by Max Brantley
The House District 38 race in Little Rock stirred up some talk yesterday, so I thought I'd pass along some notes from a spectator at last night's library appearance. On the jump.
And this just in: Jeff Dailey's web effort.
Went to the downtown library for the candidates' debate for Dist 38--both Dems and both Repubs competing for the Heights position in the ledge were there. It's not my zone, but I was interested.
Impressions: Both Repubs were much better speakers than either Dem. Sorry to say, but true. In fact the most entertaining speaker of the lot is the one who'll get the fewest votes: Ed Linck. Poorest speaker: John Edwards, who's probably smart but is a good ol' country boy and not very articulate. Not an ideal candidate for Dist 38. He and Dailey disagreed on virtually nothing. Kelly Eichler, sorry to say, was pretty impressive. She'll be tough to beat. She said (when asked) that she's opposed to the proposed amendment to bar unmarried cohabiting couples from adopting, which was surprising but gratifying. Even more surprising, when asked how she'd vote if Roe is overturned and the state legislatures decided on the policy for their own states, she hesitated, then after going through a pro-family spiel, finally said "but I think that whether to have a child is a private decision." She got applause from the Dems in the audience. On the other hand, she proudly proclaimed herself a McCain supporter, is agin taxes, strongly favors charter schools, and opposes raising the severance tax on the oil & gas folks, as does her Repub opponent Linck. Moderator Steve Barnes asked different questions of the Dems, so they didn't get to say--as I hope they would--that they vigorously support raising the severance tax.
Dailey was weak in his opening statement and appeared nervous--kept sneaking glances at his notes. However on the q & a's he was 100% better. He's really quick on his feet and should lose the notes.
Oh yeah--this was good. In his closing remarks following the Dem part of the debate, Dailey made a funny and moving tribute to his mother in the audience--about how people he met while walking the neighborhoods always mentioned his dad, but that he wanted to thank his mom, the one who drove him to all his soccer games, etc., growing up, and who "wove into the fabric" of his being that public service is a duty.
Even the Republican ladies surrounding Eichler loved it.