Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 19, 2010

A MEMORABLE PERFORMANCE BECOMES A MEMORABLE AD.... It's been about two weeks since Arizona's first and last debate for this year's gubernatorial candidates, and state Attorney General Terry Goddard (D) hopes to remind voters what we learned about Jan Brewer (R) during the event.

As you may recall, Brewer drew a blank during her opening statement, struggling badly to explain what she's done in office over the last couple of years. Emphasizing her painful silence, this Goddard ad shines a light on some of Arizona's more pressing problems, juxtaposing the governor's debate confusion with her inability to address state issues.

"Is this the best Arizona can do?" is the hard-hitting tag line.

What's more, Brewer's now-notorious debate performance is the subject of two other Goddard campaign ads, including her debunked arguments about immigrant "beheadings," which led to an embarrassing moment for the governor after the debate.

Will an ad like this make a difference? It's hard to say. There hasn't been much in the way of polling in Arizona lately, so we don't really have a sense if the debate made any impact with voters at all. For that matter, the GOP base has come to see Brewer as a hero after she signed Arizona's anti-immigrant bill into law, and that alone is likely to keep her in office, whether she's up to the job or not. It's safe to assume she remains the clear frontrunner in the race.

But moments like Brewer's debate freeze don't come along often. If anything can raise public doubts about her abilities, this has a chance.

Steve Benen 9:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (10)

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This is all very well and good, but Democrats should be aware that there has been a development in the political dynamic that throws old-fashioned notions of campaigning out the window. Once upon a time, a candidate could get some mileage out of arguing that his opponent is incompetent, corrupt, or loony. Not anymore. The conservatives in this country only care about one thing in their candidates: doctrinal purity. As long as a candidate hasn't slipped up and agreed with Democrats on some issue, it doesn't matter if he or she has embezzled, had sex with chickens, whatever.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on September 19, 2010 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

love the frame of her face that they froze on...

Posted by: John on September 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

It may not help in this particular election, but this kind of hard negative campaigning is exactly the right thing to do. I'm really hoping that Grayson wins his red district in Florida, and shows his party how to fight the Troglodyte party successfully.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on September 19, 2010 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

It's hard to overstate just how uneducated Jan Brewer is. I heard her speak Monday with prepared remarks. She pronounced "culturally diverse" as "culturally diversive". She pronounced the word alumni as "a'loom'ni". Sadly, this makes her even more electable in a state where anti-intellectualism is a badge of honor. This isn't simply a matter of rough stylistics or endearing folksiness. Brewer's dumbness is matched by a kinship with zealots and charlatans. She's Sarah Palin plus 20 years and minus a dozen IQ points.

Posted by: walt on September 19, 2010 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

What an awful voiceover job..

Posted by: Crusty Dem on September 19, 2010 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Listen I have nothing against powerful or smart woman. I prefer them. Why are almost all repub women such incomparable shrews? I mean could you imagine being their significant other or husband? Life would be a neverending hell with them.

Posted by: Gandalf on September 19, 2010 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

The sad thing is that she is going to win in by a large margin here in the Utah suburbs. She may be clinically stupid like a sack of rocks but it doesn't matter here. Her opponent is a Democrat. Game Set Match

Posted by: Bigsky on September 19, 2010 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'm afraid that there is nothing these freaks can do to make them unelectable. Freeze up on camera, literally RUN AWAY from reporters, cancel most or all of your debates, it doesn't matter. All they have to do is speak through talk radio, Fox News, and right-wing blogs. This lizard woman will most likely be put back into office by 15 pts or more.

Posted by: jjstraka on September 19, 2010 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

To emphasize what walt said, clear, demonstrable stupidity has become a badge of honor in this country, at least politically. Look at Bush- he practically won (if you can call it that) precisely *because* he was a blooming idiot. The ads contrasting his 'down home' idiocy w/John Kerry's 'elitism'- interpreted as a mastery of polysyllabic words, among other things completely beyond the grasp of much of Idiot America- were a perfect example of this.

This country has nearly completed the remarkable transformation from, perhaps, the best-educated major power in the early-to-mid 20th century, to almost unquestionably the least-educated major power. Idiots are easier to manipulate w/cheap emotion and propaganda, after all- all the better for the GOP elite. Who cares if it leaves our beloved country a heavily-armed 3rd world economy; as long as the rich have private armies protecting their gated communities, they don't care.

Just wait until the '2nd amendment remedies' Sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron Angle mentioned come back to bite the rich fuckers on the ass. Some of us are NRA-accredited Sharpshooters, 1st bar.

I'm just sayin',

Posted by: Zorro on September 19, 2010 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Your average Republican strongly believes that real Americans are not well-educated, because being well-educated means you're secretly gay, socialist, and a Moslem. Our founding fathers would be castigated by the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, Gingrich, and O'Donnell, who would all have been wearing red coats back in 1776.

Posted by: bluestatedon on September 19, 2010 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK
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