Friday, April 24, 2015

Pam Platt Leaving C-J

Pam Platt will serve her last day as Editorial Director for the Courier-Journal next Friday.  Pam recruited me last year to write my column that has appeared every third Wednesday this past year.

I was dubious about writing for the C-J when Pam first called.  My politics, after all, are considerably to the right of Pam and the C-J.   I didn't think I'd last beyond the first column.

Pam and I met and she assured me that so long as I (1) disclosed conflicts of interest and (2) understood that I would not be the paper's ombudsmen -- that it was not my job to offer constructive criticism of the paper-- then I could write about whatever I wanted, taking any position I wanted.

She honored her word. Even though some of my columns drew progressive outrage, Pam never tried to tone me down. She never changed more than correct a typo.

She was always gracious and accommodating.  I am sad that she is leaving and wish her all the best.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hal Heiner's Hard Work Paying Off

Hal Heiner has been driving around the state for more than a year. I thought he was nuts to start his campaign early, but it is paying off.  Not only in terms of the polls:  Heiner is a much-improved candidate compared to when he ran for Mayor of Louisville a few years back.

Heiner's speaking is more charismatic.  He has the proverbial fire in the belly, that was so lacking before.  I also notice a difference in him as a retail politician. He seems much more comfortable making small talk with strangers than before.

 He is the same smart, humble and creative man who almost became Mayor, just a much better politician.

I went to a fundraiser for Heiner recently; it was packed -- so crowded that a woman fainted, a la Obama.  I knew only one person, and he was not someone I usually run into at fundraisers. The rest of the crowd did even look familiar. Heiner's primary is drawing in people beyond the usual party activists.  That's good for him, and certainly good for the party.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Already Bored By Billary

Interesting that Hillary chose to move up her announcement rather than wait until this summer, as previously planned.  I think her botched handling of the Email-gate -- and the fact that she had no team in place to respond to that scandal -- made her feel the need to mobilize.

There is an odd juxtaposition at play.  On the one hand Hillary tries to gin up excitement for how historic it would be to have a woman president. On the other hand, she has been around for several decades now. There is no longer anything shiny or new about her or what she offers.  And this is not a slam on her age or appearance.

Most of us understand that politicians age and get wrinkles, just like the rest of us. Her physical appearance is not what is tiresome about Hillary.

What is tiresome is that Clintonesque secrecy and sense of entitlement.  None of her scandals happen in a vacuum.  The facts may change, but the pattern remains: the Clintons think and act as if the rules do not apply to them.  And having knowingly disregarded the rules, the need for secrecy becomes paramount.  In email-gate, we see the confluence of these two impulses:  they break rules to protect their secrets.

What is undermining Hillary's candidacy from the outset is the feeling, and the reality, that we have seen this show before.  It's like a re-run of I Love Lucy  We know that Lucy is going to get in some hair-brained escapade, and we know that at the end of the episode she will wriggle her way out of it and do something similar next time.