Barnes/Graves II. Or: The Night They Closed the Legion Hall

If the first Barnes/Graves debate was full of enough bare knuckled jabs and insults to feel at home in a Legion hall during a Saturday night dance. This one, Tuesday’s debate,  ought to have been held in a semi-swanky hotel ball room, choking with power ties and dark suits.

Oh–I guess it was.

And maybe that was the “problem”. The debate didn’t have the same zip.

If you read the transcript, it sounds like it was another hot event. But it wasn’t.

Democrat Kay Barnes opened up with the ‘Bush-Graves’ connection. But without  the stridency of last week. Then,  she turned to Graves and said this campaign was about Graves’ failure as a Congressman. Maybe saying it the second time, with the house lights up, and folks still picking at whatever mulash was on the croissant smothered the attack like ketchup on a fried egg.

Graves’ attack on Barnes’ role on a Fannie Mae advisory board was like a second helping of the aforementioned egg.

At one point, however, Barnes demanded that Graves “stop lying” about her record as Mayor. Graves’ campaign has stapled their version of it across the district.

Graves cites 7 separate voter approved tax hikes, totaling 1.2 billion dollars over the course of her two terms.

Barnes was accurate in saying voters, not politicians, approve tax hikes in Missouri.

Graves blows past that fact like freight train rolling through the Missouri night.

She was ‘Da Mayor’, and that’s all that’s important to Graves.

The once great Rod Stewart once croaked, ‘every picture tells a story’, and at this debate Graves started sketching the final drawing of the campaign. At least his version anyway. Near the end of the debate, Graves pronounced that Kay Barnes’ campaign was now in “free-fall’ and was. 10 points down in the polls. He didn’t say who’s poll shows that. And after the debate, he claimed the Barnes’ operation was pulling down some of it’s radio commercials in out state Northwest Missouri. A troubling sign if it’s true, since at some smaller radio stations radio time is cheap. ‘A dollar a holler’, is what they say about the cheap rates.

Barnes called that “Sam-Talk” and the campaign claimed that the NRCC has moved in to help shore up Graves. That’s the “Scary Kay” spot some of you have seen.  To be fair, both the Republican House Campaign Committee and the Democratic version of the same thing, have been on TV here (the D’s ad is that flow chart spot ripping Graves). Graves is trying to convey the idea that there’s no Harvest surprise in the corn stalks of NW Missouri. Kay’s done. That’s all there is to it. No Democratic Wave to the rescue.

Kay’s campaign says Sam is blowing smoke. They concede they’re trailing in the polls, but insist they are within the margin of error in those polls.

So it wasn’t a Legion Hall Brawl.  But it wasn’t Hotel Suite, either.

It was Barnes and Graves chunking dirt clods at one another from 15 feet.

One Response

  1. Good post. You’re obviously not from New York City.

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