Archive for August 6th, 2006

In today’s (Sunday) New York Times Dee McNamer wrote a short piece about Montana’s Senate race as part of that paper’s “Battleground” series where local authors write posts about races in their areas. Dee is a former instructor of mine at the university and still a friend. And I have to say, considering the length of the piece and its audience, I think she’s done a good job explaining the race without actually expressing opinion or interjecting with her own thoughts.

Like some people we know. *ahem*

The piece focuses on a couple of residents in Big Sandy and their opinions on the race. First, the area is in a county that’s predominantly Republican, so the views expressed here probably more accurately reflect how the race may go. Second, I’d say Burns is in big, big trouble.

Why?

Mr. Graff, who has lived in Big Sandy for 30 years and knows both candidates well enough to call them by their first names, said he was already disgusted with the tenor of the campaign, specifically the opening Republican volley of TV and radio ads that focused on Mr. Tester’s flattop haircut…“I’m so tired of that hash,” said Mr. Graff. “Who cares whether Jon has got a flattop or a shaved head?” A couple of other men in the store nodded their heads. “What I want to know is what’s he going to do in Congress?” Mr. Graff went on. “Let’s worry about the issues, like taking care of the homeless in the United States, for instance.”

Dee also interviewed Tester’s barber, Bill Graves, and a customer in one of his chairs, Dick Wilmot:

The Republican haircut ads didn’t sit well with Mr. Graves, who now refers to himself as the Real Barber. The ads were “phony, lies, cheap shots,” he said. “I thought there was a war going on in Iraq, for crying out loud,” Mr. Wilmot said.“Something like $65 billion was just appropriated to fight that war,” Mr. Graves added. “And they want to talk about a haircut?”

Got that? Rural, conservative Montanans want to talk issues and they plan to vote on character. For Burns, who’s been running his campaign primarily to avoid issues and who handles himself like a drunken sailor, this will be a long and unpleasant election. That is, if he manages to evade indictment before November.

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I’m glad to see that Patricia Goedicke’s passing got some national notice. Her obituary appeared in the LA Times and the Washington Post (which quotes yours truly – tho misspells my name…), and in an AP wire story (shame on the Gazette for using a wire service to cover this news).

The AP story mentions an on-campus memorial service will take place at the University September 17. I’ll keep you all posted as more details emerge. If possible, I’ll attend. It should be interesting, moving, and poetic.

The best surprise was this picture of Patricia as a young woman.

I mean, wow. Not surprised, but still…




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