Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dickerson Outshines Carson In TV Appearance

WTHR's "Political Insiders" aired short interviews with Rep. Julia Carson (D) and Eric Dickerson (R) this morning. Dickerson completely outshined Carson, demonstrating energy and vitality in his delivery in sharp comparison to a tired and worn presentation by Carson. The interview format, however, was totally inadequate. Each candidate was allowed less than 10 minutes, including the time it took interviewers Matt Tully and Kevin Rader to ask the questions.

Dickerson, at the outset of the interview, sought to distinghish himself from President Bush. While Dickerson supported Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, he thinks Bush has failed to adjust the war plan to meet changed circumstances. Specifically, he believes a "train and support" focus for the Iraqis has been overlooked. Comparing the three months it took the U.S. Marines to convert him from a long-haired, wild college student to a well-trained soldier, Dickerson thinks our military should be taking would-be Iraqi soldiers to bases outside of Iraq for 3 months of intensive training and sending them back to the front lines to defend the democratically-elected government against insurgents. Trained Iraqis would replace American soldiers currently serving on the front lines, whose role would become secondary and whose numbers would be significantly reduced.

Dickerson was also critical of Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina. He thinks he was too slow to respond to the need. He should not, according to Dickerson, have waited until the cries of help came from locals before stepping in with federal assistance. The only other substantive question Dickerson was asked related to immigration at the tale end of his interview. With only a short time to respond, Dickerson said that he felt that current immigration laws should be enforced, and that he opposed granting amnesty to those who are here illegally. As to business and personal issues which have arisen in this campaign, Dickerson explained that the process of selling a car dealership can take up to a year. He sold his dealership this summer, he explained, because of GM's downsizing and the fact that the Buick line, which he sold, will likely not even be around in another year. As to his 15-year-old arrest, he said the appropriate authorities had looked into the matter and dismissed it without further action. It was a personal matter that he and his wife had long since put behind them, and that he had moved on with his life.

Tully, once again, wanted to focus on Dickerson's lack of support from the Republican Party and the relatively small amount of funds he's raised for his campaign. Dickerson conceded that he had been offered an office, telephone and fundraising assistance from the Marion Co. GOP, but that he had turned it down. He said he had his own office, telephones and supporters and appreciated but did not need the help. He said such offers come with "strings attached", and that he wants to win without those attached strings. He also explained that he would not need $200,000 to win the race. He said he had already invested $2 million in branding his name from the advertising of his Buick dealership over the past few years. He didn't need an expensive media campaign to tell voters about him he said.

Carson, sitting in a slumped position in her chair and appearing very worn and tired, opened her interview by saying that the country would be "far better off" with a Democratic majority in the House. She described Nancy Pelosi, who will likely become Speaker of the House if Democrats win a majority, as a "very articulate" and "very insightful" person to whom she looks for leadership. Noting that she had voted against the war in Iraq, Carson was asked if the Democrats had a plan for dealing with Iraq. "I think there's a plan," Carson said. She wasn't sure what it was though. In her mind, the plan should be to "just do it"--suggesting we should cut and run from Iraq now and not mess with any time frame for future withdrawal.

Carson's response to a question about immigration seemed to conflict with the position she had previously staked out. She voted against a harsh immigration law House Republican past last year, which increased enforcement and penalties and provided no amnesty or path to legalization for the 12 million undocumented aliens in America. Her answer to this question seemed to more closely mirror the position of many House Republicans who supported the legislation she voted against last year. She said we should not reward people who broke the rules to come here. They should "stand in line" with everyone else. Those are the same arguments made by the supporters of the legislation she voted against. Her position has shifted and now seems to be the same position Dickerson has taken.

As for the controversial bar in the Julia Carson Government Center, Carson first began her answer by pointing out government buildings like the Ronald Reagan Center and airports in which there are establishments which serve alcohol, but she insists she is neither for or against the 300 East bar. "I have no nickel in that dime," she said. She suggested that Carl Drummer, Lacy Johnson and Bill Mays should follow the proper rules though. Asked if she thought that hadn't followed the rules, she said they didn't according to at least one newspaper.

Carson insisted her health was not an issue for voters to concern themselves with. She cited the fact that Sen. Richard Lugar (R), who is running for re-election this year unopposed, is older than her. As she described his years of public service, she referred to him as a former Mayor of Indiana before correcting herself.

At the end of the interview, Carson was asked to explain why the voters should re-elect her. She said, "I am a person of a lot of integrity, motivation and foresight." She said she had never had any plans to become a politician, saying she is more of a public servant than a politician after four decades of government service. At this point in the interview, Carson's mind appeared to wander. She talked about how she had wanted to expand her work for children, and that some little girl had come up to her for help. "The little girl disappeared, and I don't know where she went," she digressed. It reminded me of that moment during the 1992 presidential campaign when Ross Perot's running mate, James Stockdale, appearing confused, asked during a debate with the vice-presidential candidates: "Who am I? Why am I here?" Stockdale died last year after a battle with Alzheimer's disease for several years.


Wilson46201 said...

The USA has already trained twice as many Iraqi security forces as there are US soldiers yet the need for US troops seem to increase, not decrease. The Iraqi troops have not been supplied with helicopters, heavy artillery or vehicles such as tanks.

Julia Carson voted against starting this endless war - Dickerson still supports going in and is fuzzy about what the hell the US can do now to get out of this gawdawful mess created by Bush and his Rubber Stamp Congress. Meanwhile US troops die!

Anonymous said...

Your comments mostly echo mine. A very interesting half-hour.

The little girl comment scared me. Where did this little girl appear? At Julia's house? At a political dinner? At Julia's high school graduation reception? Julia needs a long nap. And retirement.

My single-biggest surprise was Eric's plan to refocus troops in Iraq. I hadn't heard it, and I think it's brilliant. He mentioned that a Northwest High School May grad shouldn't be the first person into Iraq, and that we should retrain those closer to the action already. Spoken like a true military man with experience. My cousin, who's 22 and starting her third tour in Jan., and her family would love that kind of policy. So would most of the generals. The post-war retirement books/speeches on this one will be frighteningly hilairous.

Most intriguing to me, though, was Tully's attitude. He seemed scared of Julia. Softball questions and stupid political analysis after the candidates left the studio.

Eric's rambling about not accepting party help were not smart, though. Nice try.

Try not to descend into conservative talk show distribe, though, AI..."cut and run" and such. Nationally, no one is buying that tied attempt at painting war opponents as unpatrotic.

TV at its best. Julia vs. Eric live in person tonight at Robin Run. I can't go, but it oughta be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...he didn't sound fuzzy at all to me, Wilson. He said we had to go in there, with which I disagree, but to each his own. Your lady was right on that one.

And he said current troops need retrained for insurgency, and rotations should be altered.

Best plan I've heard from anyone, anywhere in the country, for dealing with the troop strength and apportionment.

He's wrong on the original decision, but he's acknowledged we're there and need a better plan.

Sounds like the quintessential practical man to me.

Anonymous said...

This was taped in the afternoon. Why did it look like Julia Carson just got out of bed? No wonder why she never comes forward to make speeches on the house floor. She would take up the entire time alloted to say one sentence.

I thought Matt Tully did a cheap shot by suggesting "Republican and Democrat people" want to put a bar in at 300 East. No, none of them are republicans. Bill Mays, Carl Drummer, Lacy Johnson, and Monroe Gray. No GOP there. Supposedly Bill Mays gave a few bucks to Gov. Daniels' campaign but that hardly makes one a solid GOP backer. What kind of ghetto talk is "I have no nickel in that dime"? Did anyone notice it took her over minute to get out a simple answer?

Her cheap shot was on Sen. Lugar - Julia if you were HALF as articulate as Sen. Lugar even at his age there would be no issue. However you are not, and it's time for her to be put out to pasture.

And Robin Winston - we'll show you on Election night and you'll be eating your words she'll "make mulch out of Eric Dickerson".

Anonymous said...

What planet is Peter Rusthoven living on? He thought Carson's performance was good? I'm glad I voted against him when he ran for the Senate several years ago. He placed third behind Paul Helmke and John Price. I think he still hasn't gotten over that embarrassing race.

Anonymous said...

The Star used like a 20 year old Glamour-like, touched up photo of Carson. She looks nothing like that in person today.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Anon 9:34, Rusthoven and some of his partners at Barnes & Thornburg lobby Congress. Translated, he has a big conflict of interest and can't say what he really thinks about Carson. That's why I've criticized the IWIR panel. When you have lobbyists and attorneys representing various interests, you aren't going to get an open, candid and honest discussion of the candidates and the issues.

Anonymous said...

That being said, Rusthoven is typcally a sound, reasoned voice for the loyal opposition. I admire his views and his civility.

He's still wrong on most issues. He worked for Reagan. 'Nuff said.

He said Julia gave a good performance. We simply must have been watching different segments.

Robin Winston has almost zero credibility anywhere. He cashes that Ch. 13 check pretty quickly.

Say--did anyone notice the Star listed DC Hoosier Millionaires today? Al Hubbard was there. The same Al who worked for Reagan, with Peter R., who bashed govt. programs, then promptly used one, the SBA, to gobble up bankrupt companies. He's the president's chief economic counsel.

Again, 'nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Too bad they didn't ask Julia more ISSUES!!! As far as comparing herself to Sen. Lugar? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!! Last time I heard, other people are asking our good Senator for his assistance on heavy political topics. Who is asking Julia? Heck, where is Julia?

Robin Run tonight is going to be good. Let's see if Julia goes NEGATIVE after saying she won't.

Dickerson will be the next Congressman for the 7th District.

Anonymous said...

I still haven't figured out the comment about the little girl. Wilson you know so much about Julia Carsons opinions. Please help us out here. What did she mean?

indyernie said...

Wilson around girls? You have got to be kidding, Wilson doesn't know anything until Carson tell him what to say. You would be best to go to Robin Run and ask her yourself.
By the way I saw Carson before she went into Ch 13, she looked pretty good I must say. New wig, nice red dress, sober, but she was wearing the same flag scarf that she was chastized for wearing a couple of years ago.
As far as the little girl story, she just got confused and forgot what her handlers told her to say.

Anonymous said...

I think Julia was channeling Heidi's grandfather.

Or some other nursery rhyme.

If Dickerson had any money, or balls, he'd tape that 10-second segment and play it everywhere he can buy time.

It's Exhibit 1 why this woman has earned a spot on the bench.

It made up my mind for whom to vote. Actually, it changed my mind.

Wolfrham Hart said...

I didn't get a chance to see the TV show, but I saw Julia Carson at the ACLU dinner. She was very tired, slow, and when she climbed onto the stage without using the stairs I think everyone thought she was going to fall off.

Her speech was coherent when she gave Fran Quigley his award, but she had a horrible coughing fit while seated.

She reminded me of my grandmother, the one that had congestive heart failure.

Regardless of one's political affiliation I don't see how anyone who has seen Julia Carson in action can vote for her. At the least you have to question the judgment of someone not wanting to use the stairs to get on stage.

Anonymous said...