Wednesday, October 27, 2004

On Style

Thought I would pass on a few stylistic observations on the candidates' performances at several recent debates, as a brief respite from the issues.

Lisa Marie Cheney - generally calm and steady, passionate about how our district "deserves better", she has loosened up over time and seems to have hit her stride. Always appeals to Democratic voters who are supporting Kerry because they think he will restore honesty and integrity to the White House to apply the same standard to their member of Congress.

Jim Hurysz - often attacks Lisa Marie more sharply than he criticizes Moran. Rattles off numbers & statistics with ease, but reads off his notes during opening & closing rather than making eye contact with the audience. Has a good line about Moran not taking advantage of his shorter-than-average commute to Capitol Hill by working his way up the leadership ladder.

Jim Moran - arrives late, while the others speak he smirks, looks bored, hangs his head and rests his eyes (see picture on At one recent debate, he got up, went to the bathroom, got food, and stopped to talk to his buddies (local Democratic officials) -- all during Jim H.'s opening statement. He seems deeply bothered by the fact that there are people who dare to run against him - and yet not bothered enough to treat them, and their supporters, with anything remotely resembling respect.


At October 28, 2004 at 4:52 AM, Blogger Kate Murray said...

If you go to more than a few of these debates you can tell that Lisa Marie got herself a drama coach and worked up a canned delivery -- dramatic and animated, but canned. Half way through her opener she usually says "I'm a mommmm" in a sickening syrupy voice. Once she lost her thread and Moran prompted the line. I had to laugh even though I'm working for Jim H.

Jim H.'s potential drama-coach money went to things like yard signs and advertising, but his natural connection with the audience is coming out. He does indeed zing Lisa, but it's a unique situation. He wants to go after Moran or he wouldn't be doing this, obviously, but neither do any of Jim's core supporters want to see Lisa Cheney in office and he certainly doesn't. You mention numbers and statistics -- Jim cites unsponsored bills and unmet or sluggishly met needs to show that Moran is marking time.

Jim also pledged at the beginning that he would not attack Moran on character, and he has not -- if for no other reason, because it's obvious that if Democrats in the 8th had a huge issue here, Moran would be gone by now. Jim also has no appetite for mudslinging; he's had a fair amount slung at him here in Arlington just through being an activist on the local level. He spoke to this in a debate in Rosslyn last weekend after Lisa had taken her usual shots at Moran, and she was the one who ended up looking bad. You could have cut the air in that room with a knife. Jim concluded that if he could not present issue-driven reasons to replace Moran he would not have chosen to run.

At October 29, 2004 at 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure why hiring a drama coach, if she did, is a bad thing - but it doesn't take one to know that eye contact is important. At the forum I attended, Jim H. would look up at the ceiling or out to the side a lot. The funny thing is that he doesn't sound like he's nervous, so it's a little off putting. But, still a vast improvement over Jim Moran!

- S. in Arlington

At October 31, 2004 at 10:04 AM, Blogger Kate Murray said...

Nothing against a drama coach... as I said, we'd have engaged professional in that department on the Hurysz campaign if the $ had been there... just always felt that it shouldn't show. Maybe I'm just a little offput by the saccharine emphasis she practiced on "I'm a mommmmmm...." The mommmm thing never did it for me and after hearing it 15 times I plotzed.

I will hand it to Moran that he's the only one of the three who can come across perfectly laid-back and natural -- think what we will of the man or his record. Lisa is hyper and has a lot of canned phrases that contain more sentimental import than solid meaning; Jim has a predilection for dizzying volleys of facts. (Which is funny because I heard a Bush supporter at a forum lunch tell Jim with great assurance that "liberals always appeal to your emotions and conservatives prefer to think!") I like that appetite for facts in a legislator but I know what people want to hear on the podium. He'll get there.


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