GOP gubernatorial hopeful Christine Jones held a tele-town hall Monday night to address criticisms being leveled at her campaign from fellow Republicans.
She deserves points for the effort, though with National Review Online digging up an old Facebook post of hers from 2012, encouraging people to "get excited" about Obama's re-election, and a recent gaffe during an interview with Fox 10 where she said she often shoots her gun "with my eyes closed," she may need more tele-town halls before the primary's over.
One a week might be about right, the way she's going.
During Monday's phone-in session with the public, Jones answered questions about her not being an Air Force vet (a stint in ROTC ain't the same thing, you see), her 2004, BAC .102 DUI (which she downplayed, natch), her praise for GOP bete noir Hillary Clinton, and so on.
An issue I haven't seen mentioned anywhere is Jones' apparent acceptance of global warming as a reality, a position regarded as heresy in Republican ranks.
And yet, in Jones' old blog therudysyndrome.com, she embraces the concept, kinda-sorta.
One feature of the blog is Jones' yearly predictions. In January 2013, this included one about climate change.
"And evidence of global warming will continue to mount," she wrote, "regardless of the insistence by some that, despite all scientific evidence to the contrary, global warming is pure fiction."
A year later, assessing this prediction in light of having already announced plans to run for governor, Jones attempted to extend and revise her remarks, while still ranking her prediction "true."
TRUE. Evidence that the average temperature of the atmosphere is warmer now than it was several decades ago is now relatively easy to find. However, and this is and was the point of this whole prediction: none of that really matters. Indeed, the most important thing to note is that the earth is warmer now than it was in the 1950s. And, there is not much humans can do to change it. We must stop arguing about an undisputed fact (i.e., the temperature is up a few degrees on average) and start refocusing the discussion on the real heart of the matter.
That is, even if we shut down every factory, stopped driving every car, turned off every light, and disabled every coal generating plant, we probably still wouldn't change the temperature of the earth's atmosphere even a fraction of one degree. The temptation to focus on a non-issue for political expediency can be overwhelming to career politicians. Those of us who are not should insist that we keep our eye on the ball and not waste time arguing about a simple number on a thermometer. Keep the earth clean, don't waste natural resources, don't unnecessarily create pollution, be responsible, contributing citizens and members of society. But, don't waste time, energy, money, or effort pretending we will change the earth. It was here long before we got here, and it will be here long after we're gone.
Translation: "Um, never mind."
Jones' spokeswoman Anna Haberlein did her best to put her boss' blogging into perspective.
"Many of these predictions weren't necessarily what she wanted to happen," she told me, "but rather what she thought could happen."
Still, that hardly addresses Jones' political crush on Hillary, which came up more than once during the tele-town hall.
The second time a caller asked about it, Jones shot it down with the following explanation:
You know, it's funny about these negative ads, they all take words that I've said or written and take them wildly out of context...the Hillary Clinton ad in particular was taken from an article that I wrote about a year and a-half ago. But let me leave no room for doubt on this, okay, I absolutely do not support Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a big government tax and spend liberal democrat, right? I am a small government conservative republican. Our political philosophy could not be more different.
Any comments about her I made in the past were in the context of comparing her to other members of the Obama administration. The particular comments you're referring to were taken from an article I wrote about John Kerry becoming the Secretary of State. I said I think we're going to rue the day that guy ever becomes Secretary of State. It is going to be bad for America. And even as bad as she was, Hillary Clinton is going to look good by comparison. We're all going to be looking back, going, gosh, wasn't she great compared to John Kerry. And I'm really sad to say in retrospect, it turns out I might have been right.
This explanation covers one specific instance of Jones' gushing about Hillary, which occurred in her 2013 predictions, where she said all Americans will begin to realize how effective Hillary had been when compared to Kerry.
In January 2014, she rated this prediction "true," and defended herself against criticism, using the line that Hillary was only effective in relation to other members of Team Obama.
Last year, we predicted that Americans, regardless of party-affiliation or political involvement, will begin to realize what an effective Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was, as her replacement begins to be scrutinized for failing to live up to the incredibly high standard she set.
TRUE. I have taken a surprising amount of heat for this prediction. Somehow, readers took this prediction as an endorsement of Hillary Clinton. Nothing could be further from the truth. My politics and hers could not be more different: she is a big government, tax and spend liberal; I am a committed conservative, dedicated to fiercely defending the constitution and the principles upon which this country was founded. Furthermore, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton presided over one of the most tragic incidents in recent history when she completely failed to respond to the attacks on the US Consulate in Benghazi. Even if that were her only mistake, and it was not, that single event was disastrous enough to be her political undoing. Nevertheless, when you compare her to the likes of Susan Rice, Eric Holder, and John Kerry, Hillary Clinton strikes me as the adult in the room. And, that is a sad commentary on the current administration.
But in 2012, she made a glowing prediction about Hillary, which she rated as "true" in January 2013, adding additional blandishments while she was at it.
I reproduce the latter below.
In her January 2011 predictions and her December scoring of those predictions, she had nice things to say about both Barack Obama and Hillary.
Jones predicted Obama's approval rate would improve, and that Hillary, who was Secretary of State at the time, would "become even more powerful and well-respected."
Check it out:
During the 2008 primaries, Jones showed admiration for two individuals, Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, and John McCain on the Republican side.
A June 5, 2008 post titled "Senator Clinton Demonstrated Persistence," praises Hillary's "tenacity and toughness," and claims her "determination in the face of inequitable treatment...provide an example which every young dreamer can and should follow."
Below is the full post. By way of explanation, the "Rudy syndrome," is a bad thing, in Jones' lexicon. Jones defines it as not developing your talents on par with your skill, or something like that. The idea is inspired by the 1993 football flick Rudy.
SENATOR CLINTON: DEMONSTRATIVE PERSISTENCE JUNE 5, 2008 ADMIN 2 COMMENTS
You talk about a strong finish. Senator Clinton not only stayed in to fight to the end, she won almost every primary in the past two months. Why the democrats thought it was better to go with the nominee who has no momentum going into the convention is baffling. Nevertheless, it appears, barring some miracle (for which we are still praying), Senator Obama will be the democratic nominee.
You must know by now that Senator Clinton's campaign is saying she will concede the democratic nomination to Senator Obama within the next two days. The good news is she has all the power right now. She can make or break the election for the democrats just by answering a simple yes or no question: will she agree to join the ticket as Senator Obama's running mate?Yes or no?
If she says yes: the democrats go into general election season, which started today, with the dream team. The ticket that is unstoppable. The combination of experience and charisma that is only found in John Grisham novels and cheesy television dramas. The one-two punch that makes the republicans shudder in their we-are-not-the-third-term-of-Bush boots.
If she says no: the democrats might as well pack it up. The formidable republican nominee, the super war hero, the tortured and beaten prisoner of war, the Rocky Balboa of political campaigning, the comeback kid, the incredibly energetic and hard working Senator McCain who out campaigns candidates half his age, will leave the democrats wishing the rules committee had counted all the votes in Michigan and Florida after all. Without Senator Clinton, the election is Senator McCain's to lose.
Regardless: Senator Clinton has demonstrated the kind of tenacity and toughness that this blog is designed to inspire. She proved that not only was she in the game to win, but she played it expertly and ended up, although she doesn't have the delegates, with all the power to determine the next president of the United States of America. She made some horrific mistakes along the way, and she is paying a dear price for it. But, she simply never gave up. Her drive and singular determination in the face of inequitable treatment and criticism provide an example which every young dreamer can and should follow. She developed her skill on par with her talent and gave 100% to the goal she set so many years ago. And, for that level of commitment and drive, we here at The Rudy Syndrome salute her.
At the risk of making everyone reading this gag, particularly the GOPers, I reproduce Jones' comments dated January 16 and January 30, 2008 at the end of this post. Both praise Hillary as a fierce political pugilist.
Jones' admiration for Clinton is self-evident throughout her blog, even pre-dating the Obama administration.
She clearly admired Obama as well, though not as much as she liked/likes Hillary.
In an October 26, 2012 post, she praised Mitt Romney, whom she believed would beat Obama in the November election.
But she had praise for Obama, nonetheless.
"Don't get me wrong," she wrote, "I have admired the president's campaign savvy and political skill, as well. And in all candor, until very recently, I was certain he would be a two term president."
On January 1, 2014, already committed to a gubernatorial run, she correctly prognosticated that journalists and political types would "scrutinize and analyze every word of this post."
Which is true of her entire blog.
Naturally, I don't give a rat's keister about Jones liking Hillary or Barack or believing in global warming.
But the base of the Republican Party in Arizona is bat-dung crazy, and niggling ideological stuff like this matters to them.
More Hillary-love from the Rudy Syndrome:
UNCATEGORIZED HILLARY CLINTON DOES NOT HAVE THE RUDY SYNDROME JANUARY 16, 2008 ADMIN 1 COMMENT Tonight, Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Presidential Primary for the state of Michigan. This victory comes on the heels of a solid win in New Hampshire a week ago over rival candidate Barack Obama. But, only days before New Hampshire, many people wrote off Clinton's campaign because of a sound defeat in Iowa five days earlier.
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has been the default front-runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination for nearly a year now. She raised and spent tens of millions of dollars to maintain the perception that she was unstoppable. She even relied on public appearances by former President Bill Clinton, Hollywood celebrities, and local, state, and national elected officials to stump for her seemingly certain victory. That is, until Iowa.
Twelve days ago, Senator Clinton lost big to Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) in the Iowa Caucuses. As they are wont to do, political pundits and the media deemed Senator Clinton finished and Senator Obama was anointed the Golden Child and the heir apparent to the Democratic party throne. Senator Clinton might as well have announced she was withdrawing from the race with the negative way in which she was portrayed by the press. However, she did not give up and she did not quit. No, she did what Rudy would do.
Senator Clinton probably felt like crawling under a rock and licking her wounds after a surprising and sound defeat in Iowa. But, instead, she came out fighting. Some say a rare moment of emotional vulnerability helped her appeal to voters in New Hampshire. Some say Senator Obama's supporters simply got too confident and failed to come out for the New Hampshire election. Regardless, Senator Clinton managed to work her way back to the top of the results in New Hampshire. And, although the results in Michigan tonight are irrelevant due to some internal party bickering, Senator Clinton has demonstrated a trait we should all emulate: she did not give up when it looked like all hope was lost. Rather, she worked harder than ever to come from behind to silence critics and return to her front-runner status. Another inspiring demonstration by a person who does not have the Rudy Syndrome.
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UNCATEGORIZED WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FLORIDA PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES? JANUARY 30, 2008 ADMIN 5 COMMENTS Tonight John McCain (R-AZ) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) won the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries in the state of Florida. Unlike McCain, who will walk away with a winner-take-all 57 delegates, Hillary Clinton gets none. This is because the National Democratic Party is punishing Florida for moving its primary election up to a date earlier than the Super Tuesday Primaries next Tuesday, February 5, 2008. As a result, Florida Democrats voted in a meaningless primary election and their voices will, therefore, not be heard.
As a side note, there are ordinarily 114 Republican delegates at stake in Florida but the National Republican Party cut the number in half to punish Florida Republicans for the same reason. Nevertheless, the victory is huge for McCain, who will now be the undisputed Republican front-runner, remarkable considering his status just six months ago.
Is this the right outcome? Should the Democratic Party use this type of leverage to force states to stay in their designated pecking order and hold their primary elections when the National Party tells them to? It seems the obvious answer is, "no." In a democracy, each person should have one vote and each vote should be given equal weight. In this case, the 1.5 million Florida voters who voted in the Democratic primary might as well have stayed home. When the Democrats go to convention in Denver this summer, Florida's delegation will have no votes to cast. This seems strangely un-democratic.
Ironically, Senator Clinton went to Florida, despite the meaningless vote, and claimed a huge victory. She vowed to fight to force the Florida delegates to be counted. She spoke enthusiastically to a packed room of supporters about how they will not have voted in vain. (This in sharp contrast to McCain's stump speech in which he vows to fight so that military members will not have died in vain. But, I digress.)
The question now is, will Senator Clinton muster up some Rudy-like energy and see to it that the Florida voters' delegates are counted? Will she rise up again, like she did in Michigan, to ensure those Florida delegates get to cast their votes at the Denver convention? I'm no predictor of the future, but it would not be out of the question to predict that she, and her formidable campaign staff, will be successful in yet another tough fight. And, if she is, we will all confirm once again that Hillary Clinton does not have the Rudy Syndrome. And, for that reason, she will almost certainly be the Democratic Nominee for President of the United States come November.
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