Thoughts on 2nd CD second forum

Image from Virginia Beach Progressives

For the second time in as many weeks, the three candidates in the 2nd Congressional District participated in a candidates’ forum. My thanks to the fine people at Second Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk who not only hosted the debate, but had wireless access which allowed me to broadcast it in its entirety.

The forum was not as well-attended as the first one, perhaps because we were dealing with the possibility of Hurricane Earl making landfall in Norfolk. That is a shame, because this forum was much better than the first one in that it covered a lot more ground.  And, for the most part, the candidates were much better with their answers, despite the irksome setup of having them answer questions in the same order every time.  It was disadvantageous for Democratic incumbent Glenn Nye to have to answer every single question first, and advantageous to Republican challenger Scott Rigell to always answer last. Independent Kenny Golden provided his answers in between.

All of the candidates appeared to have been more relaxed at this forum. Working with 1-minute responses to the questions, you might expect there would be a lot of sound-bite answers – and there were some. Overall, though, that was not the case – and you have to give the candidates credit for that.

My impression, after reviewing the video a couple of times, is that there was, once again, no clear “winner” in this debate. They all had their moments, both positive and negative.

Nye’s approach is to be precise, almost clinical, in his responses. He cites his record and – annoyingly – his “independence.” He seemed prepared for attacks that really didn’t come, especially in his closing statement. When they did come, he stood his ground.

Rigell was much softer in his answers, eschewing the “preacher talk” he adopted in the earlier forum. I was surprised to hear him call “Obamacare,” the Republican characterization of health care reform, a pejorative. He made, in my opinion, a major gaffe when he tried to pin the JFCOM situation on Nye but not on fellow Republican Randy Forbes. If Rigell is going to go after Nye for voting for Nancy Pelosi for speaker, somebody needs to point out that Rigell is going to do the Republican equivalent: vote for John Boehner.

Golden was the truth-teller at the forum. He said that JFCOM is “gone,” which squares with what others close to the situation tell me. And he said that negative ads work, which we all know to be the case. (If they didn’t, no one would run them.) He seemed a little subdued, though, and slipped at the end, when he referred to this area as San Diego.

If memory serves, there were only three candidate forums in the entire 2008 campaign. We’ve already had two – before Labor Day. I know of at least two others (not including the Chamber event, in which the three candidates will appear separately), including the one televised debate the League of Women Voters, in conjunction with ODU and WHRO,  is hosting on October 9.  Golden and Nye have already committed to that event, and I hope Rigell will follow their lead. The 660,000 residents of the 2nd Congressional District deserve to hear more than 30-second commercials on what these candidates will do once in Washington.

After all, not all of them read this blog 😉

16 thoughts on “Thoughts on 2nd CD second forum

  1. I’m tired of politics and NOT IMPRESSED with Nye.

    While there might be some that say ‘he is better than putting Rigell in’ – I disagree.

    If we re-elect Nye chances are we will BE STUCK WITH HIM forever. On the other hand we now have the opportunity to GET RID OF HIM. So we are stuck with someone else for 2 years, it would still be better than leaving him in for life, which is what it would be.

    This is why he should have been challenged with a primary, but no one had the nerve to do it. More party politics at its worst.

    I won’t be voting for Nye because I want a better option next time.

    1. “This is why he should have been challenged with a primary, but no one had the nerve to do it. More party politics at its worst.”

      So why didn’t you challenge him with a primary, whoever you are?

      1. I have zero knowledge of how to actually run a campaign, but if I had been Constitutionally eligible to run for Congress, I would have at least tried to challenge Nye from the left.

        If he’s somehow still around in 2012, I might do it then.

        I am getting the urge to run for Congress but I am also worried that my candidacy would transform into some sort of laughingstock because I have zero notoriety or money.

        But I truly believe that I could represent the 2nd far better than any of the current candidates.

        1. Mr/Ms? Joslin, I like to hear some fire in the belly about the 2nd district. If you decide to run would like to know your thoughts on needs for public transportation. Would like to know how you feel about the idea of a living wage. Access to affordable health care for those not connected to federal or military jobs. How about bringing in jobs that pay better than the big box stores and burger flipping places that our present political representation feel that support staff to the military deserve? What would you posit that we in the 2nd district should do to make the military presence mere guests and more respectful rather than the only entity that decides the quality of the political leadership and quality of life outcomes that we have lived with since there was a 2nd district?

          1. Public Transport: The system here is abysmal. My wife is from England, and I have seen what a good functional and useful public system looks like. I would like to see expansion of all rail systems – light and high speed specifically. 3rd Crossing must happen. Incentives to use public transport. Haven’t fleshed this out but unlike other candidates who give lip service to it, I am interested in fixing it.

            Health Care:
            I’m for a single payer system. Safe, well-regulated drug importation to keep drug prices competitive. I would be more than willing to open Medicare to everyone in lieu of creating a new system. Market based health care is an abomination in its current form.

            Green jobs; wind farms off the coast instead of oil rigs. Infrastructure jobs to aid and construct improvements to transportation as outlined above. Instead of outsourcing our best jobs we need to “insource” and give more incentives to get people to come here. That does not mean “tax cuts” as the only solution.

            We have got to have a lean, mean, fighting machine for a military. The 2nd District has got to support the military families who live here but we have also got to make sure that our economy can thrive without them. We have great research schools in the area, we have technology, we have great tourism areas, and again I mention the wind farm idea. We’ve got to take care of everyone.

            Mr. Klear:
            FYI, I will turn 25 next year, so in 2012 I’ll be 26. Lifelong resident of not only Virginia but of 2nd CD.

        2. You have to be 25 years old, have been a citizen for at least 7 years, and live in Virginia. In Virginia, you do not need to live in a congressional district to run there.

          Nye haters may want to keep in mind that there will be a redistricting between now and the next election in 2012, and odds are the district will be made more difficult for any Dem, even Nye. If Rigell wins, he’s the one who will left in for life.

  2. ” If Rigell is going to go after Nye for voting for Nancy Pelosi for speaker, somebody needs to point out that Rigell is going to do the Republican equivalent: vote for John Boehner.”

    Funny, my people got mad at me for saying the exact same thing…

  3. Vivian, You are a jewel. Thank you so much for the energy and info you provide. For me, the 2nd district election will do nothing more than elect a dem or repub who does nothing more that suck up to the Pentagon. The 2nd district in Va. will never be anything more than support staff to the Federal Government that provides the tax payer funds that makes this place exist. Doesn’t matter who wins this election. Either party will only do what is necessary to stay on the Federal dole.

    1. It does seem that the only emphasis in the 2nd is on the military. Now I understand that the military makes up a significant portion of the 2nd, but not all of us are DoD-related. And it would be nice if that were acknowledged.

      1. Honestly, the 2CD is probably going to need someone who can provide some political leadership in the region in the event of a perhaps-certain future in which the military’s presence in our corner of the country is significantly diminished. With the exception of the contributions of a relative handful of very talented men based out of Little Creek NAB, the United States Navy is a service in search of a mission w/r/t the war in Afghanistan (both as an isolated context and also within the larger contexts of a global war on terror). We simultaneously are not ideally structured to handle the brown-water fleets most of our immediate rivals have developed (hence the production of a smaller LCS, which is STILL coming in way over budget), and our blue water navy exerts a supremacy at sea not seen since the days immediately after Trafalgar — but it does so at an exorbitant cost that diverts defense dollars away from more-immediate conflicts.

        JFCOM, in all likelihood, is probably just the beginning when it comes to realignment here in the region; everyone should be taking some time to think very seriously about what might happen during the next round of BRAC, and what sort of industry we’d like to see fill whatever economic vacuum BRAC could create.

        Are any of these three guys candidates who can be the leader we need. I dunno. Rigell’s an empty shirt who can’t find a compelling-enough argument against Nye’s voting record to justify challenging him, and so he focuses all his venom on Nancy Pelosi so that he doesn’t have to admit to voters that he’s ultimately running for Congress because he thinks it looks like a pretty sweet gig. Whereas for Glenn Nye’s part, I cannot fault his claim that he’s independent from his party, but he hasn’t really given me any compelling reason to believe that he’s as interested in leading his constituents as he is in ingratiating himself to them. And Golden, oh, Golden. I’m sure Kenny Golden was a very capable military leader, but you can’t be a political leader without a base of voters to support you.

  4. Mr. Golden pulled out of the Republican primary because he could not get any endorsements or support, from anyone. Now he is complaining because the Tea Party is not supporting him and neither are we.

    His campaign is over $55,000.00 in debt:

    His campaign is in the red because the voters in the Second District are smart enough to know that he will only be a spoiler in this race with at most 4% or 5% of the total vote. No one will support someone that does not have a chance. He seems like a man with a grudge that wants to be a thorn in the side of the local party.

    God Bless our Military, but as a Cmdr he did not have to meet a payroll out of earned profits. He was spending government tax dollars not his own. There is a big difference between spending someone else’s money versus meeting a payroll and expenses from your earned profit when you don’t have the luxury of printing your own money.

  5. Silence,

    So I suppose that not having a base of voters makes it impossible for you to be a leader?

    I understand you need a base to win, but all this talk of, “Well Kenny would be the best guy, he just has no money and can’t get elected” is just ridiculous.

    I totally understand its a longshot, but fact of the matter is if Kenny was in Congress now, he would be 10x better than Rigell or Nye in Congress as far as leadership and understanding of the issues are concerned.

    In my opinion, that should be the only qualification you use. Anything and everything else is exactly why we are in the mess we are in now.

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