I'm going to set as many reminders as I can remember to set so that I don't miss the primary debate for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat on Channel 11 (WTTW) tonight at 7 p.m. I haven't seen any of the candidates speak yet, but I'm leaning toward Democratic candidate Barack Obama based on what I've read.
Blair Hull greets me at my inbox every morning with his ads on Yahoo! Mail and all along my drive to work with his radio ad blitz. "I'm Blair Hull. I don't take special interest money. I won't take contributions over $100. I won't take a Senate salary." No shit, dude. Your net worth is around 83 gajillion dollars. Buying your way into office turns me off. Who knows, maybe Hull will wow me with his performance in the debate, but his ads do nothing for me.
I'm looking forward to watching. I'd like a few less candidates so that each person would have more time, but I'll take what I can get. The exposure on this race, even in local media, has been much less than I expected.
What i think is so funny about all the candidates is how all their ads say that they are gonna make sure that this and that happens. well guess what? senators can't make shit happen, not unless they get a whole lotta other senators to agree with them.
True, but the bills have to originate from somebody. I want to vote for the person who is going to introduce legislation that I support and who I also believe has the ability to get those other senators to agree with him.
This is why I don't buy the "I'm not a Washington insider" line. It sounds good to voters, but I definitely wouldn't say something analgous on my own job interview. "Hi, I don't know anything about the inner workings of your company and how to get IT projects approved and out the door." How would that sound?
I don't support old boys' network way of doing things in politics, but you do need people who know how to work within the system and get bills through committees, etc.
yeah, i totally agree. so what do you base your judgement on besides agreeing with their positions? Does how they handle themselves in debate actually translate to how they will be able to operate in the senate? I mean, there's a certain element of putting your hands over your eyes and pointing isn't there....?
I recently went to DC and had a chance to hear fund raisers, a congressman, and a lobbiest all speak on the role of money in politics. On the subject of self-funded politicians: If they aren't funding it themselves, chances are its constituants who want some sort of legislation back in return. So in terms of trying to guess a politician's actions in office, I would look at where their money IS coming from. It's not tit-for-tat, but its pretty close, from what we heard.
I agree that outsiders are probably going to be less effective than experienced politicians, but the idea of electing someone who is not beholdant to anyone is also appealing.
I dunno. Where do you draw the line?
I like the debates because they give me a chance to hear the candidate. So much of the literature looks the same and it's professionally produced marketing material. Watching a debate is more like a product demonstration as opposed to just reading the brochure. It's still a controlled environment, but the information you can gather is of a different nature than reading the leaflets, handouts, and hearing clipped soundbites.
There is a certain element of blind choosing, moreso in a presidential election year, because the media attention is so focused on the larger stakes race. Further, this field is so wide open that it's hard to pay attention to everyone. Blair Hull has a sick amount of personal cash and he's blanketing the media with his ads. He's hoping that his name will stand out against the rest of the field that doesn't have an incumbent or any real big name people.
I haven't followed the senate race as closely as I would like, but I'm going to find out as much as I can in the next week and a half. If you think they're all the same or and which person wins doesn't really matter, I'm not going to convince you otherwise, but like I said last night, I get a sense of civic participation by knowing as much as I can and supporting a candidate.