A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ensign in Newsweek: "Our Behaviour Has Been Wrong"

Newsweek just published the Nevada part of its "Face Off" series profiling what they consider to be this year's most interesting races. The story called Bush a Key Issue for Nevada's Senate Contenders is made up in large part by interviews with both Ensign and Jack Carter. I'll excerpt what I find noteworthy.

First from the interview with Ensign:
You have visited Iraq on a number of occasions. What is going on in the country right now?

Most of the country is pretty positive. Baghdad obviously is not a great place. There are major challenges to winning this whole war against Islamo-fascism [or] whatever you want to call it. Iraq is the central front in that war. Osama bin Laden said that.
Oh, good Lord. What do you say to that? Senator, where exactly is Osama? It's been five years!
What about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld? A number of Democrats and Republicans have been calling for his ouster.

It is not a number of Republicans. The president has full confidence in Rumsfeld. We are at war and it is time to not only be behind our troops but to be behind our commander in chief.
Ensign acting as Bush's echo-chamber once again. No one dare question the President. Did I mention yet that Ensign is practically a copy of Bush, with a more pronounced hair-do?
You have billed yourself as a fiscal conservative. What has it been like for you to be in Congress while the deficit has ballooned along with governmental spending?

That has been the biggest frustration since I've been here. I believe when you are at a time of war, when we had Katrina, we should have reprioritized our spending.
The biggest frustration? What, Senator, you're in the minority there? No one forced you to vote with the President 96% of the time. Geez!
Have some voters become disaffected because of this spending?

Yes. Our behavior has been wrong.
OH MY GOD! He did not just say that, did he? Hey, Jack, the ensignificant Senator just handed you a line to use in your next ad!
Speaking of Reid, you have a close relationship with the Democrat, who is the Senate minority leader.

Not only a close working relationship, but a close personal relationship. We have a spoken agreement that we will not criticize each other publicly or privately. If he campaigns for Jack Carter, that is his business.
Well, ain't that just sweet. You heard it, Senator Reid, Ensign just gave you the green light to campaign for Jack. How about finally getting at it?

Now, to the intelligent part of the interview. Here are a few excerpts from the interview with Jack:
You have been campaigning in many of the rural areas and small towns of the state.

We [recently] went through an area that essentially went for George Bush 70 [percent to] 30 [percent]. These are the people just like the ones I grew up with. I felt right at home. Got a very good response. There was a deep vein of anti-administration feeling out there. Literally as strong as the one I had.

Do you think those feelings can be translated into people switching party allegiances or even showing up to vote?

My opponent has voted with the president 96 percent of the time in the five years he has been senator. Even though he has been out [in Nevada] longer than I have, it doesn't make any difference whether you are from Nevada or not, if you vote as if you are from Washington.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if in the end Jack gets 40% + x in the rurals and that would put him over the top? I think his rural strategy is absolutely the right way to go!
Bush's approval ratings are in the 30s in Nevada, but your opponent's rating is around 50 percent. Why do you think that is?

The obvious reason is people don't know how my opponent voted. They don't know what he stands for.
Exactly, and this is where you come in. You need to spread the word! You can also help out the campaign by contributing to Jack Carter and make this a real "Desert Showdown".

Jack Carter currently tours the state with his father, former President Jimmy Carter. Here are a couple of news accounts of their joint appearances yesterday:

Elko Daily Free Press: Carter corrals hundreds in Elko

Las Vegas Sun (AP): Former President Carter criticizes Bush at son's campaign stop

Nevada Appeal: Jimmy Carter visits Fallon


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