Debate Season: Colonel Mayonnaise & Charlie Crist’s Fan

Advocate photo

Photo by Matthew Hinton of the Advocate.

Back in my time as a New Orleans neighborhood leader, I helped to organize 3 candidate forums. It was a lot of work but quite rewarding. My former neighbor Linda Walker was a past President of the LWV NOLA chapter so she moderated, once with the help of then Picayune columnist Stephanie Grace. Dr. A was the fascist timekeeper at each event, which is one reason she approves of rigid formats. I’m less of a fan of them myself but what can I say? I’m a wild and crazy guy.

The most interesting forum we were involved in was one for our City Council District in the first post-Katrina/Federal Flood city wide election. It was an interesting group, two of whom have made news since 2006. The combative, mouthy Stacy Head is currently City Council President and the dim Counciltool she ousted, Renee Gill-Pratfall, recently went to prison for her role in a series of elaborate scams perpetrated by the late, unlamented Jefferson machine.

As a result of my past experience as a forum organizer, I’m very interested in the stagecraft of such events.  It came in handy with the second debate I’ll be discussing but we begin with the Gret Stet Senate debate, which I live tweeted if you’re bored enough to  scroll back on my  feed or you can check the hashtag #LaSenateDebate.  I am not, however, a hastag activist. I do like hashtag browns with breakfast, had to do something for the pun community…

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The State Of The Gret Stet Senate Race

You’ve probably already seen the video of Allison Lundegran Grimes squirming like a cochon du lait before being skewered and roasted. She was asked by the editorial board of the Louisville Courier-Journal if she’d voted for Barack Obama. It was amateur hour as she squirmed, hemmed and hawed and ducked the question. This headless chicken reply was the worst of both possible worlds: she looked weaselly, and nobody believes that she didn’t vote for the President. Twice. It reminded me of when loudmouth bus driver Ralpha Kramden got tongue tied on the venerable Honeymooners teevee show:

I nearly called this post Homina, Homina, but decided to write about a Blue Dog who knows how to answer a question like that, Senator Mary Landrieu. The only way to reply in a place where the President is unpopular is something like this, “Yes but I put my state above my political party and will fight for you.” Now I realize that Obama is even more unpopular in Kentucky than in Louisiana (we have a very large African-American population, and they have lots of Boyd Crowders and Dewey Crowes) but Ms. Lundegran Grimes’ non-answer ain’t foolin’ anyone, especially when she called herself a “Clinton Democrat.” It reminded me when Bill attempted to parse the meaning of is…

The MSM is obsessed with certain Senate races this year: Kentucky, North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa and, more recently, Kansas, and haven’t written and/or broadcast as much about my home state campaign. I’ll try to fill in a few blanks without asking y’all to sharpen a number-2 pencil…

More about the state of the Gret Stet Senate race after the break.

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