OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 :::

Hinkle Enters the Fray

The TD's Bart Hinkle is just mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore. In his column today, Hinkle scolds both gubernatorial campaigns for their childishness.

But he also saves a bit of special attention for the Kaine campaign and the flap over its recent ads. First he addresses the accent issue:

HARPING FURTHER on Kilgore's "quacking," last week the Kaine team released an ad calling on the Republican to use his own voice in radio spots rather than the voices of "slick radio announcers." Kaine press secretary Delacey Skinner, who apparently does all the talking for Kaine, said the ad had "nothing to do with Jerry Kilgore's accent -- absolutely nothing." This is on the order of B'rer Rabbit pleading, "Please don't throw me in that briar patch," or a political candidate insisting, "I absolutely refuse to draw attention to my opponent's wife-beating and illegitimate children." Kaine's people know perfectly well that Kilgore's voice could prove a real problem in the tonier precincts of Northern Virginia (where the enlightened residents are, you understand, so very tolerant and multicultural).

Then, he turns to the gay-baiting:

WHEN PEOPLE talk about Kilgore's accent, they mean more than the Southwest Virginia twang. Plenty of successful politicians have had a good-ol'-boy accent: Fred Thompson, Fritz Hollings, and -- oh, Ann Richards -- come to mind. But none of them sounds like "Ned Flanders meets Mr. Rogers," as the Staunton Daily News Leader characterized Kilgore in December. Kilgore's accent wouldn't be an issue at all if he sounded more baritone.

This is not exactly groundbreaking, either. Last year both John Kerry and his running-mate, John Edwards, made a point of calling attention to the fact that Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian. It was a calculated, cynical tip-off to the religious right, about as subtle as waving raw meat in front of a hungry dog. (And no, it cannot be justified on the grounds that Republicans who bash homosexuals have it coming; the perceived wrongfulness of the other side does not give those who claim to support homosexual rights a license to employ gay-baiting when it might serve them.) The Kaine camp isn't trying to impugn Kilgore's sexuality, merely his manliness -- perhaps part and parcel of Kaine's strategy to make Kilgore look weak and incapable of leading.

Well, I think that some on the Kaine side actually do question Kilgore's sexuality.

But Bart and I firmly agree that neither campaign has covered itself with glory in its messaging lately. There are big issues sitting on the table that demand attention. But so far, the only one who seems to be addressing them with even some consistency is The Original Lonely Candidate, George Fitch.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 4/26/2005 1 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

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