Assuming he will accept the fact that he needs a fresh, steep learning curve, Republican gazillionaire and rookie U.S. Senate Candidate Rich Tarrant would have benefited from tuning in The Mark Johnson Show this morning on WDEV. Mark was firing the questions at Middlebury College political "scientist" Eric Davis and Ol' Eric was giving some very straightforward answers.
Davis, like everyone else with a TV, radio or mailbox, has been getting barraged for the last six weeks with the most negative political media campaign we've ever seen in the Green Mountains. There are indications - based on Bernie Sanders' tracking polls - that the intense Tarrant negativity has only soured stomachs, including GOP tummies, and made Bernie's already majority support not only larger but firmer and more appreciative.
Davis said the man who sold IDX Medical Software to General Electric last year for $1.2 billion, needs to completely relaunch his campaign!
Richie's rookie mistake, said Davis, was hiring the high-priced, out-of-state consultants. Professor Politics said in so many words that Tarrant's only hope is to stop the negative, crotch-level, best-that-money-can-buy campaign strategy and immediately fire his campaign manager. He would replace Tim Lennon with Kate O'Connor - yes, that Kate O'Connor, who's quietly been with the Tarrant Campaign for a couple months. Mr. Tarrant needs to tell us about who he is and look the camera in the eye while doing it, said Davis.
Not that a new beginning at this late date would get him elected, suggested the Professor. Hey, nothing could get Richie Rich elected at this point. And he's already dropped $5.2 million of his own personal stash!!!
It's personal respectability and no more double-talk that count now. And it's the potential negative impact that Tarrant the Tyrant will have on fellow Republicans with last names like Douglas, Dubie, Rainville and Brock that counts, too.
Live in the present.
I caught this little artistic gem while pedaling through the Five Sisters neighborhood on Burlington's southend. You know, the neighborhood with the famous neighborhood e-mail forum?
Not a lot of Republicans in that lovely old neighborhood.
Lot of Bernie signs and Welch signs. And this colorful bumpersticker that does cause a chuckle or two. Very colorful, too.
As for 9/11, I've done my best to keep busy - a Statehouse presser on the International Paper tire burn - and other duties. The utter horror of that day isn't far. Nor is the utter horror that has since been carried out in its name. In fact, the Bush-Cheney administration's deceptive, deceitful and "successful" response marks one of America's darkest periods.
I had a column to write on September 11, 2001. And I wrote it. Here's the ending:
2:33 p.m. New York Gov. George Pataki and New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani face the media. It was “an attack on freedom and our way of life,” says Pataki.
“One of the most heinous acts in world history,” adds Giuliani.
They look composed and call for calm. They assure everyone that New Yorkers would pull together and meet this challenge. The subways, notes Mayor Rudi, are still working. It’s good news on the baddest news day in memory.
2:53 p.m. On CBS, Dan Rather gives a Texas pep talk for George W. Bush.
“He’s the commander in chief. He’s in charge,” says Dan, with an air of Longhorn patriotism. Rather defends Dubya from crticism of the lengthening Pres-idential absence. Unfortunately, Dan doesn’t know where the President is, either.
2:58 p.m. Locally, ABC 22 breaks in with anchorman Eric Greene announcing most of University Mall is about to close. A prayer service is planned at the Unitarian Church at the top of Church Street for 7 p.m. Gov. Dean, he says, told reporter Keith Baldi, “It’s war!”
3:00 p.m. ABC reports the President has landed at an Air Force base in Nebraska. He’s on the run in his own country? But the President is not a running back, he’s our quarterback. Does anyone know where Bill Clinton is right now?
3:03 p.m. Ch. 5 breaks in with twin anchors Stephanie Gorin and Thom Hallock. They show a tape of Ho-Ho making “Pearl Harbor” references. Gov. Dean calls for blood donations and asks people to get off the telephones.
3:18 p.m. Still no information on the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. “This is a dark day in this country,” says Brokaw. Prominent people went down on the hijacked planes, he says, but no names have as yet been officially released. Bush, it’s announced, will have a teleconference with the National Security Council this afternoon.
3:45 p.m. The president’s spokeswoman, Karen Hughes, is on camera announcing Bush is in Omaha. ”No one should doubt our country’s resolve,” she says before departing quickly without taking questions.
Following Hughes’ statement, Jennings accurately and politely remarks, “There’s not a whole lot of news in there.”
4:30 p.m. Deadline time for Seven Days. Still no Bush sightings. To say we’re not concerned is an understatement.
Weeks of funerals lie ahead. Stories of heart-warming human heroism will emerge. Calls for revenge will ring louder and louder. More blood will flow.
What can we learn from this?
I'm all ears.....
Meanwhile, let somebody you care about know you care about 'em.