Thursday, August 31, 2006

PCC Forum

So, if you were looking for excitement at the forum, the guy with a flashlight dressed in a trenchcoat posing as a stalker was probably as good as it got. Not sure who he was affiliated with, but it was kind of fun in a sophomoric way.

As far as the actual forum, it was pretty much a snoozer. I'm not sure if it was because of the television cameras, or the fact that the candidates have done so many of these things but there was very little in the way of fireworks form the candidate end. Here is what I saw:

Steve Huffman: He was there, so that is a start. He actually did a half decent job when answering the questions and didn't go negative. I was particularly impressed on the "faith in government" question where I thought that he actually gave the best answer. When the "11th commandment" question was brought up, he ducked so hard Daffy and Donald felt threatened. Obviously the negativity is not finished. Steve stayed for the entire debate, but cleared out as soon as he could. Somebody should sit him down and explain that he needs to stop and talk with the people that attend these things. Some of them may be press or anonymous bloggers that may be persuaded to give him positive press that he doesn't need to pay for.

Mike Hellon: Solid performance by Mike if unspectacular. Let Steve off the hook a bit with the 11th Commandment question, especially in comparison with the Tucson Republican Women's breakfast. He projected confidence and statesmanship and stayed on message. I still wonder what he could have done with even a quarter of the money that fell to Steve.

Randy Graf: Didn't really bomb, but didn't meet up with his usual high standards. This is perhaps the weakest performance I have seen from Graf in a while. He did have his usual command of specific facts and legislation, which always works well, and I always enjoy the pocket constitution. His response of being "highly disappointed in Mr. Huffman" was measured and appropriate when faced with the 11th commandment question. I did think that his closing statement where he went after Huffman was out of character for Randy. Of course I am not facing a constant barrage of negative advertising about me personally with more on the horizon.

Frank Antenori: Superb as always. If Frank doesn't win the primary, he should at least get his own reality show, and another series where he discusses politics with Francine Schacter and they interview guests in the defunct "Crossfire" fashion (Frank and Francine, my people will be in touch with you). Appropriately passionate and focused, these forums are his bread and butter. He also has a pocket constitution, although I would bet that his is specially treated to stop a bullet. He also understands the importance of staying late to work the crowd. We should expect big things of Frank even if the Primary doesn't go his way.

Mike Jenkins: Of all the candidates, I think that Mike has grown the most of all in the time that I have followed the campaign. Where several months ago he looked nervous and tentative at these forums, he now looks comfortable and confident. His answers were consistent and controlled without the gruffness that he used to show. He also did a good job of getting his supporters to the forum, as I saw several Jenkins bumper stickers in the parking lot, and more Jenkins tee shirts inside. Even if he does not win this race, Jenkins will be far more formidable in future races.

Again, I apologize for the bland review, but I wasn't given a lot to work with. I believe the rerun will be on cable access Saturday night at 8:00 pm. Too bad most of the city will be attending the U of A-BYU football game which should be a sellout. If you are debating between the two, go for the football game.

No comments: