Sponsored by:

vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Down in Brattleboro

I'm sitting here sick at home, sipping tea, with a cold that is simultaneously attacking my lungs, nose and ears. A couple days ago I sounded worse than I felt. Now I sound and feel equally bad.

But, I did watch the gubernatorial debate on the TV last night, which fortunately didn't keep me up past 9, live-wire that I am.

Right from the start, the sponsors made this debate theirs with a sign-language rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by students from the Austine School. Then moderator Anne Potter, the deaf school's principal, read the questions to the candidates in sign language, with an interpreter. It had the very powerful effect of bringing the hearing members of the crowd, including the candidates, into their world.

It then appeared that the three candidates had had little exposure to that world of those with disabilities that the various sponsors represented. When they were asked what they would do to ensure police had sufficient training to respond to those with mental illness, I would venture to say none had given it a moment's thought, despite the fact that there have been several fatal shootings by police in recent years of those with mental illness.

Democrat Gaye Symington was the only one among the three candidates who learned a few words of sign language to greet the crowd. Nice touch.

She then practically bust a gut trying to sound smoother than she has in earlier debates. She succeeded, except for the fact that the effort was all over her face. When it comes to debating, independent Anthony Pollina has got her whooped, and it is part of what cost her some union backing. Whether that's entirely as it should be is another question. Does a candidate have to be smooth on the debate stand to make a good governor? Was it fair that JFK was better looking than Richard Nixon just as TV came into prevalence? Fair or not, it's part of the reality.

On one occasion, in answering a question about mental health care, it surprised me Symington didn't take Republican Gov. Jim Douglas to task over the Vermont State Hospital, which just yesterday failed to win federal certification again and still sitting there in Waterbury in an aged building after how many years of talk?

(***Update**** As I was typing this blog, an e-mail was winging its way to my in-box from the Symington campaign blasting Douglas over the state hospital. So perhaps she was off in debate/sign language class when word came out Wednesday about the certification.)

Then on another occasion, she looked out over the Brattleboro audience and let Douglas have it over Vermont Yankee. She borrowed a few lines from Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin about nuclear waste piling up on the banks of the Connecticut River, accused Douglas of caring more about Entergy Corp. than Vermonters and roused the crowd in a way she is often unable to.

She got under Douglas' skin with it too. He fired back that that was absurd; he most assuredly does not care more about Entergy than Vermonters.

The dynamic between the two of them is changing as I expected it might during this campaign. There's more anger involved.

- Terri Hallenbeck

Very Interesting that you favor Gaye Symington in your writing, when Anthony Pollina had dominated the debate with clear and articulate answers.

I guess you were reading the sign language, therefore you could not hear Gaye Symington stutter and babble her way through the debates.
Are you lining up yourself a position with Gaye in Washington when she gets a job in the Obama administration.
Every post that is started by any of the three BFP bloggers is always slanted towards Symington. But what the heck, just falling in line with the national media - 99% dimocrat!
Honestly, it's amazing that a candidate like Pollina, has ideas and actually articulates them is seen as simply smooth. Yes, yes, yes. I will take a candidate who can complete a sentence over one who stutters, spits and drools, anyday. Truly, within five seconds of hearing Symington talk your mind wanders to housework, cleaning up the garden, the Red Sox game...anything but what she is saying.
I actually thought that Gaye did much better. I was at the debate and she hit Douglas hard on Act 68, on the economy and on Energy issues/Vermont Yankee. I personally do not believe that being an elequent speaker makes you a better governor or electable. I cite Pollina. He's a good debater and has come in third in his previous elections. I'll repeat -- THIRD!

Oh, and Pollina bringing up the whole LG race in 2002 probably was a bad idea. It reminded people that because of his pressence in the race, Brian Dubie is now our Lt. Governor.

Yeah, Anthony Pollina is a winner. He'll cost Gaye Symington this race just like he cost Peter Shumlin the LG race. I can't wait for the election to be over with so he can finally fall into the political abyss.
Symington is a poor candidate who entered a three way race six months after Pollina did. Not only is she a poor candidate, apparently she's stupid.

Go ahead and vote a candidate who caved in to the governor at every turn.

Pollina is a better candidate with better ideas and will put people before politics. If he loses, we lose because we'll continue to be with health care, energy policy, you name it.
Pollina has placed 3rd in every statewide election he's ever run. He's in 3rd place now.

How on earth could he be considered a "good candidate" ??
Pollina and Symington deserve each other!
All you belly aching about Pollina running and losing, why don't you step up to the plate instead of hiding in here taking potshots?
Post a Comment

<< Home

Recent Posts

Recent Comments


June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   December 2009   January 2010   February 2010   March 2010   April 2010