If you can pick up WHO radio on 1040 AM, tune in tonight (October 6) from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm to hear Representative Tom Latham debate Democratic challenger Becky Greenwald.
I will be curious to see how much the discussion focuses on local versus national issues.
Earlier this year, the National Republican Congressional Committee advised Republican incumbents in the U.S. House to make their campaigns about local issues and personal qualities. Latham’s first radio advertisement was about national energy policy, but his two television commercials have had more of a local focus on Iowa’s nursing shortage and Iowa’s small businesses. (I will have more to say on the latest ad in the next couple of days.)
It is looking more and more like a big Democratic year, so it’s in Greenwald’s interest to show how Latham has consistently backed the failed policies of the Bush administration and the Republican leadership in Congress. Latham avoids mentioning his own political party in his advertising and on his website.
I’ll also be listening to see how well the moderator keeps Latham and Greenwald on topic. Jim Lehrer mostly did a good job moderating the first debate between Barack Obama and John McCain, but Gwen Ifill was a disaster during the vice-presidential debate last Thursday.
Ifill went on Meet the Press this morning and complained about Sarah Palin blowing her off, but what did she expect? She showed poor judgment by agreeing to moderate this debate without revealing that she was writing a book about Obama (to be released on Inauguration Day in January). Naturally, Republicans spent much of the last week warning that Ifill would be biased against Palin, since her book sales are likely to be better if Obama wins the election.
As a result, Ifill had to bend over backwards NOT to appear to be picking on Palin. And that played right into Palin’s strategy of ignoring the questions and reciting her prepared talking points.
Ifill should never have been in that chair on Thursday, because she was not able to do her job properly.
I sincerely hope that WHO Radio forces Latham and Greenwald to answer the questions asked, following up if and when the candidates are evasive.
Here’s the rest of Greenwald’s public schedule for Monday:
Fort Dodge Rotary Club
12 PM – 1 PM
Starlight Village Hotel
Highway 169 and Highway 7
Fort Dodge, Iowa
Mac’s World Interview
WHO Radio Debate with Tom Latham
7 PM – 8 PM
WHO 1040 AM