Inspired by Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic, who has a column up with the title "My picks for the most memorable performances of this campaign season."
Mostly her column is a series of criticisms of the effors of some of the campaigns. I can do that, and will, but I've got a few compliments, too.
Toward the end of the high school year, yearbooks come out, with picks (and pics) of the "the most" whatever or "the class" blah. Now that we are nearing the end of the campaign cycle, it's time for campaign superlatives.
...The "Least Likely To Have A Future On American Idol" Award: Rodney Glassman, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate. His video performance of "Sweet Home Arizona" was easily the most entertaining video of the season, and it was energetic. Other than that...?
...The "Truth? We don't need no stinking truth! " Award: Many worthy nominees, but this one goes to the Yes on Prop 302 folks. They've got signs all over the state pimping the proposition with "Stop Wasteful Government Spending." They've also go signs up saying the Prop 302 is "for the kids" or some such tripe.
Prop 302 would defund and destroy First Things First, a program for early childhood education and health care. The money set aside for it via a voter-approved dedicated tax would then go into the state's General Fund and be subject to appropriation by the lege. The expectation is that the lege would use the revenue as an excuse for more corporate tax cuts, and then use the resulting reduction in revenue as an excuse for cutting education and children's health care programs even more than they already have been.
...The "Most Expensive Campaign By A Candidate Who Isn't Even On The Ballot" Award: Maricopa County's own Joltin' Joe Arpaio. The nativist sheriff isn't up for reelection until 2012, but he spent over $700K on TV spots targeting Rick Romley, a candidate for Maricopa County Attorney, and incurred a fine of $150K more for his illegal "in-kind" contribution.
...The "Most Likely To Be Cursing Poor Timing" Award: Joe Hart, the incumbent Arizona Mine Inspector. Hart looks to be openly in the pocket of the industry he's supposed to regulate (he takes lots of campaign contributions from them, and they help create laws to specifically increase his job security).
He started the campaign season well-funded and bunkered legally, and looked to be cruising to an easy reelection. Then 33 miners in Chile became trapped in an unsafe mine, and even worse, had the audacity to survive for more than two months underground before being rescued.
The world's, and Arizona's attention became focused on the drama in Chile, and unfortunately for Hart, on all things mining.
Including Hart's dearth of qualifications for the job, and the wealth of experience in the safe operation of mines on the part of his opponent Manny Cruz.
...The "Most Likely To Wish That The Election Was Held The Day After She Signed SB1070" Award: Who else? Jan "Brain Freeze" Brewer. She started out the real election cycle (i.e. - after the other major R candidates dropped out of their primary) with a huge lead over Terry Goddard. Right now, however, the short calendar between the primary and general elections is her best friend.
- Nationally ridiculed false claims of headless bodies in the Arizona desert...
- The aforemention "brain freeze" during her one and only debate with Goddard...
- National coverage of the ties between private prisons, SB1070, and her circle of lobbyists/advisers
- and other missteps, she has since allowed Goddard to close the gap with her, turning the contest into one that will be won by the organization with the stronger GOTV effort. She still leads in recent polling, but Tuesday can't come soon enough for her.
..."Most Likely To Be A Chip Off The Old Block" Award: Ben Quayle. Dad can't spell "potato" correctly; son doesn't know history, calling Barack Obama the "worst president in history" in a TV spot, ignoring the fact that his deep-pocketed well-connected daddy used to work for the deep-pocketed well-connected daddy of the one of the "worst presidents in history," the one who was the worst in well over a century.