Thursday, March 22, 2007

Kentucky Pachyderm 2 Assails Anne

From many indications, things aren't going well in Annieland. Rumor has it that Northup is finding fundraising to be difficult. Her attacks on Gov. Fletcher aren't going over well at Lincoln Day dinners across the state. (We have heard from more than one source that at the Corbin dinner last weekend, one of her attack lines drew thunderous applause from the Fletcher contingent because what she thought was a weak point for Fletcher was actually a strong point.) And she still hasn't come up with much of a campaign message other than "Fletcher can't win in the fall so vote for me in the spring."

But one of the dumbest things Northup has said so far was reported last week in a central Kentucky weekly newspaper, the Citizen Voice & Times out of Estill County. Reporter Rhonda Smyth wrote a column published on March 15, chronicling her recent encounter with Northup. We'll let Ms. Smyth's column speak for itself, but there was one quote that was definitely attention-getting: "...I asked her why she didn’t come and speak with the other candidates at the Kentucky Press Association Convention in January. Her answer was 'I didn’t want to participate in a forum where I have to listen to what the Democrats have to say.'" How stupid a thing was that to say?

First of all, any Republican running in a statewide general election needs lots of votes from Democrats in order to win, unless a lot of Democrats just sit the election out. To dismiss the other party's concerns out of hand is a bit foolish, don'tcha think? But to top it off, if Northup is lucky enough to win the primary, she is going to have to face one of those Democrats in the fall. She will be participating in forums with the Democrat nominee at Fancy Farm, on KET debates and any number of other events. Wouldn't it pay to know what the Democrat nominee's strategy is? How do they approach the task of speaking to a group? What policy positions do they enumerate? What public speaking weaknesses do they show that can be exploited? There's a reason that basketball coaches scout their opponents.

We're sure the basketball coach at North Laurel feels like he's going into enemy territory if he watches a game at South Laurel, but he's observing his upcoming opponent and taking notes, even if the game he's watching is in December and the two teams won't play until February. Seems to us to be logical for Northup to do the same thing -- evaluate her opponents -- at every opportunity. For the record, Ms. Smyth admits she's a Democrat and predicts a Fletcher win in the primary, and she also notes that she personally found Northup's

"I have no ideas so I'll just attack Ernie" strategy somewhat off-putting. Her conclusion? "Big mistake for somebody who wants to serve all the people in BOTH parties as governor, don’t you think?" Ms. Smyth, we are in total agreement. Catalog this as a Stupid Northup Trick.

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