Not too long ago I got a tweet from a KSL reporter asking me to live-tweet the upcoming Matheson/Love debate taking place tomorrow on the Doug Wright show. Because of this I felt it would be a good idea to actually listen to the previous 3 the dates – just so I would know what kind of craziness to expect.
Now, if you have been following along, or even have a vague understanding of this race, you know that it is a bit contentious to say the least; the general animosity these to have towards each other really is almost dripping off the walls. It is also obvious that a few points are being missed, as both candidates are eager to tear into each other. So it is with that in mind I thought I’d offer just a little bit of advice to both candidates, you know just in case they wanted to hear from me.
Let’s start with Congressman Matheson:
First of all you’re coming across as kind of smug and condescending. You need to find a way to get important points across without so much hostility towards Love. Unfortunately, this is happening quite often. You also need to stop talking over Love or whatever moderator happens to be in front of you. I get it, you have done some great things, and it is offensive to be called out on your record. I also suspect that these types of attitudes take place because you may be a little flustered-but it’s not looking good. Slow down, take a breath, and be confidant; as I said, you have done some great work.
You also need to clarify the Obamacare vote (you know, the one that I, and most of my fellow Democrats, disagree with you on). When answering, it comes across as if you were for it, before your against it, before you were for it, and Love is going to keep hammering you on that until you make it clear where you stand and what your voth actually meant, and when you cast it.
And speaking of Obama – Love keeps saying it’s just terrible for you you to support Obama and is proof that you are out of touch with Utah voters. Now, your response to this is good, but not great – you need to do is point out that you have the responsibility to vote the way you feel as a private citizen and it is only the most harshest of dictatorships where the leader wins with 100 percent of the vote. I would also point out that just because you plan to support Obama, it does not mean you don’t have Utah values in mind (you have vaguely stated this before, but you need to point to specifics). You have a track record of being nonpartisan and bipartisan and your personal vote won’t change that.
On to Love:
To be honest, you’re coming across as generally flat footed when you speak – except for on the rare occasion when you nail Matheson on a point. To use an analogy: you’re like a home run hitter that can’t make it to first base.
Also, when you say that your budget plan was just put out there to “open up a discussion” and that the budget plan isn’t necessarily what you would do, it comes across like you are back peddling and lying about the issue… because you are. I get it, you said some crazy things to win the delegates over; look, I had regrets in college too, but you can’t just pretend it didn’t happen. Either own up to what it says or say that you need to make serious changes to your proposed, radical, budget: as of right now your tactic seems to be complaining that you are being picked on – own it or change it, or else you will lose on this issue.
I am also confused about your stance on federal student loans; specifically when you stated that somehow federal student loans are driving up the cost of tuition and (in a round about way) implied that Matheson was somehow at fault for this. Although I suppose an argument could be made that by making loans available to youth who want to learn and contribute to our economy is a bad thing, and that federal loans are adding more money to the system – leading to a natural inflation, your argument that free market loans will somehow fix this makes very little sense and sounds like a detached talking point. The student loan industry is vibrant, and continues to flourish regardless of a federal option also being available. If your argument is that we should encourage more private industry to create grants and scholarships, I again wonder how the federal government is creating an impediment to the current system. Near as I (and most voters) can tell, the government provides loans to those who otherwise can’t fully pay for schooling. These loans are generally cheaper than private loans, have more forgiving terms, and show our commitment as a nation to higher education and that we do intend to compete in the global market. Again, your hard line stance on this issue is not going to be popular and could easily hurt you in the election.
Find you are doing a poor job of defending your actions surrounding the actions that raised taxes in Saratoga Springs. Although I have a political wonk and can understand why things happened the way they did, you’ve done very poor job of telling me why things happened the way they they did. Your argument that somehow the federal government’s fault is weak and makes it seem as though you have zero power over your city.
Finally, some advice for both Candidates: please answer a damn question! I get that you need to get through your talking points, but what you’re actually doing is alienating voters with your constant attacks. I have heard very little about why are you are the best person to represent the fourth district, but quite a bit about how the other person is the worst thing to ever happen ever in the history of ever.
I also get that you too don’t like each other and the slightest, and that’s fine, but the general bile that you two seem to be spewing at each other is not what this election should be about. Of course this is effective, and is why you do it, but you’re turning off a lot of voters the same time.
As I said, I will be live tweeting in the studio during the KSL debate on the Doug Wright show between 9 and 10 a.m. Be sure to listen in for all the good times and see if either candidate actually take my advice. If you have not already done so, be sure to add me on your Twitter feed: @blueinredzion and follow the hashtag #KSLDebate (not my choice).