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WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

Difficult to believe: Last weekend before the election.

And what a marathon it has been! One hopes we don't go into overtime with a marathon AFTER Tuesday, if the Presidential race remains undecided, with legal battles over the outcomes in several states.

I've heard some people say journalists would LOVE to see a repeat of the disputed 2000 Presidential election, because we thrive on such conflict. Not! Most journalists I know, local and national, are simply fatigued. They WANT this to be over. And, a muddled, indecisive, litigated result simply can't be good for this country.

I would offer this analogy: Anyone who's been a DJ on the radio - or is acquainted with someone who's worked in music radio - knows the jocks get tired of the songs long before many listeners do. It can be the same for political journalists, especially the ones covering those political speeches day after day after day. Rather like the movie "Groundhog Day". Except no one gets to chase Andie MacDowell.

Talking to veteran national political journalist Walter Shapiro, now covering his 9th Presidential campaign for Yahoo News, The Columbia Journalism Review, and The New Republic. He tells me: "The fact is that anyone who's totally confident about the outcome of this Presidential election doesn't understand politics..."

Hurricane Sandy simply introduced more variables in an election with so many variables.

Here's one: President Obama is getting high marks for his handling of the hurricane. (This certainly explains why some Republicans have accused the President of a hyper, overreaction. Or, the President has become the commander-in-chief of Sandy, in stark contrast to his abdication of the commander-in-chief role in the case of Benghazi. So, the G.O.P. argument goes.)

But, could images of long lines of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans seeking gas come to haunt Mr. Obama by next Tuesday? Maybe not Governor Christie, but New York's Governor Cuomo too. Friday's NEW YORK POST front page carries the bold headline: "ABUSE of POWER" over a photo of big electric generators. Then this sub-headline: "These massive generators are providing electricity to the marathon's tent in Central Park... while NYers suffer!"

Yesterday, I moderated a joint U.S. House / Senate debate from the downtown Wilmington Rotary luncheon at the Hotel DuPont. (Alex Pires cancelled just a few hours before the event, claiming he was taking a truckload of food to the Jersey hurricane victims. Of course, couldn't he have ordered such a shipment without having to preside over it himself? Perhaps he figured his bomb-throwing might not play well before such an august crowd!) We carried this debate live during our "Delaware News at Noon" on both 1150 A.M. WDEL and Delaware 105.9 F.M. WXDE.

I found it interesting that both WDEL's Amy Cherry (in one of her stories) and then The NEWS JOURNAL decided to lead with the candidates' responses to my question about whether hospitals, universities, etc., under the umbrella of a particular religious denomination should be forced to offer medical plans covering items (contraception, particularly abortifacients) which that religious denomination profoundly opposes. To my ears, at least three of the candidates danced around the issue.

Following the debate, a couple of Republicans asked me why I didn't ask the candidates about Benghazi. If I had been afforded more time, I might have. But with well under an hour, I confined myself to two foreign policy issues which I thought had longer-term ramifications: War with Iran, and an open-ended question about China (trade, currency manipulation, human rights, Taiwan, the dispute over islands between China and its neighbors).

Last night (Thursday), I hosted an in-studio debate on WDEL with the two candidates for New Castle County Council President, Democratic nominee Reverend Christopher Bullock and Republican Mike Protack. Except for a few flashes from Protack, a definitely low-key affair.

Tonight (Friday), I host a Lieutenant Governor's debate, and I expect some flashes between Democratic incumbent Matt Denn and Republican challenger Sher Valenzuela. With an hour-and-a-half available, I hope to probe several issues.




Posted at 8:18am on November 2, 2012 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

teatime
Fri, Nov 2, 2012 8:56am
Sandy is the October surprise that will re-elect Obama. It's God's way of saying he's scared of what the Romney-Ryan plan would do. Post-storm, Obama can be Presidential, visiting storm victims, and getting New Jersey Gov. and Mitt Romney supporter Chris Christie to say what a wonderful job Obama has done in responding to the disaster. Win-win-win.

By the way, Paul Ryan's response to a hurricane would be to say to hurricane victims "that's not the job of government, tough luck, buddy!"

EarlGrey
Fri, Nov 2, 2012 11:39am
Sure teatime...as long as folks don't see the long lines for gas and the chaos at the few stations still open(NJ has at least one state trooper posted at every open/functioning gas station)...as long as pictures don't come out showing regular people in NYC dumpster-diving for food (as the mayor preps for the NYC Marathon event that's still scheduled)
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/02/new-york-marathon-faces-backlash-amid-hurricane-sandy-aftermath.html

I'm not sure what happened to turn a Ron Paul/Tea Party supporter so strongly for Obama but you are definitely 180 degrees from the poster you once were.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Nov 2, 2012 3:30pm
Funny, I had quipped to some folks I had been talking to, earlier in the week, that maybe this hurricane was God trying to keep the Northern East Coast Blue States from voting (this was earlier when it looked like that hurricane was going to be even worse than it ended up being).

Wouldn't it make more sense if God was trying to keep Red staters from voting that the Hurricane would have hit the South including Texas?

Just so someone doesn't take this the wrong way, I'm NOT saying that God brought on this destruction, due to the East being Blue, but it sure is an interesting theory.

kavips
Fri, Nov 2, 2012 4:24pm
More later, but Katz won on Rick Jensen. I was curious how it would play out...

teatime
Fri, Nov 2, 2012 7:05pm

@Earl Grey: You ask a very good question.

One powerful image which has influenced my thinking in the past few months is seeing a commercial for the Wounded Warrior Project. It showed a young man in his 20s who was paralyzed from the neck down and had to be spoonfed. He had been a soldier that George W. Bush had instructed to invade Iraq. Because people voted for Bush in 2000, this young man will be spoonfed for the rest of his life.

For people who cast ballots for Mitt Romney in 2012, it will mean future Wounded Warriors who will have to be spoonfed four years from now.

P.S: Ron Paul was adamantly opposed to starting invading Iraq for no reason.

EarlGrey
Fri, Nov 2, 2012 11:48pm
teatime: I will agree with you 100% that all wars suck, but why hold Romney responsible for Bush's Iraq war? If you wish to hold leaders responsible for the deaths of our warriors you should be furious at Obama...as I have said several times on this blog our current leader has lost many more of our brave soldiers in Afghanistan in half the amount of time of Bush. I can't even count the number of Special Forces and SEALs we have lost (including the most recent two SEALs lost in Benghazi).
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/06/us-biggest-loss-afghan-war-helicopter-crash-38

Romney beats Obama 2-1 with military voters.
http://www.militarytimes.com/news/2012/10/military-times-poll-romney-bests-obama-2-1-100712/

EarlGrey
Fri, Nov 2, 2012 11:55pm
BTW, you probably never saw or heard about Bush's ride with the Wounded Warriors Project last year. It somehow didn't make the regular news.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/more/04/27/bush-armstrong-wounded-veterans.ap/index.html

http://www.bicycling.com/mountainbikecom/featured-stories/president-bush-joins-wounded-warriors-100k-ride

mrpizza
Sat, Nov 3, 2012 3:31am
Teatime: I think you should change your name to Kool-Aid Time.

teatime
Sat, Nov 3, 2012 11:01am
What's already been done in Iraq cannot change. But we can, in Tuesday's ballot box, whether there will be new quadriplegics - as a result of Ronmey - in the four years.
Romney's comments during the debates made it clear tht he wants to start new wars with Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and many other countries we haven't realized yet.

Support our troops? Keep them alive. Keep Romney out.

mrpizza
Sun, Nov 4, 2012 1:56am
Teatime: Watch this video from beginning to end and then let me know if you still think Obama should have ever been elected in the first place:

http://www.committeeforfirstprinciples.org/Information/New/2016%20-%20Obama%27s%20America.mp4


EarlGrey
Sun, Nov 4, 2012 9:39pm
HUGE rally in PA for Romney/Ryan!!...PA looks very close to choosing R&R.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/04/Gigantic-Rally-For-Romney-In-PA

Allan Loudell
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 7:36am
Mr. Grey---

Beware basing outcomes on huge, emotional rallies near the end.

Many losing Presidential candidates in U.S. history enjoyed huge rallies at the end, and may have even derived false optimism. Mondale comes to mind.

Don't misunderstand me, though. I think EITHER Mr. Romney or Mr. Obama can win the national election. But I would be thunderstruck if Mr. Romney carried Pennsylvania!

Allan Loudell

EarlGrey
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 9:05am
I agree that the huge, emotional rallies don't declare a winner but there is definitely a high level of excitement to vote for Romney going into tomorrow.

I know that I personally am very excited about casting my vote for Romney/Ryan tomorrow...and I'm in this BLUE state that really has no chance going Republican. Very different from four years ago, when I had to drag myself to vote for McCain (which was really just a vote against Obama)...this year I am voting for a candidate I really like and believe can help America.

EarlGrey
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 9:18am
I also think the "War on Catholics" could be a big factor for voters in Pennsylvania.

arthur
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 10:50am
I think there is a group really interested in the election, but I would say the vast majority just wants it OVER.

mrpizza
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 9:40pm
Teatime: I'm not against government being involved in hurricanes, but have you ever heard of the RED CROSS?

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 8:21am
The Red Cross, United Methodist Charities, Lutheran Community Services, Assembly of God Charities, (these I know are helping in NJ/NYC metro) probably Catholic, and other religious groups as well, yet it still isn't enough, so yes the government DOES need to get involved. I'm with Teatime on this one, this is a time where government should be there helping its citizens. Delaware government has sent 20 DART buses to help with transit issues, The Del National Guard has sent about 150 men/women to help deliver food/water, etc.

Dave Ross, via CBS Radio, gave an interesting commentary on Allan's noontime newscast the other day. His point was we've spent a lot of money on homeland security, why haven't we set up a system of generators that could be used to keep gas stations running? Our entire society can grind to a halt, because even though there's plenty of gas, if you can't pump it out into cars, what good is it? He makes an excellent point. Part of the problem in NJ/NYC metro is above I-195 (roughly where Great Adventure is) few gas stations have electric, so no gas and long lines at the few stations that are working. Think of the problems we'd have here if most of our gas stations didn't have power. Ross makes a valid point. Something should be done about that, after all our nation runs on gasoline.

EarlGrey
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 10:05am
Mike: I agree the state governments should definitely be involved in helping their neighboring states, they should be able to quickly assist and have a very good idea what their neighbors need;however, Federal "big governmnent" results in too much red tape and beaurocracy and those in need of help don't get it quickly enough and loads of money is wasted.

It does seem like common sense that gas stations should have back up power generators...both for the gas station (ability to continue selling gas) and for the cosumer who needs the fuel for transportation and their own back up generators for power & heat.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 1:24pm
For a big event like Katrina or even Sandy, the amount of money needed to fix and get an area back to normal may be well beyond what the state has available, thus the need for the Feds. It is what it is.

mrpizza
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 7:22pm
MFD: Your point is well taken. Trouble is, the federal government is $16 trillion in debt. We can't go on printing money forever.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 10:50pm
Mrpizza: I agree we can't go on printing money forever, but if we are going to do that, doing it to help folks in a real situation like that is at least a good thing vs. most of the other crap the Feds find to do as they print money.


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