Doug Ducey's Shady Salesmanship of Himself and the GOP Brand Signals Doom for Arizona


Doug Ducey's one of those guys who could make a living selling Bermuda shorts to Alaskan bush people.

So it's no surprise that he snookered Wall Street Journal writer Jason Riley, who recently traveled to Tucson to meet with the Republican gubernatorial wannabe as he campaigned in the Old Pueblo.

I should point out that I'm a fan of Riley's 2008 book Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders, which lays out an enlightened, libertarian argument for the free flow of immigrants into this country.

But the conservative columnist clearly fell hard for Ducey and the line of bull he's selling, judging from Riley's enthusiastic regurgitation of Ducey's propaganda in the Journal's pages.

Breathlessly titled "A Tax Reformer Rises in Arizona," Riley's piece praises Ducey's "Midwestern plain-spokenness" while observing the importance of Ducey's life history to his pitch.

"I grew up in Toledo, Ohio, son of a cop, very much a product of the working class," Riley quotes Ducey's telling a small gathering in Tucson.

Riley adds, "Biography is a major theme of [Ducey's] stump speech, along with the business experience he gained after moving to Arizona in the early 1980s to attend college and then running a successful ice cream company, Cold Stone Creamery, which he sold in 2007."

A confidence man (um, a politician) requires a lack of skepticism on the part of the mark, a willingness to be bamboozled. Riley and many others closer to home have demonstrated this trait when it comes to Ducey.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons