's seat and we want it back.

Here's another idea for a Lally bumper-sticker: "Keep Valhalla Yarmuth!"

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