Shouting 'Cross the Potomac
but never a Monday morning quarterback
adrag1 at msn.com [until the QP server gets fixed]
willv at comcast.net
Virginia Pundit Watch Will Vehrs' Weekly Column at Bacon's Rebellion
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UVA Center for Politics and Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball Predictions 2002
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A Nickles Worth of Free Advice
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the talking dog
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perfunctory links(We think it's "the Mother of links pages for news and pundit junkies" - eds)
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Town Hall: Conservative News and Information - The Conservative Movement Starts Here
Friday, September 26, 2003
Questioning Sabato and Weintraub
Will VehrsIt was slow today, so for the first time in ages I was able to carpet-bomb the Washington Post Online guests with questions.
University of Virginia pundit/professor Larry Sabato took questions about the Democratic debate. I didn't ask the question about General Clark that elicited this assessment, but I wish I had:
Larry J. Sabato: Wesley Clark is an enigma to all of us. I am very suspicious of candidates who seek their first elected office in the presidency. That takes even more ego than usual at this level of politics. Moreover, it is clear that Clark has many, many enemies among those who have worked closely with him in the military. Yes, some of this may be pure jealousy, but when one hears General Hugh Shelton, a mild-mannered individual who served Democratic Presidnt Clinton well, question Clark's basic character and integrity, it makes any thoughtful person sit up and take notice.Here were my questions and the Professor's answers:
Bristow, Va: How do we reconcile Gov. Gray Davis claiming that California's economy is coming back with the Democratic presidential candidates telling us the whole national economy is a disaster and getting worse?Daniel Weintraub of the Sacramento Bee (and blog fame) discussed the California gubernatorial recall race. Here were my questions and the responses:
Brandermill, Va.: Can you comment on the controversy surrounding your Weblog, supposedly put under an editor because of complaints from the Bustamante camp?When writer's block sets in, QP turns it over to the experts!
Thursday, September 25, 2003
Will VehrsTony, I watched the "Big Five" go at it last night in the California gubernatorial recall debate. It was alternately entertaining, illuminating, and infuriating.
I largely agree with Mickey Kaus' take on how the candidates performed, except that I was totally unimpressed with Arnold's performance.
Here's how I scored the debate on style:
1. Bustamante Smooth, unruffled, dignified
2. McClintock Serious, on point
3. Camejo Passionate without being overbearing
4. Schwarzenegger Overbearing
5. Huffington Absolutely insufferable
Here's how I scored it on substance:
2. (Tie) Huffington, Bustamante, Camejo
If I were a Californian, my choice would be between McClintock or Camejo. If you're going to recall a Governor because you think the "system" is "broken," you might as well swing to a serious candidate of the left or right, instead of turning to a total gadfly (Huffington), an egomaniacal blank slate (Schwarzenegger), or a mushy-middle political wind gauge (Bustamante). Of course, I'm not a Californian and most voters probably aren't thinking that way. I do believe the overall debate performance probably helped the recall effort.
In real political terms, I think Arnold probably solidified his support but didn't make a lot of converts. I think Bustamante's lack of passion and "high road" approach probably didn't arouse Democrats who thrive on anger, but maybe it helped him with moderates. Huffington appealed to the angry Democrats, but I can't see even the most enraged voter turning to a pampered whack job scold. McClintock probably made a few converts, as did Camejo, but probably not enough to propel them into real contention. It was good to see a Green Party candidate come off as reasonably within the mainstream and actually be competitive in a debate with "major party" candidates.
I predict Davis will be recalled and Bustamante will top Schwarzenegger by a few points.
One other thing--the moderator of the debate was dreadful and should never be allowed on a debate stage again.
Sunday, September 21, 2003
Quasipundit Storm Center
Tony Adragna'Twas a good blow, but that's 'bout it. Glad to hear you're OK, Will.
We lost power around 4:00 PM Thursday here at the Hyattsville Hanngout — guess who was home all by his lonesome... Power came back on 'round 6:00 [yesterday] morning, and I just got cable back 'bout half an hour ago, otherwise I woulda posted earlier.
I was trying to keep up with the news by listening to the radio, but the only channel I could get was WMAL, and all they've been doing is call-in letting folks vent 'bout PEPCO's response to the power outages. The consensus, with which I agree, seems to be that PEPCO couldn't fight its way out of a wet paper bag with a box cutter. That opinion isn't just informed by the response to Isabel — all you hafta do is think about rain and the power goes out around here.
Some good questions have been raised vis a vis the large number of lines downed by trees — we've either got to bury those lines, or clear hazards away from those lines i.e. cut down the flippin' trees... 'Course, nobody wansta lose their trees or deal with the inconvenience of lane closures while the road gets dug up...
So, I dealt with a 38 hour power outage and loss of my broadband cable access to the net — coulda been lots worse. I remember spending some 13 hours chasing December '86's Typhoon Marge at sea on our way back to Guam from Hong Kong in a round bottomed hull that was left over from WWII — now that was a close one...
And thank God we have around the house an old phone that doesn't need to be plugged into a power outlet — we housemates were able to keep in touch with each other that way.
Oh well, gota catch up with the news now...
What Did I Miss?
Will VehrsI lost power at 6:30PM Thursday and it didn't come back until just a few minutes ago. Now I can watch ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous.
My immediate neighborhood was very fortunate--no downed trees caused damage to homes or cars. An adjacent neighborhood was not so lucky--I saw at least four homes and one car that took direct hits from giant oak trees pulled right out of the ground.
We're under a "boil water" alert and there's no school tomorrow, but feel very lucky that this storm spared us much worse.