Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Minor Musing About Rick Weiland's Town Hall

Earlier this afternoon, I decided to venture out in public and attend the local Rick Weiland town hall meeting. So as to avoid embarrassing myself, I found a shirt and khakis that had no food stains. I even wore matching socks.

If I were Weiland, I would be pleased that over 40 people attended a 4 pm town hall 16 months before the 2014 election. If I were Weiland, I would also be worried that half of these potential voters would be dead before the election. Outside of Weiland's daughter and a local reporter, I doubt that anyone in the crowd was under 50. Seventy percent of those attending have passed the Biblical threescore years and ten.

Weiland is an earnest speaker. His style seems well suited to retail politics. I want to believe the man.

Unfortunately, I don't know if Weiland knows how to go for the jugular. When asked a question about ALEC, he demurred that he wasn't running for governor instead of pointing out that ALEC epitomized all of the ills of big money in politics, the first subject of his stump speech. He also stumbled through his answer to a question about moving military sexual assault cases outside of the chain of command. If he's going to "take it back," the speech better tell me what the "it" is. This speech didn't.

Weiland used a line about Rounds being a $9 million dollar man. It's a nice jab, but he needs to find some phrasing to make to make the punch hurt. Even if he finds that phrasing, he needs to be careful. His "Donate $9 to help defeat a$9 million" has some punchy parallelism. The sentence also caused me to think of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan. Reminding people of Herman Cain is detrimental to every political career.

Over at Madville, Cory reviewed Weiland's Madison town hall meeting here. (He also showed that he's a better blogger than I am because he stuck around to get an interview. I left before the pie was served.) Maybe the pies baked in Madison produced a better result for the Madison native. The local crowd certainly didn't give him much to work with, but being asked discursive, unfocused questions does not give any candidate permission to give discursive, unfocused answers.

Mike Rounds has always struck me as being so plastic that he makes Reed Richards look as fiery as Johnny Storm and as solid as Benjamin J. Grimm. (It's San Deigo Comic Con Week, what analogies did you expect?) To his credit,Weiland is anything but plastic, but his performance today doesn't provide any reason to believe that he can beat Rounds.


M Larson said...

Ok, three observations:
1. You wore matching socks? Please say that you had khaki shorts and wore matching black socks.

2. You left before the pie? Shame on you! Was there ice cream too?

3. It is impossible to get anyone below the age of 50 interested in politics. Especially on a hot afternoon when they are working or head off camping on vacation. I recall hosting a debate for district 6. Posted the information in the paper and got news crews to the debates only to have about 10 people there. Heck, only 4 staff members in our district showed up.

Kal Lis said...

Sorry to disappoint you, Mike, but I save the black socks to wear with sandals and bib overalls.

I know that political crowds skew older, but half of this crowd could address Methuselah as Junior.

You're certainly right that many folks probably had other commitments, so Weiland should be happy that he got the crowd that he did.

M Larson said...

I still say shame on leaving before the pie. I hope you had a good excuse.