Tater Tot: Ben Quayle's Smart. He Can Spell Potato. But He Wouldn't Be a GOP Congressional Nominee Without the Name Daddy Dan Made Infamous
Ben Quayle sat in Jon Kyl's office on February 14. Quayle already had privately made the decision to run for Congress in Arizona's Third District, and with the junior U.S. senator having once represented Arizona's Fourth Congressional District, Quayle was turning to him for advice.
Quayle had yet to announce his candidacy to the public. "There was a plan in place — we had talked this through," he says later.
As Quayle discussed strategy with Kyl, his father, former Vice President Dan Quayle, appeared on Fox News. He recited the Republican mantra that the Obama administration has an attitude of "we know best." He asserted to host Meghan Kelly that Obama "talk[s] down to the American people" and that it is time for a "new generation of leadership."
New Times feature
Then, the gaffe-prone former national politician blurted:
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"The big news is, my son, Ben Quayle, today filed his papers for congressman of the Third Congressional District here in Arizona. That, in the Quayle family, is big news."
Dan Quayle had just outed his son's candidacy on national television.
"My phone, luckily, was on vibrate, and it just started going crazy," Ben Quayle recalls. "Vibrating, vibrating, vibrating!"
Unaware of what had just happened, "I'm thinking, 'It's probably somebody just saying they had a kid and sending around congratulatory e-mails.' So I finally got up to leave Senator Kyl's office, and his scheduler came in and said, 'By the way, your dad just announced your candidacy on Fox News.'
"My jaw hit the floor. Senator Kyl just kind of looked at me, and not really believing it, I looked at him and said, 'Senator, he's my biggest liability.'"
Quayle laughs at telling the story, but if he didn't know already, he was soon to find out just how much his father would affect his candidacy.
Naturally, Dan Quayle's accidental announcement wasn't only big news in the Quayle family. Within hours, the blogosphere was abuzz that the son of the former vice president — whose career became defined by public humiliations — was running for Congress.
Comment sections on blog posts were littered with "potatoe" comments (about the heralded time Dan Quayle misspelled the word) and sarcastic jabs at both Quayles — like one posted on the Web site Talking Points Memo saying, "This guy sounds impressive. He has to get his daddy to announce his candidacy for him."
Ben Quayle's record of professional achievement is sparse, and he has no experience in public service, so initial impressions were that he must be the intellectual midget that his father was portrayed as being — despite the younger Quayle's three-time Academic All-American honors at Duke University and his passing the bar in three states after graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School.
Then, came the charges of entitlement and immaturity.
Quayle's famous (some would say infamous) last name put a target on his back. But it also gave the fledgling candidate instant name recognition, which early on made him a frontrunner in the GOP primary for the Third Congressional District — his lack of political (and even life) experience notwithstanding.
He drew fierce criticism from his opponents in the 10-person primary, including from former state Senator Pam Gorman, who told the Arizona Capitol Times, "There's 10 people in this race, and there's nine of us [who] may not agree on anything, but we all agree that it is completely offensive that Dan Quayle is trying to buy his little boy a seat in Congress."
Ben Quayle says he knew his name would generate public interest, but he didn't expect things to get ugly so fast.
"I didn't know it was going to be almost visceral," Quayle says of the uprising against his candidacy. "I think I underestimated how much local and [especially] national interest there would be. I didn't think anybody would care [nationally] — it's a congressional race in Arizona, you know? But it was a combination of things. Arizona was in the news a lot with [Arizona Senate Bill] 1070, and there was [U.S. Senator John] McCain's race."
Despite the negativity from his opponents — politics is a dirty game — his last name has benefited his quest to go to Washington. It has allowed him to raise a huge amount of money — more than the average 33-year-old fledgling candidate with no legislative experience could hope to raise. His father's sitting at the right hand of President George H.W. Bush for one term has paid dividends.
The elder Bush even held a fundraiser in May for Quayle at Bush's home in Houston, and Quayle's campaign contributors include former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, recent U.S. Senator (from North Carolina) Elizabeth Dole, and legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.
During the primary, Quayle was able to raise about $1.3 million. The runner-up in the campaign-funding game in the race was businessman Steve Moak, who raised about $790,000. Ex-Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker, endorsed by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, raised about $500,000.
Despite news that he was linked to a raunchy Scottsdale Web site and wrote under the name of a character in a movie about the porn industry — which didn't play well with GOP voters, naturally — his name recognition and money helped him pull off a narrow win. He led the pack with 23 percent of the vote (Arizona political races are decided by plurality, with no runoffs required).
As even Quayle points out, this means that 77 percent of Republicans in his über-conservative district didn't vote for him.
Benjamin Eugene Quayle was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on November 5, 1976, just three days after his father was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in Indiana.
"His first introduction to the world was his father holding him in front of the news cameras when he was about an hour old — and he was screaming," his mother, Marilyn Quayle, tells New Times.
The Quayle family moved to rural Virginia when Quayle was 6 months old. Then children of a popular, young congressman, Ben, his older brother, Tucker, and younger sister Corrine had what Marilyn Quayle describes as a "Huck Finn existence" living below the District of Columbia.
They each had chores, went fishing in a creek near their home, and when they were allowed to watch TV during the week, they could watch only C-Span.
This idyllic time came to an abrupt end on August 17, 1988, she says, when Dan Quayle — then in his second term as a U.S. senator from Indiana, after serving four years in the House of Representatives — was nominated to be George H.W. Bush's running mate in the '88 presidential election.
The pick was instantly controversial — for many of the same reasons that his son's congressional candidacy has been scrutinized.
Dan Quayle was said to be inexperienced in Congress (in 1980, he had been the youngest person ever elected to the U.S. Senate in Indiana). His critics questioned whether he was qualified to be president — which he would ascend to if the president died or were unable to serve.
One of the more infamous Dan Quayle moments occurred during the '88 vice-presidential debate with Lloyd Bentsen, his Democratic opponent. Quayle compared his time in Congress (four years in the House and seven in the Senate) to President John F. Kennedy's service as a representative (six years) and a senator (seven) before becoming president.
Bentsen's legendary response: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
The line was met with loud applause as a visibly embarrassed Quayle could only respond with, "That is really uncalled for, Senator."
The exchange fueled the media storm already surrounding the Quayle family.
"It was hard for all our kids. They would say it was the worst part of their lives," Marilyn Quayle says. "It was very difficult, because their ages were 9, 11, and 13 when he was nominated, and when he was sworn in, they were 10, 12, and 14. That's an age when you just want to be like everybody else, and you're just kind of finding yourself."
The Bentsen debate was the beginning of a collection of buffoonish moments by the vice president that would garner extensive media attention.
During a speech to the United Negro College Fund, Quayle attempted to quote the organization's slogan: "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
But he butchered the slogan in front of the organization: "You take the UNCF model that what a waste it is to lose one's mind or not to have a mind . . . How true that is."
While vice president, Quayle served as chairman of the National Space Council. When asked about sending humans to Mars, he fumbled over his answer:
"Mars is essentially in the same orbit [as Earth]. Mars is somewhat the same distance from the sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."
The most enduring of Quayle's gaffes happened in 1992 while at a spelling bee at an elementary school in Trenton, New Jersey.
Twelve-year-old William Figueroa spelled the word "potato" on a chalkboard. Looking on, Quayle dumbly corrected the boy by adding an "e" to the end of the word. With onlookers aghast that the VP of the United States had spelled the word "potato" incorrectly, he followed the goof with a jovial "all right!"
A media tidal wave followed.
Quayle became a punch line for late-night talk show hosts. Even today, highlights of his public boners are on YouTube.
"Kids at school would make jokes," Ben Quayle says. "In the beginning — after that first debate — I was in seventh grade, you know? That was [the time of the] the Bentsen line. I was in public school in Virginia. Kids would say stuff, and you'd get defensive. It's never easy seeing someone you love . . . ridiculed in the media and elsewhere.
"You build up defense mechanisms. I think a lot of it drew our family closer together. When you're attacked from the outside, you just sort of circle the wagons and become closer as a family unit."
His father's becoming a laughingstock — predictable for presidents and vice presidents with foot-in-mouth disease (President George W. Bush was pilloried for his classic gaffes) — put a bitter taste in Ben Quayle's mouth when it came to politics and the press.
If someone had asked him four years ago whether he would be running for public office, he says, "I would have said no because of [the extensive public humiliation of his dad]."
Ben Quayle says he decided to run for Congress because he "got so tired of the direction our country has taken. It started to build up when I got fed up with the way the Republicans were — in the first part of the decade, they just spent like crazy. They started digging us in a hole, and they had some ethical issues, as well."
Then, channeling this year's GOP party line, he says, "As time went on, and [Nancy] Pelosi took over the House in '06, and then with the new president, I just decided . . . You know, I've got to be able to put up with the bad side of politics to be able to do something that's positive."
Many believe Quayle is running for Congress because his father told him to.
His Democratic opponent in the general election, Jon Hulburd, distributed a campaign ad depicting Dan and Ben Quayle as characters from the film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, with the synopsis, "Dan Quayle is back as one of the political scene's most notorious characters, the puppeteer father. Looking to repair the family name, Quayle forms an alliance with Wall Street CEOs to help his inexperienced son, Ben, get elected to Congress. Dan and Ben Quayle star in: Wall Street: Dad's Ambition Never Sleeps."
The GOP candidate claims that his father didn't ask him to run. He says he alone decided last summer that if an opportunity presented itself to run for office, he would take it. But when Congressman John Shadegg announced his retirement, Quayle admits that he did discuss potentially running with his parents and wife.
"Let's just say we didn't discourage him," Marilyn Quayle says. "We wanted it to be completely Ben's decision. It has to be. All we told him was, whatever he decided we'd support him 100 percent. He used us as a sounding board."
Aside from lending his well-known name — and announcing his son's candidacy — Dan Quayle has mostly stayed out of the actual campaign, according to his candidate son. After the Fox announcement, he hasn't spoken to the media.
"He's a proud father, but we all knew this was my campaign," Ben Quayle says, "and I'm the one who has to be out there in front of everything."
In fact, Quayle insists, it was deemed important by him and his advisers to keep his father "way in the background."
On September 11, the candidate gave a speech to a group of Young Republicans at Arizona State University West. Also at the event were Republican state Senator Linda Gray and state Representative Jim Weiers.
The speech was about a lacrosse teammate of Ben's at Duke who was in New York's World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Following the event, Quayle talked politics with Weiers, a brash 12-year veteran of the Legislature, and Gray. The three spoke about ways they could help each other's campaigns.
As Quayle was walking away, Weiers yelled back to him:
"Hey, Ben, I don't blog — and neither should you anymore — ever!"
Jim Weiers was referring to Quayle's involvement with The Dirty — formerly known as Dirty Scottsdale — a locally based Web site known for salacious, sometimes fact-challenged posts.
Because Quayle is running as a family-values candidate (who isn't in the Republican Party this election season?), it was big news that he had written for the site. Charges that he lied about his involvement, as well, made it huge news.
The fiasco began on August 10 — just a few weeks before the primary vote. Quayle got a call about 6 a.m. from a reporter from the Web site Politico asking whether he'd been involved in the founding of The Dirty. Quayle said no.
"The call came at 6 a.m. It was at my home, which has an unlisted number," Quayle says. "My wife's father has stage-four cancer and was in the emergency room that night, which is the only reason I answered the phone."
Later that day, Quayle admitted that he had written satirical posts for the Web site under the name "Brock Landers," Mark Wahlberg's character's alter ego in the movie Boogie Nights, about the porn industry's transition from celluloid to video.
His gig at the Web site involved finding "foxy" Scottsdale ladies for the "Brock's Chick" column.
Below is an excerpt of what Nik Richie, the Web site's creator, credits Quayle with writing — which led his Democratic opponent to open his campaign by claiming that "this election is now between Jon Hulburd and Brock Landers."
About a blond woman the Web site pictured in the middle of a Brock Landers article, Quayle wrote: "I think she looks smart. I imagine us sitting around debating the modern implications of Sun Tzu's teachings in The Art of War, except replace the first part of this sentence with 'tickle fighting while listening to Kelly Clarkson' and you get a gist of the message I'm trying to convey.
"Unfortunately, such dreams will never happen because we will never be able to date. The Arizona Legislature recently passed a bill that forbids me and this young lady from being an item because we're too good-looking. The debate surrounding this bill was very heated because our classic good looks are polarizing, but I understand [their] line of thinking. If we were to be seen together, our level of attractiveness would be a combined 142 — and that's on a scale of 1-to-5."
Quayle claims he hasn't read any of the articles Richie says he wrote — including this one about faux pretty-people legislation.
"I regret it now, so that's basically all I can say," he says about writing for Richie. "It was juvenile. I'm trying to get past it. I said I wrote some things on the Web site, and I just kind of want to move on and focus on the issues."
Quayle wants to move on, but the Brock Landers articles became national news.
Jennifer Johnson, spokeswoman for the Arizona Democratic Party, says Quayle's contributing to Dirty Scottsdale raises questions not only about his maturity, but how he regards women.
"Do women really want Brock Landers representing them in Congress?" she says. "The things on that Web site are completely degrading to women. He's a flawed and damaged candidate. He's immature, unqualified, and relies on his last name to drum up support for his campaign."
Quayle's critics made the most of his Brock Landers posts, but following a second highly publicized Politico story claiming that he lied about contributing to Dirty Scottsdale, they bellowed that he was — in addition to everything else — untrustworthy. One reader of The Dirty commented under a blog post on the matter that Quayle "could actually gain votes if he took the non-lying, non-covering-up-my-past stance."
But it turns out that Quayle didn't lie — he just didn't volunteer information about his association with Dirty Scottsdale.
The Politico reporter who first called Quayle didn't ask him whether he had written for the Web site. She asked if he was involved in the founding of The Dirty, to which Quayle answered no.
The reporter's next question was, "You had nothing to do with it?" Quayle contends he thought the reporter still was referring to the establishment of The Dirty and answered no again.
Politico wrote in the second article that Richie had said Quayle was involved in Dirty Scottsdale's founding, but finally clarified in a later piece, "Quayle continues to deny a role in founding the site, and Richie has backed off the charge, though Quayle has always admitted to writing some posts under a pseudonym."
Richie and Quayle both say the posts were satirical, not based on his real-life experiences.
"As I have said since the day this matter arose, I posted some satirical and fictional entries on a blog about Scottsdale nightlife," Quayle tells New Times. "Back then, the . . . Web site was more satirical in nature — not mean-spirited. I had no idea that it would become the type of site it is today."
But the damage was done. The claim that he initially lied about his involvement made the front page of the New York Times.
Even now, almost every time Quayle is interviewed, Dirty Scottsdale, and the allegation that he lied about contributing to it, is brought up.
Quayle doesn't handle such questions well. In fact, despite his decision to try to follow his father into national politics, he comes across as a private person who is out of his element during press conferences.
After winning the GOP primary, Quayle opened the floor for questions after his acceptance speech. He appeared confident during the speech, but once asked about Dirty Scottsdale, his hands shook visibly as he offered his explanation.
He thinks he's getting more comfortable talking to reporters, but he admits, "I need to continue to get better. All I can do is continue to work at it — breathe every once in a while [and] unclench my shoulders."
Grasping at straws during the primary campaign, opponent Vernon Parker's spokesman accused Quayle of racism for using the phrase "national poster boy" to describe Parker, an African American.
"If this was just a poor attempt to patronize Vernon, let's just hear an apology and move on," Parker's flack, Jason Rose, said at the time. "To have the 33-year-old son of one of the wealthiest families in America refer to a leading Republican African American as 'boy' is over the top."
It was an appeal by Rose to political correctness, when Quayle's quote was hardly a racial slur.
Since Parker had been found to have lied to get government contracts for minority-owned businesses, Quayle commented in a press release that, if elected to Congress, the former Paradise Valley mayor would "quickly become the national poster boy for the Democratic Party" when it comes to unethical politicians.
The criticism led local civil rights activist Jarrett Maupin to call for Quayle to apologize: "Ben Quayle needs to treat [Parker] like a contemporary and stop relegating him to something less than a man."
Oddly, Maupin later endorsed Quayle, saying he's at least true to his party's beliefs, unlike Democrat Jon Hulburd.
On the issue of their qualifications for public office — especially a congressional seat — Quayle and Hulburd are political neophytes.
Quayle has worked at three law firms over almost five years and recently left Snell and Wilmer in Phoenix after a little more than a year to start a company with his brother.
Their Tynwald Capital, he says, is set up to buy and operate small businesses. Their first venture, APG, is a security-guard firm that's employed 20 people over the past year, he says.
Quayle began his legal career at Gray Cary Ware and Freidenrich in San Diego, where he worked in commercial litigation. He left to pursue a different avenue of legal work.
"I wanted to focus my practice on mergers and acquisitions and securities law," he says. "At the time, California was still struggling to recover from the dot-com bust, and that sort of work was limited."
Quayle went to Schulte Roth & Zabel in New York, where, he says, "the mergers-and-acquisitions market was very busy.
"We would work on all of the different aspects of acquisition — setting up a new company, working with tax attorneys and accountants to figure out the corporate structure, due diligence prior to executing a purchase agreement, and then everything in between to protect the interest of our client during the process."
After a year and a half there, he left for metro Phoenix to be near his family and landed the job at Snell and Wilmer.
This is his mother talking, but Marilyn Quayle says his time as a lawyer and a small businessman have given him an understanding of financial markets that average congressmen don't have.
His 50-year-old Democratic opponent disagrees.
"From character to real-world experience, I have questions," says Hulburd, a lawyer for seven years at Phoenix's Fennemore Craig whose marriage to an heiress allows him to spend his time doing charity work. "His legal experience is lacking — one year at Snell and Wilmer doesn't make a congressman."
Hulburd, a partner at Fennemore Craig when he left, does have the edge in legal experience. But the two candidates share another characteristic besides being political newcomers — each is connected to a vast fortune.
Ben Quayle's opponents in the GOP primary called him a carpetbagger. That is, they claimed that he moved here solely to run for political office.
The slam was not unlike those made against former New York U.S. Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, neither of whom hailed from the Empire State originally. Even John McCain, the son of a naval officer whose family settled in northern Virginia, came to Arizona to launch his political career.
"It is like that show Making Me; he moved to Arizona, he bought a house in my district last November, he got himself a wife, a dog, and he started taking pictures for his campaign brochures," Pam Gorman told Strictly Right Radio in July.
Ben Quayle has resided in Arizona for four years, but he has family roots in the state dating back to the 1950s. Before he bought the District Three home where he lives with his wife, he rented a house in the district.
"Ben first came to Arizona when he was 2 months old. He's spent a lot of Augusts in Arizona at his grandmother's farm in Wickenburg," Marilyn Quayle says.
After graduating from high school, Quayle lived in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, and California before settling in the congressional district where his parents also live.
"I moved around a lot," he says. "I wanted to see a lot of places. But I was getting close to 30 and wanted to come back to Arizona and establish myself."
Wife Tiffany says she and her husband consider Arizona home "because this is where he's come his entire life.
"Ben grew up in D.C. and Virginia because his dad was working for our county," she says, "so, by default, he grew up there. But he's never considered that home."
Quayle is the great-grandson of Eugene Collins Pulliam, founder of Central Newspapers, a multibillion-dollar media organization that once owned 46 news outlets, including the Arizona Republic (now a Gannett Corporation property) and Phoenix radio station KTAR.
Pulliam launched the business in Kansas, but his son-in-law, James C. Quayle, moved his family, including son Dan Quayle, to Arizona in 1950 to run the branch of the media empire that oversaw the Republic and KTAR (now owned by Bonneville International).
After receiving his law degree from Indiana University, Dan Quayle worked as the publisher of one of the family newspapers, the Huntington Herald-Press in Indiana, before running for Congress.
Throughout Dan Quayle's political career, the family visited Arizona frequently before settling in Paradise Valley in the mid-1990s. Both Dan and Ben Quayle are members of the Paradise Valley Country Club and fixtures in Phoenix's high society.
Another member of the posh Paradise Valley Country Club is Jon Hulburd, who has his own connection to massive wealth.
Hulburd was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before moving to Washington State when he was 7. After high school, he went to Colorado College, where he met his wife, Carrie Lewis — an heir to the S.C. Johnson Company (a multibillion-dollar firm that produces products such as Windex, Glade, and Saran Wrap).
He holds a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University in D.C. and a law degree from New York Law School. As a student at George Washington, he worked as a congressional staffer for then-U.S. Senator Gary Hart (D-Colorado). During law school, he was a clerk for a federal judge.
Marilyn Quayle describes Hulburd as "a guy who hasn't worked in, what, 14 years, or something like that? He spends his wife's money, that's what he does."
Actually, it's been five years since Hulburd has worked at a paying job — after leaving his law practice here, he founded operated for nine years a company that imports Mexican clay products. Since the business was shut down in 2005, he has been active in several Valley charities, including the Phoenix Children's Hospital and the Golden Gate Community Center.
The Congressional race between Quayle and Hulburd hasn't garnered nearly the media attention that the Third District GOP primary race did. The shock has faded that a young, inexperienced son of a vice president is running for Congress, but Quayle continues to be met on the campaign trail by those who doubt him.
"Cold calls can be interesting," Quayle says. "The other day, I called someone and said, 'Hi, this is Ben Quayle.' Before I was finished introducing myself, the person said, 'Yuck,' and hung up. Another guy just said, 'Bite me.'"
Quayle describes another incident in which a guy saw a Quayle campaign sticker on the car he was in. The man looked in the window, saw Quayle, and flipped him off.
As Quayle was about to give a speech at a Patriot's Day Rally at the Deer Valley Airpark, a Republican onlooker laughed as the candidate took the podium.
"I don't think much of him, I can tell you that," the man said after the event. "I didn't think much of his father [either]."
Quayle hasn't resorted to negative attack ads targeting his opponents, partly because he has led in the polls for the majority of the campaign and hasn't needed to. But he did bash President Barack Obama in one of his TV spots.
In it, a defiant Quayle looks directly into the camera and says: "Barack Obama is the worst president in history."
It was an astounding statement from the son of a man whom many consider the worst vice president in history. Plus, most Democrats argue that the "worst president" label belongs to Obama's predecessor in the Oval Office, George W. Bush.
Quayle defends the Obama bash:
"The premise was to talk directly to voters in CD Three and be concise with the messaging," Quayle says. "I didn't think it would be picked up all over the country, and the world, really. It's been interesting. There's been a lot of people who come up to me here locally and say, 'Thanks for saying what I've been thinking.'
"I've had people [from the other side of the political fence] come up to me with other choice words," he says.
While the Third District votes Republican traditionally, Quayle isn't a shoo-in.
Yet, though no independent polls are out on the race, political observers give him the edge — because of his name recognition, because it's expected to be a Republican year, and because there are many similarities between the platforms of the two candidates.
For instance, Democrat Hulburd favors Arizona Senate Bill 1070 and says no sort of amnesty should be granted to illegal immigrants until the border is secure. That same thinking is why he also opposes the DREAM Act, which would allow a legal path to citizenship for undocumented college students and young people who join the military.
Hulburd's platform caused many Democrats to wonder whether there's much difference between him and Quayle beyond party affiliation.
The Arizona Republic recently endorsed Quayle saying, "If this were a job interview, Democrat Jon Hulburd would have the large advantage. He rose to become a partner at Fennemore Craig . . . He left to start an import business. He has career and community accomplishments that Quayle can't match."
But the endorsement goes on to say, "On immigration, Hulburd — a rare Democrat who says he supports Senate Bill 1070 — calls for gaining operational control of the border. After that? He won't say what he would like to see happen. Quayle is to the point. Secure the border. Stop drug cartels. Focus on workplace enforcement. We don't agree with Quayle on every point, but we know where he stands. With Hulburd, it's mostly an open question, except when he is mimicking Republican talking points."
For his part, Hulburd insists that he's "definitely a Democrat" to the core, despite his positions. "I've been a Democrat my whole life."
Raised by a Republican father and a Democratic mother, Hulburd says he's got an independent streak: "I don't want people to think I'm misleading anyone and running outside of my party. The Democratic party's got a very big tent."
Hulburd's first campaign ad was titled "Compass," alluding to what he argued was Quayle's "broken" moral compass. The ad bashes Quayle for his ties to The Dirty and avers that the son of a vice president tried to pass off his two nieces as his own children in campaign literature during the GOP primary. Quayle never said the girls in the ad are his children, but casual observers could certainly get that impression.
Quayle's main campaign focus has been the economy and limiting government he believes is "infiltrating areas of society where it never had before." He says federal spending is out of control.
If elected to Congress, Quayle says, "one of the first things I want to do is introduce legislation that would align the incentives of those who pass and execute our laws with cutting government spending. For every year that the budget is not reduced by 20 percent, members of Congress, their staff, and members of the executive branch would have a 15 percent pay cut. These are the types of incentives that work in the private sector. Government employees who perform in their jobs should be rewarded; those who do not should be dismissed or required to accept reduced compensation."
GOP opponents say privately that all this sounds good, and then they add naiveté to their list of complaints about Quayle's candidacy.
"I talk to voters and people are scared — scared about what's currently going on, scared about the future," Quayle goes on. "We have to look at the long-term fiscal outlook of the country and make some serious decisions."
Barring another incident like The Dirty, local political prognosticators predict that Quayle will win the general election. Name recognition goes a long way in politics. For sure, he wouldn't be a Republican congressional nominee without it.
His wife, Tiffany, chimes in: "A name is like a good résumé. The Quayle name will get your foot in the door, but you need to sell yourself and get the job done."
If Quayle is elected and doesn't "get the job done," there are nine arguably better-qualified Republicans in District Three, who may be ready to pounce on him again near the end of his first term.
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